Holiday Happenings cast their spell on Salem, Mass. 
Special events and programs from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day promise seasonal magic
Salem, MA . . . The Massachusetts Seaport known for its Haunted Happenings in October is ready for its next seasonal celebration: Holiday Happenings.  Visitors from near and far will find events throughout the month that will feature shopping, dining, holiday cheer, and the jolly ol’ elf, himself, Santa.Salem Holiday Happenings
Two of Salem’s signature holiday events are the arrival of Santa atop the historic Hawthorne Hotel and the Christmas in Salem Historic Homes Tour weekend.  Santa will be assisted down from the rooftop by the Salem Fire Department when he arrives and greets families on November 25, and Christmas in Salem will visit the beautifully decorated homes in the Salem Common National Historic District.
Additional events and programs include holiday shopping nights, the Salem Holiday Market, Salem Artists’ Market, Christmas Tours at the Gables, and the third annual Launch! New Year’s Eve event.  Many of Salem’s museums, attractions, and tours operate year-round, so visitors seeking out Salem’s history will find plenty to do for a day or a stay.
Christmas in Salem
2016 Holiday Happenings in Salem, Massachusetts
For additional holiday events and updates on those posted here, as well as complete information for visiting Salem, visit
Holiday Shop Small Series at Ocean Chic boutique
Join Ocean Chic Boutique for a six week series beginning November 11 and running through December 16. Every Friday night from 5-8pm at Ocean Chic (96 Wharf Street) we’ll be featuring a local clothing or jewelry company. Come meet the artists and support Made in MA / Made in New England brands. Stay tuned to our Facebook page as we announce the participants & thank you for shopping small this holiday season.
Salem Winter Market
November 19, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Museum Place Mall
Come join the Salem Farmers’ Market for the first of two Winter Market events!  With over 20 vendors participating – some familiar, some new – we’ve got everything you need to help you prepare for Thanksgiving and the holidays.
Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run
November 24, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Salem Knights of Columbus, 94 Washington Square, Salem
The 13th Annual Wild Turkey 5 Mile Run will take place on Thanksgiving Day.  Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. This is the largest race on the North Shore, with 2,000 anticipated participants.  First 1600 participants get long sleeved Brooks tech shirts. Registration: $25
Santa’s Arrival and Holiday Tree Lighting
November 25, 6:00 PM
Hawthorne Hotel/Salem Common and Lappin Park
A beloved annual tradition, Santa Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel at 18 Washington Square – with assistance from the Salem Fire Department, of course! Santa’s arrival will be followed by a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall for the annual lighting of Salem’s Holiday Tree at Lappin Park (next to the Bewitched Statue at the intersection of Essex Street and Washington Street).
Small Business Saturday
November 26, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Downtown Salem
The Salem Chamber and Salem Main Streets are organizing a holiday shopping event for the Salem downtown area on Small Business Saturday, November 26from 10 am – 7 pm. Small Business Saturday is part of the “Shop Small” movement initiated by American Express to encourage holiday shoppers to shop local on Saturday, November 26.
Christmas Tours at The Gables
November 26 through December 31
114 Derby Street
Did you know that Christmas was banned in New England for nearly two centuries?  The Gables offers guests a special tour blending the unique history of the mansion with the little known history of Christmas in colonial Massachusetts. Christmas tours are included with admission.
Artists’ Holiday Market
November 27, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Old Town Hall
Join the Salem Arts Association, in partnership with the City of Salem and Salem Main Streets, for a lively market with all kinds of opportunities to browse and shop for treasures for self, friends, and family. The Artists’ Holiday Market will feature a quality selection of vendors of artwork and handmade artisan products including photography, jewelry, clothing, paintings, handbags, etc.
Shared Holiday Party for Small Businesses
December 1, 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
Join us for a shared holiday party for small businesses, along with your friends and family, to celebrate the season. We provide a sumptuous buffet, DJ and dancing, games, prizes, and festive decorations. All you need to do is make the reservations!
Festive Fridays
December 2, 9, 16, 23
Downtown Salem
Salem Main Streets wants to help you with your holiday shopping by working with retailers to stay open late every Friday in December (minus Christmas). Follow along for the latest in who’s open and what’s happening around town.
Holiday Open House at Ye Olde Pepper Companie
December 3 & 4
122 Derby Street

Come see homemade candy canes being manufactured while enjoying complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. Children will be able to enter the kitchen and shape their own candy canes. Mrs. Spencer will be visiting to talk about the history of the company and its products and hand out samples!
New! Trimmings and Treats Tour
December 3, 10, 17
Salem Food Tours is pleased to announce their new “Trimmings and Treats” Tour. This 3+ hour afternoon excursion is a delicious cheese, wine, savory and sweet tasting! Time to shop is even included, and you will be inspired by Salem’s amazing shops (enjoy discounts!) Each location will gladly hold bags till end of tour to keep your walk light and easy. The Tour will start at one of Salem’s beautiful historic house museums, where you will learn about holiday dinners from days of old. You may even enjoy a photo opp with Ebenezer Scrooge (if he’s not being too cranky!).  Then you will stroll through Salem, picture perfect in December, learning about Salem’s spice trade history, as well as modern thriving culinary and cultural scene. Trimmings and Treats Tours will run three Saturdays in December: the 3rd, 10th, and 17th.  $36pp. It’s a delicious and festive way to #shoplocal and support our fantastic local businesses!
37th Annual Christmas in Salem House Tour
December 2 – 4
Thought to be the nation’s longest running holiday house tour, Christmas in Salem features a glimpse into private homes that have been professionally decorated for the holiday season as well as a series of special events such as walking tours and wine tastings that are exclusive to Christmas in Salem ticket holders. Each year, the tour features a different neighborhood in historic Salem and therefore explores a series of unique histories and architectural tales. Proceeds from the event support historic preservation in Salem and the mission of Historic Salem, Inc.
Christmas Tree in Salem MAThe Salem Garden Club’s Christmas Boutique
December 3, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
The Hawthorne Hotel “Library” (lower level), 18 Washington Square West, Salem
The Christmas Boutique features for sale uniquely decorated fresh wreaths, center pieces, sprays, boxwood trees and much more.  Each item is hand made by the talented members of the Salem Garden Club.  Funds raised are reinvested into the community through the Clubs civic endeavors.  The Boutique is a unique event and just the place to find that something special to trim your own home for the holiday or to find a gift for someone special.
Holiday Window Contest
Starting Friday, December 9
Downtown Salem
Every year, downtown businesses decorate their windows especially for the holidays. Judges nominated by Salem Main Streets make the rounds to vote on the best windows, and the competition is always fierce!
Home for the Holidays at the House of the Seven Gables
December 11, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
114 Derby Street, Salem
All are welcome for an afternoon of cheer, crafts, and music at The Gables. Our Living History Lab will offer hands-on history, the Museum Store will be open for festive shopping, and Ferreira Foods will have a pop-up cafe with delicious treats.
Winter Walk on the Wharf
December 9, 10, & 11
Pickering Wharf
Merchants of Pickering Wharf come together to celebrate the holiday season!
National Wreaths across America Day
December 17, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Join Wreaths across America at Greenlawn Cemetery in their mission to “remember, honor, and teach.”
Salem Winter Market
December  17, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Museum Place Mall
Come join the Salem Farmers’ Market for the second of two Winter Market events!  With over 20 vendors participating – some familiar, some new – we’ve got everything you need to help you prepare for the holidays.
Salem Holiday MarketSalem Holiday Market
December 17, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM; December 18, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Old Town Hall
Givers on a quest for the memorable and meaningful happily will find their way during the holiday season to New England Open Markets’ Holiday Market in Salem. Shoppers not only find unique and unexpected gifts for the ones they love, but they receive the gift themselves of a joyful shopping experience. Shoppers are sure to find the perfect match for their recipient while knowing they are supporting local small businesses, artisans, and designers.
New Year’s Eve LAUNCH!
December 31, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
Come ring in the New Year at Old Town Hall!  The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw a New Year’s Eve party at Old Town Hall, with live music and family-friendly activities.  There will be an early countdown promptly at 6 pm.
About Salem: Salem, Massachusetts, is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes 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.  Today more than one million people visit Salem annually, generating more than $100 million in tourism spending.
About Destination Salem: As the Salem Office of Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Inc., Destination Salem cooperatively markets Salem as one of Massachusetts’ best destinations for families, couples, 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
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