Check Out These 10 Fun Things to Do in Salem

Posted on May 3, 2022

SALEM, Ore. – Enjoy more summer fun this year as Salem’s parks and public spaces host a full slate of activities. Here are 10 fun things Salem has to offer this spring and summer:

Civic 50th Anniversary: Come celebrate with us as the City of Salem’s Civic Center turns 50 years old! On August 18, the City of Salem’s Civic Center celebration of architecture, people, art, and history will take place. The Civic Center has been nominated for listing on the National Registrar of Historic Places due to its representation of Salem’s community planning and development in the 1960s and 1970s. If you, or someone you know, had a part in the 1972 opening, or memories during its lifetime, please share your memories and photos at the following link: What were you doing in 1972?

First Friday at Riverside Park: Come celebrate the newest addition to Salem’s Riverfront Park, the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater! Beginning in May, and running through September, on the first Friday of each month (weather dependent) come enjoy free performances by local bands. Performances are for all ages and will begin at 8 p.m. 

First Friday Art Walk: The First Friday Salem Art Walk in downtown Salem happens every first Friday, rain or shine, and runs all year long. The Art Walk runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is a fun and free event to promote local Salem artists and bring people to downtown businesses. Be sure to follow the Art Walk on social media for the latest schedules!

Movies in the Park: Movies in the Park returns to Riverfront Park this summer. The scheduled dates and films are July 16 (Free Guy, PG-13, starts at 9:00 p.m.), July 30 (Love, Simon, PG-13, starts at 9:00 p.m.), August 6 (Mitchells vs the Machines, PG, starts at 8:30 p.m.), and August 13 (Encanto, PG, starts at 8:00 p.m.).

IRONMAN: 2021 saw the first-ever, Salem-hosted, IRONMAN 70.3 endurance competition where more than 2,000 athletes competed in the grueling IRONMAN endurance race. Due to the success of the event, IRONMAN will be returning to Salem on July 10, 2022, beginning at Riverfront Park. The sold-out 70.3 mile race will have athletes swim 1.2 miles down the Willamette River, cycle 56 miles through Oregon wine country, and finish with a 13.1 mile run through Minto-Brown Island Park. You can catch some of the activities in either Riverfront or Minto-Brown Parks, or various locations along the cycling and running routes.  

Softball: Softball is back! Through May and June, catch some of the best slowpitch and fastpitch softball action around the state in your Salem parks! Various SoftballCityUSA (City of Salem), USA Softball, USSSA, local, and private games will be held at Wallace Marine Park Softball Complex over the spring and summer. For more information, visit Sports Tournaments.  

Additionally, Salem Parks and Rec will host an ages 8-12 softball 

Youth Sports Camps: Choose from activities like basketball, flag football, pickleball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and even multi-sport camps where kids can learn the basics in each sport. Learn more or sign up for sports camps.

Nature Camps, Classes, and Recreation: Kids can find a range of themed activities at the summer parks program day camps. Starting June 22, kids can choose from a variety of topics including: Owl Prowl, Spirit Week, Forest Animals, Nature Camp, Lego Camp, and more. Learn more and sign up for kids’ campsRecreation fee waivers are available to qualified Salem residents.

Salem Public Library! With the addition of the West Salem branch reopening, the Salem Library has more to offer than ever before. Discovery Room, Teen Scene, Storytime, Reservable meeting/study spaces, and much, much more. Learn more about what the library can offer.

PARKS! Did you know, the City of Salem has 90 City parks that cover more than 2,300 acres? With 47 neighborhood parks, 10 community parks, 7 urban parks, and more, Salem offers a variety of open spaces for all kinds of activities. Play, relax, explore, whatever you’re looking to do, chances are, a Salem park has what you’re looking for. For more information about the various city parks, visit Salem Parks.  

Salem is uniquely situated just one hour south of Portland, one hour from the coast, and an hour from the mountains. It has MANY more activities to offer in the surrounding area as well! For more ideas on nearby activities and events, be sure to check out the Travel Salem website. 

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