Events & Activities

The Salem Museum’s Speaker Series is moving from the third Monday of the month to the second Thursday. For the foreseeable future, speakers and most other programs will be on Zoom, Facebook Live, or YouTube.

Our Christmas Train returns, bigger than ever!

Each year, Jim Burke shares wonderful childhood memories with us by setting up his American Flyer model trains from the 1950s. This year’s layout is the biggest yet! This vintage American Flyer layout rolls back in time to the charming village of “Plasticville,” set in the 1950s and ’60s. In addition to the trains and buildings of all sorts (including an airport), there’s an interesting cast of little characters–and animals–playing in the snow. Our Christmas Train is rolling through the holidays.

The Gingerbread Festival is coming… to the Salem Museum! Gingerbread houses on view November 28 through December 5 at 2 pm

The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Gingerbread Festival returns on December 5, from 10 am to 2 pm. The Festival includes a Gingerbread House Competition, social distancing visits with Santa, keepsake Santa drawings provided by Artist Kyle Edgell, gingerbread cookie decorating kits, S’mores, character visits, food and craft vendors, and many other surprises! The annual community tradition will be held inside at the Salem Museum and outside at Longwood Park this year to enable social distancing.

The Gingerbread House Competition will be held at the Salem Museum. The public is invited to come see the gingerbread houses and vote for their favorites beginning on November 28 through December 5 (closed Sunday and Monday), from 10 am to 4 pm. We recommend avoiding the crowd by coming to see the houses during the week before the Gingerbread Festival, and then coming back on December 5 for the Festival’s many activities outdoors in Longwood Park. On December 5, the Gingerbread House competition ends at 2 pm.

Community members, businesses, Master chefs, and families are invited to bring their gingerbread houses to the Salem Museum between November 24 and 28 (excluding Thanksgiving Day), from 10 am to 4 pm. Cash prizes are available in each category: Youth ages under 11; 11-14; 15-19; Amateur Adult; Business; and Masters (Chefs). Little Chefs, ages 7 and under, will receive a keepsake ornament for participating. The top 3 finishers in the four youth categories (19 and under) will receive a pair of Salem Fair Ride Passes. Gingerbread House competition entry forms and additional information are available at or by calling 540-387-0267.

It’s the Bee’s Knees! Salem in the Roaring Twenties
Main Gallery Exhibit:  Ongoing

The Salem Museum takes a look back at life in our hometown a century ago with a new main gallery feature exhibit. The exhibit includes personal stories, artifacts, and photographs that explore everyday life—and the nightlife—of the Roaring Twenties. Icons of the decade are also included: a still that produced a lot of moonshine in the ‘20s and several flamboyant flapper dresses from the Museum’s collection. Read more…