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Best Portland Museums

7 Best Museums in Portland 🖼️ | Portland Art Museum, OMSI & More

Last Updated on: 30th June 2023, 06:19 pm

One of the best things about living in a big city is exploring all that it has to offer and the rich history that it provides. When you have kids, it can feel impossible, at times, to find enough activities to keep them entertained while also teaching them something worthwhile. There are plenty of things to do in Portland with kids, especially when it comes to Portland museums; you’ll find there are a wide variety of museums in Portland available to explore.

Here’s our list of the best museums in Portland, including free museums in Portland for kids under a specific age.

Portland Art Museum | One of the Best Art Museums in Portland Oregon, Representing Diverse Communities

As one of the many art museums in Portland Oregon, the Portland Art Museum represents a variety of cultures and art pieces. Most of their collection comes from American art, European art, modern art, Native American art, and photography, to name a few. While their current exhibition is constantly changing throughout the year, it’s a favorite space for the art-loving community of Portland to come and experience the talent.

As a member of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the Cultural Trust, The Portland Art Museum works hard to “recognize and honor the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands,” according to its mission. At the end of the day, the Portland Art Museum is a space that is working hard to educate and teach the community of Portland, Oregon.

Museum hours & location

  • Address: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205
  • Phone number: (503) 226-2811
  • Hours: Wednesday-Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • Admission price: $25 for adults and $22 for college students or adults 62+. Kids 14 years or younger are free. If you plan to consistently visit the museum, you can purchase an annual membership for $80.

OMSI | One of the Top Educational Museums in Portland

​​The OMSI, also known as the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, is one of the top places to learn, teach, and educate people of all ages. They have consistent shows, like the Kendall Planetarium, and exhibits and labs, like the teen tech center or the science playground. OMSI also offers local camps (day and overnight options), where your kids come into the museum for fun activities or go rafting or backpacking. As a non-profit, the goal of OMSI is to help individuals fall in love with learning and discover their passions.

Museum hours & location

  • Address: 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214
  • Phone number: (503) 797-4000
  • Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 9:30am to 5:30pm
  • Admission price: The ticket price is dependent upon the event, but there is also a ticket price for parking, which is $5 for the day. It will cost $110 for two people to become members, or the family package is $140 for 2 adults and 4 children. You’ll find additional membership packages listed on their website.


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Oregon Maritime Museum | An Exceptional Maritime Museum in Portland

The Oregon Maritime Museum is a sternwheeler in Waterfront Park, which is part of Downtown Portland. This Portland museum, founded in 1980, is the very last tugboat that was steam-powered and that was built in the USA; if you’re interested, you can take a tour of the steamboat, which lasts around 45 minutes.

During the tour, you can learn everything ranging from steam power vessels to items dating back to WWII. Something that makes the Oregon Maritime Museum special and unique is that it’s part of the National Registry of Historic Places. In addition, on the ship, there are over 22,000 photographs that capture the history of maritime.

Museum hours & location

  • Address: 198 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
  • Phone number: (503) 224-7724
  • Hours: Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday from 11:00am to 4:00pm
  • Admission price: $7 for adults or $5 for 62+ years. Students (13-18 years old) are $4, kids 6-12 years old are $3, and anyone under 6 years old gets in for free.

Pittock Mansion | One of the Historic Mansion Museums in Portland

The Pittock Mansion was built in 1914 and belonged to one the most well-known families of the time, Henry Pittock and his wife. While they only lived in the home for a short while before passing away, the mansion stayed in the family until 1958, when a family member sold it. After being damaged by a storm, the mansion was in a state of disrepair – until citizens stepped in to help raise funds. Today, Pittock Mansion is a local nonprofit that continues to share the history of Portland.

Museum hours & location

  • Address: 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210
  • Phone number: (503) 823-3623
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday from 10:00am to 4:00pm; Tuesday is 12:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Admission price: $14.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors, $10.50 for kids, and for anyone under 6 years old, their ticket is free. There is a membership option, but you’ll need to call for pricing.


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World Forestry Center | Hands-on Exhibits Throughout the Museum

The World Forestry Center features a discovery museum, which is a 20,000-square-foot building used to teach visitors about the importance of nature and our planet. You’ll learn about animals and professions in forestry, and you’ll enjoy a virtual tour of the world, as well as a Langdon plate collection, photos, and more! In addition to the museum, they also have an exhibit for “Peggy The Train” and “Petrified Stump.”

Museum hours & location

  • Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221
  • Phone number: (503) 228-1367
  • Hours: Wednesday-Sunday from 11:00am to 4:00pm
  • Admission price: $5 for ages 2 and up; for 2 and under, the admission price is free.

Oregon Historical Society | A 125 Year Old Portland Museum with Rotating Exhibits

The Oregon Historical Society museum has two permanent exhibitions within the Portland location, which are “Experience Oregon” and the “History Hub.” While there are only two permanent exhibitions, there are traveling exhibits that move from state to state, so there will always be more than two displays rotating in and out when visiting the museum. For example, a few traveling exhibits include “A Century of Wonder: 100 Years of Oregon State Parks” and “Places by the Sea.”

The main goal of The Oregon Historical Society is to bring awareness and not forget Oregon’s powerful history as a state. In addition to exhibits, you’ll find books, photos, artifacts, and films on display throughout the museum.

Museum hours & location

  • Address: 1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205
  • Phone number: (503) 222-1741
  • Hours: Monday-Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from 12:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Admission price: The pricing is not available online, so make sure to call and confirm before going.

The Historic Belmont Firehouse | Interactive Portland Museum Tours at the Historical Portland Firehouse

The Belmont Firehouse was once a local firehouse in Portland that was a part of the city’s active stations. Now, it’s been transformed into a learning center that allows visitors to learn more about fire safety and what it’s like to be a firefighter. Many times, tours are customized to what the group wants to know more about. Usually, though, it can range from experiencing a simulator for when an emergency takes place to exploring open exhibits or taking an audio tour. The museum is open to people of all ages: schools, families, senior citizens, and everyone in between.

Museum hours & location

Map of Portland Museums

Explore additional museums in Portland, art exhibits, and other things to do in Portland, OR with this map!

Whether you’re thinking about moving to Portland or you currently live here, there are plenty of fun things to do in Portland with kids, including Portland museums! PDX has 10+ years of experience, 3,000 customers served per year, a 4.8/5 customer satisfaction rate, and a 100% employee background check. And if you’re thinking about relocating, we will be there for you every step of the way because we’re the best movers in Portland! Call us today at 503-746-8795 for a free estimate!


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