The Grotto

Whether you are Catholic or not, you should not miss going to The Grotto when visiting Portland. Feast your eyes on the botanical garden which features multi-color rhododendrons and it’s numerous fir trees. The Grotto is a famous Catholic shrine that is dedicated to Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother.

The site is run by the Order of Friar Servants of Mary and they work hard to provide a conducive environment to experience peace, and spiritual inspiration. They offer ministries that can give spiritual direction for Catholics that is based on having compassion, support, understanding, and hope for believers.

They are also a venue to celebrate liturgical feasts and they endeavor to be servants to all.

The shrine serves as a spiritual retreat for close to 300,000 visitors a year from all religions and different nationalities. Visitors are amazed at this 62-acre space of greenery just minutes away from downtown Portland.

The centerpiece of the shrine is Our Lady’s Grotto, which features a rock cave carved into a 110-foot cliff. You can see a life-size marble duplicate of Michelangelo’s Pieta at the center.

You can visit their Gift Shop, Conference Center, Chapel of Mary and Visitor Center which are all found on the plaza level. The upper level features majestic panoramic views of the Columbia River Valley, Mt. St. Helens, the Cascades, plus colorful gardens, religious artwork
Also found on the upper level is the Servite Monastery and the cliff-side Meditation Chapel.

The Grotto Conference Center can cater to workshops, business meetings, and spiritual retreats. They also offer education through The Grotto Spirituality Program.

The Grotto is located near the City of Maywood Park at 8840 NE Skidmore Street, Portland, Oregon.

Daily operating hours are from 9 am to 6:30 pm.

Upper Garden selling of admission is up to 5:30 pm while the ground closes at 6:30 pm

Gift Shop Hours: 9 am to 6:30 pm

The Lower Garden, chapel, Grotto, Visitor Center, and Gift Shop is Free to visit while the Grotto’s Upper Gardens has an admission fee which can be paid at the Gift Shop or Visitor Center.

  • Senior 65 above/ Military $6.50
  • Youth 6 to 12 years $4
  • Children 5 years and below are Free
  • General Admission for ages (13 to 64) $7.50

You can pay through major credit cards: Mastercard, VISA, Discover and American Express.

Guided tours are available during the summer months every Saturday and Sunday. These tours are Free but for access to the Upper Gardens, you must pay the needed admission fees.

The average time that visitors spend at The Grotto is from 90 minutes to 2 hours, the walking path in the Upper Gardens is close to a mile long.

The Grotto is a smoke-free venue, no vaping or smoking is allowed while you are on the premises.

You can park for Free and there is plenty of space available on site.

No picking of flowers is allowed or any of the natural plants. Cell phone use is discouraged but is allowed on a limited basis in the outdoor areas. Many visitors come and visit for peace and solitude so maintaining garden etiquette is enforced.

Photos are allowed to be taken during regular business hours as long as there is no disruption to other visitors. No drones are allowed while photos taken can’t be used for profit. Commercial use should be approved by The Grotto. Use of professional equipment like stage, props, and lighting must be requested for approval.

Portland Children’s Museum

It’s pretty obvious who this museum was built for, it’s all in the name. At Portland Children’s Museum children are given the spotlight.

They are set apart from other museums where the collections take the center stage. Their target audiences are kids and the adults who care for them. Their audience is given more importance than anything that they collect.

They are focused on using familiar materials as learning instruments for children during playtime. This approach is inspired by the early childhood teaching schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy; which is built on inquiry-based learning techniques.

They take pride in their Mission to develop problem solvers using playful learning experiences. They are committed to removing barriers to inclusion and equity, taking consideration that the Portland metro area is composed of 47% of children of color.

Their workforce is diverse and they welcome and engage people from all backgrounds. The same process of recruiting, hiring and promoting is applied to everyone.

Visit Us
The Museum is located at 4015 SW Canyon Road, Portland Oregon, the nearest landmark being Washington Park where you can get a shuttle to take you to the Portland Children’s Museum.

Daily Hours are:


Museum: 9 am to 5 pm
Story Time: 11 am and 2 pm
Clay Studio: 10 am to 4 pm
Maker Studio: 10 am to 4 pm
Pottery Glazing: Mondays, Thurs and Fridays 10 am to noon
Sat and Sun 2 to 4 pm

The Museum is one of the top Museum’s for kids, learning is made fun and is ideal for families on vacation. Plan your visit and give your kids a truly amazing one of a kind experience.

Ticket Prices
Free for Museum Members

Non-members: $11
Military: $9
Ages 65 above: $10
Under age 1: Free

Admission Policies
The Portland Children’s Museum programs and exhibits are meant for children from 0 to 12 years old, there is an admission policy that is being implemented as follows:

  • The Museum may close due to special events, bad weather and holidays
  • Adults ages 16 above should be accompanied by a child ages 0 to 12 yrs; sibling of the child is ok as long as they are from 13 to 15 years old
  • Parents below 16 years are welcome with their own children
  • Adults without kids are allowed to visit with prior arrangements
  • Adults with disabilities are welcome to visit with their guardian or family member with at least a one to one ratio. Support persons are recommended to call in advance so that their staff can advise them on the level of activity in the Museum when the visit is scheduled. A personal introductory tour is given for adults with disabilities and their support persons.
  • Caregivers and their children are advised to remain together at all times for safety purposes
  • The Museum reserves the right to decline admission
  • The Museum is a weapons-free environment and is subject to the Weapons, Fire Bombs and Explosives Policy of Portland Public Schools. No one except a Peace
  • Officer shall have or enable another person to have a weapon, replica or explosive in the Museum premises.
  • Service animals are welcome as long as they have a vest for ID purposes. Other animals and pets are not allowed except when they are a part of the Museum’s programs. Dogs or other therapy animals are not considered as service animals based on ADA policies even if they have a doctor’s note.

Drop by the Shop for education materials, plus toys and gifts that you can give your kids that similar Museum experience at home.