18 of the Best Family-Friendly Things to Do in Salem, MA

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Salem, Massachusetts, is a beautiful and historic coastal New England town with lots of charm and a not-so-rosy past. It’s also a great place to spend quality time with the family this October since there are many things to do in Salem, MA. with kids

There is a lot for the whole family to enjoy in Salem in any season, but if you are planning a trip to visit during the Halloween season, check out our post of spooky Things to Do in Salem, MA with Kids in October. That is where you will learn about special events, times, exhibits, and more that you can only see during the spooky season.

Salem, MA for kids

Now on to family-friendly things you can do year-round in this wonderful town. Visit any time of year to see all of the year-round museums and activities there are to see in Salem, Massachusetts.

Family-Friendly things to do in Salem, Massachusetts
Photo Credit: Sam T via Flickr

Things to Do in Salem with Kids

Take a Bewitching Picture with Samantha

Visit the statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha from the tv show, Bewitched. While your kids probably haven’t watched Bewitched, she is still a symbol of everything Salem, and it’s a bewitching statue. Perfect for a photo opportunity.

Salem Willows Park

Enjoy the outdoors in 35 acres of waterfront paradise. At Salem Willows Park your family will enjoy the beach, arcade, bumper cars, carousel, ice cream, and more!

Salem Woods

If you are looking for some family time outdoors, Salem Woods is a great place to go for a nature walk. With 129 acres of woods, a meadow, and a river estuary, there are plenty of opportunities for spotting wildlife, insects, and birds and getting outside in the fresh air.

Salem Willows Arcade - Salem, MA
Photo Credit: mailgirl333 via Flickr

Salem Willows Arcade

The whole family will enjoy playing games at the Salem Willows Arcade, located in Salem Willows Park. They have old classics like Pac-Man, Galaga, and asteroids that will give parents that nostalgic feeling and newer favorites that the kids will enjoy.

Salem Wax Museum

If your kids like history, they will love the Salem Wax Museum. It’s a fun place to visit and features figures like the death mask of Anne Boleyn and wax figures wearing witches’ clothing. 

Kids and families who like spooky history will love the lifelike wax figures at this museum. 

Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum is the nation’s oldest continuously operating museum and has over three million items on display, from paintings of George Washington to Native American artifacts.

There are also rotating exhibits, so there will always be something new to see with your family.

New England Pirate Museum - Salem, MA
Photo Credit: mwms1916 via Flickr

New England Pirate Museum

What child doesn’t like pirates? The New England Pirate Museum is also a great attraction for families with kids. It features things like Captain Kidd’s treasure chest and gold doubloons, as well as hands-on activities for the whole family.

Younger children will enjoy “Pirate Boot Camp,” where they can learn how to tie knots or find buried treasure. Ahoy, matey! 

New England Pirate Museum Tickets

Kids’ Walking Tours

Walking tours are a great option if you’re looking for unique things to do in Salem, MA. They have two choices of kids’ walking tours to choose from that will fit any family’s interests; the history tour and the slightly spooky tour. 

For older kids, there are more grown-up walking tours available as well. There is a tour for everyone.

Frankenstein’s Castle

If you’re brave, go down to the dungeon of the Salem Wax Museum and discover the horrors of Dr. Frankenstein…if you dare! Frankenstein’s Castle was voted the best haunted house in Salem, making it a must-see for daring kids and their families. 

The Salem Witch Village

Located just a few steps from the Salem Witch Museum, the Salem Witch Village is a great place to visit if you’re looking for kid-friendly things to do in Salem, MA. 

What makes it so special? It is a guided tour through a maze where you will learn about the history of witchcraft.

Salem Trolley Tours

The Salem Trolley Tours are a fun way to Salem and all of its landmarks. Your guide will give you all kinds of information about the town while you take a relaxing trolley ride.  

Salem Witch Museum - Salem , MA
Photo Credit: Rebecca Siegel via Flickr

The Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum is the perfect place to learn about Salem’s history and is a visitor favorite all year long. 

You will discover what witches wore, cauldrons, spell books, and more at the museum. There is also an interactive exhibit where kids can test themselves to see if they have any psychic abilities.

The Witch Museum is the perfect destination for history buffs and families curious about Salem’s witchy past.

Get tickets to the Salem Witch Museum and access 2, 3, 4, or 5 Boston-area attractions of your choice for one low price with a Go City: Boston Explorer Pass.

Witch Dungeon Museum

The Witch Dungeon Museum looks at what the Salem Witch Trials were like. You can watch a reenactment of a 1692 Witch trial performed by professional actresses. The performance is historically accurate and adapted from historical transcripts.

In addition to the reenactment, you can enjoy looking at the vignettes as well as a tour of the dungeon.

Salem, Massachusetts in October, family-friendly

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

The Salem Maritime National Historic Site features things like the remains of a 19th-century shipyard and an 1805 distillery. Kids will especially enjoy things like the boats or even seeing some live animals.

Ghost and Witch Tours

Take a tour of one of America’s most haunted towns with a fun ghost tour of Salem. This tour is a lot of fun and is suitable for most families with children. 

If you would rather, you can choose a witch trials tour or a Haunted Salem tour instead of the ghost tour. You can’t go wrong either way. You’re sure to have a fun time with any option.

The House of Seven Gables

IIs it haunted or not? Take a visit and find out if the famed House of Seven Gables is as spooky as it appears. 

The house has a long and sordid history which is probably why it’s considered one of the most famous houses in America. It’s a must for anyone who loves history.

Ghost Walking Tour 

If you would like a unique way to see the historic sites of Salem, a ghost walking tour is it! The tour starts at the old town hall, takes visitors through famous witch sites, and tells stories about their ghosts.

Salem Harbor Cruise

Take a relaxing cruise on the harbor. Your experience depends on the time of year you take your cruise.

You can book a standard harbor cruise, a sunset cruise, a lighthouse and foliage cruise in the fall, or a Haunted Happenings cruise during the Halloween season.

No matter when you book your cruise, your family will surely have a great time!

Final Thoughts

We hope we’ve given you a lot of ideas of things to do as you plan your trip to historic and beautiful, albeit slightly spooky, Salem, Massachusetts. There is so much to do and see that you will have a hard time fitting it all into one trip. 

More Fun Things to Do with Kids in Massachusetts

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