Winter hikes, performances and festivals
Winter is here! Catch a show at a historic theater, indulge in local flavors or take a hike near Salem, Oregon, this month.
1. A Capella West Quarterfinal
Witness the largest international a capella tournament at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Jan. 25-26. Hundreds of performers from every corner of the world will compete, including nine high school and eight college groups from Oregon. Tickets are required.
2. Americana with Edgar Meyer
Join Edgar Meyer and the Oregon Symphony for an unparalleled evening of Americana, including Copland’s idyllic “Appalachian Spring,” on Jan. 19 at Willamette University in Salem. Tickets start at $35.
3. Blind Vertical Tasting
Cubanisimo Vineyards, in Salem, is hosting a blind vertical tasting of its Estate Pinot Noir, dating back to 2006, on Jan. 12. Food will also be served throughout the evening. Tickets are required.
4. Brian McKnight Live at Spirit Mountain Casino
Brian McKnight, an award-winning R&B singer, songwriter, musician and music producer, will perform at Spirit Mountain Casino, in Grand Ronde, Oregon, on Jan. 19. The event is for ages 21+ and tickets are required.
5. Brooks 101: See, Smell, Sip
Take a guided course through wine tasting basics at Brooks Wines, in Amity, Oregon, on Jan. 26. You will be given four different wines as you explore four key wine concepts. Tickets are required.
6. Brutal Bar III
On Jan. 14, Bari Restaurant, in Salem, will host a three-round competition in which bartenders must create specific cocktails using provided ingredients. The cocktails are scored by judges and may be ordered by attendees. Reservations are recommended.
7. Camerata Musica: the Bodhi Trio
The Bhodi Trio will perform a free concert, with performances of Mozart’s Piano Trio, K. 547 and Brahms’ C Major Piano Trio, at the Salem Public Library on Jan. 20.
8. Cloud Six at Taproot Lounge & Cafe
Head to Taproot Lounge & Cafe, in Salem, on Jan. 4 to hear Portland-based band Cloud Six perform. The performance will showcase original compositions from each of the band members, inspired by a variety of styles, including EDM, hip hop and bebop.
9. Disney’s "The Little Mermaid"
Experience one of your favorite Disney classics, “The Little Mermaid,” in this stage production at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Jan. 4-6. Tickets are required.
10. First Day Hike
Free guided hikes will be offered at state parks across Oregon on the first day of the year. There will be a three-mile hike at Silver Falls State Park, a two-mile hike at Champoeg State Heritage Area and a one-mile hike at the State Capitol State Park. Parking fees will be waived.
11. First Taste Oregon
First Taste Oregon is returning to the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center, in Salem, on Jan. 25-26. Enjoy the best of Oregon’s brews, ciders, food, wines, spirits and specialty shopping from more than 100 vendors. Tickets are required.
12. Free Carousel Rides
Salem’s Riverfront Carousel is offering free rides on New Year’s Day. A canned food donation is suggested.
13. IDA’s Second Annual Mystery Dinner
Head to Independence, Oregon, on Jan. 12 for a 1920s-themed evening at Elks Lodge. Tickets, which include dinner and the chance to solve a mystery that takes place during World War I, are $50.
14. Lewis Black: The Joke’s on Us Tour
Start the year with a laugh at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Jan. 10, as Lewis Black, a stand-up comedian and author, lightheartedly mocks the nonsenses of life. Tickets are required.
15. Mid-Valley Home Show
The Mid-Valley Home Show, held at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center, is the largest and best-attended home show in the Willamette Valley. The show is Jan. 11-13.
16. Mo’s Seafood & Chowder Festival
This yearly tradition brings the flavors of the Oregon Coast to Willamette Valley Vineyards, in Turner, Oregon, on Jan. 25-27. Pair Mo’s world-famous steaming chowder bowls, fresh Oregon Dungeness crab and other seafood selections with the winery’s acclaimed Pinot Gris. Tickets are required.
17. New Year’s Day Hangover Run
Start your resolution off with this annual 3K New Year's race on Jan. 1 in Salem. Runners over the age of 21 can also participate in the "Beer Mile," a race that combines running and beer. Registration is required.
18. Oregon Wedding Showcase
Planning a wedding? Check things off your list, including venues, photography and other vendors, at the Oregon Wedding Showcase at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center on Jan. 26-27. Tickets are $10.
19. Polk Flea Market
Find a treasure at the oldest and largest flea market in Polk County, where you can sift through thousands of collectibles covering more than 180 tables to find unique furniture, tools, jewelry and more. The market is Jan. 6 at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall, Oregon. Admission is $1.
20. Project Chamber Music Featuring Caitlyn Lynch
Returning to her hometown from New York City, violist Caitlyn Lynch will present works by Mozart, Schumann, Bach and Brahms, alongside Julliard graduates on piano, violin and cello. The performance is Jan. 11 at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre.
21. Quilts at Keizer
Head to the Keizer Community Center this month to see more than 30 beautiful, handcrafted quilts made by local residents. The impressive display includes both traditional and art quilts, with some available for purchase.
22. Salem on Ice
Grab your skates and head to the ice rink at Salem’s Riverfront Park! Salem On Ice, a seasonal, indoor ice skating rink, is open through Jan. 21. Tickets are required.
23. Salem Symphonic Winds: A Taste of Spain
Celebrate Spanish traditions through song and dance at Salem’s Elsinore Theatre on Jan. 27. This performance will showcase the Salem Symphonic Winds and the Al Andalus Ensemble. Tickets are required.
24. Salem Winter Brewfest
Adults (ages 21 and over) are invited to Salem Winter Brewfest on Jan. 30-Feb. 2. The four-day festival will feature an enormous selection of beer, cider and delicious food, as well as live music. Tickets are required.
25. Sips ‘n’ Science: Bringing Back the Pacific Lamprey
Kelly Dirksen, fish and wildlife program manager with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, will speak at Brew Coffee & Taphouse, in Independence, on Jan. 9. This fascinating presentation will discuss the Pacific Lamprey—a 650-million-year-old fish—and how the Tribes are working hard to help it thrive. While you listen to the presentation, enjoy some local brews and food.
26. TEDxSalem VI
TEDxSalem VI is bringing people together to share a TED-like experience at the Salem Convention Center on Jan. 5. There will be talks and performances by community members, lots of food and networking. Tickets are required.
27. The Yard Food Park Grand Opening
The Yard Food Park, in Salem, is hosting its grand opening event with live music on Jan. 5. The food park hosts 16-20 food carts along with a full bar. There will be a $5 cover charge, with no minors permitted after 9 p.m.
28. We Three from AGT
We Three, the beloved Oregon sibling trio who competed on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and stole the hearts of viewers everywhere, will perform a live show at Shotski’s Woodfired Eats, in Salem, on Jan. 26. Tickets are required.
29. Wildlife Viewing at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge
Just west of Salem, Baskett Slough National 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.
30. Yoga + Wine
Join Yoga + Beer for its winery edition at Eola Hills Wine Cellars, in Rickreall, on Jan. 7. Enjoy the all-levels yoga class and then stay for a glass of wine.
To plan your trip to Salem, click here.