Fun Things to Do in Salem, Oregon, including the Salem Riverfront Carousel and Artisan Workshops

If you’re looking for some fun and entertainment in Salem, Oregon, there are plenty of things to do. From public gardens to kid-friendly museums to riverfront carousels, there’s something for everyone.

First Friday Art Walk — Every month, shops and restaurants in downtown Salem open their doors to the community for a night of music, shopping and more. This free event takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Learn more in Salem, Oregon.

The Salem Saturday Market — Since 1998, the market has been a gathering place for local growers and producers of prepared foods and artisans. The weekly market showcases a variety of fresh and delicious offerings from area vendors and provides the opportunity for them to sell directly to consumers.

Elsinore Theatre — Two blocks from the State Capitol, this theater is a major entertainment hub in the city. It hosts many shows, concerts and movies every year. It’s an excellent way to spend a date night or enjoy a family outing together.

Deepwood Estate — A Queen Anne Victorian home, this charming historic estate is a popular attraction in Salem. It’s located on four acres of beautifully manicured gardens and offers a glimpse into the past.

Santa’s Carousel Workshop – If you’re looking for something to do on your next trip to Salem, stop by Santa’s Carousel for a fun experience that will make you feel all jolly and special. Here, you’ll be able to sit in front of the plexiglass window and share your wishes with Santa while also enjoying photo opportunities.

Don’t forget to visit the Carousel’s mascot Rusty as well. The jolly old elf will be there to greet and answer your questions, so make sure to give him a big hug while you’re there.

The Carousel’s 40 horses were created by local woodworkers and artists, incorporating regional themes or based on real horse models. Some of them are memorials to loved ones, historical figures or concepts important to donors.

If you’re into horses and riding, this is the place for you. At the center of Riverfront City Park, the Salem Riverfront Carousel is a popular attraction for both kids and adults.

You can ride the carousel anytime it’s open, and it’s also a great place to take your photo for memories to last a lifetime. You can even purchase a photo pass for $20 that allows you to ride on the carousel for three days.

Ticket sales and a generous donation program help support the carousel’s operations. The cost to operate the carousel is $450,000 a year, with most of that coming from ticket sales and merchandise in the gift shop.

The carousel also enlists volunteers to keep the operation running smoothly. Volunteers help with everything from ticket sales to bringing in new horses and critters. They also clean the rides and the carousel’s 300-pound motor on a regular basis, which can be a challenging job.

The Carousel is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations and sponsorships for most of its expenses. But with the help of the Salem community, it’s able to make a positive impact on the lives of Salem residents and visitors. The nonprofit has been in business for 20 years, and it’s an invaluable cultural resource for the city of Salem and the Willamette Valley. Learn more information about Bush Pasture Park in Salem, Oregon.


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