Plan a Kid-Friendly Trip to Salem, Oregon

Thinking about visiting the Willamette Valley with your family? Here’s a guide full of kid-friendly tourist attractions you can take the whole family to on your next trip to Salem, Oregon:

Salem’s Family-Friendly Tourist Attractions

Riverfront Park

This beautiful 26-acre park overlooks the Willamette River, and provides easy access to miles of forested trails in the adjacent Minto-Brown Island Park.  Gilbert House Children’s Museum is located within Riverfront park, along with Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, and the EcoEarth globe.  Visitors will find grassy areas for picnicking, a playground structure, and a splash pad in the summer months.  Many unique events are hosted within the park, including The World Beat Festival.

Willamette Heritage Center

Willamette Heritage Center (WHC) is a historic site in downtown Salem located just down the street from the Oregon State Capitol.  The five-acre campus is home to 14 historic buildings and exhibits including:  an authentic 1909 caboose, pioneer homes, and most famously–The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill.  WHC is the perfect place for families to learn together through hands-on exhibits that explore and highlight the rich and diverse cultural and immigrant heritage of the Mid-Willamette Valley.

Enchanted Forest Theme Park

Family owned, Enchanted Forest is open seasonally from late March through September.  Families will find a number of exciting rides and attractions including Storybook Lane, Western Town, Comedy Theatre, musical entertainment, Old European Village, a water-light show, and a haunted house.

E.Z. Orchards

This quaint market features fresh, seasonal produce year-round, but is best known for their autumn delights including apple cider, caramel apples, and apple cider donuts during the autumn months.  In October, visitors can attend HarvestFest to enjoy a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, games, and a corn maze.  Free on weekdays.

Salem Saturday Market

Experience the best of local produce, food trucks, and artisans, with plenty of samples to enjoy.  Open every Saturday in April through October, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Salem’s Riverfront Carousel

Ride a beautifully crafted carousel with old-world charm.  Located in Riverfront Park.  Open daily.

Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Oregon’s third largest art museum celebrates the creativity of the human spirit as expressed in the art of different cultures, places, and times.  The collections reflect the Pacific Northwest culture and explore the history of art around the world.

Deepwood Museum & Gardens

Experience the beauty and history of a Victorian house surrounded by gardens.  Guided tours run Wednesday-Saturday mornings year-round, with a scavenger hunt for children.

Silver Falls State Park

Oregon’s largest state park, Silver Falls, encompasses 9,200 acres with its standout features being ten amazing waterfalls.  Best known for the South Falls, this waterfall can easily be accessed from a paved walking path close to a cozy fireside lodge and gift shop.  For the more adventurous family, there are numerous densely forested dirt trails to explore.

Family-Friendly Lodging in Salem

The Grand Hotel

Newly renovated, guests will enjoy luxurious rooms and suites at The Grand Hotel, in the heart of downtown Salem.  Easily walk to local dining or eat-in at Bentley’s Grill.

Salem Restaurants for the Whole Family

The Kitchen on Court Street

There’s no better place to get brunch classics with a southern-inspired twist! The Kitchen on Court Street offers a wide variety of comfort food that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

Café Yumm

A great choice for the health-conscious family.  Experience a “Yumm! Bowl” native to the Pacific Northwest.  Lunch made easy for vegan, gluten-free, or vegetarian visitors.