We’re wrapping up our gift guide series with a list of Salem experiences you can give this holiday season. Purchase a gift card for friends and family or plan a day of sightseeing downtown this with the ideas listed below, and share how you’re staying local this holiday season by using #StayLocalSalem and #StayLocal2020.
As you explore Salem, remember that masks are required in all public areas in Massachusetts both indoors and outdoors. Be sure to confirm hours and availability with individual businesses, and find more information on COVID-19 in Salem as you plan your visit here.
Food & dining
The Cheese Shop of Salem offers three different levels of membership for three months of wine, cheese, or both. The Wine Club includes four bottles of wine with detailed tasting notes for $80/month, the Cheese Club includes four cheeses (about 1/3 lb. each) with delicious accompaniments and detailed tasting notes for $60/month, and the Ultimate Club includes all items from the Wine and Cheese Clubs for $130/month.
For another wine club, visit Pamplemousse where the Inquisitive package includes three bottles for $30/month and the Wine Lover package includes six bottles for $60/month. Wine may be picked up instore on the first Saturday of the month.
Another gift idea for foodies may be a gift certificate to a local Salem restaurant. Click here to view a complete list of downtown restaurants. Gift certificates are also available for both the Salem Waterfront Hotel and the Hawthorne Hotel, and they may be used on dining or towards room reservations.
Gift a membership to The House of the Seven Gables and have your loved ones enjoy unlimited admission to the museum and special rates on lectures, exhibits, and events, and access to member-exclusive events like author meet and greets, behind-the-scenes tours and more. Please note, the majority of events at this time are virtual however The Gables is open for gardens and grounds experiences and interior tours will resume November 27. Reservations are required.
Members of the Gables also receive 10-20% off in the museum shop—if you are thinking of becoming a member yourself you may even be able to save some extra money on holiday shopping! Lastly, gifting a membership to the House of the Seven Gables helps to support the site’s dual mission of education and preservation.
Another membership option for history buffs may be found at Historic New England. A membership to Historic New England includes admission to two historic houses in Salem, the Phillips House and the Gedney House, along with dozens of other homes across the New England states, programs and events that are free to members, and more while supporting a mission to preserve the region’s history. Note, Phillips House and Gedney House are not open to the public this holiday season, however select Historic New England sites are and many events are currently available virtually.
Art lovers will love a gifted membership to the Peabody Essex Museum, which includes free admission to the museum along with invitations to exhibition previews, curator-led gallery talks, and member-exclusive museum shop sales and event. The sponsor level and above also includes admission to over 660 North American reciprocal museums, and all levels support PEM’s mission to “celebrate outstanding artistic and cultural creativity by collecting, stewarding and interpreting objects of art and culture in ways that increase knowledge, enrich the spirit, engage the mind and stimulate the senses.”
Psychic readings & healing sessions
Give the gift of spiritual guidance with a certificate for a psychic reading from HEX: Old World Witchery or OMEN Psychic Parlor & Witchcraft Emporium. Both shops offer readings in Tarot, palmistry, spirit mediumship, clairvoyance, astrology, and past lives. For guidance on love, gift a reading and love potion from Crow Haven Corner with Lorelei, Salem’s famous love clairvoyant. For something new downtown, gift a reading from Pentagram, Salem’s newest Witch shop offering readings by Leanne Marrama and Timothy Reagan.
Additional readings and healing sessions are available through HausWitch virtually via their online psychic portal. You can also conduct your own readings at home by picking up a tarot deck from any of the above locations, or ordering online along with Salem souvenirs like tees and sweatshirts from Coon’s Card and Gift Shop.
Costumed photo shoots
Gift a costumed photo shoot experience at Witch Pix this holiday season, Salem’s premier Witch costume photo studio. Witch Pix was recently renovated with new sets and backdrops along with an extensive line of handmade costumes with something for everyone to channel their inner witch.
On the water
Though it’s a little too cold to go for a sail during the holidays, you can always purchase a gift certificate to enjoy a maritime experience when the 2021 season starts back up. Both Schooner Fame and Mahi Cruises offer gift certificates for cruises and events beginning in May 2021.
Don’t forget that many of Salem’s retailers have online shops! If you can’t make it downtown before the holidays, visit our Shop page or click here for a list of stores with their websites and contact info.
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