Salem Haunted Happenings for Kids

Finding kid-friendly activities during Haunted Happenings doesn’t need to be a nightmare—with carnivals, harbor cruises, story-times, and of course trick or treating, there are plenty of fun things to do with kids this October!


For classic midway rides and games, bring the whole family down to the Derby Street Carnival! With family rides, kiddie rides, and thrill rides, and midway games of skill and luck, the carnival has something for everyone. This carnival takes place throughout the month of October, see our event calendar for the full listing of dates. There is no admission fee to visit the carnival, however tickets must be purchased for rides. Single tickets are $1.50 each, and 20 tickets may be purchased for $25. Rides generally take between 3 and 5 tickets.

The SCNA Kids Carnival, which takes place select days in October on the Common, is a special carnival just for kids and families! Sponsored by the Salem Common Neighborhood Association, this event features family and kiddie rides, along with photo ops, Halloween treats, special children’s activities and more! For the full listing of carnival dates, see our event calendar.


Witches & Wizards
salem-ma_professor-wundersSundays in October, the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre is visited by Professor Wunder, a friendly wizard who brings his school of magic to children and families visiting Salem. Professor Wunder’s School of Magic is a live, interactive stage show that allows kids to experience the magic of Salem without the scares. Tickets for the show are $10 for guests ages 5 and up, and free for children under 5, and the museum suggests purchasing them in advance on the Gallows Hill website.

Weekends in October, Artemisia Botanicals and the Witches Education League host Ask a Witch & Make a Wand. For a $1 donation to charity, guests of all ages can craft their own wands and ask questions to practicing witches to learn more about modern witchcraft in Salem.

On October 29th, Magic 106.7 hosts a movie night at 6:00 pm on the Common featuring “Hocus Pocus.” To make the most out of this family-friendly classic movie experience, be sure to arrive early as other entertainment will be available on the Common starting at 2:00 pm.

Life Alive is hosting a spooky story-time with a Witch theme on October 25, at 4:00 pm. Costumes are encouraged and hot chocolate will be available in addition to Live Alive’s full menu during this event.


On the Water
salem-ma_mahi-haunted-happenings-cruiseIf you’re looking to take to the water with the kids, be sure to check out Mahi Mahi’s Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise. This cruise is filled to the brim with family-friendly fun including story-telling, Halloween party music, complimentary tarot card readings, photo ops, and a full bar for the adults and face-painting for the kids. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids ages 3-12. Tickets may be purchased in advance on Mahi Mahi’s website.

Sea Shuttle also offers a seasonal water tour on select days this October. This experience includes a tour of the Salem Sound coastal areas aboard the 45′ catamaran Endeavor. Snacks and beverages may be purchased aboard, and tickets ($25 for adults, and $18 for kids) may be purchased in advanced through Sea Shuttle’s website.

A more historical maritime experience can be had aboard the Schooner Fame, a replica of an 1812 privateering ship. Sailing right out of Pickering Wharf, the Schooner Fame experience allows guests to see islands, forts, and lighthouse, aboard the historically accurate replica. Tickets ($35 for adults and $15 for kids) may be purchased at


For the Whole Family
salem-ma_ghostbustedLooking for the ultimate Halloween dinner experience? Check out Haunted Dinner Theater’s latest production, “Ghostbusted!” This interactive crime solving dinner show features audience participation, family-friendly entertainment, and a glimpse into Salem’s history. An all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet covers the dinner portion of the show, which takes place at alternating locations (Finz Seafood and Grill, and the Hawthorne Hotel). For the complete schedule of dates and to purchase tickets ($59.95 for adults, and $39.95 for kids ages 8-12) visit the Haunted Dinner Theater’s website.

Another way to get the family together during this year’s Haunted Happenings is to head to Salem Common for a vintage baseball game, which is free to attend. Following 1864 rules, the Providence Grays will be taking on the Brooklyn Atlantics on October 22, at 11:00 am.


Trick or Treating
Spooky Treats, hosted by the Salem Waterfront Hotel, is a grab and go trick or treating event for the whole family. Put on a costume and stop by the hotel on October 22 between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm, and October 23 between 11:30 am and 5:00 pm for some early trick or treating!

The shops on Pickering Wharf will host “Trick or Treat on the Wharf” on October 23 between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. This annual event allows kids and families to get some trick or treating in during their visit to Salem while visiting the merchants on the waterfront.

On Halloween the Phillips House Museum will host Tricks, Treats, and Treasures! This event not only includes trick or treating and other interactive activities, but kids can pirates and take part in sea shanties! This free event takes place from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

21+ Salem Haunted Happenings

With live music, Halloween balls, and a local cidery, distillery, and brewery in town, Salem has a lot to offer the 21+ crowd this October. Read on to discover some of this year’s Haunted Happenings 21+ events, or start planning now for next year!

Live Performances
Looking to kick back with some live music this October? A number of restaurants and bars around Salem offer live music on most weekend evenings. Gulu-Gulu Café, located at 247 Essex Street, hosts local musical acts and supports Salem artists while serving up a wide selection of hard to find craft beer. At Gulu-Gulu the entertainment isn’t limited to weekends either as Wednesdays are open mic nights!

Just around thesalemma_far-from-the-tree-9 corner from Gulu-Gulu on Washington Street are Opus Underground and Koto Japanese Sushi and Grill. Opus Underground, at 87 Washington Street, features karaoke on Tuesdays, live music on Thursdays, Friday night dance parties, and cover bands on Saturdays. Across the street at 90 Washington Street, Koto will be kicking off Halloween night with live music by dark wave synth pop band, Esoterik and rockabilly band, Whiskey Hill.

For a more relaxed live music scene, check out the acoustic music series at Far From the Tree Cider at 108 Jackson Street. Fall Saturday nights are well spent sipping on locally made cider with acoustic sounds from bands like Big Buildings, Rule of 3, and more. Can’t make it on a Saturday? Far From the Tree has other special events planned for other days of the week including cider talks, new cider releases, trivia nights, and family-friendly cornhole tournaments!

During this year’s Haunted Happenings festivities, Salem State University’s theatre department is showcasing a production of “Master and Margarita, or The Devil Comes to Moscow,” which is intended for mature audiences only. The ninety-minute performance focuses on Mikhail Bulgakov’s surrealistic satire of Stalinist oppression using elements like puppetry, magic, live music, and a masquerade ball. Tickets are $10-15 and may be purchased through Salem State’s website.


On the Watersalem-ma_mahi-boos-cruise
Mahi Mahi’s Boo’s Cruise sets sail out of the Pickering Wharf Marine select weekend nights during Haunted Happenings! Grab a costume and hop aboard for a party on the water featuring a full bar, DJ, and fresh eats from the grill, along with hot beverages including Mahi’s famous Grandma’s Spiked Cider. Tickets for the cruise are $20, and we recommend purchasing them in advance through


By Trolley
The newest addition to Salem’s 21+ scene is the Salem Spirits Trolley, which includes information on Salem’s spice trade history along with stops at a local distillery, cidery, and brewery. This experience lasts for about three hours, allowing plenty of time to learn about the spices that are used to make these beverages, and of course for tastings. Tour partners include Deacon Giles Distillery, Far From the Tree Cider, and Notch Brewery. Tickets for the trolley are $40, and may be purchased in advance on


Samples & Tastings
For another way to try new and unique drinks this October, head to Sea Level Oyster Bar on Pickering Wharf. This waterfront restaurant and bar is offering a Seven Deadly Sins tasting menu, with food and drinks inspired by pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.

For a weeknight excursion into Pickering Wharf, stop by the Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel. Each week, the pub hosts Wicked Wine Down Wednesdays, where a new selection of “wickedly spooky” wines will be available in the pub.

For samples in a more theatrical setting, plan on attending Tales and Ales at the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre. This presentation includes chilling stories of ghosts and madness recounted by Arthur Hennessey in a dark and eerie theatre. Arrive early for samples of 3 different local ales prior to the performance! Tickets are $24 and may be purchased in advance through


Festivals & Beer Gar2015-10-31-19-34-28dens
For the largest festival on the North Shore celebrating wine, mead, craft beer, and cider, head over to Salem’s 10th Annual Harvest Fest! Event takes place Saturday, October 22 at the Knights of Columbus just off the Common (94 Washington Street) and features product samples, complimentary snacks, live music, and a souvenir Harvest Fest glass for each ticket holder. Tickets to Harvest Fest are $30 when purchased in advance through or $35 at the door.

On Halloween night, Radio 92.9 sponsors a beer garden and music at the intersection of Federal Street and Washington Street. Stop by between 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm to surround yourself with the action of Halloween in Salem while enjoying a festive beer garden.


Halloween Balls, Proms, and Parties!
For the ultimate 21+ Halloween event, start planning early and purchase advance tickets to one of the many balls hosted in Salem during Haunted Happenings. Rockafellas, located 231 Essex Street, is having 3 different themed balls during the month of October: a Voodoo Ball on October 22, a Super Hero Ball on October 28, and a Heaven and Hell Ball on October 29. Advanced tickets may be purchased through and are selling out quick!

A different kind of Halloween party is taking place on October 22 at Victoria Station in Pickering Wharf. If you’d prefer to show off your best zombie formalwear don’t miss the 8th Annual Zombie Prom! Like any respectable prom, this event includes photos upon arrival, giveaways and prizes, live music by DANDREW, and the crowning of Prom King and Queen!

Festival of the Dead hosts the annual Official Witches Ball, with this year’s theme being Over the Rainbow: the Magical World of Oz! The event includes a magical evening complete with a laser light show, DJ, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar complimentary psychic readings, photo room, live performances by Dragon Ritual Drummers and Hadiya, prizes for best costumes, and more! Tickets are $150, and may be purchased in advance at

Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Party, photo credit: Patrick CornelissenThe Hawthorne Hotel, located right on the Common hosts their very popular annual Halloween Party, this year themed towards the Seven Deadly Sins. This 26th annual celebration may be sold out for this year, but it’s never too early to start planning your next trip to Salem during Haunted Happenings! Each year this party takes over three floors of the hotel with live music, DJs, dancing, psychics, food stations, and a costume contest with cash prizes. Packages for stays at the hotel and tickets to next year’s party go on sale in November at

No Car, No Problem: Getting Around Salem, MA

No car, no problem, we’ve got you covered! Coming from North Station in Boston, the MBTA Commuter Rail will take you right in the heart of Downtown Salem. Take the train to also visit other great North of Boston destinations like Rockport on the line. Enjoy a ride on the water from Boston’s Long Wharf to Salem with the Salem Ferry. Salem is a walkable city, but for those who enjoy bike riding, Salem Spins offers a hub downtown by the Hawthorne Hotel where you can rent a bike for free!

Salem Ferry, Salem, MA, Kate Fox

MBTA Commuter Rail
Coming from Boston, Salem is a short ride away from North Station via the Commuter Rail. Additionally, the Commuter Rail connects Salem to excellent cities north of Boston, like Rockport and Gloucester. Fares and schedules vary according to the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), and the most up to date schedules may be found on the MBTA website, Once in Salem, the Commuter Rail Station is located right downtown, within walking distance to many shops, restaurants, accommodations, and attractions.

Salem Ferry
Another way to reach Salem from Boston is to hop aboard the Salem Ferry. In just under an hour, the ferry can take passengers between Salem and Boston, while offering scenic views of both cities. The ferry, Nathaniel Bowditch is equipped with enclosed and open air seating, tables, and restrooms, making the trip a quick and comfortable one. The ferry departs from Long Wharf in Boston, and docks in Salem at Blaney Street, both of which are within walking distance to many local attractions. The ferry runs seasonally and rates very so be sure to check out the Salem Ferry website, before planning a trip.

Walking Distances
Once in Salem, you’ll be pleased to find that most everything you’d want to do is within walking distance. Many Salem attractions are located within about a 20 minute walking distance from each other at the farthest points. A map of downtown Salem may be viewed at and may also be found in the Salem Visitor Guide.

Salem, MA Essex Street

Salem Spins
Another great way to see Salem is with Salem Spins, a free bike-sharing program provided by the City of Salem in partnership with Salem State University. To access a bike rental, visit the front desk of the Hawthorne Hotel or the Salem State Campus Police Station.

Driving to Salem?
If you are planning on driving into Salem, we recommend leaving the car parked for most of your visit. As such a walkable city, it will be easier to leave the car parked and walk or take the Salem Trolley to your destinations throughout your trip. For more information on parking and directions into Salem by car, please visit:

Lighthouses in Salem, MA

With Haunted Happenings right around the corner, it might be difficult to think of Salem for anything besides our favorite Halloween celebration. Even with the summer months behind us, Salem can be a great place to see lighthouses, which have served the town since the 17th century in helping ships safely access the harbor. The weather might be cooling down, but there is still time to see some of these amazing sites:

Derby Light, Salem, MA, Brittany DiCologero

Derby Wharf Light Station
The Derby Wharf Light Station, located at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, is rather unique with its square shape and short stature. This lighthouse measures only 12 x 12 feet, and the top of the cupola reaches about 20 feet off the ground. This station was built in 1871 to assist merchant ships entering Salem Harbor. Where most lighthouses traditionally have live-in caretakers, the Derby Wharf Light Station’s caretakers were able to live wherever they pleased in Salem due to its close proximity and easy access from the town. Astonishingly, there have only been six caretakers throughout the entire history of the station!

The National Park Service gained ownership of the lighthouse in 1977, and began a restoration project on the site that would not be completed until 1989. During the refurbishment, the lighthouse was painted white (a change from its original red coloring) and a solar powered light which flashes every 6 seconds was installed. While the interior of the station is not open to the public, the exterior is fully accessible and is a beautiful walk on a nice day right down Derby Wharf.


Bakers Island Light
The Bakers Island Station, which is Massachusetts’ largest residential island north of Boston, dates back to Salem’s early days. Bakers Island itself became a part of Salem in 1660, and about 10 years later the entire island became home to tenant John Turner who you may be familiar with as the builder of The House of the Seven Gables. The island is also said to have been named for a man who was struck and killed by a falling tree, who also went by the name of “Baker.” If that bit of history isn’t gruesome enough, there was also a series of shipwrecks that took place nearby during the late 18th century, which suggests that the lighthouse was not as effective at the time as residents would have hoped.

The light station was established in 1791, with the current lighthouse we see today being built in 1820. In contrast from the Derby Wharf Light Station, Bakers Island does have a resident caretaker, who is typically the only person on the island during the winter months. While not open to the public, the Essex National Heritage Area runs boat trips to the island during the summer months. Without access to the island, this lighthouse is best seen from boat, about 3 miles East of Salem Harbor.


Winter Island Light (Fort Pickering Lighthouse)
Winter Island Light, or the Fort Pickering Lighthouse was established in 1871 as part of the joint effort with the Derby Wharf Light Station and Hospital Point Light Station in Beverly to safely direct ships into Salem harbor regardless of the times of day they were coming in. The lighthouse is adjacent to the Fort Pickering area, which was built as a defense fort in the mid-16th century, and had been used for this purpose until the Civil War. Now primarily used as a campsite and recreational area, guests are welcome to visit Winter Island Light, which is accessible at 50 Winter Island Road.

Hospital Point Lighthouse, Beverly
Hospital Point Lighthouse, named for a smallpox hospital once located on the site, was established in 1872 as the last lighthouse fulfilling the need for ships to have a clear sense of direction when coming into Salem Harbor. One of the most unique aspects of Hospital Point is that this lighthouse is one of only 5 total in Massachusetts that still uses its original Fresnel lens. Though the lighthouse itself is closed to the public, the best views may be seen from boat, the Salem Willows, or from Bayview Ave. in Beverly.

Marblehead Light, Marblehead
The station at Marblehead Light was first established in 1835, with the lighthouse we see today being constructed later in 1896. Marblehead Light is known for being one of only 14 pyramidal skeletal lighthouses in the United States, meaning that the structure itself is not enclosed, and is made entirely of metal. The lighthouse is located at Chandler Hovey Park, a 3.74 acre recreational area at the end of Follett Street that is open to the public. Without accessing the park, Marblehead Light is best seen by boat from the entrance to Marblehead Harbor.

Salem, MA to Host Its First Food Truck Festival


New England Open Markets will bring a cornucopia of food trucks to Salem Common to kick off the city’s annual Halloween celebrations with the first Salem Food Truck Festival. On October 1st and 2nd, 2016 from 11 AM to 6 PM over 25 food trucks from across New England will converge on historic Salem Common just in time for the kick-off of the month long 2016 Haunted Happenings Festival.

The City of Salem has partnered with New England Open Markets to expand the offerings in downtown Salem during this busy month-long celebration. Open Markets founder Chris Masci brings his festival/market expertise to Salem for another fantastic event that adds to the already successful roster of events that include Salem Open Market and Salem Holiday Market in Salem and many in South Boston including the highly successful Ink Block Market.

From Grilled Cheese to Poutine, from whoopie pies to cookies there is something on tap for everyone at the first food truck festival. Fan favorites Bon Me food truck, The Cookie Monstah, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and more will be bringing a food court like no other to the heart of the city. The two day festival will also include live music and local buskers.

For more information on Salem’s first food truck festival, visit New England Open Market’s website, or find the festival on Facebook.

“Hocus Pocus” Filming Locations in Salem, MA

hocus-pocusIt might be difficult to believe that Hocus Pocus, the famed cult classic starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy debuted 23 years ago, on July 16, 1993. You are probably familiar with the film’s story, which focuses on the Sanderson Sisters, who are executed as witches after casting a spell on young Thackery Binx, dooming him to roam the streets of Salem as an immortal black cat. 300 years later, a teenager named Max finds himself in the home of the Sanderson Sisters, where his lighting of the infamous black flame candle brings the trio back to life on Halloween night. Max, along with his sister Dani, and crush Allison, and Binx the cat of course, must then work together to put an end to the Sanderson Sisters once and for all.

Pioneer Village
310 West Ave |
The opening scenes of the film, featuring Binx as a human prior to his cursing as a cat, were filmed in Pioneer Village, a living history museum located at Salem’s Forest River Park. Pioneer Village was built in 1930, and is America’s first living history museum. Tours of the village are offered seasonally through September, and today the park is home to different events and festivals throughout the year.

Phillips Elementary School on Salem Common
The Phillips Elementary School building conveniently ended its run as a functioning school in 1992, making it the perfect location for a movie filming in Salem that required some exterior high school footage. While the building is not open to the public today the exterior can still be viewed from the Common.

The Ropes Mansion
318 Essex Street |
One of the most memorable scenes in the film was when Max attends the Halloween party at Allison’s house, the exterior of which was actually filmed using one of the most prominent 18th century homes in Salem. The gardens located behind the mansion are free to visit and open to the public.

Old Town Hall
161 Essex Street |
The other classic party scene in the film was actually filmed just a few blocks away at Old Town Hall in Derby Square. Famous in the film for Bette Midler’s rendition of “Put a Spell on You,” the building today is open to the public, and hosts the Salem Museum and performances of “Cry Innocent.”

Salem Common
Many of the outdoor scenes in the movie were filmed at Salem Common, where ironically enough the film is shown each year during Haunted Happenings. This year’s showing of Hocus Pocus on the Common will take place at 6 pm on October 29.

8 Ocean Avenue
This house on the end of Ocean Avenue was home to Max and his sister Dani in the film. While Hocus Pocus fans are welcome to view the exterior of the home from the street, please be advised that this site is private property.

Old Burial Hill
Orne Street, Marblehead, MA |
The day-time cemetery scenes showing Max interacting with his new, not-so-welcoming classmates actually were not filmed in Salem at all. This footage was shot in nearby Marblehead at Old Burial Hill, one of the oldest graveyards in New England.

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery
285 Derby Street |
While this museum was not featured in the filming for Hocus Pocus, it is home to an impressive figure of Winifred Sanderson, portrayed in the film by Bette Midler. Count Orlok’s is located at 285 Derby Street and is open as a museum and haunted house throughout October.

Do have a good time visiting some of the locations from this classic film, but please don’t “run amok!”

October at The House of the Seven Gables

Hanging judges, cursed colonels, haunted hallways:
Bring a friend and hang on!

Secret Staircase House of the Seven Gables Salem MA

The Secret Staircase

For those who like a little fact with their fright, a little history with their hi-jinx, head for The House of the Seven Gables in October where truth is always stranger than fiction. On select weekend nights, two original theatrical events are staged in The House of the Seven Gables and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace. Each performance lasts 35 minutes and they begin every 5 or 10 minutes between 8 and 10:30 p.m. (7 and 9 p.m. on October 31). Tickets for individual shows or combination tickets for both performances are available. During the day, tours tip gently toward the dark side as visitors brave the Secret Staircase and marvel at a way of life long since passed. Daytime hours at The Gables are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Theatrical performances

Legacy of the Hanging Judge
In 1692 the Salem Witch Trials wrought havoc on a small New England community. “Legacy of the Hanging Judge” replays the events in the words of those who lived through the harrowing times —and those who did not fare as well. The performances take place in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth house. Prepare to be interrogated by magistrate John Hathorne, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather, infamous for his role in the condemnation and deaths of accused witches. Encounter the tormented, the accused and their accusers in this interactive theatrical experience. Beware. You may find yourself accused of “writing in the devil’s book!”

October 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
October 31 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Performances begin every ten minutes in The Nathaniel Hawthorne birth house and last approximately 35 minutes. Last performance begins at closing. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit for information and tickets.

Spirits of the Gables
Guilt! Greed! Revenge! Step into the world of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “House of the Seven Gables.” Watch as his troubled characters haunt the mansion’s halls, entangled in a family curse. Matthew Maule condemns Colonel Pyncheon with words that become his fate — “God will give you blood to drink!” Creep through The Gables at your own risk, for as long as there is a Pyncheon descendant inside, legend has it, only darkness and death will fill its walls.

October 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
October 31 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Performances begin every five minutes in The House of the Seven Gables and last approximately 35 minutes. Last performance begins at closing. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit for information and tickets

Tickets for each of the plays is $15 or $28 for a combination ticket. The combination ticket is available for any two performances on the same evening. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit for information and tickets.

Photo Contest Pick of August

Congratulations to Logan Goodwin for winning our “Pick of the Month” for August!

Bakers Island Lighthouse. Photo credit: Logan Goodwin

Bakers Island Lighthouse. Photo credit: Logan Goodwin

Logan’s picture of Bakers Island Light makes us sad the summer season has ended.  If you are looking for an adventure, check in with Essex Heritage and add a boat ride to Bakers Island to your summer list!

Do you have a memorable shot of Salem? Submit it to our Photo Contest and you could win a wonderful prize!

Salem Spice Festival Returns to Pioneer Village September 10 & 11

Salem MA Spice Festival. Photo credit: Creative Salem

Come celebrate nearly four centuries of Salem’s history with spices, herbs and tea in America’s first living history museum, Pioneer Village: Salem 1630. There will be exhibits, recipes, crafts, talks, demonstrations, music, food, storytelling and activities for children.

Admission is free but a suggested donation of $5.00 to Pioneer Village will happily be accepted. Salem Trolley is providing shuttle service to Pioneer Village for $5.00 round trip on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th. For more information on the festival and for specific times and locations to catch the Salem Trolley please visit

2016 Vendor List
Artemisia Botanicals, Atlantic Saltworks, Bambolina, Black Cat Tours, Comida, Copper Treez, Coven’s Cottage, Derby Square Tours, Desert Rose, Ed and Sons Popcorn Wagon, Green Witch School of Herbalism, Hervor Soaps, IFarm, Kristin Jay, K’s Kitchen, Mama Kyries Magickal Curiosities, Monarch Gardner, Perceptive Charm, Red Biddy Skincare, Remember Salem, Salem Canvas, Salem Food Tours, Salem Spice, Salem Trolley, Starbucks, Wynott’s Wands, Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company, and more.

Pioneer Village: Salem 1630 was built in 1930 to mark the tercentennial of Massachusetts, Pioneer Village is America’s first living history museum. The village sits on three acres of land and contains various examples of colonial architecture: dugouts, wigwams, thatched roof cottages, and the Governor’s Faire House. Culinary and medicinal gardens and a blacksmith shop further interpret early 17th-century colonial life. Nestled between the woods and the ocean, Pioneer Village is a five minute drive from downtown in Salem’s Forest River Park at 98 West Avenue, Salem.

Salem Spice Festival
Saturday, September 10, 10am – 4pm
Sunday, September 11, 10am – 4pm
Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630, 98 West Avenue, Salem, MA
Admission: Free, with a suggested donation of $5

Salem MA Spice Festival 2016

Salem Haunted Happenings will hit a new note in 2016


Salem MA Haunted Happenings 2016

The 36th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings will feature a month of programs and events to suit Halloween enthusiasts of all ages.  The October program, which always includes a scary dose of theatrics, will be enhanced this year by live music, great food, and costumed pets.

Headlining the new events for 2016 is the Haunted Harmonies a cappella festival on October 8. High school and collegiate a cappella groups will converge in Salem for a day of performance and learning that will culminate with a professional showcase and performance by Vox One.  Also new this year is a Food Truck Festival on October 1st and 2nd on Salem Common, the Howl-o-Ween Parade for pets on October 2, and a Chowder Fest to benefit Breast Cancer Research on October 15.

The 2016 Haunted Happenings Grand Parade will step off on October 6 with a celebration of the National Park Centennial.  The theme this year is, “100 Years of Parks & Play.” Salem students from preschool through Salem State University will be led by Grand Marshall Paul DePrey, Superintendent of the Salem Maritime and Saugus National Historic Sites.

The Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings is now available from Destination Salem. Featuring a zombie theme, the publication includes a robust calendar of events, and articles about Halloween Night Safety & Sense, Salem’s Historic Burying Grounds, and Haunted Happenings “Do’s and Don’ts.”  The Guide also includes information on Salem’s attractions, tours, entertainment, shopping, parking and transportation. New this year is a section on “Grab and Go Eats,” which flushes out a robust list of dining options.

October weekends in Salem are always busy and visitors are encouraged to use public transportation. The Salem Ferry, operated by Boston Harbor Cruises, provides daily service between Salem’s Blaney Street and Boston’s Long Wharf North.  Salem is located five stops from Boston’s North Station on the Newburyport/Rockport lines of the Commuter Rail.  The MBTA runs expanded service to and from Salem on the final weekend of October and on Halloween, and sells a Special Event Ticket on Halloween Night.

For more information, visit


Happy Birthday to the National Park Service!

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem MA

As part of the 100th birthday celebration for the National Parks, Salem Maritime National Historic Site is having a number of special events!

Schedule of Special Events for August 25, 2016:

9:00 – 5:00: Photo Exhibition: Your Parks Through History. On view at the Salem Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, and various locations around Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby Street.

10:15 – 11:30: Ranger-Led Sail on Schooner Fame sponsored by Eastern National
Please call (978) 740-1650 or stop by the Salem Visitor Center to reserve your spot (25 spots – first-come, first-serve. Tickets available beginning at 9am on August 25).

11:00 – 11:30: Cake Cutting at the Visitor Center. Stop by to hear a few words from our Superintendent Paul DePrey and grab a slice of our birthday cake!

11:30 –4:30: Family Crafts at the Visitor Center. Learn how to write your name in Signal Flags!

12:45 – 2:00: Ranger-Led Sail on Schooner Fame. Please call (978) 740-1650 or stop by the Salem Visitor Center at to reserve your spot (25 spots – first-come, first-serve. Tickets available beginning at 9am on August 25). Sponsored by Eastern National.

2:30 – 3:45: Ranger-Led Sail on Schooner Fame. Please call (978) 740-1650 or stop by the Salem Visitor Center at to reserve your spot (25 spots – first-come, first-serve. Tickets available beginning at 9am on August 25). Sponsored by Eastern National.

Regularly Scheduled NPS Programming Includes:

  • Custom House Open for Visitation: 10am-4pm
  • Narbonne House Open for Visitation: 2pm-4pm
  • Derby House Tours: 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm
  • Where Past is Present, Free Film at the Visitor Center: 9:25am, 10:15am, 12:00pm, 4:00pm
  • To the Farthest Port of the Rich East, Free Film at the Visitor Center: 2:00pm

All events are free.

Join the celebration on Facebook!

High Fashion in Salem

Add “fashion photo shoot location” to the long, eclectic list of credits to Salem’s name. W Magazine and renowned photographers Inez and Vinoodh chose Salem as the setting for their “Season of the Witch” feature in the September issue.

Photography locations included The Witch House, Salem 1630, Forest River Park, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and Stickworks by Patrick Dougherty at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Here are a few of our favorite photographs from W Magazine.  You can see the entire gallery here. Which images are your favorite?

Photo from W Magazine taken at Pioneer Village in Salem MA

Photographed in Pioneer Village. The inspiration: “Season of the Witch,” photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, styled by Edward Enninful; W magazine September 2016.


Photographed for W Magazine at Salem Maritime National Historic Site by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Salem Maritime National Historic Site by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful


Photographed at Pioneer Village for W Magazine Salem MA by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Pioneer Village for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful.


Photographed at The Witch House, Salem MA for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Pioneer Village for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful


Photographed at Stickworks by Patrick Dougherty at the PEM Salem MA for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Stickworks by Patrick Dougherty at the PEM for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful