Science Playground

Science Playground is OMSI's exhibit hall for kids 6 and younger and their families. Located on the second floor, Science Playground is a colorful and vibrant place for kids to play, explore and engage in science.

Discovery Lab

We have a variety of creative, hands-on activities for little ones every day. Make our popular Flubber and Playdough at home.

Launch Calendar


Please join us in the front of the hall to clap, sing, and dance to all your favorite tunes. The OMSI Band plays at 10:30 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month.

Launch Calendar

OMSI Hands-on Activities

Water Area

Our water area welcomes explorers of all ages to pour, drip, splash, fill, spill, and experiment in five hands-on water tanks. Visitor Tip: bring a change of clothes! We provide waterproof smocks for children and adult-sized aprons, but splashing happens.


At Sandland you'll find the full array of buckets, shovels, and other sand toys, plus special activity panels and machines to explore the physics of sand. Please be sure to remove shoes before jumping in!

Books and Early Literacy

We moved! Our reading area is now in the tent in the back corner. We're in the process of creating a cozy setting for storytime, and a quiet space for anyone needing a little down time. Share books, play with puppets, and explore materials designed to foster early literacy.

Nature Play

You can discover nature from an animal's point of view in the Animal Secrets exhibit area. Kids (and adults!) can crawl through the roots of a giant tree, venture into a cave, explore a hollow log, and investigate naturalists' tools in this fun-filled exhibit. Animal Secrets features bilingual (English and Spanish) text panels.

Infant Area

Science Playground's carpeted infant area has plenty of activities to encourage little ones to use their developing motor skills. It also also includes our popular fish tank.  Please be aware this area is limited to visitors ages 0-24 months, and their parents.

Other Features

Science Playground's double doors create a contained area for our youngest visitors, while low walls, strategically designed exhibits, and windows looking from the Discovery Lab into the exhibit area allow for an unencumbered view of the entire space. Two family bathrooms and one ADA restroom, as well as a private nursing area, add to parents' comfort and convenience.

Discovery Lab: Living Laboratory

What’s a more “everyday encounter with science” than viewing your family through the lens of a scientist? Cognitive researchers are conducting studies in OMSI’s Discovery Lab, and having conversations with visitors about their work. We hope these conversations about human development and early cognition will increase staff’s and visitors’ scientific literacy and the researcher’s ability to communicate effectively about scientific concepts. Building partnerships with local scientists is an exciting and important direction for OMSI, and we excited to hear about your experiences interacting with the researchers! Research takes place several times a week. Call us at 503-239-7841 for the most up-to-date information.

Living Laboratory is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a partnership with Museum of Science, Boston and with Lewis & Clark College.

The Infrared CAM

Lab Experiences

Did you know Science Playground offers hour-long labs designed for young scientists ages 3-6? These ticketed classes offer an in-depth experience exploring a specific topic. Be sure to check out these labs and others offered throughout the museum.

Science Playground


We have answers. Give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to answer any Science Playground related questions you have. Call: 503.239.7841

Getting Here

Hours & Pricing

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From museum combo packages to group rates and membership options, we have something to fit your visit.

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Science education opens minds and creates opportunities for all ages. Make a difference in our community today! Donate, volunteer your time, or both.