things to do in salem, halloween in salem, october in salem ma

I know there are about a trillion blog posts covering how to do Halloween in Salem, but for today I figured I’d do something different. Today we’re going to cover what NOT to do.

Before we get into it, let me just first say that there is no real right or wrong way to do anything when it comes to wandering Salem. These are just tips, tricks and info that I know first hand to be helpful. Whatever you decide to do is of course, always up to you. Salem is amazing regardless of showing up with a plan in hand or not. <3

So here we go. I suggest NOT doing the following things…

I really don’t suggest waiting until the last minute to get tickets for events you plan to attend. A lot of things sell out rather quickly, sometimes months before October even rolls around, so waiting until Halloween day will probably mean you can’t get tickets. I’d suggest if you see something you know you really want to attend, buying the tickets as soon as they are available and you can afford to do so. This will ensure when you get into town, you know you’re all set.

Due to the volumes of people in Salem on and around Halloween, I’d suggest coming armed with a little bit of a plan. There is absolutely something to be said for wandering and just sight-seeing, however if there are attractions you’re set on, I’d suggest having a rough game plan in place. Salem attracts tourists from all over the entire world during the fall, so you might want to have an idea of where things are that are important to you and how you can get to it. Showing up without much thought put into where you’re going can lead to unnecessarily walking in circles and possibly not seeing what you want to because of delays.

On the same train of thought of the crowds, attempting to book your hotel or lodging last minute is not wise.  I know it’s January, but seriously. Book now. Why not? Especially if you want to stay IN Salem…just do it. If you’re going to be going for sure then check that off your list early. Hotels and bed and breakfasts in Salem fill up fast for October and Halloween.

If you’re going to be driving into Salem from either your home or hotel, don’t wait last minute to consider parking. There are definitely areas you can park for free for a short time frame, as well as paid lots and garages, so don’t wait until you’re rolling around Salem’s side streets looking for a spot to consider your options.

Lastly, don’t come without a costume!! Well, if you want to of course. 😛 Dressing up is optional, but everyone else will be dressed up too (I promise). So if you want to wear one, don’t wait until the eleventh hour to put it together.

Have fun! I hope these tips are helpful and feel free to message me with questions. I get DMs on social media all the time, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

  1. Hi! I wish I read this a long time ago. Because I did EVERYTHING on this list and now im pretty bummed out that I booked a place just to come to salem where everything is sold out. Do you have any recommendations of what I should do? i wish i could cancel my airbnb and this trip but its too late. Id appreciate any suggestions you have.

    1. Aw, you can definitely still have fun in Salem just taking it all in. I would suggest calling around to the attractions you’re interested in getting tickets for to see if you’re able to grab them last minute before you get there. If not, you can always people watch, check out free events that are just open to the public like the carnival, chow down on delicious foods, enjoy doing some shopping, etc. You can still have fun. 🙂

  2. Is there trick or treating for kids in Salem on Halloween night? If so, where please.

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