The holidays are here in Salem, MA > Massachusetts

Over the years, Salem, Massachusetts has become known for the month-long October celebration of Salem Haunted Happenings, with 2022 marking the festival’s 40th anniversary. As the Halloween decorations fall and the seasons begin to shift towards shorter days and longer nights, an air of merriment envelops the charming seaside town of Salem. The magic of Christmas fills the streets with the Christmas tree lights, the Christmas window contest and the scent of sweet and savory delicious creations hanging in the air. If you’re looking to boost your holiday spirit this year, plan a day of celebration around one of our upcoming events. The cutest part is that free parking will be available on communal lots, garages and meters will be free November 25, 26, 27as well as December 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2022.

November 25th Arrival of Santa Claus and Christmas tree lighting

Santa will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel at 6:00 p.m. with the support of the Salem Fire Department. Santa’s arrival is followed by a procession through the pedestrianized Essex Street to Lappin Park next to the enchanted statue. The tree lighting event includes carols, celebrations and more.

Saturday, November 26th: Holiday market at Finz Seafood

Finding the perfect gift for the holiday season doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. Browse a selection of artisans for the perfectly crafted, one-of-a-kind Christmas present. This annual Christmas market hosts 30 vendors with handcrafted items. Running from 11:00am to 3:00pm, the event will give you the holiday cheer you need to get all your Christmas shopping done.

Saturday 26 November – Friday 23 December: Salem Trolley and “A Christmas Carol”

Are you looking for a fun event for you and your group of friends or maybe a family outing with the in-laws? Hop on the Salem Trolley and experience an interactive version of “A Christmas Carol”. This humorous and whimsical interactive performance revitalizes Dickens’ timeless seasonal Christmas classic. Scrooge will ride the Salem Trolley as the classic story comes to life in completely unexpected ways. Meet the ghosts of the past, present, and future while enjoying historical panoramic views of Salem, MA.

Saturday 3 December to Sunday 4 December: Christmas in Salem Holiday home viewing

This traditional perennial favorite is back – in person and virtually. Historic beautiful homes are professionally decorated for this annual event that spans four centuries of Salem’s past. The weekend also includes a series of holiday-themed hikes, wine tastings and more. Enjoy the cool fresh New England air while enjoying the beautiful architecture that makes our community so unique.

Saturday, December 3rd: holidays Window Dressing Contest

December 3rd is a great day to stroll through downtown Salem and admire the newly decorated storefronts in all their glory. Downtown shops have decorated their windows, especially for the holidays, and judges will do the rounds to vote for the best windows. These innovative displays set the stage for a day of shopping and winter fun.

Saturday, December 10th: Winter walk on the quay

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Salem waterfront and harbor from the wharf while immersing yourself in an eclectic selection of local shops in Salem, MA at Pickering Wharf. The shops and restaurants of Pickering Wharf put on a spectacular Holiday Winter Walk along the quay. Come along for a weekend of fun, prize draws, food and Santa!

Saturday December 10th: The Christmas Car (Let’s Catch the Gingerbread Man)

Join the Good Witch of Salem and embark on a quest to find the Gingerbread Man aboard the Holiday Trolley! The race through downtown Salem begins at The Good Witch of Salem with a story hour about the Gingerbread Man! Participants participate and interact with the story through the use of movement, props, and baking tools. After the story hour, we will look and discuss together how gingerbread cookies are made. Be on the lookout as one of the adorable Gingerbread Men comes to life and runs into the streets of Salem! Once we spot him, everyone hop on the Holiday Trolley to find that quick little cookie! Keep your eyes peeled as you ride the Holiday Trolley… the Gingerbread Man can appear anywhere along the way.

Saturday, December 17: Santa Claus in Salem

Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to Phillips House! Snap a photo with Santa and see the elegant mansion on Chestnut Street light up with the holiday cheer. Before or after meeting Santa, visit Phillips House for Mrs. Claus stories, cookies, cider and a drop-in Christmas craft workshop where you can make festive take-home creations and even write your letter to Santa! Craft activities are recommended for families with children from 4 to 10 years old. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive just after 12:00

Sunday, December 18: Holiday walk through the main streets of Salem

Salem Main Streets wants to help you with your holiday shopping! Fuel up at one of our many fine downtown breakfast and brunch spots, then browse for great finds and specials at local retailers across the city while being accompanied by festive, itinerant carolers. Look out for Santa Claus! Follow online for the latest attendee list and purchase details.

Sunday, December 18: Salem Neighborhood Club 7th Annual free Christmas concert

The Salem Common Neighborhood Association is pleased to announce their Christmas Concert at The Bridge at 211. This includes free music from the Merrimack Valley Concert Band and bake sale. Donations of baked goods are very welcome. All proceeds benefit SCNA and The Bridge at 211 to continue to provide free community programs open to all. Cider will be served in the gallery during intermission for those who are comfortable/interested.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in December: Christmas stories by the fireplace at Daniels House

This story night in one of America’s oldest homes is dedicated to tales of early Salem, winter traditions, and the holiday season. Whether you’re spending the night, taking a day trip, or are a Salem local, Daniels House welcomes you to step into its cozy abode for an evening of celebration and Christmas cheer!

Saturday, December 31: Begin! New Year’s Eve

Hosted by Salem Main Streets, this event is a way to gather as a community to celebrate the New Year of 2023. Come ring in the New Year in downtown Salem! The City of Salem and Main Streets of Salem are hosting a New Year’s Eve Party featuring live music and family-friendly activities. At 6 p.m. sharp there is an early countdown

There are many ways to connect with the local community and all the holiday cheer to be experienced this time of year. Shop local and support small businesses, enjoy locally made culinary products or meet up with loved ones for a vacation experience here in town. The happiness can be felt in every corner of the city without the overwhelming crowds of larger cities getting in the way of your trip. Come and enjoy the excitement of the Salem Holiday Happenings and end your 2022 on a positive note. Happy Holidays!

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