Salem Holiday Happenings is a month-long slate of cheer, tales, shopping, and sweet winter treats
The City of Salem, Massachusetts will feature a holiday season of activities that include traditional favorites such as Santa’s arrival at the Hawthorne Hotel and Christmas in Salem House Tours, and the return of Winter Walk on Pickering Wharf. Holiday events will accommodate the tastes of all ages and interests. In addition to seasonal programs, the shopping in Salem offers small-town hospitality with unique presents that can only be found in Salem. During the shopping, dining, and holiday events, there is always room for a seasonal hot chocolate.
“Each year Salem provides new and unique activities that engage the holiday spirit,” said Kate Fox, Executive Director of Destination Salem. “Salem is the perfect place to celebrate a classic New England holiday season. Salem’s business community is ready to help people who are seeking a special seasonal activity, unique shopping, or a night out to celebrate the holidays.”
Special Events During Salem Holiday Happenings:
- Friday, November 25: Santa’s Arrival and Holiday Tree Lighting – Santa Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel at 6 p.m. with assistance from the Salem Fire Department. Santa’s arrival will be followed by a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall to Lappin Park, next to the Bewitched Statue. The tree lighting event includes carols, festivities, and more.
- Saturday, November 26: Holiday Marketplace at Finz Seafood – This annual Holiday Marketplace hosts 30 vendors featuring hand-crafted items. The event takes place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
- Saturday, November 26 – Friday, December 23: Salem Trolley and “A Christmas Carol” – This humorous and whimsical interactive performance reanimates Dickens’ timeless seasonal holiday classic. Scrooge will ride along on the Salem Trolley as the classic tale is brought to life in a completely unexpected way.
- Saturday, December 3 through Sunday, December 4: Christmas in Salem Holiday House Tours – This traditional long-standing favorite is back in person and virtual. Historic, beautiful homes are professionally decorated for this annual event spanning four centuries of Salem’s past. The weekend also includes a series of holiday-themed walking tours, wine tastings, and more.
- Saturday, December 3: Window Decorating Contest – Downtown businesses will have decorated their windows, especially for the holidays, and judges will make the rounds to vote on the best windows.
- Saturday, December 10: Winter Walk on the Wharf – The shops and restaurants at Pickering Wharf are hosting a spectacular Holiday Winter Walk on the wharf. Stop by and join in for a weekend filled with fun, raffles, food, and Santa!
- Saturday, December 10: The Holiday Trolley (Let’s Catch the Gingerbread Man) – Join the Good Witch of Salem on a quest to find the Gingerbread Man aboard the Holiday Trolley! The race through downtown Salem will begin at The Good Witch of Salem with a story-time all about the Gingerbread Man! Attendees will take part and interact with the story through the use of motions, props, and baking tools. After storytime, together we will view and discuss how Gingerbread Cookies are made. Be on the lookout because one of the adorable Gingerbread Men will come alive and run off into the streets of Salem! Once we spot him, all will board the Holiday Trolley to find that fast little cookie! Keep your eyes peeled while riding the Holiday Trolley…the Gingerbread Man can pop up anywhere along the way.
- Saturday, December 17: Santa in Salem – Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to Phillips House! Take a photo with Santa and see the elegant Chestnut Street mansion aglow with holiday cheer. Before or after meeting Santa, join us for stories with Mrs. Claus, cookies, cider, and a drop-in Christmas craft workshop, where you can make festive creations to take home and even write your letter to Santa! Craft activities are recommended for families with children ages 4 to 10. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive shortly after 12 p.m.
- Sunday, December 18: Salem Main Streets Holiday Stroll – Salem Main Streets wants to help you with your holiday shopping! Load up on sustenance at one of our many fine downtown breakfast and brunch establishments, then hit the bricks for great finds and specials at local retailers around town, all while serenaded by festive roaming carolers. Keep your eyes peeled for Santa! Follow along online for the latest list of participants and shopping details.
- Sunday, December 18: Salem Common Neighborhood Association 7th Annual Free Holiday Concert – The Salem Common Neighborhood Association is pleased to announce its Holiday Concert at The Bridge at 211. This includes free music by the Merrimack Valley Concert Band and Bake Sale. Donations of baked goods are greatly appreciated. All proceeds to benefit the SCNA and The Bridge at 211 to continue to bring free neighborhood programming that is open to all. Cider will be served at intermission in the gallery for those comfortable/interested.
- Each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday throughout December: Christmas Fireside Tales at the Daniels House – This evening of tales in one of America’s oldest houses is devoted to stories about early Salem, Winter traditions, and the festive season.
- Saturday, December 31: Launch! New Year’s Eve – This event is hosted by Salem Main Streets and will release details in the coming weeks. Come ring in the New Year in downtown Salem! The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw a New Year’s Eve party, with live music and family-friendly activities. There will be an early countdown promptly at 6 p.m.
Parking in municipal lots, garages, and meters will be free on November 25, 26, and 27, as well as on December 23, 24, 25, and 26.
Additional information on shopping, dining, and accommodations can be found through Destination Salem.
About Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a destination recognized worldwide for its rich history, including the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween. Approximately 1.8 million people visit Salem annually, generating nearly $140 million in tourism spending and supporting 1,000 jobs.
About Destination Salem
As the destination marketing organization for the City of Salem, Destination Salem cooperatively markets Salem as one of Massachusetts’ best destinations for families, couples, and domestic and international travelers who are seeking an authentic New England experience, cultural enrichment, American history, fine dining, unique shopping, and fun. For more information, visit Salem.org.
What is Creative Collective?
Creative Collective is a group of economic development strategists, small business supporters, activation specialists, and believers in the importance of the creative workforce. We foster growth, sustainability, and scalability for small businesses, creative thinkers, organizations, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Learn more and join Creative Collective at www.creativecollectivema.com/join