Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Portland: Portland Children's Museum




April 2, 2014

Visit Portland: Portland Children's Museum

If you have little kids and are visiting the Portland, Oregon area, a visit to the Portland Children's Museum is a must.

Highlights of Our Hosted Visit
Literally as soon as we entered Portland Children's Museum my kids ran off to various exhibits.

They brushed an alligator's teeth, had fun with water in Water Works, and shopped for groceries and later prepared them for a meal at Grasshopper Grocery & Butterfly Bistro.

From top right, clockwise: Vroom Room, Water Works, Play It Again Theater, Brushing Wally Gator's Teeth, Photo Op,  Grasshopper Grocery, Outside the Portland Children's Museum, Vroom Room, Cycle City

Water Works

My kids were reluctant to leave Water Works and the Grasshopper Grocery, but once I told them there was so much more to explore, they were very excited.
They loved the Dig Pit, where it was like "dump truck heaven."  They also enjoyed performing in the Play It Again Theater, and running around the outdoor Zany Maze.

Dig Pit

Zany Maze
The current Featured Exhibit, Cycle City: A Spin on Bikes, was also a lot of fun.  Kids could build their own bikes and make art with bike parts.

Making art with bike parts in Cycle City

It was such a neat way to exhibit bikes and the cool things that can be done with their parts (I personally loved the Oregon Bicycle Map).

Oregon Bicycle Map

There were so many more exhibits where kids could create, learn, and play, such as the Baby's Garden, an area for kids ages 3 and under with lots of fun toys and equipment just for the little ones; a Clay Studio where kids could create their own masterpieces; Building Bridgetown where kids can build with all sorts of materials; Treehouse Adventure, where kids can grab a book and read (or have a story read to them); a Pet Hospital where kids can help care for their furry friends; and the Twilight Trail, where kids can play with all sorts of cool things in the (not too) dark.

And if that wasn't enough, a new exhibit, the Outdoor Adventure (which you can read about here), opens later this month, and I'm sure it will be amazing! 

It was fantastic to see my kids enjoy and interact with the various exhibits, and it was great to be able to participate with them - whether it was helping them build a house, pretending to eat a meal they cooked, or running around the maze together.

On site is The Counter @ the Museum.  Click here for more information.

Our Experience Visiting with a Special-Needs Child
My oldest son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and although I know kids on the spectrum all behave and react differently in various environments, I always try to share our personal experience when visiting attractions.

Despite having sensory issues with rain, he LOVES water play, and he spent a lot of time in Water Works.  It's the first area he went to, and the one he kept on going back to.

Whenever he'd start to get anxious, I'd simply ask him where he wanted to go, and he'd say "play with the water."

He also really enjoyed the Vroom Room, where he played with toy trains and pretended to drive an ambulance.

Vroom Room

There are several places to sit down and rest, as well as a few quieter places if he felt overstimulated (the Vroom Room and the Treehouse Adventure were areas that were not as crowded as the others).
Treehouse Adventure
I loved that there was a nice variety of exhibits to keep my son engaged, as well as some that were less stimulating.

Another thing I love about Portland Children's Museum is that they occasionally host free Access Nights for children with special needs and their family and friends (you can find more information here).
Final Thoughts
It was so much fun watching my kids sing, act, build, create, and play in the various exhibits at the Portland Children's Museum.

There is simply so much to do - the kids could've stayed there for an entire day playing in their favorite areas and trying new things.

The Portland Children's Museum is the perfect example of a family-friendly attraction - one in which both kids and adults enjoy exploring together, and it'll only get better with the new Outdoor Adventure.

Portland Children's Museum
4015 SW Canyon Rd
Portland, OR 97221
(503) 223-6500

Click here for information on hours and admission; click here for parking information.

Thank you to Portland Children's Museum for hosting our visit.

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