Fall & Winter Fun in Salem, Massachusetts
Explore Salem this holiday season and make your own magic with holiday attractions, special events, comfort food, and pop-up shops.
Museums & Attractions
The House of the Seven Gables
This winter, learn about the 1668 mansion that inspired the famous novel and explore four centuries of Christmas celebrations in New England. The House of the Seven Gables is open year-round for guided tours with the special Four Centuries of Christmas Tour offered November 24 through December 31.
The House of the Seven Gables is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The museum is closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and closes at 2:00 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Visit 7Gables.org for admission rates and additional information.
Peabody Essex Museum
The Peabody Essex Museum’s latest exhibit Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style opens on December 16 and runs through April 1, 2018. The exhibition will explore O’Keeffe’s impressive garments in the context of photographs and her paintings, some of which have never been displayed to the public before.
For an immersive experience into light and graphic design, visit XYZT: A Journey in Four Dimensions, which runs through April 22, 2018. This immersive exhibition is made up of virtual galleries where your movement interacts with light to change the art around you.
Break from your holiday prep and spend the evening at the museum during December’s PEM/PM After Hours Party: Cup of Cheer. Wear your favorite ugly sweater, create your own snow globe, enjoy small plates and festive cocktails, or hit up the dance floor. Event takes place on December 21, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Admission to PEM/PM events is $12, or free for members, college students, and Salem residents (with ID).
The Peabody Essex Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission rates and exhibition details are available on PEM.org.
Salem Witch Museum
The Salem Witch Museum provides a year-round opportunity to learn the history behind the Salem Witch Trials with a presentation designed using actual trial documents, and an exhibition focusing on the changing perceptions of witches over time.
The Salem Witch Museum is open until 3:00 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The museum closes for annual maintenance January 2 – 5 and January 8 – 12. If visiting during this time call before you visit to confirm operating hours. Admission rates are available at SalemWitchMuseum.com.
Witch Pix offers year-round photoshoot experiences to embrace your inner witch or wizard, with special Awkward Holiday photoshoots. With a variety of backdrops to choose from including sleigh rides, cozy living rooms, and wintery lights, along with festive holiday sweaters and accessories, Awkward Holiday shoots at Witch Pix offer winter fun for the whole family.
Awkward Holiday photo shoots are available November 5 – December 31. Witch Pix is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Tuesday – Sunday in November and December, and Thursday – Sunday January – March), and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins are welcome, visit WitchPixofSalem.com for details.
Walking & Tours
To learn more about Salem’s history, take to the streets on a walking tour. Year-round walking tours like Hocus Pocus Tours and Salem Night Tour offer historical tours with information on the Salem Witch Trials, maritime history, Revolutionary history, and more, while Salem Food Tours offers A.M. Coffee Walks and tours focusing on Salem’s foodie scene and spice trade history. The Salem Trolley also runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Friday – Sunday during Thanksgiving weekend. Additional tours are offered on select dates in the winter months, so be sure to check our tour grid while planning your visit.
You can also embark on your own tour by following the Salem Heritage Trail or by picking up a self-guided walking tour brochure from the Salem Regional Visitor Center. During the winter months, the visitor center is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and visitor information is also available Waite and Peirce at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, which is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Self-guided tour brochures can also be viewed online at NPS.gov/SaMA.
Festivals take place all year in Salem! Salem Holiday Happenings take place November 25 – January 1, 2018, and include the annual Christmas in Salem Historic House Tours, Santa’s Arrival, and Launch! New Year’s Eve Celebrations. January brings the Salem Comedy and Spirits Festival which features stand-up comedy by the best local comedians and locally made spirits, and February features Salem’s So Sweet, Salem’s annual Valentines celebration with chocolate, ice sculptures around town, and more. View our Festivals page to see what’s going on each month in Salem.
Salem’s restaurants are open year-round, with many offering seasonal entrees perfect for a winter outing like warm soups, comfort food, hot teas and chocolate, and more. Check websites or contact restaurants in advance to confirm winter or holiday hours before your visit.
Bring your appetite with you for Restaurant Week! Organized by the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Restaurant Week runs December 3 – 7 and offers guests the opportunity to dine at local restaurants and enjoy multi-course meals at a pre-fixe price. Warm up throughout winter by embarking on your own hot chocolate crawl through downtown Salem or by reserving a holiday-themed high tea experience at Jolie Tea Company.
Get some holiday shopping done at some of Salem’s local small businesses during Small Business Saturday, or shop the Salem Winter Market for your favorite winter-season farmers’ market finds. Salem Main Streets organizes Festive Fridays, which encourages shops to stay open late each Friday in December to help with your last-minute holiday shopping, and holiday pop-up shops can be found throughout the season at Ocean Chic Boutique and Waterbar, Jolie Tea Company, J.Mode and Curtsy, and you can also visit the Peabody Essex Museum’s gift shop during regular museum hours and Mondays in November and December.