Family Salem. Massachusetts

Last Minute School Vacation Idea

Looking for some last-minute inspiration for School Vacation Week? Salem, MA has an abundance of family-friendly activities that are fun for all ages! Spend a day downtown exploring our museums and attractions or make your trip into an overnight stay for the whole family. Here are a few ideas for how to spend a day or an overnight in Salem this month:


Learn About Our Connection to the World Around Us with Our Time On Earth at the PEM

Join The Peabody Essex Museum the week of February vacation to celebrate the connectivity to the natural world all around us. Humans are just one species among millions, coexisting in an expansive living network. Immerse yourself in installations envisioned by artists, designers, scientists, technologists and changemakers from across 12 countries. Their cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaborations open portals to a shared future, in which planet and people flourish together. Enjoy a week long series of family friendly activities in the PEM’s Create Space located next to the Atrium Space in the museum. Click here to learn more.

Take A Class with The Good Witch of Salem

image by the Good Witch of Salem

The House of the Good Witch, located on North Street here in Salem, MA is full of crafts, glitter, and love this February vacation. The entire week will be filled with workshops led by the Good Witch and her staff of magical helpers. Make slime potions, Good Witch Hats to take home, and a plethora of hands-on kid friendly crafts. The Good Witch of Salem elevates learning into a magical experience by communicating the importance of self growth, self love, and self awareness. The Good Witch’s message is shared through engaging content and joyful events with a mission that is reinforced through a retail line of educational resources, children’s clothing and accessories, and imaginative toys.

Discover real pirate treasure all week long with Real Pirates Salem:

Image by the Creative Collective 

The Real Pirates Salem museum will be open all week long for school vacation from 10am to 5pm with tickets available for purchase online or in person. Learn about the story of “Black Sam” Bellamy the richest and one the youngest pirates of all time, and Maria Hallett the so-called “Witch of Wellfleet”. Walk through the immersive exhibits and be transported onto a pirate ship that’s setting sail. Touch real life pirate treasures, and explore actuarial artifacts from the wreck of the Whydah in the Discover Lab.

Become a Junior Ranger with Salem’s National Park Service: 

Image by National Park Services 

Head over to the National Park Service Visitor Center located on New Liberty Street to become a Junior Ranger. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site Junior Ranger program is an activity based program offering visitors the opportunity to join the National Park Service family as Junior Rangers. Interested individuals complete a series of activities in the Junior Ranger booklet during a park visit or from home, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger badge. Join Junior Rangers around the country in taking an oath to protect parks, continue to learn about parks, and share your own ranger story with friends and family! Visitors to the park can learn more about the site using the Junior Ranger booklet. You’ll find historical places, objects, and documents in the park, on our website, and through the NPS App to answer the questions.

Learn about witch history with the Salem Witch Museum:

Image by the Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum examines one of the most enduring and emotional events in American History, the Salem witch trials of 1692. The museum consists of two presentations. Step through the doors and immerse yourself into the 1692 trails with a look into the events that took place. The second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions, explores the meaning behind the word witch and evolution of the image of the witch over time. This presentation focuses on the European witch trials and the background leading to the Salem witch trials. In addition, this presentation discusses the emergence of the stereotypical witch and the phenomenon of witch-hunting.

Kid-Friendly Dining:

Find family-friendly dining throughout downtown Salem. Find pizza and Sci-Fi at Flying Saucer Pizza Company, or NY style pies at Essex’s NY Pizza & Deli. Spend some time after lunch playing classic video games at Bit Bar. Check the list below for more family-friendly dining ideas or view a complete list of Salem’s restaurants here.

Family-Friendly Shopping

image of Wicked Good Books and Silly Bunny Toys

In between fun activities, make sure to check out some uniquely Salem shopping. Curly Girl Candy Shop features bulk candy for kids to crazy in and nostalgia classics for parents to enjoy. Wrap in some history by stopping at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, America’s oldest candy company, where the whole family can enjoy historic classics like gibralters. The Peabody Essex Museum Shop has a great kid’s section including books and art supplies. Or the newest addition Wicked Good Books and Silly Bunny Toys, a mom & pop book & toy store. Wicked Good Books is Salem’s independent bookstore, serving Boston’s north shore for a decade. Together with Silly Bunny Toys, they have a solid selection of kids’ books and toys, including LEGO, Squishables, Mattel and some fine European toy makers that you will surely love.

Stay Overnight

School Vacation Week Salem, MA
Make your trip into an overnight stay with accommodations right in downtown Salem. Stay at the Salem Inn, which features family suites complete with kitchenettes, The Hampton Inn Salem which comes with a hot breakfast every morning and a heated pool, or the Salem Waterfront Hotel which includes an onsite restaurant at the Regatta Pub and an indoor swimming pool. View a complete list of Salem’s accommodations here.

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