April Vacation is a Perfect Time to Visit Salem!

Come for the Witch Trials of 1692, maritime trade, and The Scarlet Letter. Stay for the culture, art, restaurants, shopping, and New England experience!  Here are a few ideas for how to spend a day or an overnight in Salem this month.

These Walls Do Talk at The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
On view through 2018
Learn the science and history about how we know what we know about the 350-year-old Turner-Ingersoll Mansion including analysis of paint, wallpaper, and architecture and primary source documents such as deeds and drawings. Learn more

Living History Labs
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
April 14-22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Try your hand at history! The Living History Lab hands-on history program at The House of the Seven Gables allows the young and young-at-heart to learn about history through a unique set of experiments. Learn more

April Vacation Poetry Workshop for Kids
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
April 14-22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Join the Witch City Writers to dissect Hawthorne’s poem “The Ocean” and learn a bit about how to write a poem. Get inspired by the view of Salem Harbor from the House of the Seven Gables and then try your best to come up with a tongue-twisting, ocean-themed poem of your own. Learn more

Old School Cool: April School Vacation Week at the PEM
Peabody Essex Museum | 866-745-1876
April 17-19, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Power down your digital devices and join us for hands-on art making, demonstrations, and storytelling that explore “old-school” techniques. From analog film photography to handwritten letters, discover time-honored ways to express your creativity. Learn more

LEGO Lighthouse “Make & Take”
Salem Regional Visitor Center | 978-740-1650
April 18, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Build a lighthouse at the Salem Regional Visitor Center! Only those who wish to “make & take” are required to register. We will also be providing instructions on how to build other beloved Salem lighthouses, including Bakers Island Lighthouse and Fort Pickering Lighthouse. Come celebrate the maritime heritage of Salem through the art of LEGO building! Learn more

Brain Building in Progress Family Event
St. Joseph Hall | 978-740-1650
April 19, 9:30 am-11:30 am
A morning of movement, music, crafts, story time, and Junior Ranger activities lead by variety of community partners. Take part in our free activities that are creative and educational to celebrate Brain Building in Progress Week (BBIP). The family event ends with the swearing in of all our new Junior Rangers! This event is free and open to families with children through age 8. Learn more

Make it an overnight:

Family suites at the Salem Inn.

The Salem Inn Family Fun Package | Learn more

  • Two-night stay in a Family Suite
  • Family passes to the Salem Witch Museum
  • Family passes to the House of the Seven Gables
  • $20 gift card to Flying Saucer Pizza
  • Complimentary breakfast buffet
  • Package price is $490 plus tax. 2 adults, 2 children

Museums Celebrate Women’s History Day

The House of the Seven Gables joins the City of Salem in celebrating the notable roles women have played in the region’s history. Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll proclaimed March 25, 2018, Salem Women’s History Day. Special programs will be held at The House of the Seven Gables, the Phillips House Museum and the Witch House.


Women's History Day

The House of the Seven Gables, the Phillips House Museum, and the Witch House celebrate Women’s History Month on March 25. This portrait was taken in Salem in 1904 in the North End.

The House of the Seven Gables

Events at The Gables include two special house tours and two lectures, each taking up aspects of women’s roles in historic preservation. The Gables’ events are scheduled for Sunday, March 25, from 12 to 3 p.m. Programs are free for members and Salem residents. A fee of $15 grants nonmembers access to one of the special house tours and admission to both lectures. Space is limited for all events.

12 to 12:45 P.M. — HOUSE TOUR
A special tour of The Gables focuses on some of the more significant ways women have influenced the history of the region and this National Historic Landmark property.

1 to 1:45 P.M. — LECTURE
My Patriotic Duty — Women and the Preservation of Old South Meeting House, Boston
The public reacted with outrage when Boston’s iconic Old South Meeting House was threatened with demolition in 1876. A group of Boston-area women, led by philanthropist Mary Hemenway, became the driving force behind the building’s successful preservation. The “20 women of Boston,” as this group came to be known, organized fundraisers to secure a mortgage and ensure the building’s preservation and security. Among the women involved with preservation in the 1870s to the 1880s were author Louisa May Alcott and Mary Tyler, who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Erica Lindamood, director of education at Old South Meeting House, will share highlights from this colorful historic preservation success story. She will address Hemenway’s claim that advocacy for the building was her patriotic duty in light of 19th-century politics and social history.

2 to 2:45 P.M. — LECTURE
The Tireless Traditionalist: Mary Harrod Northend and Old Salem, 1904 – 1926.
Donna Seger, Ph.D., chair of the History Department at Salem State University and author of the Streets of Salem blog, presents a fascinating lecture about one of Salem’s most entrepreneurial representatives of the Colonial Revival movement. Salem-born author Mary Harrod Northend (1850 – 1926) wrote 11 books and scores of magazine articles between 1904 and her untimely death in 1926. She advanced an earnest, idealistic vision of New England and “Old Salem” that still serves as a reference point for style and historic depictions of the region’s culture.

3 to 3:45 P.M. — HOUSE TOUR
A special tour of The Gables focuses on some of the more significant ways women have influenced the history of the region and this National Historic Landmark property.

Phillips House Museum

The Phillips House staff will lead special guided tours that explore the role of women through the years at the 34 Chestnut St. museum. Tours begin on the half-hour and run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The last tour begins at 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for the public; free for Salem residents and Historic New England members.

Witch House

The Witch House presents an exhibition on Anne Bradstreet, America’s first published poet. Bradstreet sailed into Salem with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630. The public is invited to view the exhibition and tour the Witch House at 310½ Essex St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours are $10.25 and self-guided tours are $8.25. The exhibition and tours are free for Salem residents.

About The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association

The mission of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is to preserve The Gables’ National Historic Landmark and leverage its power as an icon of American culture to engage diverse audiences and provide educational opportunities for the local immigrant community. For more information visit www.7gables.org.

In 2018, The House of the Seven Gables celebrates a singular milestone. Built 350 years ago, it is still a place where stories are made. Ever the provider of shelter and support, The House of the Seven Gables inspires us as it once inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne. Where sea captains once found their footing, immigrants become citizens, visitors explore period rooms, historians pore over archives, children frolic in the gardens, and authors find inspiration. Celebrate this milestone with us and make your own stories at The House of the Seven Gables.

Event on Facebook:

Event on Gables’ website:

2018 Salem Spring Restaurant Week

Salem’s Spring Restaurant Week runs Sunday, March 18-Thursday, March 22, and Sunday, March 25-Thursday, March 29. Dine at participating restaurants and order off specially priced pre-fixe menus with either two courses for $20 or three courses for $30. (Menu prices are per person and exclude beverages, tax, and gratuity.)

2018 is the 12th year for Salem Restaurant Week, and the Salem Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to feature 20 restaurants including Adriatic Restaurant & Bar, Beerworks No. 2 Salem, Bella Verona, BonChon, Finz Seafood & Grill, Firenze Trattoria, Jami’s Kitchen, Ledger Restaurant & Bar, Life Alive, Longboards Restaurant & Bar, Nat’s Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel, Opus, Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Rockafellas, Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen, Thai Place, and Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall.

“I enjoy restaurant week and so does my team,” states Serie Keezer, Executive Chef/Culinary Director of Finz Seafood & Grill and Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen. “We use it as a great way to try out new, exciting dishes for our upcoming spring menu. We appreciate learning what dishes our guests enjoy and love getting their feedback. Restaurant Week is one of my favorite times of the year.”

For more information and to view individual restaurant pricing and menus visit Salem-Chamber.org. Reservations are strongly encouraged, mention “Restaurant Week” when making reservations.

Irish History in Salem, MA

To learn about Irish history in Salem, Massachusetts, visit the Phillips House for The Irish Experience on March 17.

During the early 20th century, the Phillips family employed a number of Irish servants at their home on Chestnut Street. Like many servants at the time, most of the servants the Phillipses hired were young, white, single females who were either immigrants themselves or first generation Americans.

By 1919, the Phillips House servant quarters were home to three Irish women and a couple of Irish men. The women lived in the servants’ quarters, located on the third floor of the family’s home, while the men lived off the property often with their own wives and families.

The women often took on roles within the home, sometimes caring for children as was the case for Catherine Shaughnessy who was a nursemaid to Stephen Phillips. As Stephen eventually moved out of the home to attend boarding school, Catherine, or “Catty,” continued to work for the Phillips family for 52 years as an assistant and maid.

Men at the Phillips House performed roles outside the home, as was the case for Patrick O’Hara who served as the family’s chauffeur. Patrick was responsible for not only driving the Phillips’ family vehicle but also for its care and upkeep.

In addition to special events like The Irish Experience, guests may tour the Phillips House between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday beginning May 1 and running through October 31. Tours begin every half hour with the last tour at 4:00 pm.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with live music, traditional corned beef dinners, and more throughout downtown Salem this Saturday, March 17. Click here to view a complete list of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day events.


“T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America” at the Peabody Essex Museum

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America at the Peabody Essex Museum celebrates the life and work of one of the most influential Native American artists with 90 works including paintings, music, and poetry. Cannon’s work ties his heritage and personal experiences with the ongoing questions of ethnic identity, social justice, land rights, and cultural appropriation which continue to be relevant in today’s society.

Viewers can understand Cannon’s personal life as a Vietnam War veteran who created the majority of his work in the late 1960s-early 1970s through his inclusion of both Native and non-Native design elements. The exhibit features paintings that draw inspiration from artists like Van Gogh and Matisse, while still including traditional Native designs giving another layer to Cannon’s artistic identity.

Cannon’s written and musical works are displayed alongside his paintings to enhance our understanding of his art. The exhibition also features music by Samantha Crain, a Choctaw alt-folk musician who was commissioned by the Peabody Essex Museum to write and perform a song based on one of Cannon’s most influential pieces. While encountering Epochs in Plains History: Mother Earth, Father Sun, The Children Themselves (1976-77) viewers can take in Crain’s admiration of Cannon with audio tracks and a video display of her work.

T.C. Cannon (1946-1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Abbi of Bacabi, 1978. Oil on canvas. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. © 2017 Estate of T.C. Cannon.

Cannon provided a voice for Native people during a time when land removals and a turbulent political climate threatened their identities. With influences ranging from his experiences as a paratrooper during the Tet Offensive to his determination to change the way Native culture was viewed by non-Native people, Cannon ultimately succeeds in creating a foundation for other artists and marginalized groups during his time and through the present.

His contributions to the art community during his lifetime led to a feature exhibition at The Natural Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum). Following this exhibition’s success, the collection began a worldwide tour with stops in Berlin, Belgrade, Istanbul, Madrid, and London. In addition to the 50 paintings he completed, he sketched regularly and wrote music and poetry before his tragic death in a car accident in 1978.

T.C. Cannon (1946-1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Epochs in Plains History: Mother Earth, Father Sun, the Children Themselves, 1976-77. Oil on canvas, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Seatle, Washington. © 2017 Estate of T.C. Cannon. Photo by Gary Hawkey/iocolor.

Cannon’s artwork is becoming increasingly important for museums and galleries in today’s society as we are moving towards a more expansive and inclusive view of American art. Following its run at the Peabody Essex Museum, T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America will begin the first national tour of Cannon’s work since 1990.

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America is on view March 3 through June 10, 2018.

Salem-Zagster Relaunches for the Season

Salem-Zagster has relaunched for the 2018 season! Zagster is Salem’s bike-share program that provides on-demand bikes to Salem residents and visitors as a way to get around town. Last year Zagster recorded 2,480 total rides from 1,153 riders throughout downtown Salem, 60% of which were visiting from out of town.

Riders can take advantage of the 10 bike stations with downtown locations at the MBTA Commuter Rail Station, Federal Street, Front Street, and Hawthorne Boulevard. Additional stations can be found at Congress Street, Appleton Street, the Salem Ferry terminal, the Salem Willows, and Salem State University.

Zagster functions with a user-friendly mobile app (available for iPhone and Android) or online at Zagster.com/Salem. Simply use the app to unlock a bike at the station of your choice and enjoy the ride. The bikes come with built-in locks, so you are not required to lock them back up at a station until you are completely finished.

The program features 50 Zagster 8 bikes, which are renowned for their easy handling, comfort, and practicality to fit the needs of a range of riders. They all come with safety features like automatic lights, bells, and reflectors. Remember that riders must be 18 years or older, and it is important to obey traffic laws, wear a helmet, and be a safe rider.

Learn more about riding with Zagster around Salem at Zagster.com/Salem.