The Portland Children’s Museum, a landmark for birthday parties, school trips and weary parents seeking to entertain their small children on rainy days, is closing for good due to COVID-19.
Officials announced on the museum’s website Thursday that the board had voted to close completely, effective June 30.
Before the pandemic, the museum saw some 250,000 visitors a year and offered exhibits heavy on interactive play designed to spur kids’ imaginations.
In a statement on its website, board chair David Peterson said museum leaders could not imagine keeping the museum financially stable in a post-pandemic world. The museum largely relied on admission revenue, and it’s unclear just how many parents will be comfortable returning as the pandemic ends.
“Due to new cleaning protocols, state guidelines limiting capacity, and the need to refill 48 staff positions due to layoffs, opening the Museum’s doors to the public would result in an insurmountable financial deficit,” Peterson wrote. “The question of when parents and caregivers will feel comfortable returning to interactive museums further complicated plans to reopen. Ultimately, these options were not financially viable and would have mandated a substantial, long-term investment without the revenue to support the organization.”
The 75-year-old museum sits in Washington Park next to the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Forestry Museum. It also houses Portland’s first charter school, the Opal School, which will also close.