20 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs in Salem, Oregon this Winter

medium_3508698271Are the cold winter months getting to you?  No matter the season, whether you’re a long-time local resident or a guest just staying the night, there’s plenty of fun, enriching Salem events to help you snap out of it!

Here are just a few events that caught our interest:

1. Annual Mo’s Crab and Chowder Festival Jan 24-26, 2014 at Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner

This yearly tradition brings the flavors of the Oregon Coast to Willamette Valley Vineyards by offering Mo’s world famous steaming chowder bowls, fresh Oregon Coast crab and other seafood selections perfectly paired with their acclaimed Pinot Gris. Learn more: www.willamettevalleyvineyards.com

2. Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show January 24–26, 2014 at The Oregon Garden, Silverton

This show will feature more than 100 beautiful quilts, vendors selling quilting wares, lectures by featured artist Lura Schwarz Smith and demonstrations by quilting vendors. Enjoy the Tea Room, presented by Stash Tea, where lunch fare and specialty items will be available for purchase. Learn more: www.oregongarden.org

3. Oregon Wedding Showcase January 25 & 26, 2014 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem

We will be joining wedding professionals from all over Oregon (including the Salem Convention Center) to answer questions about our services for your big day at Oregon Wedding Showcase! Stop by and say hello! Learn more: www.oregonweddingshowcase.com

4. First Taste Oregon January 24 & 25, 2014 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem

This festival,formerly known as the Oregon Wine, Food & Brew Festival,features Oregon Art, Brew, Food, Music, Shopping, Spirits & Wine. Nom nom! Learn more: www.firsttasteoregon.com

5. Mid-Willamette Valley Women’s Show January 31-February 1, 2014 Salem Convention Center, Salem

Celebrate the spirit of women with a fabulous weekend featuring fashion shows, exhibits specializing in women’s health, beauty, fashion, fitness, food and lifestyle, domestic violence resources and so much more. Learn more: www.oregonbrickproductions.com

6. Pinot Noir and Chocolate Celebration February 15-16,2014 Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner

Treat yourself and your loved one with decadent chocolates paired with classic Oregon Pinot Noir. Willamette Valley Vineyard’s new Tasting Room and candle-lit barrel cellar create the perfect background to this indulgent pairing event featuring local gourmet artisans and rich, red wines. Learn more: www.willamettevalleyvineyards.com

7. Mid-Valley Video Festival February 20-22,2014 Northern Lights Theatre Pub & ƒ/stop Fitzgerald’s, Salem 

This annual event celebrates local filmmaking by promoting, educating and networking filmmakers. The 11th Mid-Valley Video Festival happens February 20-22, 2014 at Northern Lights Theatre Pub and ƒ/stop Fitzgerald’s. Learn more: www.mvvfest.org

8. Salem Art Association 15th Annual Clay Ball Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Salem Convention Center

Join artists and patrons for a glittering evening of art, wine, food and music. This year’s Clay Ball theme, Get Up & Gatsby, is inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s celebrated novel, The Great Gatsby, as well as the 2013 Baz Luhrmann film by the same name.

9. Mt. Angel Wurstfest February 28-March 1, 2014 Mt. Angel Festhalle, Mt. Angel

Dust off your Lederhosen, starch up your Dirndl apron and join the happy folks in Mount Angel for two days of celebration in honor of the best of the “wurst” – Old World sausages that is – at the 6th annual Wurstfest on February 28, March 1, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the Mount Angel Festhalle (500 S. Wilco Highway) in Mount Angel. Learn more: www.mtangelwurstfest.com

10. Celebrate Mardi Gras at Bentley’s Grill Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Each year, Bentley’s Grill brings Mardi Gras to downtown Salem, Oregon! Mardi Gras, which occurs on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, is a day of celebration and the opportunity to enjoy that favorite food or beverage that you give up for Lent. New Orleans has made this celebration famous and has a long-standing tradition of wearing Mardi Gras beads and giving them to others. So Bentley’s will of course be providing Mardi Gras beads along with our famous traditional New Orleans special menu and cocktails from our Lounge Bar! You never know what kinds of surprises you may find!

11. Embrace your inner Irish at the Bentley’s Grill St Patrick’s Day Weekend Celebration March 17, 2014

Bentley’s Grill celebrates all things Irish at their annual St. Patty’s Day celebration! Past events have included a traditional Irish lunch and dinner menu, Irish Lounge Bar specials, and entertainment from the Salem Professional Firefighters Pipes & Drums….stay tuned for details on the 2014 celebration!

12. Browse the unique locally owned shops, restaurants, bars and bakeries located in the Reed Opera House.

The beautiful Reed Opera House renovated historic building located at the center of downtown Salem Oregon and features unique locally owned stores and shops,restaurants, bars and bakeries..

13. Check out the exhibits happening at The Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill.

When guests ask us about seeing some of the interesting local atmosphere, the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill is one of the first spots to come to mind. Their exhibit planners always bring fascinating new and unique perspectives from our region’s rich history. The Center’s 4th Annual Heritage Invitational Exhibition, “All the Live Long Day: Work in the Valley” opens on January 17, 2014 and runs through March 8, 2014. Fifteen wonderful Willamette Valley heritage and cultural organizations will curate their own sections of the exhibit, sharing aspects of “work” that are meaningful to their communities.

14. Catch an indie film at the Salem Cinema downtown.

Salem Cinema is Salem’s only independently owned and operated movie theater specializing in art, foreign, independent and exceptional film. Check out their new gorgeous three screen location on the corner of Broadway & Market. More choices for the independent movie lover!

15. Browse the exhibits at Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

With a collection spanning ancient times to the modern day, HFMA is a vital cultural resource for Willamette University and the City of Salem. The museum is located on the Willamette University campus. Click here to see a list of current exhibitions.

16. Catch an improv show at Capitol City Theater.

Located in the heart of downtown Salem, CCT is dedicated to live, home grown comedy. Boasting a wide array of training classes, improv shows and more, CCT is sure to deliver.

17. Watch a live performance or classic film at the Elsinore Theatre.

Take in a piece of Salem’s history in this beautiful historical restored performance venue. From classic films, to Broadway shows, today’s most popular comedians, dance, and today’s most popular bands, the Elsinore Theatre has something for everyone!  Look through their upcoming calendar.

18. Step back in time at the Bush House Museum. 

Located in Bush’s Pasture Park, the Bush House Museum offers tours to the public and preserves and interprets the heritage of the Bush House and Bush’s Pasture Park to illuminate Oregon history and culture associated with the lives and legacy of Salem’s Bush Family. Featuring many iconic 19th century furnishings, this technologically advanced home also contains the original light fixtures, central heating vents and plumbing fixtures. As the comfortable home of a Bush Family member until 1953, the Bush House Museum continues to welcome Salem visitors of all ages throughout the year. While in Bush’s Pasture Park, visitors can also explore the recently restored 1882 Conservatory, the second oldest in the west, and the Bush Barn Art Center in the original Bush Family Barn.

19. Tour Historic Deepwood Estate.

Winter brings Valentine Tea and Heritage Talk Series to Historic Deepwood Estate, an 1894 Queen Anne Victorian Home situated on approximately 4 acres of manicured gardens and nature trails set in the heart of Salem near its downtown core.

20. Catch a show in the Pentacle Theatre.

A rustic, cozy, comfortable playhouse, nestled in a stand of rare Oregon Oaks backed by Douglas Fir trees and Oregon volunteers. The Pentacle Theatre‘s 60th Anniversary Season is kicking off this week with their production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Travel Tip: Get the Absolutely Heritage ticket before your next visit to Salem for admission to four museums for just $20! When you purchase one ticket and you will be able to visit these four Salem-area heritage museums!

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photo credit: Jeezny via photopin cc