About the Museum

About the Museum

Inspiring Children to Learn through Creative Play

The Gilbert House Children's Museum is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) children's museum connected to downtown Salem's Riverfront Park.  Founded in 1989, Gilbert House Children's Museum provides innovative and stimulating educational experiences which spark children's natural curiosity. The Museum is named after Salem native, A.C. Gilbert,  an extraordinary scholar, inventor, Olympic athlete and gold medalist, entrepreneur, and magician.  An advocate of learning through play, Gilbert was the proud inventor of the Erector Set, the inspiration for our giant outdoor Erector Set, the highlight of our 20,000 ft² Outdoor Discovery Area.

Our mission, to inspire children to learn through creative play, is accomplished through 15 hands-on exhibits, our Outdoor Discovery Area, camps, field trips, membership opportunities, and educational programs in the sciences, arts, and humanities.  The Museum is composed of three historic houses; the Rockenfield House, Gilbert House and Parrish House.

Our Vision

It is our vision to Ignite enthusiasm for life-long learning in the next generation.

Honoring, Practicing and Promoting Diversity

As a member of the Association of Children's Museums, we hold to the following ACM Diversity Statement:

We are committed to honoring, practicing and promoting diversity, and believe that children's museums have unique opportunities to do so by:

  • Engaging children and families in exploring and appreciating their own cultures and the diverse cultures and lifestyles of others.
  • Enhancing children's cultural competence, necessary for their active and successful participation in an increasingly diverse and global society.
  • Playing an active role in building inclusive communities through exhibits, programs, advocacy and partnerships that reflect and celebrate our diverse communities.
  • Enhancing staff and organizational capacity to attract, welcome and serve a diverse audience and membership.
  • Modeling their commitment by ensuring our board and staff at every level reflect and benefit from our diverse communities.

Gilbert House Children's Museum does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.  These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

Press Kit