Designed for science fans of all ages, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) features five separate halls, eight hands-on science labs, a real submarine, an OmniMax giant-screen theater, and a planetarium. The museum is a science playground, with 200-plus interactive exhibits covering subjects such as climate change, chemistry, the human body, and technology.
Watch the stars come alive at Kendall Planetarium, see a blockbuster or nature documentary in the IMAX theater, or tour the USS Blueback submarine—the US Navy’s last non-nuclear, fast-attack sub. Older children enjoy Turbine Hall’s interactive building, engineering, and problem-solving exhibits, while the colorful Science Playground provides art materials, a cave to explore, and a giant sandbox for kids 6 and under.
Visit on a Portland hop-on hop-off trolley tour to explore the museum at your own pace. To experience the Pacific Northwest outdoors, you can combine hop-on hop-off trolley tickets with a Columbia River Gorge tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a must-see for science lovers and families with kids.
- Visitor facilities include two on-site restaurants and a gift shop.
- OMSI is wheelchair accessible, with the exception of the USS Blueback submarine. Free wheelchair and motorized scooter rentals are available on a first come, first served basis.
How to Get There
OMSI is located on SE Water Avenue on the eastern bank of the Willamette River, roughly 1.3 miles (2 kilometers) by road from downtown. The museum is accessible by TriMet, Portland’s public transportation system, via the MAX Light Rail, bus, and Portland Streetcar lines.
When to Get There
The museum is open year-round and is most crowded on weekends and school holidays. To avoid crowds, opt for an early morning or weekday visit. OMSI After Dark events typically occur every month and are geared specifically toward adults aged 21 and over.
The USS Blueback
The USS Blueback submarine spent 31 years prowling the Pacific before retiring at the OMSI. Today, you can see the inside of the Blueback on a submarine tour, and get a glimpse of how a crew of 85 lived on the vessel for months at a time.