Reopening FAQ

Reopening FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

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.

When is the best time to visit the Museum? Are there busy seasons?
Determining the best time to visit depends on your schedule. During our current phase of reopening, all admissions will be through timed entry of pre-assigned, two-hour blocks.  Re-entry, rescheduling and walk-ins are not available. Please confirm your schedule prior to booking. Reservation space is limited to 40 people during any given time block. As it has been a year since people have been able to play onsite, reservations book quickly.

How long can we play at the Museum?
During our phased reopening, play time will be limited to two hours. These periods must be reserved in advance using our online ticketing system using the pre-assigned times. In order to allow time for cleaning between play groups, departure times will be strictly enforced.

What exhibits are available to play in?
Most exhibits are available for play, however they 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.

Can I leave and come back?
During our phased reopening admission will only be available to you during your purchased time. During our current phase, re-entry, rescheduling and walk-in will not be available.

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.