Summer in Salem Activities: Outdoor Fun

Salem, Oregon summer activities for the whole family.

Family Activities to Enjoy this Summer

To get the most out of your summer, it’s fun to plan activities for family-friendly summer days.

Luckily, Salem, Oregon is jam-packed with plenty of family-friendly activities sure to keep your brood occupied and entertained all season long. From splashes to spooks, there’s something for everyone!

Today, we’re sharing a few of our favorite Salem activities to consider as you plan your warm-weather itinerary. This way, you can make time in your schedule to squeeze in all the fun you can before school begins again. Read on to learn the must-see spots to hit for the perfect staycation! Be sure to check each attraction’s website for the most up-to-date information about closures due to COVID-19.

1. Wings and Waves Water Park

Nowhere else in the world can your kiddos slide out of a real Boeing 747! Currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions but due to reopen later in the summer, the indoor Wings and Waves Water Park is located in nearby McMinnville. In all, it offers 10 thrilling waterslides designed to accommodate your most daring kids, as well as your youngest ones.

Not up for a big adventure yourself? Set up shop near the fully accessible leisure pool or wave pool for a more relaxed vibe that’s still plenty of fun!

When everyone dries off, you can have a blast exploring the rest of the park’s campus, which includes the impressive Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. From flight simulator rides to a 3D digital theater, the museum is chocked-full of hands-on fun. Grab an early dinner at one of the on-site cafes to end the day on a sweet note. The museum has proactive measures related to the coronavirus outbreak in place to ensure the safety and well-being of guests.

2. Riverfront Park

There’s a reason that Riverfront Park has cemented its reputation as the city’s top urban event locale. Centrally located along the Willamette River, it’s close to nearby restaurants and businesses, as well as a wide network of parks and trails. This makes it one of the best family activities Salem, Oregon has to offer!

Usually throughout the summer, you’ll find many scheduled activities taking place here, including the beloved 4th of July Celebration and Salem Movies in the Park. Unfortunately, many of these activities have been curtailed by COVID-19 this year. The park’s 26 acres include large grassy areas, a playground, an amphitheater, splash pad, pavilion, and more. There’s also a dock for quick access to the Willamette River.

Any day is a great one to pack a picnic and spend a few hours here taking in the grounds. Young children will especially love the nostalgic riverfront carousel. If the whole crew is coming along, pack bikes and pedal Peter Courtney Minto Island Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge to spend a little time at the adjacent Minto-Brown Island Park!

3. Enchanted Forest Theme Park

What child doesn’t love reading stories, playing dress-up, and becoming engrossed in a fantasy land? The Enchanted Forest Theme Park caters to their growing imaginations in a bold and beautiful way. It is currently closed due to COVID restrictions and once it reopens it will be at a limited capacity, so check the website for details.

Since 1971, the park has been welcoming curious explorers of all ages. Created by local visionary Roger Tofte, the park has grown into one of the city’s most cherished treasures, with three generations of the Tofte family now at the helm. In 1974, Tofte added a Haunted House to the park’s Tofteville Western Town, which also includes a shooting gallery, gem mine, log ride, and more!

In addition to an on-site comedy theatre and live Irish music, guests can also enjoy the Storybook Lane, Old European Village, and Fantasy Fountains Water-Light Show. Once open again, take the whole family and allow plenty of time to discover it all!

4. Ballyntyne Learning Farm

Looking for a way to limit screen time this summer? Why not plan to spend a little time at the Ballyntyne Learning Farm once it reopens?

This 40-acre Portland farm is replete with hands-on activities that give your children the chance to explore nature up close. A popular field trip destination throughout the year, it really comes alive during the summertime thanks to exciting Summer Day Camps!

During each day of camp, your kids will be able to participate in a range of activities, including forest play, water explorations, garden lessons, and science experiments. As they learn more about how the world works, they’ll also gain valuable teamwork and communication skills along the way.

There are two summer camp dates every season. You can learn more about what to expect and how the camps operate here. Check the website for updates about these camps going ahead.

5. Schreiner’s Iris Gardens

Talk about a photo op!

Irises are in peak bloom all around Salem during the month of May and there’s no better place to view them than Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 the 2020 Iris Bloom Season events were canceled but in lieu of an open garden this year you can view its Virtual Bloom Season experience online.

Ordinarily, you could plan to spend an entire afternoon admiring the 10 gorgeous acres of irises, including 500 different varieties and tons of companion plants. You could even bring home a bouquet of fresh-cut blooms to remember your special day together.

Schedule your summer around these Salem activities.

Summer is here! Are you ready to soak up the sun with your little ones?

Although everyone anticipates these months, it seems they always pass by more quickly than we’d like. That’s why it pays to have a plan.

These Salem activities offer plenty of opportunities for you to make new memories and explore your city in a new way. The best part? You can do it all without leaving town!

In between the splashing and the sliding this summer, we’d love to help your little ones ace their dental checkups. Book an appointment today, and then make room in your calendar for all the fun you’re planning!cov