Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

#8 in Best Things To Do in Portland, OR
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Courtesy OMSI

Key Info

1945 SE Water Ave.

Price & Hours

$14.50 for adults; $9.75 for kids
Hours vary by season

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Whether you need to keep the kids entertained for a few hours or just need a way to spend a rainy day, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is the place to go. This interactive museum (referred to by residents as the OMSI) makes learning fun with five halls and eight labs filled with hands-on exhibits devoted to physics, chemistry, paleontology, and more. Other interactive offerings include a science playground specifically designed for young children. Recent visitors said that the museum is fun and educational for all members of the family, though some do gripe about the price of admission. If you've got kids in tow, past visitors said you'll want to spend several hours here.

And if you're a movie buff, you'll want to make your way to the museum's USS Blueback submarine, which was used to film "The Hunt for Red October," and is the most modern U.S. submarine on public display in the country. When you've exhausted the exhibits, take in a show at the IMAX theater or marvel at the stars at the Harry C. Kendall Planetarium. There's also a riverfront eatery on-site that serves healthy sandwiches and salads.

The OMSI sits on the east bank of the Willamette River across from the southern edge of the waterfront park. The museum is open daily, though hours vary by season and certain attractions like the submarine. Admission costs $14.50 for adults and $9.75 for children, and entry to the IMAX, the planetarium and the submarine cost extra; combo passes are available. Parking is an additional $5. Public transportation near the museum is available. The OMSI/SE Water Ave Station connects with MAX, bus and Portland Streetcar lines. For more information, check out the OMSI website.

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#1 Washington Park

Many critics, travelers and locals agree that of all of Portland's parks (and they are numerous), Washington Park is perhaps the best. Home to such notable landscaping feats as the Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden, as well as the World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum and several memorials dedicated to pivotal points in Oregon's history. 

There are also family-friendly attractions like the Oregon Zoo and Portland Children's Museum along with a large playground, soccer fields, tennis courts and an archery range. Just make sure you save plenty of time for a leisurely stroll down one of the many shady paths, which are often decorated with flower displays and fountains. 

Read more
Courtesy Explore Washington Park
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