Many people would argue that Salem is boring. There’s not much to do; no major amusement parks or monuments. However, Salem has a good handful of fun weekend/summer activities that are reasonably priced, great for families, and convenient in location.
First is Create a Memory. Create a Memory is in downtown Salem. It is a pottery painting and glass fusing art center, which is available to all, no matter your art skills. The employees are very friendly and helpful. Being someone who isn’t exactly fond of art, I can say that I really enjoy going to Create a Memory. All you have to do is choose a piece of pottery (bowls, letters, shapes, etc.), paint it however you want, and then the employees will fire it for you. A few days later, you can go and pick up your creation.
Next is the Riverfront Park and Carousel. The Riverfront Park is one of Salem’s most memorable places. It is a large and beautiful park with many activities including an outdoor concert area, a playset, a cute gift shop, paved bike and walking paths and, of course, the Carousel. Local volunteers hand carve the horses and other recently added animals, including an elephant, zebra, frog, etc. The Riverfront Carousel, inspired by Hazel Patton, was opened in 2001. It is a great place for a birthday party, or even just a sunny (or rainy) day activity.
Third is the Gilbert House Children’s Museum. The Gilbert House was named in honor of Alfred Carlton Gilbert, an American Inventor. A few of his inventions are featured in the museum, including the Erector Set. The museum also features a play grocery store, a bubble room, a large outdoor play area and many more fun, kid-friendly activities. The Gilbert House is located right next to the Riverfront Park in downtown Salem. This is a great sunny day activity, and very family-friendly.
Forth is the Deepwood Museum and Gardens. This museum isn’t as kid friendly, as there aren’t many activities. It is more about the beautiful scenery and historical monument. There are multiple paths that swerve through flowers and trees and bushes. It is home to many butterflies and other fascinating creatures. An old, white house stands in the center of the site, that was built between 1893 and 1894. This is a beautiful place to visit, popular among photographers, to enjoy the essence of Salem’s history.
Fifth is the Elsinore Theatre. The Elsinore opened on May 28th, 1926. It is a gorgeous, 1,290 seat theatre where many plays and shows are put on daily. The Elsinore is located in downtown Salem. The inside of the building contains many historical murals. The Elsinore is a beautiful theatre that Salem deeply admires.
Last but certainly not least is the Oregon State Capitol. The Oregon State Capitol was opened on October 1st, 1938. It is a beautiful building that sits on 15 acres of exemplary landscaping, underneath a 22 feet tall, 8.5 ton gold sculpture known as the ‘Gold Man.’ The Gold Man was created by Ulric Ellerhusen. It’s real name is the ‘Oregon Pioneer.’ The Gold Man is a great feature to the Capitol, however the breathtaking architecture is the most eye catching element. The Capitol building holds state legislature, the office of the governor, the secretary of state, and the treasurer of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is also home to many events and conferences.