Oregon Museum of Science & Industry‘s regular Exhibit Halls and Labs let visitors explore science and technology with hands-on activities and demonstrations, lectures and events.
--Experience being a TV-weatherman using the Chroma-Key lab.
--Watch holograms being made from scratch.
--Visit Bubba, a 13-foot Python, and other creatures.
--Discovery Space (closes at 5pm) and Busytown are special sections dedicated to younger explorers.
OMSI frequently hosts touring exhibits of interest. Currently it’s a murder mystery -- T-Rex on Trial, a twist to the usual Dinosaur diorama show, exploring whether T-Rex was predator or scavenger. Previous highlights have been: skulls from Olduvai Gorge (early ancestors), giant dinosaur skeletons, and Star Trek: Federation Science, which began (was constructed -- Hi K!) and ended its travels here.
--The Omni-Max Theater has one of only (about) 80 IMAX projection systems worldwide. Among the current features is Jane Goodall‘s Wild Chimpanzees.
--Dive into active volcanoes or speed round a Grand Prix raceway track in the high definition, surround-sound, Motion Simulator ride.
--Kendall Planetarium shows.
--Special musically themed laser light shows.
--A self-service café.
--A giftshop, with a wide variety of museum and science related items, including blueprints of the Blueback.
And for many the most memorable part of a visit to OMSI is a tour aboard the …
While not filmed in Oregon the submarine appearing as the Dallas in The Hunt For Red October resides here, berthed next to OMSI in the Willamette River. This, the US Navy's last non-nuclear, fast attack submarine, launched 1959 and decommissioned 1990, was acquired by OMSI in 1994. [Blueback is the common name for Sockeye Salmon.]
As there’s much ducking and ladder climbing you must pass unassisted through a hatchway mock-up inside OMSI before being permitted aboard. And carrying children isn’t allowed. On the way to the pier you’ll pass the US Submarine Memorial; comprised of the Blueback’s propeller, a plaque and bricks listing names and dates for 67 lost US subs.
During the tour you’ll see all sections of the vessel and have the opportunity to peer through the periscope. Learn what it was like to serve aboard. Hearing a sailor bunked immediately adjacent to a torpedo I thought: talk about your cold comfort. He thought: privacy and space! Both at a premium here. A Q&A period concludes the tour. If you’ve been watching for signs reading "Think Nay" and "Everyday is a Nay day" now it’s time to ask their meaning. Your observational skills and curiosity will please the guide.
Periodically special events are held: sleepovers for kids and in October, in the spirit of things, it becomes a haunted sub.
[Tours: 10am-4.30pm. Tech tours (1st Sunday of each month, call for times): $15]
Hours & Location: See below for maps, directions, hours, and admissions not covered above. Closed Mondays.
Show Schedules: Omni-Max, and Planetarium.
Contacts: 503-797-OMSI (6674), 800-955-OMSI, (shop) 503-797-4626, Online form
Transport: Tri-Met 83-OMSI Shuttle Map/Schedule