Salem, Massachusetts is greatest identified for the Salem Witch Trials which befell on this Coastal Massachusetts city over 325 years in the past. Right now, a couple of million individuals go to Salem every year, particularly throughout October, for all issues witchy. However this charming seaport city doesn’t should be spooky or creepy. The truth is, there are many issues to do in Salem with youngsters that don’t have something to do with witches.
Personally, we aren’t into the macabre, spooky, or haunted; nor am I drawn to the Halloween-themed outlets or New Age and Wiccan boutiques scattered all through the city. Nonetheless, we do benefit from the historical past of the city, the museums, the harborfront, the lovable outlets, and the nice eating places. Collectively, these make Salem a fantastic day journey vacation spot.
Situated simply half-hour north of Boston, Salem is a simple day journey from Boston, Portland, ME, Portsmouth, NH, and even our dwelling in Rhode Island. You may as well mix it with a day in close by Gloucester.
What’s the Finest Time to Go to Salem, MA?
Should you do like all issues spooky, Salem continues to be a fantastic Halloween vacation spot through the city’s month-long “Haunted Happenings” in October, with occasions like parades, avenue gala’s, household movie nights on the frequent, lantern excursions, costume balls, haunted homes, stay music, and chilling theatrical performances.
Personally, we like to go to in September or early November, when the leaves are altering shade and the Salem Widespread is lined with yellow Ginkgo leaves. Simply remember that for those who go to through the low season, a number of the city’s prime sights, just like the Salem Trolley and harbor boat excursions on the Schooner Fame will probably be closed for the season.
Issues to do in Salem with Children
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Salem Maritime Nationwide Historic Website
Considered one of our favourite issues to do in Salem with youngsters is spending time on the waterfront. I might suggest stopping into the Salem Customer Heart while you arrive and join a tour of the Friendship of Salem, a duplicate of a 1797 East Indiaman crusing vessel now operated by the Nationwide Park Rangers.
They solely enable 25 individuals at a time onto the Friendship on guided excursions solely so it’s a good suggestion to make the Customer Heart your first cease in Salem to get signed up. You may as well choose up a Junior Ranger booklet to finish and return for a Junior Ranger badge.
The Salem Maritime Nationwide Historic website can also be a fantastic place for teenagers simply to run round and have enjoyable. We have been fairly bewitched by the wharf and ended up spending at the least an hour right here chasing pigeons, taking within the view, and exploring all the academic reveals alongside the wharf that specify the positioning’s historical past in commerce and cotton manufacturing.
Salem Witch Museum
As a result of Salem’s predominant draw is the witch trials, we’ve made the compulsory cease on the Salem Witch Museum. Whereas there are a lot of museums in Salem devoted to the witch trials — the Witch Home, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch Trials Memorial, the Witch Historical past Museum — the Salem Witch Museum is heralded as Salem’s most visited museum.
Not fairly a museum within the conventional sense, while you first enter you be a part of a “presentation” that begins at common intervals. I’ve to say, it wasn’t in any respect what I anticipated. My assumption was that there could be some form of film or interactive presentation that advised the historical past of witch trials with out sensationalizing or over-dramatizing the satan worship/witchcraft side because it was later confirmed to be all a falsehood began by a gaggle of ladies that have been both bored or caught up in mass hysteria.
As an alternative, once we entered the presentation we have been seated in chairs set surrounding a witch’s circle in pink on the ground within the middle. The lights exit and the soundtrack comes on, lighting up a collection of dioramas on the outskirts of the room. The presentation begins out by highlighting a statue of Devil with a creepy voice speaking about satan worship and witchcraft — dramatic and a bit a lot for youthful youngsters.
It then goes on to speak briefly about how they assume the rumors of witchcraft began, the trials, the circumstances within the prisons, and the way the accused have been tortured after which hung or pressed to loss of life. It concluded with a dialogue about how the accuser later recounted and the victims have been declared harmless.
After the presentation, the group moved to a second space the place we have been advised concerning the historical past of witches and the perceptions of witches by way of the ages and reminded how “witch hunts” of varied kinds nonetheless happen in the present day. After chatting with my daughter after our go to, we each agreed that we wouldn’t suggest it for teenagers underneath 10, relying on their maturity and the way simply they scare.
The Salem Witch Museum is positioned at 19 1/2 Washington Sq. North, Salem, Massachusetts and is open every day 10 am – 5 pm, with longer hours in the summertime and through Haunted Happenings. Similar-day tickets are offered on-line solely starting at midnight.
Peabody Essex Museum
The Peabody Essex Museum must be in your “must-visit” record for our day in Salem with youngsters. The roots of this museum return to 1799 and the East India Marine Society, and far of the artwork discovered on the PEM displays these roots, with a wide array of maritime artwork together with mannequin ships, maritime artifacts, and artwork objects from Asia, Oceania, India, and elsewhere.
The Maritime artwork and historical past have been fascinating, however I actually cherished how effectively the Peabody Essex appealed to households. The Dotty Brown Artwork & Nature Heart has hands-on actions, discovery drawers, video games and laptop stations, to interact and discover. Complimentary Gallery Discovery Kits sends youngsters on treasure hunts all through the museum. Plus, youngsters underneath 16 are free and there may be even a room for nursing moms.
The Peabody Essex Museum is positioned at 161 Essex St in East India Sq..
The Home of Seven Gables
Made well-known by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel of The Home of the Seven Gables, this dwelling and grounds is now a Nationwide Historic Landmark District. Inbuilt 1668 by service provider and shipowner John Turner I and his spouse Elizabeth Robinson Turner, you’ll be able to be taught the total historical past and tour the rooms of this historic dwelling on a guided tour.
Formally known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, same-day tickets can be found on website when not offered out, or they are often bought prematurely on-line.
The Home of the Seven Gables is positioned at 115 Derby Avenue, Salem, MA
New England Pirate Museum
This small museum, positioned only a brief stroll from the harbor or the Peabody Essex Museum, tells the distinctive and little-known historical past of New England sea-robbers. Guests can take a guided tour and discover pirate artifacts and genuine pirate treasures. You’ll stroll by way of a recreation of a colonial seaport, climb aboard a pirate ship, and discover an eighty foot cave.
Company will find out about some 60 buccaneers on a 20- to 30-minute strolling tour. This museum is simply open from Could by way of October thirty first.
The New England Pirate Museum is positioned at 274 Derby St, Salem, MA
Excessive Tea at Jolie Tea Firm
One of many particular issues I simply found to do in Salem with youngsters is to take pleasure in excessive tea on the Jolie Tea Firm. This beautiful tea store provides a wide array of tea and pastries to in-cafe eating or to go. Nonetheless, the excessive tea arrange is just darling and such a memorable prime off to your time in Salem.
The Jolie Tea Firm provides a Youngsters’s Excessive Tea at Jolie on Friday afternoons for youngsters 6-12. You may as well make commonplace excessive tea reservations at different instances.
The Jolie Tea Firm is positioned at 316 Derby Avenue, Salem, MA
Salem Witch Memorial
Devoted in 1992, the Salem Witch Memorial consists of 20 benches, every engraved with the title, date of execution, and technique of execution for every of the wrongly condemned. Exterior the memorial, you can find a plaque with the phrases of the victims engraved on it. Close by, you’ll be able to stroll by way of the Outdated Burial Level and Constitution Avenue Cemetary.
It may be a bit spooky visiting right here at evening and I can see why individuals into ghost excursions would take pleasure in coming to Salem.
The Salem Witch Memorial is free to enter and is positioned at 24 Liberty St, Salem.
The Witch Home
The Witch Home, which was the previous dwelling of Choose Jonathan Corwin and is likely one of the few constructions you’ll be able to go to in Salem with direct ties to the Salem witch trials of 1692. That is additionally the place Roger Williams, founding father of Rhode Island, as soon as stayed earlier than being ousted from Massachusetts.
You’ll be able to take a self-guided tour of the home, however what many individuals love to do is take a fall picture in entrance of the home because it provides these good spooky, hocus pocus vibes.
The Witch Home at Salem is positioned at 310 Essex St, Salem, MA
Our day in Salem, MA undoubtedly bewitched us…however it was the Friendship, the Wharf, the Peabody Essex, and this quaint colonial seaside city that captivated us…not the witches.
In case you are visiting Salem with teenagers, they might have an interest within the Salem Witch Village, which is guided by a working towards witch and covers the myths and the info surrounding legends of witches and their craft. You could possibly additionally strive the Salem Wax Museum. Personally, I discover all wax museums a bit creepy in order that isn’t my cup of tea.
You could possibly additionally strive a Salem ghost tour with teenagers or you could possibly strive a self-guided tour of Salem’s Hocus Pocus filming places.
The place to Eat in Salem, MA
In case you are hungry for some seafood, head over to Pickering Wharf to Finz Seafood and Grill for a lunch of lobster mac n’ cheese, a lobster roll, calamari, or oysters. On the Wharf, you too can strive Longboards Restaurant and Bar or Sea Stage Oyster Bar, all of which supply some waterfront views.
In case you are in search of one thing a bit extra informal, cheap, and family-friendly, you could possibly additionally strive Witch’s Brew or Mercy Tavern for sandwiches, salads, and burgers. You may as well strive Notch Brewing and Biergarten for a energetic environment.
Bit Bar is one other nice selection with youngsters because it provides traditional arcade and pinball video games together with consolation meals, and a full bar.
For treats, cease into the Ye Olde Pepper Companie, America’s oldest sweet firm, close to the Home of Seven Gables, or Goodnight Fatty, a cookie bakery close to the Salem Witch Museum.
Incessantly Requested Questions
Whereas Salem, MA is understood for the Salem Witch Trials and the Haunted Happenings which happen in October, there are many different issues to do in Salem with youngsters together with the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Maritime Nationwide Historic Website, the Pirate Museum, excessive tea at Jolie Tea Firm, and video games on the Bit Bar. I might suggest avoiding visiting in October when the city may be very crowded with guests in search of all issues witchy.
I might not suggest the Salem Witch Museum for younger youngsters underneath 10 or these which can be delicate to scary film scenes or material. A lot of the museum is just not scary however the preliminary dramatic presentation about satan worship and sorcery is a bit a lot. We went when my delicate daughter was 10 and she or he didn’t like that in any respect and didn’t discover the remainder of the museum significantly fascinating both.
Salem makes an ideal day journey from Boston or neighboring areas. Except you needed to take a night ghost tour and also you have been coming from distant, you don’t want to remain in a single day until you wish to go to greater than three sights. In a weekend, you’ll be able to simply see all Salem has to supply. Should you do determine to remain in Salem, you too can go to close by cities of Gloucester, Rockport, and even Newburyport.
In 1692, 20 harmless women and men have been put to loss of life as a result of they have been believed to be witches. Whereas this momentary outbreak of hysteria and witch looking was tragic, it pales compared to the variety of “witches” burned on the stake or tortured in Europe through the early Fashionable Interval, but it’s a stigma and a historical past that has hung over the city ever since. These witch trials, which have been portrayed in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, overshadow the city’s wealthy historical past as an necessary seaport.
The place to Keep in Salem
Should you determine to remain in a single day in Salem, the Hawthorne Lodge is a good choice in a central location inside simple strolling distance to all the principle sights. One other good choice for waterfront views and easy accessibility to the Maritime Website, Home of Seven Gables, and the seaport space is the Salem Waterfront Lodge & Suites.
Books to Learn Earlier than You Go
What Have been the Salem Witch Trials? (What Was?)
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One thing depraved was brewing within the small city of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It began when two ladies, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, started having hysterical suits. Quickly after, different native ladies claimed they have been being pricked with pins. With no scientific rationalization accessible, the residents of Salem got here to at least one conclusion: it was witchcraft! Over the subsequent 12 months and a half, nineteen individuals have been convicted of witchcraft and hanged whereas extra languished in jail as hysteria swept the colony. Creator Joan Holub provides readers and inside have a look at this sinister chapter in historical past.
I Escaped The Salem Witch Trials: Salem, Massachusetts, 1692
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Orphan-girl Hannah True battles unusual happenings, suspicion, and offended villagers when her city believes it is underneath assault by witches.The Survival Collection that celebrates the superior historical past of us.
From bestselling writer Scott Peters and Salem Witch whiz Juliet Fry comes a gripping retelling of the Salem Witch Trials for contemporary younger readers.
The Salem Witch Trials: An Unsolved Thriller from Historical past
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When a gaggle of ladies got here down with a horrible, mysterious bout of sickness, they pointed the finger at individuals of their neighborhood they claimed have been witches. Quickly, the entire city was satisfied they have been in peril from supernatural forces. Right now, we’ve particulars concerning the accusations, trials, and those that misplaced their lives, however the query stays: What brought about the mass hysteria?
Turn into a detective, examine the clues, and see for those who can assist clear up this chilling thriller from historical past!
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
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Sixteen-year-old Package Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the second she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and determined, she has been pressured to go away her beloved dwelling on the island of Barbados and be a part of a household she has by no means met.
Torn between her quest for belonging and her need to be true to herself, Package struggles to outlive in a hostile place. Simply when it appears she should hand over, she finds a kindred spirit. However Package’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves extra taboo than she may have imagined and finally forces Package to decide on between her coronary heart and her responsibility.
The Home of the Seven Gables (Dover Thrift Editions: Basic Novels)
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A depressing New England mansion offers the setting for this traditional exploration of ancestral guilt and its expiation by way of the love and goodwill of succeeding generations.
Nathaniel Hawthorne drew inspiration for this story of an immorally obtained property from the function his forebears performed within the Seventeenth-century Salem witch trials. Constructed over an unquiet grave, the Home of the Seven Gables carries a dying man’s curse that blights the lives of its residents for over two centuries. Now Choose Jaffrey Pyncheon, an iron-hearted hypocrite and mental inheritor to the mansion’s unscrupulous founder, is making an attempt to railroad a pair of his aged kinfolk out of the home. Solely two younger individuals stand in his approach — a visiting nation cousin and an enigmatic boarder expert in mesmerism.
Hawthorne envisioned this household drama of evil, revenge, and backbone as a microcosm of Salem’s personal historical past as in idealistic society corrupted by greed and satisfaction. His enduring view of the darkness on the coronary heart of the nationwide soul has made The Home of the Seven Gables a landmark of American literature.
Miller, Arthur’s The Crucible Paperback
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Within the inflexible theocracy of Salem, rumors that ladies are working towards witchcraft impress the city’s most simple fears and suspicions; and when a younger lady accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be dropped at trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify in opposition to neighbor brilliantly illuminate the harmful energy of socially sanctioned violence. Written in 1953, simply after Miller acquired a Pulitzer Prize for Loss of life of a Salesman, The Crucible mirrors the anti-communist hysteria impressed by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch-hunts” in america.