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!
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 the 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 Water
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 MahiCruises.com.
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 SalemSpiritsTrolley.com.
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 GallowsHillSalem.com.
Festivals & Beer Gardens
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 SalemHarvestFest.com 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 RockafellasofSalem.com 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 FestivaloftheDead.com.
The 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 HawthorneHotel.com/Halloween.