Make a Day of It: Staying sharp – physically and mentally – at OMSI


Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!

The next installment of this series is the OMSI!

First the running:

First and foremost, I highly recommend running the Waterfront Loop (the standard route when in downtown Portland) and submitting your times on our FREE Waterfront Loop Virtual Run. If you are looking to add more distance, you can always add more bridges to the mix, head north toward the Willamette River Greenway trail or south to cross over the new Tillikum Bridge. It’s hard to sometimes select a running location (as there are so many great ones) in the Portland area, but seeing as OMSI is on the east side of the river, I would also recommend consider heading further south on Water Street and hitting up the Springwater Trail (one of my favorite places to run when I’m around).

I spoke with OMSI representatives and in February, they will be offering some pretty fun deals on keeping your kid’s active (both physically and mentally) during Spring Break and summer vacation. Stay tuned to Run Oregon for some of those soon.

Now to the details to the experience itself:


It has been a few years since I have been inside OMSI. While it’s a great place for kids, having young kids can sometimes make it hard to get out. My kids were super excited to come, even though their only memories of OMSI was seeing it as we drive over the bridge on I-5 and seeing it from a distance. Their eyes widened as they entered, and it was all I could do from keeping them corralled. We toured the exhibits as well as a 6 and 4-year-old can – constantly bouncing from experiment to experiment.

The great thing about OMSI is that there are so many different things, that you don’t really have to wait in any lines – which my kids enjoyed. Our favorites were shooting 2-liter bottles into the sky, putting paper airplanes in an air cylinder, and checking out the activities in Chemistry and Physics Lab. Even though some of the stuff was over their heads (and perfect for 8-12 year olds – and adults), there was enough that they could check out without being bored.

We caught one show in the theater – Antarctica on the Edge. My kids were riveted with the penguins, but mostly with the sheer size of the screen. Movies are generally an additional $8.50 ($6.50 for kids). There is also the Planetarium theater – which we did not end up getting to. I had no idea, but you can actually watch real movies there, as both The Good Dinosaur and the Martian were playing in the evenings.

One of the last things we did was enter the kid’s Science Playground. I fear that if this had been our first stop, we wouldn’t have left the whole time. My 6-year-old was at the top of the age limit, but my just-turned 4-year-old was in heaven. From grocery shopping to playing in the sand, she was in kiddo heaven. There were a bunch of tired parents and grandparents in there, but tons of happy and smiling kids.


Cost: Purchase tickets here:

  • Adults – $19.95
  • Seniors and Young Adults (13-17) – $17.95
  • Children – $12.95
  • Parking = $5
  • In addition, if you plan on visiting multiple times throughout the year, consider being a member. Starting at only $90 for two (or $105 for a family), you can attend an unlimited amount of times for one year. Sweet deal!

Follow OMSI on Facebook.

Hope to see you out there!

Thank you to OMSI for providing Run Oregon with passes to experience all they have to offer!

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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