Families find way out of mazes, plus facts, in new OMSI exhibit

Just in time for Spring Break! You’ll want to check out “MAZES!” for yourself …

It’s fun to get (temporarily) lost in the “Maze of Illusions” at the new OMSI exhibit, “MAZES!”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Visitors to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) are now being challenged, as they explore 13 interactive labyrinths to walk through, balance on, and observe, in a new exhibit called “MAZES!

For example, the adult-sized “Maze of Illusions” confronts explorers with a variety of optical illusions at every turn.

Kids try to become a different kind of “webmaster” while climbing over and under this intricate web of ropes.

Tony Matteson and daughter Brooklyn Matteson start to solve a giant-sized version of the “Tower of Hanoi” puzzle.

On opening night, guests found themselves coming up with new methods of problem-solving through improvisation, trial and error, observation and testing, and logic and reasoning, as they explored the exhibit.

“Puzzles and brainteasers are part of everyday life,” said OMSI President Nancy Stueber. “From navigating through a crowd, to taking on a crossword puzzle – our brains are constantly problem-solving.

“In this new exhibit, both kids and adults can learn how our minds work to solve these challenges,” Stueber added. “And, in doing so, put their own skills to the test in a variety of fun and exciting ways.”

In the “Maze of Illusions”, Sam Justice holds Bran Justice as they gaze into one of the three image-distorting funhouse mirrors.

Guest Terry Morin shows his physical agility and steadiness, as he rolls a ball while standing on a Balance Maze.

Solve puzzles and patterns, challenge the relationship between the mind and the eye, and nurture your inner musician! “Mazes!” offers challenging and interactive maze experiences for all ages.

Just some of the mazes:

  • Music Maze
  • Puzzle Maze
  • Color Maze
  • Finger Marathon Maze, and
  • Web Maze


On OMSI’s second floor, in the Earth Sciences Hall, visitors can find their way through “Water’s Extreme Journey”, an easy-to-navigate educational maze that combines physical activities with hands-on teaching experiences.

So, here’s your opportunity to “come and get lost”, at least temporarily, in “MAZES!” It’s in the OMSI Featured Exhibit Hall, now through May 6 – at no additional charge, after regular admission.

For the less physically adventuresome, but more cerebral, visitors – there are these “Walking Mazes”.

For more hours, admission prices, or information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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