Have you heard of Amazon Lockers? We’ve been finding them very useful for ordering stuff on the road. Many RV parks/campgrounds will allow us to receive packages, but some don’t. We’re finding most in Oregon don’t so we’ve learned to make use of Amazon lockers. Amazon sets up lockers at various gas stations, grocery stores and other places where you can have your order shipped. Once your order has been delivered you’ll receive an email to let you know it’s in the locker. You can scan the bar code from the email or enter the number on the keypad and your locker opens with your stuff inside. It’s pretty cool, and a very convenient way for us to order stuff on the road.
What does that have to do with Salem, Oregon you ask? Well, we have been staying on the Oregon coast and there are no facilities with Amazon lockers out here. The closest one we could find was in Salem so it gave us an excuse to make a day trip there. Unfortunately the day we ended up going there just happened to be one of the hottest days of the year, a high around 108?? I didn’t realize it gets that hot up here in the PNW! It certainly isn’t hot on the coast; we’ve actually been quite chilly with highs in the 60s for the last few weeks.
Anyway, in spite of the heat we had a great field trip to Salem.
Our first stop was to the Riverfront Park to check out the classic carousel. This park was very nice. There is a playground, a splash park, a brand new bridge, paved bike trails and of course the carousel.
The carousel is made of hand-carved horses by local volunteers. It is a beautiful carousel and includes a game to catch the brass ring.
Jake trying to catch the brass ring
The volunteers were there that day carving a new dragon for the carousel. They were so friendly and welcomed us into their studio to watch the artists at work. Check out the detail in the carving and the designs on the wall.
They have been carving this dragon for over 2 years!
We also got to go into the painting studio to watch where they paint new horses and touch up the paint on older ones.
The carousel rides are only $1.50 each and the artists gave us some buy one get one free coupons so we rode a few times.
After the Riverfront Park we headed to the Gilbert House Children’s Museum. We were able to get in free because they are part of the ASTC Science Center reciprocal membership program. This museum was incredible! I thought we would only be there for 30 minutes or so because it sounded like it would be too young for my kids, but I was pleasantly surprised that they loved it.
They spent the first 30 minutes or so in the first room where they pretended to be street merchants selling fruits and vegetables. I kept telling them there were many other things to do at this museum but they didn’t want to leave this first room.
Main Street Market
Finally we moved onto the outdoor playground where there is a giant erector set, a giant slide and climbing walls
As I mentioned before, it was over 100 that day so we didn’t spend much time out there.
Back inside, the kids played in several other areas of the museum that inspire creativity.
Pretending to be veterinarians.
Pretending to be a farmer.
Pretending to be pilots.
There were real airline seats behind them, and Jake made sure I was buckled in for takeoff.
Putting on a show.
Pretending to be surgeons.
Building a playground.
This museum is named for A. C. Gilbert who was born in Salem in 1884. He created the Erector Set and made the American Flyer train sets famous. He also earned an Olympic gold medal in the pole vault and graduated from Yale with a degree in medicine. Quite an impressive individual! His passion for toys inspired this museum where there are so many opportunities for kids to use their imagination.
American Flyer train set.
The museum is in 3 separate buildings, and the outside is so colorful and cute!
We had such a fun day in Salem! Oh yeah, we picked up our Amazon order when we were done exploring and headed back to coast.