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What are the Best Indoor Activities in Salem, Oregon for Visiting Families?

Seven FUN Fabulous Family-Friendly Activities You Can Do Inside

Dear Salem Convention Center, 

My husband and I will be traveling to Salem next month for a wedding and plan to bring our two young children. Since there is going to be quite a bit of downtime for us, we’re looking for fun stuff to do. We’re not fans of the cold or the rain but we don’t want to stay cooped up in our hotel rooms all day. Will you help us find some fun activities we can all enjoy together? Thanks! 

Sincerely, Simone from California 

Dear Simone,

We hear you! As rewarding as it can be, traveling with children is a challenge, especially during the Pacific Northwest’s cold and rainy winter months. Finding indoor activities the whole family can enjoy is essential. We put a list of family-friendly activities together that we think will be a hit for you and the kids, and keep you warm and dry in the process! This list isn’t just for young, it’s the young at heart will enjoy these activities as well! We hope it helps! 

1. Tour the Oregon State Capitol (900 Court St NE, Salem OR 97301)

An educational experience awaits the whole family as you tour Oregon’s beautiful capitol building. Visitors are greeted with “The Golden Oregon Pioneer,” a gold leaf statue that stands 24 feet high on the dome, representing Oregon’s first settlers.
Once inside, visitors explore extensive historic murals depicting state history, an Oregon gift shop and an exhibit area. If it happens to be a nice day, it’s always a pleasant experience to explore the sculptures, gardens, and grounds
Free Admission always! Open Monday – Friday: 8:00am-5:00pm More info >> www.oregonlegislature.gov

2.Ride Salem’s Riverfront Carousel

This indoor distinctly Oregon themed carousel, located in neighboring Riverfront Park, is a MUST see for visitors of all ages. The handcrafted carousel is decorated with various Oregon state symbols in addition to animals and other delightful surprises. BE sure to visit their unique Gift Gallery Shop offering gifts, toys, decor, apparel, and a variety of candies and snacks! The charge is just $1.50 per ride and you can even win a free ride if you catch the brass ring from the salmon’s mouth as you pass by on the Carousel!

Winter Hours: Sept. 4th – May 26th
Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Friday and Saturday: 10:00am-7:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am-5:00pm

Upcoming Events:
Santa Arrives to Salem Carousel Friday, Nov. 23rd at Noon. FREE event! Come early to join the crowd! Open for fun at 10am. Santa will be available for photos from 12:30pm-6:00pm More info>> www.salemcarousel.wixsite.com

3. Explore the Gilbert House Children’s Museum

This beloved children’s museum connected to downtown Salem’s Riverfront Park is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. Founded in 1989, Gilbert House provides innovative and stimulating experiences which will spark your children’s natural curiosity. The village features fun and challenging exhibits, summer camps, can host birthday parties, and more!
Admission for non-members is $8 per person. Open Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm More info >> www.acgilbert.org

4. Visit the Willamette Heritage Center

Experience history in this 4.5-acre park that includes a Visitors Center, Mission Mill Museum, Thomas Key Woolen Mill, Jason Lee House and Parsonage, John D. Boone House, Pioneer Presbyterian Church, and Marion Museum. The Mission Mill Museum is known as a premier Salem, Oregon historical attraction. Browse through art and craft shops, or their textile learning center. $8 for adults and $4 for children. Open Monday-Saturday: 10:00am-6:00pm. More info: www.willametteheritage.org

5. Go Rock Climbing at Rock Boxx Climbing Gym

If you are looking for somewhere to be a little more active, then look no further than the Rock Boxx Climbing Gym! With over 5,000 square feet of climbing walls, built for all levels, this gym offers something for everyone in the family! With high intensity fitness classes, a full array of fitness equipment, including free weights, cardio machines, rogue racks, you will have everything you need to get in great shape! There is also party room rentals and a community room! Mon-Sat: 9:00am-10:00pm Sun: 10:00am-6:00pm More info >>www.therockboxx.com

6. Enjoy a Sweet Treat at Willamette Valley Fruit Company

Just a few miles east of Salem, the Willamette Valley Fruit Company is the perfect place to warm up with a sweet treat! It includes a country store full of jams, honey, candy, and other assorted treats. In the back, there is a counter where you can order a delicious assortment of homemade pies and soft-serve ice cream. This quaint cafe features a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with a giant playset out front for kids and a big tractor for fun photo opportunities! Mon-Fri: 8:00am-6:00pm Saturday: 9:00am-5:00pm More info>>www.wvpie.com

7. Go Ice Skating!

Did you know there is a covered outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of downtown Salem at the beautiful Salem Riverfront Park? Salem on Ice, open now through Sunday, January 21st, 2019, is one of the most beloved seasonal activities here in downtown Salem. Sessions are 90-minutes and are $12 for ages 3-12, and $15 for ages 13 and up. All admission prices include skate rental. Skaters must secure their skate rental with a credit card or form of ID. Come out for skating, refreshments, and wonderful memories! Visit www.salemonice.com for more info.

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