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12 indoor places to take the family

Looking to get the kids out of the house? The Mid-Willamette Valley has plenty of attractions the entire family can enjoy while staying warm and dry. Here are 12 indoor family-friendly destinations to explore: 

Village Vet Clinic ~ Photo by Ron CooperRiverfront Park, a 23-acre park located along the Willamette River, offers great indoor activities. Take the kids for a ride on Salem’s Riverfront Carousel or visit Gilbert House Children’s Museum. The old-world-style carousel features characters that are hand painted and carved by local volunteers. The museum is designed for children ages 2 to 10 and is located next to the park. Kids and parents alike will enjoy learning and creating through the museum’s interactive exhibits. 

Rally the family and take a shot at Exitus Salem Escape Rooms. Work together to solve a series of unique clues and puzzles to escape from one of three themed rooms before the clock hits zero. The rooms are recommended for children ages 10 and up. 

For the artists in your family, visit the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Located in the heart of Salem, it showcases historical, regional and contemporary pieces. Children receive free admission to the museum every day. If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, Create A Memory is a fun activity for the whole family. Paint your own pottery or create beautiful works of art in the fused glass studio. The studio is open six days a week, and reservations are not required. 

Powerland Heritage MuseumsBurn off some energy at The Rock Boxx, a new indoor bouldering gym in Salem. With 5,400 square feet of climbing walls, the gym has options for climbers of all experience levels. It also offers yoga and fitness classes. 

Visit fifteen different museums at Powerland Heritage Park in Brooks, Oregon, from April to September. From a functional blacksmith shop to large steam engines and classic cars, the museums feature antique machinery and demonstrate life during Oregon’s formative years.  

Cherry CountryIn Polk County, the kids can indulge in a sweet treat at Cherry Country. Stop by the family-owned orchard in Rickreall, Oregon, to take a tour of the factory, watch how the chocolate is made, taste the cherries and visit the gift store. Call ahead to plan your tour. 

Reminisce on warmer days at the Dallas Aquatic Center. The center boasts five swimming pools, a waterslide, lazy river, diving board and spray fountain. Open to the public, recreational swim times are ideal for families looking for affordable fun. 

If you’re in McMinnville, Oregon, check out the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The museum houses more than 200 historic aircraft, spacecraft and exhibits. Kids will also enjoy the state-of-the-art 3D theater and space-themed playground. After visiting the museum, head next door to Wings & Waves Waterpark. The aviation-themed facility includes ten indoor waterslides and a wave pool. 

Enjoy dinner and a movie at 3rd Street Pizza Company. The Moonlight Theater, McMinnville’s only locally-owned movie theater, is located inside the restaurant. Order a fire-baked pizza, calzone or sandwich to have during the show. Movie tickets are only $5 on Tuesday nights. 

For more things to do in the Mid-Willamette Valley, visit Travel Salem.