Salem Main Streets wants to help you with your holiday shopping by working with retailers to stay open late every Friday in December (minus Christmas). Follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook for the latest in who’s open and what’s happening around town.
The Derby Street Carnival features a variety of midway rides and games, from thrilling attractions to rides the whole family can enjoy together. In addition, the carnival hosts a number of classic snack vendors, and games of chance where guests have the opportunity to win some big prizes! Admission to the carnival is free, but tickets must be purchased for the rides. Single tickets are $1.50, and 20 tickets may be purchased for $25. Rides generally take between 3 and 5 tickets. The full schedule of dates for the Derby Street Carnival may be viewed on our event calendar.
For classic fair snacks, the Salem Common Food Court offers grab-and-go treats. The food court is open with vendors along Salem Common from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm through October 31.
On the Water
Mahi Mahi’s Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise allows guests to take in the seasonal views of Salem, Beverly, Marblehead, and the Misery Island, while relaxing on an open air deck or heated cabin with Halloween party music. The cruise also features Mahi’s grill with clam chowder, hot cocoa, and soft drinks, along with complimentary tarot card readings. Tickets for the Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise are $25 for adults and $15 for kids ages 4-12, and may be purchased in advance on Mahi Mahi’s website.
New for 2017, Essex Heritage hosts Eerie Stories on Salem Sound, an evening of storytelling on the Salem Sound, where your crew will entertain you with history and folklore from Salem’s dark past! Tickets ($20 for adults and $15 for kids ages 4-12) are available online.
Saturdays at 6:00 pm, Magic 106.7 hosts outdoor movie nights on Salem Common. Catch ParaNorman on October 21, and Hocus Pocus on October 28, and watch the movie right where many of the scenes were filmed. Be sure to grab some hot chocolate or cider, and dress for the weather to make the most of this event!
For the thrill seekers in your family, be sure to check out Salem’s haunted house attractions, Frankenstein’s Castle, and the Haunted Witch Village. At Frankenstein’s Castle, become fully immersed in the classic horror story as you walk through dark hallways where a mad scientist has created a terrifying monster. The Salem Witch Village, is Salem’s longest running haunted attraction, and features all kinds of Halloween ghouls, goblins, and monsters, waiting to frighten those who dare to enter. Both attractions are $9 individually but may be purchased as part of a combination ticket with other attractions in the Witch Village. See the Salem Wax Museum website for complete information.
The Salem Haunted Magic Show’s 2017 production, “HYSTERIA: Phobias!” combines thrilling Halloween scares with mind reading, dark comedy, illusions, audience participation, and more. While not too scary for the whole family, the show does offer enough scares to keep the audience guessing, along with unbelievable stunts that will have you wondering, “How did they do that?!” Tickets cost $20-42 based on seating and package options and may be purchased in advance at TheSalemMagicShow.com.
Select evenings in October, the House of the Seven Gables hosts two nighttime performances, Legacy of the Hanging Judge and Spirits of the Gables. Fans of Nathaniel Hawthorne will be intrigued as his characters haunt the historic home in Spirits of the Gables, and as Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather recalls his role in the Salem Witch Trials. Tickets are $15 for a single performance, or $28 for both, and may be purchased at 7Gables.org.
What could make an interactive crime mystery show during Haunted Happenings even better? What about dining with an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet while working to solve the mystery? The Haunted Dinner Theater’s presentation of “Be Witched” is an entertaining theatrical performance focusing on solving a crime based on the hit TV sitcom. The event’s location alternates between Finz Seafood and Grill, and the Hawthorne Hotel, and it is highly recommended that tickets be purchased in advance ($59.95 for adults, $39.95 for kids) through the Haunted Dinner Theater’s website.
The Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre offers experiences for every member of the family. Teens in particular will enjoy the Lost Museum, an interactive walk-through attraction through a recently discovered series of rooms below the museum that were thought to be to time. With spirits from Salem’s past and other supernatural forces hidden beneath the building, guests must work together in an attempt to escape from the museum! Tickets for the Lost Museum are $15.
While at the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre, be sure to pick up tickets for the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience. This live performance combines audience participation, with scares, special effects, and bits of Salem history. Tickets for just the Witchcraft and Ghost experience are $11 and may be purchased as part of a combination ticket with the Lost Museum or other events at the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre. See the museum’s website for complete ticket information.
For live music without the age restriction and cover fees that come with the bar scene, the Salem Halloween Fountain Stage on Essex Street is the place to be. The stage will be home to numerous kinds of live music during October weekends, and the event even features a silent disco during Halloween weekend.
Witch Trials History
What trip to Salem would be complete without learning something new about the Salem Witch Trials? For information on the history of the Salem Witch Trials, consider visiting the following sites:
The Salem Witch Museum, features two very different exhibits on the history of the Witch Trials. The first is a presentation on the trials themselves that was compiled using historical documents to tell an accurate story using life-size sets. The second exhibit focuses on how perceptions of witchcraft have changed over time, offering information on the stereotypes witches face, why witch hunts have happened in various parts of history, and where the images of witches that we commonly see today were invented. Tickets for the Salem Witch Museum may be purchased on site for $11.
For a different side of the story, visit the Witch Dungeon Museum, which showcases the conditions that those accused of witchcraft were forced to deal with while imprisoned and awaiting their trials. In addition to a guided tour of the dungeon, this experience includes a live reenactment of one of the trials. Tickets for the Witch Dungeon Museum are $9, and may be purchased on-site and/or as a combination ticket with the Witch History Museum and the New England Pirate Museum.
Cry Innocent is the most interactive way to learn about the Salem Witch Trials. For the full experience, arrive early and watch as Bridget Bishop is arrested on the streets of Salem, before taking a seat and witnessing the trial first hand. In this experience, audience members are able to become fully involved in the trial, as they examine the evidence and vote for an outcome. Tickets for Cry may be purchased in advance on CryInnocentSalem.com or as part of a combination ticket with the Spirit of Salem film.
Christmas in Salem features a glimpse into private homes that have been professionally decorated for the holiday season as well as a series of special events such as walking tours and wine tastings that are exclusive to Christmas in Salem ticket holders. Each year, the tour features a different neighborhood in historic Salem and therefore explores a series of unique histories and architectural tales. Proceeds from the event support historic preservation in Salem and the mission of Historic Salem, Inc. House tours take place from 11:30 am – 4:00 pm. Tickets ($35) may be purchased in advance at ChristmasinSalem.org, or at the tour headquarters at 211 Bridge Street on the day of the tour.
Additional events include:
Mini Food Tour and Tasting
You’ll have a swell time on this stroll back to the early 50s with Salem Food Tours‘ Karen Scalia. From tomato consommé to molded fruit rings, we’ll walk and chat about some retro holiday meals, cocktails, and dinner service. The Walk takes about 35 minutes, includes a sweet treat, and ends at Salem Wine Imports with a wine tasting. 6pm sharp and 7pm sharp departure from Tour Headquarters at 211 Bridge Street.
Head over to Salem Wine Imports to relax with a taste of some great holiday wines and to start your holiday shopping. The tastings are free with your program book and take place on Friday December 1 and Saturday December 2 from 4-8pm and on Sunday December 3 from 1-5pm.
“Urban Renewal and Redevelopment in Salem” given by Salem’s official historian, Jim McAllister of Derby Square Tours.
Saturday December 2 at 1 pm and Sunday, December 3 at 1 pm in Murray Hall at the Bridge at 211, located at 211 Bridge Street (tour headquarters).
Salem Garden Club Boutique
Visit the Salem Garden Club boutique on Saturday, December 2 from 10 am–4 pm at tour headquarters, the Bridge at 211, located at 211 Bridge Street, Salem, to purchase to purchase uniquely decorated natural wreaths, sprays, arrangements and much more at tour headquarters. Please note: the boutique will only run on Saturday of Christmas in Salem weekend this season, NOT Sunday.
Visit Salem artist Racket Shreve’s working studio on Saturday from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm and Sunday 11:30 am – 4:30 pm at 17.5 Chestnut Street (upstairs in the barn) to purchase cards and paintings.
Salem Arts will be hosting their First Friday Open House Reception on Dec.1st from 5-8pm to highlight their current exhibit, Membership Showcase, and Gallery Artisan Shop. Complimentary appetizers and beverages will be served and the Galleries and Artisan Shop will be open for viewing and shopping.
Salem Arts will be also open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm to continue to welcome House Tour visitors as well as the Public to see artwork and unique holiday gift items.
For complete event information, please visit ChristmasinSalem.org.
The Peabody Essex Museum’s latest exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, is an exploration into over 300 pairs of shoes through their varied histories, cultural significance, and even the personal experiences of those who collect or wear them. The exhibition, which is making its U.S. debut at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM’s James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Deputy Director, has enjoyed sharing her own passions for shoes while working as the coordinating curator for the exhibition. Hartigan’s personal stories which are displayed throughout the exhibit, begin with the moment when she first acknowledged the importance of shoes in her life, during a forest fire that threatened her childhood home: “My mother told my brother and me to grab two things to take in the car. What did I choose? My pink teddy bear and brand new pair of black patent leather Mary Janes.”
The exhibit is divided into different themes: Transformation, Status, Seduction, Creation, and Obsession. Each section features shoes that fit the theme, from a variety of time periods and owners, like David Beckham, Elton John, and Naomi Campbell. In addition many of the shoes were designed by such well-known names in the fashion industry such as Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo, and some of the shoes were even crafted locally in the towns of Lynn and Haverhill. Other local connections in the exhibit are the 110 pairs shoes added to the display from the PEM’s fashion collection, and the shoes in the Obsession gallery that belong to local collectors, Jimmy Raye, and Lillian Montalto Bohlen.
The opening day festival for Shoes: Pleasure and Pain takes place on Saturday, November 19th, and will feature a variety of shoe-themed events that are included with museum admission. Among the events are a sneaker museum pop-up exhibition, showcasing the contemporary culture surrounding sneakers, and a shoemaking demonstration where guests can see how shoes are made with artist Malika Green. The opening day festival is made possible by the Lowell Foundation, and the full schedule of events may be found on the PEM’s website.
During the first two weeks of the exhibition, PEM is partnering with Dress for Success Boston through a shoe drive held at the museum to assist disadvantaged women with dressing professionally while attending job interviews. The organization allows women to work with volunteer stylists in selection the best outfits for interviews at no cost to them. Dress for Success asks that all donated shoes be appropriate for job interviews, with solid colors preferred and no open-toe, slingback, mule, or stiletto platform shoes may be accepted. Guests looking to donate shoes may bring them to the entrance of the museum where a volunteer will assist them.
The recent initiative in expanding the museum’s fashion collection is evident through Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. With an exhibit design that contrasts from the typical retail environment, guests are able to take away a greater knowledge and understanding about shoes, and fashion in general, serve not only as art but as creative forms of personal expression. Hartigan summarizes the theme of the exhibit in stating, “Shoes are about the personal creativity of the designer and the person who wears that shoe. It’s a partnership between two people who likely never meet. You can make something wonderful, but if someone doesn’t respond to it, there is something incomplete about the act. Creation is about communication.”
Shoes: Pleasure and Pain is on view from November 19, 2016 – March 12, 2017, and is included in museum admission. For complete information on the opening day festival and the Dress for Success donation program, please visit PEM.org.
Salem, MA will celebrate Small Business Saturday with the support of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Main Streets, and a number of local small businesses. On November 25, head downtown and get some of your holiday shopping done at local small businesses, where you’ll be able to support the community while stocking up on some freebies and using discounts that are exclusive to this shopping event.
Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 as a way of helping small businesses receive support from their communities during the holiday shopping season when many consumers are shopping at larger chain stores. In recent years, Small Business Saturday has also become part of a larger movement against Black Friday, the holiday shopping event that tends to run earlier into Thanksgiving each year. By shopping during Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday, we are able to spend more time with our families on Thanksgiving while also supporting our community. For more information on the Shop Small movement, visit ShopSmall.com.
Many retail locations in Salem will be offering various discounts and promotions throughout Small Business Saturday. Shoppers can save 10% on homemade dog biscuits at New England Dog Biscuit Company and apparel purchases from Deacon Giles Distillery, 20% on gold and platinum jewelry from RJ Coins and Jewelry, and 10% on their total purchase from Ye Olde Pepper Companie with mention of their Facebook page. For even more Small Business Saturday fun, get the family together an awkward sweater photoshoot at Witch Pix. Be sure to check out the full list of retailers at Salem-Chamber.org/Small-Business-Saturday! In addition to discounts and seasonal items, select retail locations including the House of the Seven Gables Gift Shop, are providing samples of holiday treats for guests.
A number of restaurants in Salem have joined retailers in promoting Small Business Saturday. Dine at Flying Saucer Pizza Company and enjoy a complimentary Spaceballs appetizer with your meal, or head next door to Gulu-Gulu Café and purchase a gift card with a 10% discount. Visit Jolie Tea Company to enjoy a free pumpkin spice madeleine with your order, and enjoy a free candy following your meal at Thai Place. To give the gift of dining in Salem with some extra savings, pick up a gift certificate for KOTO Asian Grill where you’ll receive an extra $10 with a $50 gift card purchase, and $15 with a $75 gift card purchase.
For more information on Small Business Saturday in Salem, including a complete list of participating businesses, please visit Salem-Chamber.org, and view the complete events calendar for the holiday weekend here.
The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival recreates and renews the vibrant jazz scene that began at the Salem Willows in the 1920s, when Duke Ellington and other musicians from the Big Band era played at the seaside park in Massachusetts. The festival builds on this rich jazz history — adding soul, blues and funk to the mix – and shining the spotlight on talented musicians from Boston’s North Shore and beyond.
Saturday, August 19:
11am-12pm – Salem High School Jazz Band
12:30-1:30pm – Anibal Cruz
2-3pm – Reed Turchi
3:30-5pm – B3 Kings
5:30-7pm – The A-Beez
Sunday, August 20:
11am-12pm – North Shore Jazz Project
12:30-1:30 – Parker Wheeler Allstars featuring Pete and Yamica Peterson
2-3pm – Lydia Harrel
3:30-5pm – Eric Reardon
5:30-7pm – BT/ALC Big Band
For full event information visit: http://www.salemjazzsoul.org/
Salem Restaurant Week is the perfect time to dine out at the dozens of excellent eateries. There will be a wide variety of delicious foods, including steak, seafood, Italian classics, contemporary cuisine, American favorites and exotic ethnic treats. Restaurants will offer multiple choices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts.
Participating restaurants and menus are available here.
Celebrate, shop, and dine in Salem during the holiday season. Festival highlights include Historic Salem, Inc.’s annual Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour and Santa’s arrival atop the Hawthorne Hotel. And don’t miss the third annual Launch! celebration on New Year’s Eve, now featuring an early family-friendly event and a late night party for the adults.
Does the winter weather have you down? Why not warm up with a cup of hot chocolate? Thankfully Salem, Massachusetts is home to plenty of restaurants and shops that serve up traditional and unique varieties of this sweet yet soothing treat.
Classic Hot Chocolate
If you’re just looking to warm up with some chocolate on a cold winter day, and you don’t care for any extra toppings or flavors, there are plenty of restaurants around Salem that serve a plain and simple yet classic hot chocolate. Coming from the Bridge Street Area, stop in at Coffee Time Bake Shop for a warm cup of Hot Chocolate Milk, a smooth, rich, and creamy treat made fresh with Dunajski Dairy chocolate milk, and optional whipped cream.
Moving on to Essex Street, Gulu-Gulu Café offers hot chocolate to-go as well as table-side if you’d rather stay in and warm up. Rockafellas on Washington Street offers another comfortable, indoor setting for kicking back with hot chocolate, as does Red’s Sandwich Shop and Maria’s Sweet Somethings both located just around the corner, off of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. Continuing down Essex Street towards Salem Common, The Tavern on the Green inside the Hawthorne Hotel offers a cozy fireside setting in addition to hot chocolate that may be topped with whipped cream by request.
Hot Chocolate with a Twist
For a twist on traditional hot chocolate, head back up Bridge Street to Coffee Time Bake Shop. Add some spice with Coffee Time’s Mexican Hot Chocolate, which combines traditional hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. While there, try the Peppermint Patty (hot chocolate with a swirl of mint syrup) or the Chocolate Covered Cherries (hot chocolate with a splash of cherry syrup).
Hot Chocolate with Coffee
For an extra dose of caffeine with your hot chocolate add some coffee to the mix at either Gulu-Gulu Café or Coffee Time Bake Shop. Gulu-Gulu Café’s extensive drink menu includes a number of chocolatey coffee treats like the Russell Stover Mocha Latte with chocolate and coconut, and the White Raspberry Latte with raspberry and white chocolate.
Back at Coffee Time, enjoy the Hot Mocha Delight, made with half House Blend Coffee and half hot chocolate with cream, sugar, whipped cream, and raspberry syrup added upon request. If a cappuccino is what you’re craving, try the Mocha Chino instead, where chocolate syrup is mixed right in with the espresso which is then topped with cocoa powder.
Hot Chocolate for Tea Lovers
If you prefer tea to coffee but are still in the mood for some hot chocolate, look no further than Jolie Tea Company on Essex Street. For a minty tea excursion try the Chocolate Mint tea: Sri Lankan black tea, mint chocolate essence. A take on classic citrus scented tea, the Nina’s Hepburn Blend mixes Sri Lankan black tea, orange peels, chocolate, cream and orange flavors. While in the shop be sure to try the Chocolate Raspberry tea, a decadent blend of black tea, dark chocolate curls, and raspberry pieces.
21+ Hot Chocolate
A stroll back down to Pickering Wharf can lead you back to Victoria Station for their specialty spiked hot chocolate, the Peppermint Pleasure, mixed with Peppermint Schnapps and topped with whipped cream. To add other liquors to the mix, order a classic hot chocolate at any of the bars and taverns (like Gulu-Gulu Café, Rockafellas, The Tavern on the Green, or the Regatta Pub) and mix in a shot of your choice.
Hot Chocolate Mix
One can never have too much hot chocolate on hand at home. To purchase hot chocolate mix to enjoy during your next staycation be sure to visit Milk and Honey Green Grocer on Church Street, which also sells farm fresh and locally produced groceries. If you’re shopping for even more chocolatey treats, head over to Front Street to Maria’s Sweet Somethings, where you can purchase hot chocolate mix along with other delicious treats like candies and cupcakes.
Salem Film Fest is one of the largest documentary film festivals in New England, and it has been featuring exceptional works of film for the past ten years. This year’s event will showcase over fifty documentaries and shorts between March 2-9.
Films are chosen to be a part of Salem Film Fest based on their technical and artistic grandeur and their abilities to incite new interests and responses from the audience. Additionally, two out of three filmmakers involved in producing the works shown during Salem Film Fest attend related events and speaking engagements throughout the week.
Salem Film Fest begins tomorrow evening with the event’s opening gala at the Hawthorne Hotel. The gala will celebrate the accomplishments of Salem Film Fest in New England, and honor David Fanning, Founder and Executive Producer at Large of FRONTLINE. David will be in attendance to receive the Salem Film Fest Storyteller Award.
Proceeds from the opening gala will be used to support Salem Film Fest, an organization which is maintained entirely by volunteers who have passions for documentary filmmaking.
This year’s Film Fest will present a variety of topics. From After Spring, which follows two families as they search for a permanent home from their temporary stay at a refugee camp in Jordan, to First Lady of the Revolution, which portrays the fascinating life of Henrietta Boggs, the Alabama native who eventually becomes First Lady of Costa Rica. The complete schedule of films and events may be viewed at SalemFilmFest.com/2017/Schedule.
Films will be shown at the Morse Auditorium at the Peabody Essex Museum, CinemaSalem, and the Salem Regional Visitors Center. Tickets are $11-13 per film, and may be purchased online in advance through the Salem Film Fest website.
In addition to the films, Salem Film Fest includes film after parties, lectures, five-minute student film contests, and live music. Complete event schedules for Salem Film Fest are available online at SalemFilmFest.com.
Planning a visit to Salem, MA with your entire family (pets included)? There are plenty of ways to experience Salem with your pet, from pet-friendly hotel rooms to outdoor dining opportunities. Click here for a complete list of pet-friendly locations around Salem.
Many of Salem’s hotels and inns welcome guests traveling with pets. Please note that fees vary by each location, and pet friendly rooms are based on availability.
The Hawthorne Hotel offers pet friendly rooms on the building’s 6th floor. A stay includes complimentary toys for guests’ dogs, and a specially crafted Doggy Room Service menu designed by the Hawthorne Hotel’s executive chef.
Guests planning to camp in Salem can bring pets to Winter Island Park which is open from May 20 to November 1.
Attractions & Tours
Well-behaved pets are able to join their humans on some of Salem’s walking tours included Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours and Spellbound Tours. Dogs can also learn about Salem’s history and get around town aboard the Salem Trolley and Mahi Cruises.
Coon’s Cards & Gifts is home to Penelope’s Pet Boutique, which stocks collars, toys, tags, and treats for their furry friends. Pets may also visit New England Dog Biscuit Company, which bakes natural dog biscuits right in the shop and carries other natural treats and food, toys, collars/leashes, and more for both cats and dogs.
Pets are also welcome in some shops around town, like RJ Coins and Jewelry where guests with friendly pets may browse products like the Dog Fever and Cat Fever hug rings. Other local businesses may place water bowls outside their entrances to keep pets hydrated while they enjoy Salem with their families.
Local restaurants with outdoor dining spaces may allow pets to join their guests on patios. Flying Saucer Pizza Company, Gulu-Gulu Café, and Village Tavern, all welcome pets in their patio dining areas. Village Tavern can also provide a puppy friendly menu and beef infused water.
Some favorite dog walking spots in Salem include: Derby Wharf, Forest River Park, Salem Common, Salem Willows, and Winter Island Park. Remember to obey local leash laws and pick up after your pet while going for walks. Be sure to bring your pet’s proper identification and proof of Rabies vaccination while traveling, and follow posted regulations when walking along beaches.
The Salem Haunted Magic Show presents a brand new LIVE 75 minute show filled with a unique blend of inconceivable stunts, bizarre demonstrations, dark comedy, and audience participation! Enjoy the thrills and chills of a traditional haunted house in an interactive theatrical experience! The show offers something for everyone – classic magic, weird sideshow stunts, hypnotic mind reading and disturbing ghostly illusions! The Salem Haunted Magic Show captures all the mystery of Salem and the creepiness of ghosts, haunted houses and the bizarre all on stage!
With over 300 performances in 4 years and over 30,000 people having seen the shows – the Salem Haunted Magic Show strives to make each year better than the last. You will always see new & amazing magic every time you see the performance!
Ticket rates are $20 for general admission, $30 for preferred seating, and $42 for VIP seating. For seating charts and to purchase tickets, please visit TheSalemMagicShow.com.
For group rates and information please call: 1-888-340-3584. The Salem Haunted Magic Show is suitable for all ages but recommended for guests ages 7 and over.