Frequently Asked Questions:

What is reserved admission?
Reserved admission means that you will pre-book and pre-pay for your play date. Tickets will be good for entry any time during our regular business hours. Contact Visitor Services if you need to reschedule your time.

Are masks required?
Effective November 23, 2021 the State of Oregon updated its mask mandate to only include indoor spaces. Mask will be required in all indoor exhibit areas at Gilbert House, including Bill's Bubble Factory. All team members  will be required to wear masks throughout the museum.  This guidance includes both those who have and have not been vaccinated.

Do I have to make reservations for play?
No, reservations are currently not required for play. Reservations are available if you would like to plan your visit ahead of time. The reservations allow entry at any time during our open hours for the day reserved.

How do I check the status of my membership?
You can check the status of your membership on your eMembership app. During the time we have been closed we have kept your memberships active so that you were still able to access reciprocal partners who were able to have areas of their facilities open. We have not taken any of the time you had on your membership away from you. Your membership became active again on April 9, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Visitor Services.

What is the appropriate age range for the Museum?
Exhibits are designed for children ages 2-10 years old. However, older siblings (and grown-ups) enjoy being the play guide for younger visitors.

What exhibits are available to play in?
All of our exhibits are available for play, however some may look a little different. We have evaluated all of our exhibits and have placed only items that may be easily sanitized for your children's play.

Is the Bubble Room still there?
While it may not be the bubble room you remember we are excited that our new Bubble Factory has been completed and is ready for play!

Is the museum wheelchair/stroller accessible?
Because our exhibits are housed in three unique historical houses, the first level of each house is accessible by wheelchair, which includes about half the exhibits. The Outdoor Discovery Area is accessible all the way up to the Erector set climbing tower.

Persons who cannot access our upstairs exhibits due to wheelchair accessibility will be admitted at ½ regular admission rate. If you have any questions about accessibility and would like assistance in planning your visit, please call us at the Museum at 503-371-3631.

There is no formal stroller parking but visitors are welcome to stow a stroller in our Museum lobby. Gilbert House Children’s Museum is not responsible for any lost or stolen items. We ask that you not take your stroller into the exhibits, except under special circumstances, to ensure there is adequate circulation for all guests. Strollers may be used for the comfort of sleeping babies.

Do you have lockers or a place to put my personal items?
We do not have lockers or coat storage. The Museum is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please plan to lock items in the trunk of your car prior to entry.  You will be asked to show your membership card, ID, tickets and/or guest passes.  Be sure to keep those items on your person.

When is the Museum closed?
The Museum is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas.  Each September, we are closed for a week for annual maintenance. We are currently open Tuesday - Saturday—see our hours page for more information.

Where can I park?
There is free parking under the bridge in front of the Museum. The city-metered parking lot and permit lot marked by signs are monitored by the city and available at no cost during weekends and legal holidays. Please pay attention to all posted parking signs. We are the north anchor of Riverfront Park where many events throughout the spring and summer take place. As events resume in the park, this may, occasionally, impact our parking. Please refer to the City of Salem's website for more information about available free parking in the downtown area.

Where on site can I nurse my child?
Mothers are free to nurse without exception; please feel free to nurse anywhere, anytime. If you are seeking a quieter spot, we have a Gilbert House Family Room located next to Tinker Tracks in the Gilbert House.

What is the best way to find out about upcoming activities, events, and classes?

  • Email: The Museum sends out a monthly e-newsletter with current events and activities. Sign up in the footer below.
  • Website: The Museum makes best efforts to ensure that our website contains the most current visitor information. Visit our calendar here.
  • Social Media: Like and check our Facebook page  and Instagram presence often for up-to-date news about our Museum happenings. We share our most relevant news and opportunities for classes, events, etc. on social media and our website.

I don't have any children but I am a kid at heart, can I come and enjoy the museum?
Please note that Gilbert House Children’s Museum exhibits and programs are designed for children, ages 2-10, with the following admission policy:

  • Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult—we do not admit children without an adult.
  • Parents under the age of 18 are always welcome with their own children.
  • The Museum reserves the right to refuse admission.

Why do adults and infants need to pay admission at a children’s museum?
The Museum’s mission is to create a community where children and their grown-ups learn through play. All of our exhibits have been designed for adults and children to play and learn together. We encourage you to explore and experience our Museum with your children and are certain that you will “play” too.

What if my child gets hurt?
We have visitor services staff that is trained in basic first aid and can assist with minor injuries. Please notify a staff member with an ID, an apron and/or the front desk immediately if an accident should occur.

How can I become a volunteer at the Gilbert House?
We’re glad you asked! Please see our volunteer page, where you can find more information and submit an interest form to our Volunteer Coordinator.