Find something to do this month near Salem, Oregon

Polk County Orchard ~ Photo by Cyndi Easterly
Explore the great outdoors, spend an evening at the theater or treat yourself to award-winning clam chowder near Salem, Oregon. Here are 20 things to enjoy this month: 
1. 7th Annual Heritage Invitational Exhibit
Explore the complex ecological systems and natural characteristics of the Mid-Willamette Valley starting Jan. 20 at the Willamette Heritage Center. Visit the exhibit Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Bush Barn Art Center ~ Photo by Dee Hendrix2. Fine Art Friday
Receive free admission to the Bush Barn Art Center and explore three exciting new exhibitions on Jan. 20. Light appetizers and wine will be served. 

3. First Taste Oregon
Taste, sample and purchase products from more than 70 exhibitors at the Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center Jan. 27-28. The event will feature some of the state’s best winemakers, craft brewers, artists and culinary masters. Tickets are on sale now. 

4. Gallagher Fitness Resources Team Runs
Need somebody to run with this year? Gallagher Fitness Resources, located in downtown Salem, holds free group runs every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. Speed and distance vary with each run, but all runners are welcome. 

Gilbert House Children's Museum5. Gilbert House Children’s Museum
The children’s museum offers year-round fun with indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits in downtown Salem. The exhibits are designed for children ages two to 10 years old. Older children and adults are welcome to explore the museum with younger children.  

6. Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism 
An exhibition for Louis Bunce, a legendary Portland painter, printmaker and teacher, will open at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art on Jan. 21. It will chronicle the artist’s career over a 57-year period. The exhibit will be on display through March. 

7. Mo’s Crab and Chowder Festival
Enjoy the flavors of the Oregon Coast at Willamette Valley Vineyards Jan. 28-29.  In honor of Oregon Crab Month, the winery will be serving up Mo’s world-famous chowder bowls, fresh crab and other seafood selections. The food will be paired with the vineyard’s acclaimed Pinot Gris. Live music and dancing will accompany the food and drinks. 

8. “Noises Off”
“Noises Off,” a comedy by Michael Frayn, is coming to Salem! Enjoy the show Jan. 20 to Feb. 11 at the Pentacle Theatre. 

9. Oregon Symphony in Salem
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, an acclaimed violinist, will play and conduct members of the orchestra for one of the world’s most popular pieces, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The concert will take place Jan. 6 at Willamette University.  Before the show, attendees are invited to a free pre-concert talk in Cone Chapel. 

10. Oregon Wedding Showcase
Planning a wedding in the new year? Find wedding inspiration, meet vendors and attend fashion shows at the Oregon Wedding Showcase. The showcase runs from Jan. 28-29 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. 

11. Original Mid-Valley Home Show
Don’t miss the oldest, largest and best-attended home show in the Mid-Willamette Valley. The show will be held Jan. 13-15 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. 

12. Rainbow Dance Theatre
Become a part of the show as you text your selfie to the stage and see it appear during this performance at Western Oregon University. The Jan. 13 event features the Rainbow Dance Theatre ensemble. The performance will bring passion and humor as the show delves into the mystery of “the self.”

13. Salem Famous Improv Show
Laugh at local improv professionals as they present shows driven by your suggestions at the Capitol City Theater. The shows take place on Friday and Saturday nights in January. 

14. Salem Public Market
Do you know you can visit Oregon’s oldest farmer’s market year-round? The market sells food and crafts every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Salem. 

15. Seussical the Musical
Enjoy a family musical centered on two Dr. Seuss stories, “Horton Hears a Who” and “Horton Hatches an Egg.” Attend the show Jan. 6-8 at the Historic Elsinore Theatre in downtown Salem. 

16. Silverton First Friday
Silverton, Oregon, throws a party on the first Friday of every month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visit the town Jan. 6 to explore shops, galleries and restaurants. 

17.  TEDxSalem  IV
Head to the annual TEDx event at the Salem Convention Center on Jan. 7. The day includes talks and performances from community members with ideas worth spreading, curated TED Talks, hands-on activities and more. 

18. Truffle-Mania at Left Coast Cellars
Left Coast Cellars will host its annual celebration of truffles and wine from the winery’s Truffle Hill Vineyards throughout the month of January. The vineyard, located in Rickreall, cultivates European truffles. 

19. Venti’s Acoustic Thursdays
Head to Venti’s in downtown Salem every Thursday in January for live acoustic performances. Musicians include Brandon Wells, Bri Cauz, Elvicious Cash and Rich McCloud. 

Baskett Slough ~ Photo by Ron Cooper20. Wildlife Viewing at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge
Just west of Salem, this wildlife refuge is a sanctuary for wintering geese, great blue heron, bald eagles and more. Parts of the refuge are closed while the geese are in residence, but observation decks, refuge roads and a trail are open year-round for viewing opportunities.