The Portland area has quite the museum scene. But when you are taking your whole family for a museum outing, things can get a bit expensive. Enter: free and reduced admission days. Below you’ll find ways to save on some of Portland’s most popular kid-friendly museums if you’re on a budget.
Oregon Historical Society. Always free for Multnomah County residents. The Oregon Historical Society’s permanent History Hub exhibit tells stories of the diverse people and events that have shaped Oregon history. 1200 SW Park Ave.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center. This railroad museum near OMSI is free all the time, with three vintage engines and changing exhibits. See website for details on train rides. 2250 SE Water Ave.
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). Guess what? $2 Day on the first Sunday of every month is back! There are other ways to save any day of the month: If you qualify for Arts for All, you may buy up to four $5 general admission tickets; OMSI provides up to a 55% discount on any level of individual membership, with an EBT card and matching ID; they also offer educator previews and military discounts. Learn more about Admission Access at OMSI. Children 2 and under are free. 1945 SE Water Ave.
Portland Art Museum. The Museum also offers free admission and special family programming several times a year. Follow them on social or sign up for their newsletter to be in the know when the free tickets are available to reserve. Kids 17 and under are always free. 1219 SW Park Ave.
Oregon Zoo. Discounted admission offered for recipients of income assistance programs. Check their website for general admission deals, like Second Tuesdays in winter or Twilight Tuesdays in summer. Infants under 2 are free. 4001 SE Canyon Rd.
Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals. Receive a reduced rate admission of $3 per person (for up to 4 people) with an EBT card and valid form of photo ID. Free admission with military ID between May 21-September 5. Children up to 5 years are always free. Thanks to a grant from the Juan Young Trust, Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals is offering free group tours through November 2022. 26385 NW Groveland Dr., Hillsboro.
Don’t forget your local library’s free passes to Portland-area museums and cultural institutions. And if you are a Bank of America cardholder, you can get free admission to OMSI, Portland Art Museum, and Portland Japanese Garden through their Bank of America Museums on Us Program. Speaking of gardens, as of this writing Leach Botanical Garden is temporarily waiving admission fees and accepting donations instead.
Museums Temporarily Closed to Visitors during Pandemic:
Five Oaks Museum (formerly Washington County Museum). Snag free admission on Washington County Museum’s Family Day, held on the Second Saturday seasonally (check website). In addition to free admission, you’ll also get to try out a craft, hear a story, and more. 17677 NW Springville Rd., Portland, 97229.
The Historic Belmont Firehouse. Slide down a fire pole and “ride along” on an emergency ride in the back of a mock fire truck while learning about fire safety. Free and open to the public Wednesdays and the second Saturday of every month from 9 am to 3 pm. 900 SE 35th Ave. (at Belmont).