12 Ideas to Rev Up Your Summer in Salem

Posted on June 3, 2023

Salem, Ore. – It’s finally here – Salem’s biggest season of fun! Pick your favorites from the 12 choices – and many sub-choices below.

1. Outdoor Concerts & Movies

  • First Friday Free Concerts start this Friday, June 2, at the Gerry Frank | Salem Rotary Amphitheater in Riverfront Park.
  • Make Music Salem, Wednesday, June 21 at the Amphitheater, for people who love music and the joyous sense of community it can foster.
  • Movies in the Park is on Fridays this year starting June 30 at around 9:30 p.m. at the Amphitheater.

2. Entertainment & Enrichment

3. Athletes on the Move

  • STRIDE 5K/10K Run/Walk Events: These fun runs throughout the spring, summer, and fall, continue the morning of June 10, through Riverfront, Wallace and Minto-Brown Island Parks.
  • Ironman 70.3 Oregon, Sunday, July 23, brings top triathletes to the trails, roads, and waters of Salem.
  • Hoopla XXIV, Tuesday, July 25, through Saturday, July 30, Downtown Salem revs up with this exciting 3-on-3 basketball tourney.

4. City Celebrations

  • Salem Service Day, Thursday, June 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Riverfront Park. Formerly Public Works Day, this year’s event features departments from all over the City and has a new name. Enjoy games, activities, booths, free hotdogs, and demonstrations of City services.
  • National Night Out, Tuesday, August 1, brings neighborhoods together to celebrate the spirit of police-community partnerships with more than 75 block parties across the city each year.
  • Viva Salem! All United, Saturday, September 23, at Riverfront Park, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with entertainers, artists, and vendors of food and crafts. A community to celebration of our Hispanic culture.

5. 90 Days, 90 Parks: Coincidence? We Think Not!

  • Starting soon, Mayor Chris Hoy and our video and drone crew are putting the spotlight on every City park in Salem. Better yet, the summer season is roughly 90 days long, just the right amount of time to explore each one yourself!
  • Don’t miss the Salem Seekers glass bird scavenger hunt across Salem’s parks. Search for these hidden glass birds at designated parks throughout the city.

6. Fun with Water

  • Salem’s a river city and we have a watery playground at our front door – just be sure to play it safe and wear a life jacket! The City of Salem has a summer life jacket loaner program at Wallace Marine Park.
  • Keep cool in our Splash Fountains all summer. Riverfront Park Splash Fountains are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., noon to 8 p.m. in other parks.

7. Outdoor Adventures

  • Join Center 50+ for Summer Adventures, starting with a presentation on hiking safety, Wednesday, June 14, from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by a hiking adventure to Silver Creek Falls June 26. Check out their program guide for more.
  • Check out Salem Public Library’s Library of Things to see how to rent a kayak, a tent, and more outdoor equipment!

8. Check Out the Recreation Guide

  • Learn more about summer recreation, sports, and activities,,  including a fishing derby, nature camps, the owl program, tree-climbing, and much more!. Sign up through the Recreation Guide.

9. A Library Full of Fun

10. Explore Salem’s History

11. Get to Know Salem’s Public Art

12. Plan a Staycation

  • Explore your own back yard! We’ve barely scratched the surface of things you can do in the mid-Willamette Valley on an afternoon, an evening, or a weekend, including outstanding dining, theater, farm tours, and much more. Check out Travel Salem for more ideas.

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