10 Things to Do This October in Salem, Massachusetts

This October may look different, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate the Halloween season and take in Salem’s history, dining scene, small shops, and more. Be sure to download the new Salem app to find everything there is to see and do downtown this October along with maps, FAQs, parking updates, and more. Click here to view an update from the City of Salem on 2020 events and find things to do in Salem this October in the list below.

As you plan your visit, please remember:

· Masks are required to be worn while in downtown Salem both indoors and outdoors, regardless of physical distancing. For the full order by the Salem Board of Health visit salem.com/masks.

· There is currently a travel order that requires many out of state visitors to fill out a traveler form and either quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Massachusetts or present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel. States that are exempt from this order include NH, VT, ME, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, CO, and WV. Find the complete form and more information at mass.gov/matraveler.

· Businesses are required to run on limited capacities in accordance with the state’s reopening guidelines. If a business you are interested in takes reservations in advance, we recommend getting them to save your space. Contact individual businesses for more information.

Shop the online merchant marketplace

This year’s Creative Collective Merchant Marketplace has moved online! Visit hauntedhappeningsmarketplace.com to shop local vendors from home or before/after your visit to Salem Haunted Happenings. Show us your favorite purchases by wearing locally made clothing and accessories during your trip or tagging #SalemHauntedHappenings.

Learn about the Salem Witch Trials

Learn about the Salem Witch Trials at the Salem Witch Museum, which features two exhibitions covering the history of the trials and the evolution and changing perceptions of the Witch. Tour a replica dungeon at the Witch Dungeon Museum, or visit the Witch House, the last remaining structure directly related to the trials. Reflect on the events of 1692 at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, and take the short walk down Axelrod Walkway to the Peabody Essex Museum to view The Salem Witch Trials 1692 exhibition featuring documents from the event (opens September 26).

Explore Salem outdoors

This October is the perfect time to explore the outdoors in Salem. The Ropes Mansion (aka Allison’s House in Hocus Pocus) has a beautiful garden that is free to visit on Essex Street, and Punto Urban Art Museum offers a free walk through 85 large scale murals painted by artists from all over the world. This season, The House of the Seven Gables is offering a new garden experience with an audio tour of the historic seaside gardens and virtual tour of the interior of the mansion. The grounds of Salem Maritime National Historic Site are also open, so you can take the .5 mile walk out to Derby Light or check out the gardens behind the Derby House.

Take a walking tour

Salem has a walking tour for every interest ranging from Salem Kids Tour designed exclusively for kids and families to nightly ghost tours like Salem Night Tour or Haunted Footsteps. Learn about Salem’s history with Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours or Black Cat Tours, join the Salem Wax Museum for a Candlelit Ghostly Walking Tour, or take a morning or afternoon stroll with Sinister Stories of Salem. Meet at Crow Haven Corner for the Salem Witch Walk, a tour led by a modern Witch that begins with a Magic Circle, or reserve a local-led tour for your own group with Salem Haunts. If you prefer more of a traveling tasting, join Salem Food Tours for a food tour or AM Coffee Walk.

Spend time on the water

Join Mahi Cruises for lighthouse and foliage cruises out of Pickering Wharf this fall or get into the Halloween spirit with a Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise. Each cruise with Mahi comes with a full bar and fresh eats as you cruise by Salem’s scenic coastlines.

Shop and dine by the water

Spend time on Pickering Wharf before or after your cruise to spend time exploring the nearby shops and restaurants. Enjoy waterfront views for lunch or dinner at Finz Seafood & Grill or Sea Level Oyster Bar. Create your own unique brooms with crafting kits from The Witchery, or shop for crystals, tarot cards, books, and more at Enchanted or The Cauldron Black. Also on the wharf, Circle of Stitches stocks knitting supplies and Witchy gifts, and Salemdipity has a variety of Salem souvenirs including sweatshirts, t-shirts, Halloween collectibles, and more.

Take the Salem Trolley

The one-hour tour aboard the Salem Trolley offers a nice overview to Salem’s past and present. Learn some local history and see famous locations around town with narrated tours covering downtown, waterfront areas, and more.

Get a psychic reading

Visit one of Salem’s psychic readers or make a reservation for a psychic fair. Salem’s newest Witch shop, Pentagram, offers readings by Leanne Marrama and Timothy Reagan. Omen and Hex both offer readings on Essex Street, and the annual psychic fair by Festival of the Dead is set to run at the Witch City Mall. Book a reading at Crow Haven Corner with Lorelei, Salem’s love psychic, or stop by Enchanted or The Cauldron Black for readings on Pickering Wharf.

Indulge your sweet tooth

Salem is full of sweets and treats! Find homemade chocolates at Harbor Sweets and homemade ice cream at Melt. Pickup chocolates, ice cream, or Halloween gifts at Maria’s Sweet Somethings, or visit Salem’s late night cookie stop at Goodnight Fatty. For more fall treats, head up Bridge Street to Coffee Time and pick up some apple cider donuts or pumpkin cheesecake.

Start planning for Haunted Happenings 2021!

While we’d miss seeing you downtown, we understand if you can’t make it to Salem this year. If that’s the case, there is no time like the present to start planning next year’s fall travels! Download the new Salem app or visit Salem.org for updates on visiting Salem in 2021, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.