Summertime in Salem Day-Trip for Families

To make the most of your summertime day-trip to Salem, plan to arrive early to park and make your way to your first destination. Information on parking and directions to Salem is available here.

Upon arrival in Salem, visit Waite and Peirce at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site to learn how to become a Junior Ranger. The National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program allows kids to learn about their National Parks while completing fun activities.

Once the kids are officially Junior Rangers, walk down Derby Street until you reach the House of the Seven Gables on your right. Most known for its connections to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his novel named after the mansion, the House of the Seven Gables also has an expansive maritime history. The whole family can learn about the Gables’ fascinating stories by participating in the Family Navigation Game and by visiting Kids’ Cove at the Counting House.

Continue walking down Derby Street in the same direction, until you see Blaney Street on your right. Follow the sidewalk to the Salem Ferry landing, and take a tour aboard Sea Shuttle’s catamaran Endeavor. Sea Shuttle features a water tour and an onboard touch-tank, allowing you to interact with live sea creatures during your trip around the harbor.

 

 

Following your cruise, pick up the Salem Trolley, and take it back up to the Salem Regional Visitor Center. (The Salem Trolley features a one-hour tour, and you can hop on and off throughout the day). From the Visitor Center, walk down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall on your way to lunch. Cross Washington Street and walk past the statue of Samantha from Bewitched (or stop to take a selfie with Samantha!). Stop for lunch at Flying Saucer Pizza Company, which features fresh and locally grown ingredients and offers a variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, as well as craft beers for the grown-ups in the family.

 

 

After lunch, cross the street returning to the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall in time for a performance of Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop. This live performance begins on Essex Street with the arrest of Bridget Bishop, followed by a reenactment of her trial, where the audience is able to interact with the actors and determine their own outcome for the case. Once you’ve played your part in history, continue back down Essex Street towards the Visitor Center to pick up the trolley.

Hop off the trolley at the Salem Willows, and enjoy spending time in the arcade, kiddie land rides and carousel, or on one of the two beaches. (Be sure to keep track of the time, as the last trolley pickup will be at 4:25 pm).

Return to the Salem Regional Visitor Center via the trolley and do some last minute shopping along Essex Street. Pick up hats, t-shirts, and other souvenirs for the whole family (and maybe the pets you have waiting at home), at Witch Tee’s, Trolley Depot, or Coon’s Card & Gift Shop/Penelope’s Pet Boutique. No summer day-trip is complete without ice cream, so grab a cup or a cone from Maria’s Sweet Somethings before heading back to the car.

Shop for “Christmas in July” in Salem

Partridge in a Bear Tree

Feeling festive knowing that Christmas is just five months away? The summer months are a wonderful time to take advantage of Salem’s maritime attractions and enjoy the outdoors with the warmer weather. Salem has also become a shopper’s paradise featuring a host of shops with everything from accessories and clothing, to witch shops, pet supplies, and even Christmas ornaments and gifts (many sold year-round!)

Located on Pickering Wharf, Partridge in a Bear Tree is celebrating their third year in Salem! The shop carries Christmas ornaments and figures like Jim Shore pieces, Snow Babies, Byers’ Choice Carolers, and other Christmas collectibles year-round. The shop is the perfect place to find themed ornaments for friends and family at home too, as they carry ornaments based on sports, hobbies, military, career, wedding/anniversary, and baby’s first Christmas. Seasonal decorations (that are also sold year-round) include nautical designs for the summer, and Halloween ornaments decoration and the Halloween village sets for the fall.

Trolley Depot

Other summery Christmas shopping opportunities can be found on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall at either Coon’s Card and Gift Shop/Penelope’s Pet Boutique or the Trolley Depot. A trip to Coon’s will lead you to a collection of Salem-themed pewter ornaments, the perfect souvenirs for remembering your trip to the Witch City. Additional pewter ornaments may be found just down the street at Trolley Depot, which also stocks Halloween-themed ornaments as well as glass ornaments crafted by Old World Christmas Company.

The House of the Seven Gables

 

If you’re looking for a souvenir to remember some of your favorite Salem attractions, be sure to visit the gift shops at the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables. Shop the Salem Witch Museum for detailed gold and ceramic witch-themed ornaments, as well as pieces with the museum logo, or shop the House of the Seven Gables for ceramic and silver ornaments depicting the site’s historic buildings. Forgot to purchase these ornaments during your trip? Both the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables have online shops.

For the artists and art lovers in your life, visit the shop at the Peabody Essex Museum. The shop features an array of enameled butterfly and hummingbird ornaments year-round both in the museum and online.

 

Peabody Essex Museum

Salem Witch Museum

For even more ornaments, visit Waite and Peirce, where all purchases (including ornaments!) will help to support the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. And don’t leave Salem without an ornament to remember your stay at the Salem Waterfront Hotel (or the hotel’s Regatta Pub), as the hotel’s ornaments are available for purchase year-round.

Planning a trip to Salem for the holidays? Salem Holiday Happenings begin November 25 and run through January 1. Check the calendar for holiday events during your next visit, like Christmas in Salem and the Launch! New Year’s Eve events.

 

See Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at the North Shore Music Theatre

The North Shore Music Theatre is currently presenting its production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with matinee and evening performances through July 30. With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, the story of Beauty and the Beast has captivated audiences around the world through both the film and live theatre productions.

A night out for the whole family, Beauty and the Beast offers musical numbers you know and love including Beauty and the Beast, Gaston, and Human Again, along with the fan-favorite song and dance routine of Be Our Guest. You’re sure to find yourself singing along as Lumiere serves the “grey stuff” while an entire dining room of twirling napkins, silverware kick-lines, and champagne dancers make their way around the stage. Gaston and LeFou, and the Silly Girls will have you laughing throughout the entire performance, while Mrs. Potts sets the scene for Belle and the Beast’s dance in the ballroom, featuring exquisite costuming details as Belle’s dress glitters around the stage. Perfect for a family outing or a date night, Beauty and the Beast will continue to thrill audiences through July 30.

Rose Hemingway (Belle) with Tyler Roberts (Fork) and Justin Ronald Mock (Spoon) in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST running thru July 30. Photos © Paul Lyden

In celebration of Beauty and the Beast the theatre concessions offer the Enchanted Rose specialty cocktail made with Ilauri Spumante Brut Rose Wine, Monin Rose Syrup, and club soda, available prior to each performance and during intermission. For family-friendly themed dining, visit the theatre on select days to enjoy a meal at the Backstage Bistro with characters from the story like Belle, and the Beast or Gaston. Reservations are required for character dining, and may be made by calling 978-232-7200.

The North Shore Music Theatre’s production is directed by Michael Heitzman (Shrek and Disney’s The Little Mermaid) and features a standout cast of characters including: Belle, played by Rose Hemingway (Sophie, Mamma Mia and Lauren, Kinky Boots), the Beast, played by Stephen Cerf (Jersey Boys, Motown the Musical, Spamalot), Gaston, played by Taylor Crousore (Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Harold Hill, The Music Man), Lumiere, played by Benjamin Howes (Shrek the Musical and Disney’s Mary Poppins), Cogsworth, played by Phillip Taratula (Tink! and Two Gentlemen of Verona), and Mrs. Potts, played by Christiane Noll (Elf, Chaplin, and Ragtime). Complete casting information is available at NSMT.org.

Taylor Crousore (Gaston) and the cast of North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST running thru July 30. Photos © Paul Lyden

Future Productions

For a later trip to Salem, be sure to check out the coming productions at the North Shore Music Theatre. Later this summer the theatre hosts a production of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, which will run August 15 – 27. For a fall visit, catch a performance of Evita, from September 26 – October 8, and follow your Halloween celebrations with a night out at 42nd Street, October 31 – November 12.

If you’re planning a winter visit to Salem, don’t miss the North Shore Music Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol featuring David Coffee (Maurice in Beauty and the Beast) as he continues his tradition of taking on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. The theatre also offers concerts and special children’s programming through the rest of the 2017 season, with a full list of performances available at NSMT.org.

Stephen Cerf as Beast in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST running thru July 30. Photos © Paul Lyden

About the North Shore Music Theatre

Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts is located just five miles north of Salem. The theatre has held a distinction as one of the most attended theatres in New England since its opening production of Kiss Me, Kate in 1955. Since then, the theatre has been the recipient of numerous awards and multiple Independent Reviewers of New England and Best of the North Shore awards, and it continues this legacy today with annual performances of musicals, concerts, children’s productions, and A Christmas Carol.

Directions from Salem

The theatre is located at 62 Dunham Road in Beverly, MA and is best accessed from Salem by car or taxi. Coming from Route 128 North, take Exit 19 for Sohier Road/Brimbal Ave, and follow the signs for Beverly. At the first traffic circle, take the second exit toward Sohier Road. Continue to the second traffic circle, and take the second exit toward Brimbal Ave, then turn right onto Dunham Road and follow the signs for the theatre. Preferred parking ($10) and complimentary parking are available.

Summertime Day-Trip Itinerary to Salem from Boston

Looking for day-trip ideas from Boston? Salem is located just 16 miles north of the city, making it a convenient and memorable day-trip to take while visiting Boston.

During the season (May 20 – October 31) the Salem Ferry can travel from Boston’s Long Wharf to Blaney Street in Salem in just under one hour. To make the most of a day-trip to Salem, plan on taking the 9:30 am ferry, and arriving in Salem just before 10:30 am. Tickets may be purchased online in advance of your trip, and rates and schedules are available at SalemFerry.com.

 

 

Purchase your ferry tickets online, and you will also have the option of selecting a combination ticket for the Salem Ferry and the Salem Trolley. With your trolley ticket, you will be able to pick up the trolley from the stop located by the Salem Ferry landing and take in an overview of Salem’s history in a one-hour trolley tour (with the option to hop on and off as you like).

Ride through a couple of stops on the trolley, and hop off at the Peabody Essex Museum. One of the fastest-growing art museums in the country, the Peabody Essex Museum offers a large collection of Asian and maritime art along with historical house tours, including the 200 year old Yin Yu Tang house which was moved to the museum from China. Admission rates for the museum and a calendar of events may be viewed prior to your visit at PEM.org.

 

 

Once you have your fill of art for the day, hop back on the trolley and go one stop to the Witch Dungeon Museum. At the museum, learn about the tragic events that unfolded in 1692 through an award-winning reenactment of one of the trials followed by a guided tour of the dungeon. Thinking about spending more time in Salem? Consider purchasing a combination pass for the Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and New England Pirate Museum if your day trip turns into an overnight stay.

Ready for lunch? Hop back on the trolley to continue the tour, and hop off on Pickering Wharf. Walk around the corner of the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites and enjoy lunch near the waterfront at the hotel’s Regatta Pub. The Regatta Pub offers a relaxed atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating available to enjoy lunch by the water.

 

 

After lunch, pick up the trolley on Pickering Wharf and continue the last couple of stops along the tour before hopping off once more on Blaney Street. From here, spend the afternoon aboard Sea Shuttle’s catamaran Endeavor while learning about various sea creatures in an onboard aquarium and taking in beautiful views of Salem Harbor and Misery Island.

With some time to spare before returning to Boston for the evening, take the trolley back towards the downtown area and hop off at the Salem Regional Visitor Center. A short walk up St. Peter’s Street will bring you to Bit Bar, where you can enjoy retro-gaming inspired cocktails while showing off your skills on classic arcade games from the 80s and 90s.

 

 

The last two departures for the Salem Ferry from Blaney Street are 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Keep your eye on the time while playing at Bit Bar and be sure to get back to the Ferry Landing in time to make your return trip to Boston. Looking to catch the 7:00 pm ferry but worried about getting there with the trolley tour ending at 5? Walk to the nearest Zagster bike station and take a scenic ride back down to Blaney Street to meet the ferry.

Salem.org