- The list below includes 66 free or cheap things to do in or near Salem, Oregon, including 81 different types of inexpensive activities like Movie Theaters, Children's Museums, History Museums and Parks.
- From Schreiner's Iris Gardens to Minto-Brown Island Park, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Salem and in nearby cities within 25 miles like Albany, Keizer, Canby and Newberg.
Schreiner's Iris Gardens has won the Dykes Memorial Medal from the American Iris Society 11 times for the irises that it grows on their 200 acres of land. From May to July, visitors can view 10-acres of the irises free.
As of 2013, native grasses are being restored to the Minto Brown Park. Visitors can expect to see this restoration, along with a large off-leash area for pets, and 14 hiking trails ranging from .11 miles to 1.89 miles.
Patrons can find over 350,000 items including print books, audio books, DVDs, videos, music CDs, cassettes, public computers, meeting space, and art shows at the Salem Public Library. Visitors can also view a small art gallery.
Bush's Pasture Park contains the oldest greenhouse conservatory in Oregon, the Bush Barn Art Center featuring contemporary art, and the Bush Museum in the Asahel Bush home. The park also contains numerous playgrounds, horseshoe courts, tennis courts, and ball fields.
Willamette University is a private university that features a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs through its wide range of schools. The location's athletic programs include football, soccer, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, and softball.
The Willamette Mission State Park is the site of the first mission for Native Americans. The park features 16 miles of trails for hiking, horseback-riding, and biking, picnic areas with walnut and filbert trees, volleyball, horseshoes, softball, soccer, and boating.
Beginning in 1998, the Salem Saturday Market has since grown to be one of the largest market operations in the state of Oregon. Fresh and locally grown produce and flowers are available as are specialty food items from a variety of vendors.
With its grand architecture, Victorian gardens and intricate stained glass, the Historic Deepwood Estate is a must-see for locals and visitors to Salem. The estates rich history began in 1893, and today the grounds are available for weddings and private events.