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10 Family-Friendly Activities In Salem, Oregon


by Rosabel Autrey


Salem, Oregon, nestled in the heart of the Willamette Valley, is a city brimming with family-friendly activities. From exploring the rich history of the state capitol to immersing in the natural beauty of its parks and gardens, Salem offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all ages. Whether you're seeking educational adventures, outdoor escapades, or cultural explorations, this vibrant city has something for everyone. In this article, we'll delve into 10 captivating activities that promise to create lasting memories for families in Salem, Oregon. So, pack your sense of adventure and get ready to uncover the best of what this charming city has to offer for an unforgettable family getaway.

Riverfront City Park

Nestled along the Willamette River, Riverfront City Park offers a picturesque setting for family outings. The park features a charming carousel, perfect for creating timeless memories with the little ones. With its spacious picnic areas and playgrounds, this park provides an ideal spot for a leisurely day out in the heart of Salem, Oregon.

Oregon State Capitol

The Oregon State Capitol stands as a beacon of history and governance in Salem. Families can embark on guided tours to explore the majestic building, gaining insights into the state's legislative processes and admiring the captivating architecture. The surrounding park, adorned with statues and lush greenery, invites visitors to savor tranquil strolls and appreciate the state's rich heritage.

Enchanted Forest Theme Park

Enchanted Forest Theme Park captivates visitors with its whimsical attractions and enchanting ambiance. From storybook lane to thrilling rides, this park offers a magical escapade for families. The vibrant performances at the outdoor theater and the old-fashioned amusement rides ensure a day filled with joy and wonder for all ages.

Willamette Heritage Center

Immerse your family in the captivating history of Willamette Heritage Center, where the legacy of the region comes to life. The center's engaging exhibits and hands-on activities provide a captivating journey through time, offering a deeper understanding of Salem's cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the historic buildings and gain insight into the early settlers' way of life.

Gilbert House Children's Museum

The Gilbert House Children's Museum stands as a hub of interactive learning and exploration for families. With its array of hands-on exhibits and educational programs, this museum ignites curiosity and creativity in young minds. From water play to outdoor exploration, the museum fosters a dynamic environment where children can learn through play and discovery.

Minto-Brown Island Park

Minto-Brown Island Park beckons families to revel in the beauty of nature and relish outdoor adventures. Spanning over 1,200 acres, the park offers an extensive trail system for walking, cycling, and wildlife spotting. Families can partake in picnics amidst the scenic landscapes or engage in birdwatching, creating cherished moments in the heart of Salem.

A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village

A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village presents a blend of entertainment and education, catering to the curiosity of young explorers. The village features interactive exhibits, a discovery garden, and a miniature village, providing an immersive learning experience for families. Through hands-on activities and engaging displays, the village sparks a sense of wonder and discovery in children.

Salem's Riverfront Carousel

Salem's Riverfront Carousel mesmerizes visitors with its ornately crafted carousel animals and vibrant ambiance. Families can delight in a whimsical ride on the beautifully adorned horses and mythical creatures, crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The carousel's enchanting music and timeless charm offer a delightful escape for visitors of all ages.

Bush's Pasture Park

Bush's Pasture Park stands as a serene retreat within the city, inviting families to unwind amidst its scenic beauty and historical allure. The park encompasses the Bush House Museum, where families can delve into the region's past and admire the elegant architecture. With its lush gardens and open spaces, the park provides an idyllic setting for leisurely walks and peaceful picnics.

Deepwood Museum & Gardens

Deepwood Museum & Gardens beckons families to immerse themselves in the enchanting beauty of its historic estate and meticulously landscaped gardens. Guided tours offer a glimpse into the Victorian-era lifestyle, while the lush surroundings provide a tranquil backdrop for family outings. The estate's rich heritage and captivating allure make it a must-visit destination for families exploring Salem, Oregon.


Salem, Oregon, offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that cater to diverse interests. From exploring the enchanting Oregon Garden to embarking on educational adventures at the Gilbert House Children's Museum, there's no shortage of engaging experiences for families to enjoy. The city's rich history, vibrant arts scene, and stunning natural landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for creating lasting memories with loved ones. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, or interactive learning opportunities, Salem has something special for every family to cherish.


Q: Are there any outdoor activities suitable for families in Salem?
A: Yes, Salem boasts numerous outdoor activities, including hiking at Silver Falls State Park, picnicking at Minto-Brown Island Park, and exploring the beautiful Oregon Garden.

Q: What indoor attractions are available for families in Salem?
A: Families can visit the Gilbert House Children's Museum, Willamette Heritage Center, and Hallie Ford Museum of Art for enriching indoor experiences in Salem.