Things to do in Salem with Kids: A Complete List

Things to do in Salem with Kids

Salem, Massachusetts is not only known for its rich history and haunted past, but also for the wide array of fun activities it offers for kids. Whether your little ones are history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts, or aspiring artists, there is something for everyone in this enchanting coastal city. Check out the best things to do in Salem with kids!

When in Salem, it’s hard to ignore the fascinating history that envelops the city. From its early days as a bustling seaport to the infamous Salem Witch Trials, the city is steeped in stories waiting to be discovered. Luckily, there are several interactive museums that cater specifically to kids, making history come alive in engaging ways.

One such museum is the Salem Witch Museum, where children can experience the chilling events of the Salem Witch Trials through captivating storytelling and lifelike exhibits. They can step back in time and witness the hysteria that gripped the town, gaining a deeper understanding of this dark chapter in American history. Additionally, the Peabody Essex Museum offers a diverse range of exhibits that delve into the city’s maritime heritage and global connections, showcasing artifacts from around the world that have shaped Salem’s identity.

To truly immerse your little ones in Salem’s rich history, take them to visit the city’s historical landmarks that have stood the test of time. The House of the Seven Gables, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, is a must-visit for a glimpse into colonial life. Explore the secret staircases and hidden rooms of this storied mansion, and wander through the adjacent gardens that provide a serene backdrop for a leisurely stroll.

For a more hands-on experience, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site allows kids to step aboard and explore a replica of an 18th-century sailing vessel, giving them a taste of what life was like for sailors during the golden age of sail. They can learn about maritime trade, navigation techniques, and the daily routines of sailors who braved the high seas. As the sea breeze carries whispers of the past, children can truly appreciate the maritime history that shaped Salem into the vibrant city it is today.

When you and your family are ready for some fresh air and outdoor fun, Salem won’t disappoint. There are numerous family-friendly parks and playgrounds scattered throughout the city. One such gem is Forest River Park, which boasts expansive waterfront views, picnic areas, and a fantastic playground.

If your kids are nature enthusiasts, exploring the beautiful nature trails and hikes around Salem is a must. The Salem Woods offers miles of trails perfect for all ages. From vibrant autumn foliage to charming creek crossings, each step brings a new adventure.

For those seeking a more adrenaline-pumping experience, Salem also offers exciting opportunities for water sports. Head to Winter Island Park for a day of kayaking or paddleboarding along the scenic coastline. The crystal-clear waters and gentle waves make it an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced water enthusiasts.

After a day of outdoor exploration, unwind and relax at one of Salem’s cozy campgrounds. Witchcraft Heights Campground provides a peaceful retreat surrounded by towering trees and chirping birds. Roast marshmallows over a crackling fire as you share stories under the starlit sky, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Salem goes beyond its historical offerings with a range of educational experiences for kids. Science and art workshops are a popular choice, offering hands-on activities that engage your child’s curious mind. The Salem Science Center offers exciting exhibits and interactive workshops that explore various scientific phenomena.

For little bookworms, Salem’s libraries and reading events are a great way to foster a love for literature. The Salem Public Library regularly hosts storytelling sessions and reading programs catered to different age groups. The annual Salem Children’s Book Festival is another exciting event that brings together authors, illustrators, and young readers for a day of literary celebration.

Moreover, Salem’s commitment to education extends to its outdoor spaces. The Salem Botanical Gardens provide a unique learning environment where children can explore different plant species and learn about the importance of biodiversity. The gardens offer guided tours for school groups, allowing students to engage with nature in a hands-on and educational way.

Additionally, history comes to life in Salem through educational reenactments and living history programs. The Salem Living History Museum offers immersive experiences where children can step back in time and interact with costumed interpreters, gaining a deeper understanding of the past through interactive storytelling and demonstrations.

When hunger strikes, there are plenty of kid-friendly dining options in Salem. Restaurants like The Lobster Shanty and Howling Wolf Taqueria serve up delicious meals that cater to both young and adult palates. These eateries often provide kids’ menus and welcoming atmospheres.

Young foodies can also embark on a culinary adventure at The Witches Brew Cafe, a whimsical eatery where every dish is served with a touch of magic. From bubbling cauldron soups to enchanted desserts, this cafe will transport kids to a world of spellbinding flavors and fun.

Besides satisfying their taste buds, children will love exploring the unique souvenir shops in Salem. Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie is a sweet haven that has been delighting young hearts since 1806. Allow your children to pick out their favorite confections and experience a taste of Salem’s history.

For a truly immersive shopping experience, families can visit The Enchanted Emporium, a charming store filled with mystical trinkets and whimsical treasures. Kids can browse through shelves of spell books, crystal balls, and fairy wings, sparking their imagination and curiosity.

Throughout the year, Salem hosts a variety of seasonal events and festivals that are sure to keep kids entertained. In the summer, the city comes alive with exciting activities like outdoor concerts, street fairs, and beach days. Head down to Salem Willows Park, where you’ll find classic amusement rides, arcade games, and picturesque ocean views.

One of the most anticipated events during the summer months is the Salem Maritime Festival, celebrating the city’s rich maritime history. Visitors can enjoy live music, historical reenactments, and even take a ride on a replica of a historic sailing ship. The festival also offers delicious seafood from local vendors and fun activities for children, making it a perfect family outing.

During winter, Salem transforms into a winter wonderland for children. The Salem Holiday Market offers a magical experience with local artisans showcasing their crafts and holiday treats. Don’t forget to bundle up and take your little ones to Winter Island Park for ice skating, hot cocoa, and the annual lighting of the Christmas tree.

As the fall season approaches, Salem becomes a hub for Halloween enthusiasts. The city is famous for its Salem Haunted Happenings, a month-long celebration featuring haunted tours, costume balls, and spooky events. Families can enjoy pumpkin carving contests, ghost stories by the bonfire, and even a parade through the historic streets of Salem.

With its wealth of kid-friendly activities and attractions, Salem, MA is the perfect destination for a family vacation. From exploring historical landmarks to enjoying outdoor adventures and indulging in delicious food, there is no shortage of fun in this charming coastal city. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure for both you and your little adventurers!

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