Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

Five Questions with Portland Children's Museum

Portland, Oregon

It's story time twice a day---at 11am and 2pm---in Treehouse Adventure, one of the many hands-on exhibits at the Portland Children's Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum

When is a museum not just a museum? When it's also a kid-sized Pet Hospital, Grasshopper Grocery, and Wonder Corner, just to name a few of the exhibits at the Portland Children's Museum. Here's more about this unique Oregon museum from Marketing and Communications Director Shannon Grosswiler.

NEA: Please tell us about the Portland Children’s Museum and what makes it unique.

SHANNON GROSSWILER: We are the seventh-oldest museum in the country. We have three hands-on arts studios, an artist in the classroom program, a public charter school for K-5th grade, and we are also home to the Center for Children’s Learning, the research and documentation arm of the Museum.

NEA: What’s your favorite part of the museum and why?

GROSSWILER: I love The Pet Hospital that just opened last month. It is adorable and features all the things a vet clinic would have, as well as a super cute Bark Park complete with a red fire hydrant!

Head on over to the interactive Building Bridges exhibit to panel a wall, connect plumbing fixtures, or climb into the secret crawl space! Photo courtesy of the museum

NEA: What’s on exhibit at the museum now?

GROSWILER: Our exhibit Kids Build: Project 2010 has just been a huge hit. We have a huge monster recycling garage where older kids can use glue guns and hammers to create amazing projects with raw materials, a huge fort-building area complete with giant Lincoln Log-type blocks, tons of pillows, blankets and more. We have a river running through the exhibit with headboards of beds as bridges and slides, plus an elaborate recycling and sorting area.

NEA: What do you hope visitors to the Portland Children’s Museum will take away from the experience?

GROSWILER: That kids can create their own fun in a place meant  just for them using their imaginations and a great environment, BUT parents can make the experience magical when they participate, ask great questions, and show an interest in what their child learns through playful inquiry!

NEA: Aside from the Portland Children’s Museum, what’s your own favorite museum to visit and why?

GROSWILER: Musee d’ Orsay in Paris. Does anyone need a reason to love Paris and the Impressionists?

Portland Children's Museum is located at 4015 SW Canyon Road, just across from the Oregon Zoo. Visit the museum's website to learn more!

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