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
Sundays 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
If 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 SchoonerFame.com.
For the Whole Family
Looking 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.