Exploring the Fun and Inspiring Gilbert House Children’s Museum

Welcome to the Gilbert House Children’s Museum! This playful and educational museum is located in Salem, Oregon and caters to children ages 2-10. With over 20 interactive exhibits, kids can explore, learn, and have fun at the same time. The museum encourages hands-on activities and provides an exciting way for children to learn about science, technology, the arts, and Oregon’s history. Let’s dive into the world of creativity and imagination at the Gilbert House Children’s Museum!

Gilbert House Children’s Museum: An Overview

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum in Salem, Oregon is a popular destination for families with young children. The museum provides a fun and interactive learning experience for children, with exhibits and activities that promote creativity, imagination, and learning. With a focus on hands-on exploration, the museum encourages children to learn through play, making it a great place to spend a day with the kids.

A Look into the History of Gilbert House Children’s Museum

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum opened its doors in 1989. The museum was founded by a group of parents who saw a need for a children’s museum in Salem. Originally, the museum was located in a small house, but as its popularity grew, it moved to its current location in a historic building that was once a hospital and orphanage. The building itself has a rich history, and many of its original features have been preserved, including the stunning wooden staircase and beautiful stained glass windows.

The Mission of Gilbert House Children’s Museum

The mission of the Gilbert House Children’s Museum is to inspire children to learn through creative play. The museum aims to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children can explore and learn about science, art, and history. The museum’s core values include creativity, curiosity, safety, and inclusivity. Through its exhibits, programs, and events, the museum strives to make learning fun and accessible for everyone.

What to Expect at Gilbert House Children’s Museum

Visitors to the Gilbert House Children’s Museum can expect to find a variety of exhibits and activities that are both fun and educational. Some of the museum’s most popular exhibits include the bubble room, where children can experiment with different-sized bubbles, and the outdoor discovery area, which features a water play area and a garden where children can learn about plants and insects. The museum also has a variety of art and science exhibits, as well as a toy exhibit that showcases toys from different eras.

One of the unique things about the Gilbert House Children’s Museum is that it offers a range of programs and events throughout the year. These include story time sessions, special classes, and camps. The museum also hosts birthday parties and other private events.

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is a must-visit for families with young children. With its fun and interactive exhibits, the museum provides a great way for children to learn about the world around them while having fun. Whether you’re a local or just visiting Salem, the Gilbert House Children’s Museum is definitely worth a visit!

Exploring the Exhibits at Gilbert House Children’s Museum

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is a hands-on, interactive museum that offers many exhibits and activities for children to explore. It is a place where kids can learn and have fun at the same time. Both indoor and outdoor exhibits provide opportunities for kids to engage in imaginative play, and the museum also hosts a range of special events and programs throughout the year.

Outdoor Exhibits

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is more than just indoor exhibits. It also features several outdoor exhibits that are perfect for kids who love outdoor experiences.

Fortopia: This outdoor exhibit is a castle-themed wooden fort and includes tunnels, rocks, and ropes for kids to climb and explore. The exhibit encourages imaginative play and allows kids to build their own adventures.

Fairy Village: This outdoor exhibit is a magical and enchanting place where kids can imagine themselves living in a fairy land. They can play with the tiny houses, the mushroom house, and other features of this whimsical exhibit.

Talking Tubes: This outdoor exhibit has a series of tubes that enable kids to communicate with each other across the exhibit space. Kids find this exhibit exciting and a fun way to connect with their friends and make new friends too.

Indoor Exhibits

The indoor exhibits of the Gilbert House Children’s Museum are just as exciting as the outdoor exhibits! They promote learning by providing activities that incorporate different senses and develop various areas of child development.

Paint Pendulum: This indoor exhibit is all about colors and motions. It features a giant pendulum that swings back and forth, with paint on one end. Kids can watch the pendulum draw shapes on canvas.

Build It!: This exhibit allows kids to design and build their own creations out of small foam pieces. Kids learn to recognize shapes and how to use them to construct objects all on their own.

Water Works: This indoor exhibit presents an interactive water experience designed to help kids learn through play. In this exhibit, kids can explore water physics using various gadgets, taps, and dams.

Special Events and Programs

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum regularly hosts special events and programs that make learning fun for children. These events are designed with kids in mind and encourage them to explore, learn, and be creative.

Birthday Parties: If you want to make your child’s birthday special, hold it at Gilbert House! The museum offers a variety of party packages that include playtime in the exhibits, art activities, and more.

Summer Camps: The Gilbert House Children’s Museum offers summer camps that give children a chance to explore and learn in a fun and creative way. These camps provide children various learning experiences with science, art, and imaginative play.

Science Classes: The museum offers science classes that help children develop a better understanding of various scientific concepts such as physics, chemistry, biology, and earth science. These classes are designed with kids in mind and use hands-on activities to make learning fun.

Overall, the Gilbert House Children’s Museum provides a unique experience that engages children and fosters their curiosity about the world around them. With a range of exhibits that promote imagination, discovery, and learning, the museum provides a great way to spend a day. Its outdoor and indoor exhibits are simply amazing, and the special events and programs are a great way to make learning fun for kids!

Visiting Gilbert House Children’s Museum Like a Pro

If you’re planning to visit the Gilbert House Children’s Museum, it’s a good idea to have a game plan to make the most of your time and enjoy all the exhibits. Here are some crucial details and tips to help you plan your visit like a pro.

Hours and Admission

The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is open every day except Mondays, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. From Tuesday to Friday, the museum’s visiting hours are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the museum opens early at 9:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm.

Ticket prices vary by age and membership status. Children under two years old can enter for free. General admission for visitors aged two to 59 years old is $9 per person. Seniors aged 60 and up and military personnel with valid ID can purchase tickets for $8 each. The museum also offers discounted admission rates for students and Oregon Trail Card holders.

If you plan to visit the museum more than once in a year, membership is the best option for you. Memberships are available at various levels and provide access to exclusive benefits like unlimited admission, discounts at the museum gift shop, and invitations to members-only events.

Tips for Visiting

To make the most out of your visit, here are some helpful tips to consider:

1. Arrive Early: The museum is most crowded during the midday hours, so it’s best to arrive early when it’s less busy. You’ll have more time and space to enjoy the exhibits and activities.

2. Wear Comfortable Clothing: The museum has a variety of hands-on exhibits and activities that involve movement and exploration. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that allow you to move around freely.

3. Bring snacks and drinks: While the museum offers a snack and drink vending machine, it’s better to bring your snacks and drinks with you. There is also a picnic area where you can enjoy your food. However, please note that there is no food allowed inside the exhibits.

4. Plan for the weather: Gilbert House Children’s Museum has several outdoor exhibits and activities. Check the weather conditions before your visit, and dress accordingly.

5. Participate in the Scheduled Programs: Take advantage of the museum’s scheduled programs, such as storytimes, science shows, and art classes. These programs are included in your admission, and they add to the museum experience.


Here are some commonly asked questions about the Gilbert House Children’s Museum:

1. How Do I Get to the Museum?

The museum is located at 116 Marion St NE, Salem, OR 97301. There is free parking available in the museum’s parking lot.

2. Is the Museum Accessible?

The museum is ADA-compliant, and there are ramps, elevators, and other accessibility features available to ensure that the museum is accessible to all visitors.

3. Is Food Allowed Inside the Museum?

No, food and drinks are not allowed inside the exhibits, except for designated areas like the picnic area.

4. Can I Rent the Museum for Special Events?

Yes, you can rent the museum for special events like occasions, birthday parties or corporate events. Contact the museum for more information about packages and rates.

In conclusion, visiting Gilbert House Children’s Museum is a fun and educational experience for families, groups, and individuals. With helpful information about hours, admission, tips, and FAQs, you can plan your visit like a pro and enjoy all the exciting exhibits and activities. Don’t forget to have fun and make some great memories!

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