If you live in Clackamas County you can sign up for a free library card. This card is good at any library in Clackamas County. Each library has a selection of family cultural passes. These are amazing! There are passes to many different venues in the Portland area. Not all of the libraries have a pass for each venue, and each only has one pass for each venue. To use a cultural pass simple sign up for a day to check it out. You will have to fill out a form saying you agree to return the pass and if the pass is not returned you will be responsible for the replacement cost.
Each pass is only checked out for one day. You can pick up the pass the evening before the day you are signed up for it, one hour before the library closes. Or you can pick it up the morning you have it reserved. Be aware that some libraries open later on some day of the week. Then simply returned the pass one hour before the library closes.
We have used the pass for the Children’s Museum around 15-20 times. There is no limit how many times you can check them out. We normally will sign up for the pass again when we return it. Last summer we would go about 2-3 times a month. If we would have paid to go each time we would have spent between $300-500!
The busier libraries will have their passes reserved for weeks in advance so I suggest going to the smaller libraries for the passes. There are about 5 libraries within 20 minutes of our home. There has never been a time when I wanted a pass and could not get one. I just had to be willing to drive to a library we don’t usually frequent. You can see which passes are check in and where here. Type Cultural Pass in the search bar.
Each pass will let a certain number of people in. The Children’s Museum lets in 3 people. You need to check how many people the pass will let in before going. Also the pass should have the hours, address and phone number of the venue. I would call ahead as many of the gardens will have different hours depending on the season.
Passes available:Rhododendron Garden, Portland Art Museum, Japanese Garden, Pittock Mansion, Chinese Garden and Children’s Museum.