Historical Attractions in SALEM with kids

You’ve heard the saying “History can be fun”…well, we think history IS fun (especially in Salem, Oregon!)

Salem is filled with history, and what better way to learn about it with children than to experience the many places to visit in this The Beaver State city that can actually take you back in time!

Historical attractions come in all shapes and sizes. There are landmarks where iconic events happened. There are homes of historic figures filled with treasures and artifacts from their amazing lives. There are historic buildings whose walls are filled with stories from Salem’s past. 

The best way for kids to learn about history, is to actually visit the places where history happened. It makes sense! Kids can use their imagination as they read and hear all about events, people and places, and feel like they have gone back in time.

There are plenty of things to do with kids in Salem when it comes to history, so what are we waiting for - let’s GO! 

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  • Williamette Queen Sternwheeler trip

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    (4 miles) Salem

    "Step back in time and enjoy the unchanged natural beauty of the Willamette River aboard our authentic Sternwheeler" Life returns to the Willamette River where once sternwheelers were the main ...

  • Fort Vancouver National Site

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    (51 miles) Vancouver

    A series of historically educational attractions and environments are spread across this expansive parkland, including interactive and immersive exhibits.

  • Yaquina Head Lighthouse

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    (54 miles) Newport

    A historic day out at a stunning Oregon lighthouse where you can climb to the top, and find out what it's like to be a lighthouse keeper!

  • Oregon Coast History Museum

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    (55 miles) Newport

    Explore a time just past when our beaches were highways and tall ships graced our coastline. A sturdy ship's wheel, an intricate Native American basket, a rugged crosscut saw, an 1890s ...

  • Springfield Museum

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    (62 miles) Springfield

    The Springfield Museum hosts changing exhibits of art and historic collections in the Main Street Gallery. The Historic Interpetive Center pays homage to the strong men and women who built a ...

  • Lane County Historical Museum

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    (62 miles) Eugene

    The Lane County Historical Museum was created to collect, preserve and interpret Lane County's rich heritage. It is the only county-wide historical museum in Lane County. Lane County was a ...

  • Cedar Creek Grist Mill

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    (72 miles) Woodland

    The only one remaining of it's type, offering working tours to see the impressive pulley systems and grindstones at work in traditional fashion. Please note weekend opening only.

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • AC Gilberts Discovery Village

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    Salem

    An innovative and educational children's museum in downtown Salem where kids can be inspired by creative play through exhibits, camps and parties!

  • Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum - The Spruce Goose

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    (19 miles) McMinnville

    From the Wright brothers' work to a 2,000 mile an hour Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, all things aeronautical including a recreation of the infamous Spruce Goose.

  • Portland's Children's Museum

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    (42 miles) Portland

    Dedicated to inspiring imagination, creativity, and the wonder of learning by inviting moments of shared discovery. Playing with and touching exhibits strongly encouraged!

  • Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry

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    (43 miles) Portland

    Founded in 1944 and one of the nations top ten science museums, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a world-class tourist attraction and educational resource that puts the WOW! in science ...

  • Portland Art Museum

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    (43 miles) Portland

    The Museum’s collection of more than 42,000 objects, displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries, reflects the history of art from ancient times to today. Enjoyable at every age.

  • Tillamook Air Museum

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    (50 miles) Tillamook

    See one of Americas finest collections of over 30 War Birds including our P-38 Lightning, F4U-Corsair, P51-Mustang, PBY Catalina and SBD Dauntless dive bomber. Climb into a jet simulator!

  • The Science Factory Children's Museum and Planetarium

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    (61 miles) Eugene

    Curious kids can learn all about science through hands-on exhibitions, as well as explore the stars at this Oregon Children's Museum!

  • Oregon Childrens Theatre

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    (45 miles) Portland

    Kids can experience the atmosphere of live theater at the Oregon Childrens Theater that tell well loved stories with fantastic characters.

  • Mudeye Puppet Company

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    (47 miles) Portland

    Kids can enjoy an exciting roster of interactive, 25 minute puppet shows for all ages. Every show is followed up with a meet and greet where kids are encouraged to see the puppets up close and learn ...

  • Oregon Zoo

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    (42 miles) Portland

    The Oregon Zoo is home to animals from all corners of the world, including Asian elephants, Peruvian penguins and Arctic polar bears! Kids can experience mist-filled Africa Rain Forests to the ...

  • Oregon Coast Aquarium

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    (54 miles) Newport

    Get a fishy kiss by a seal, go behind the scenes, explore the touch pools, enjoy animal feedings, and discover the ocean - without getting wet!

  • Enchanted Forest

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    (8 miles) Turner

    Come and visit a world of fantasy in the beautiful, lush forest of this land of enchantment.

  • The Oaks Amusement Park

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    (41 miles) Portland

    Visit the oldest continually operating amusement park in the entire country in Oregon, with rides, attractions, and fun activities for the kids

  • The Salvation Army Kroc Center

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    (3 miles) Salem

    Indoor and outdoor facilities comprise full sized pool plus leisure pool with fun features, lazy river and outdoor splash pad. Plus rock climbing and other activities.

  • Evergreen Wings and Waves Waterpark

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    (19 miles) McMinnville

    Water fun with a hands-on museum experience for kids, and slide out of a real Boeing 747 - unique waterpark fun in Oregon!

  • Chehalem Aquatic Center

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    (25 miles) Newberg

    A fun local aquatic center, with lap pools, diving board, classes and hot tub for adults!

  • Southwest Community Center and Pool

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    (40 miles) Portland

    A great community pool with lessons, lap pool and water features.

  • North Clackamas Aquatic Park

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    (40 miles) Milwaukie

    Water fun in Oregon at this family friendly water park, with a wave pool and laps for all ages!

  • Splash Lively Park Swim Center

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    (62 miles) Springfield

    Join us for a romp in the waves, a slip down the slide, a dunk at the water basketball hoop and more. Enjoy water exercise, splashing in the kiddie pool and relaxing in the adult spa. Convenient ...

  • Jetboat Excursions

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    (43 miles) Portland

    Willamette Jetboat Excursions was the very first company to offer Jet Boat tours on the beautiful Willamette River, beginning in 1997. And as of Summer 2007, over two hundred thousand passengers have ...

  • Portland Lan Su Chinese Garden

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    (44 miles) Portland

    Lan Su Chinese Garden is one of Portland’s greatest treasures—a powerfully inspiring experience that takes you through time, offering a window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. ...

  • Tradewinds Whalewatching and Ecology Boat Trips

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    (51 miles) Depoe Bay

    Amazing boat tours taking you out for whale watching, sport fishing, bird watching, and ecology tours. Educational, and super fun ocean encounters in Oregon!

  • Safari Sam's

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    (31 miles) Sherwood

    Indoor play fun, with the largest adventure play structure in Oregon for all ages, with a 9+ super assault course, Glow In The Dark mini golf, and inflatables!

  • Pump It Up Beaverton

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    (39 miles) Beaverton

    From an indoor, gigantic inflatable filled arenas, to private party rooms, and fun open jump - great indoor play for those active kids in Oregon!

  • Electric Castles Wunderland

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    (40 miles) Milwaukie

    You will find more than one hundred games of all types with the latest video games and redemption games. Each location has a different variety of games to choose from. Tickets won from redemption ...

  • JJ Jump

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    (40 miles) Clackamas

    12,000 sq ft of indoor inflatable jump space in Oregon, with open play, birthday parties, and lots of fun and bouncing for active kids!

  • Munchkin Playland

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    (43 miles) Portland

    An exciting play space for kids under 42" tall to play, create and explore, located in an intimate cafe perfect for parents.

  • Out Of This World

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    (43 miles) Hillsboro

    Multi level space themed adventure play, plus inflatable obstacle course, kid powered kart track, separate toddler area and modern gaming room.