I get a lot of questions regarding bringing the kiddos into Salem. What attractions are family friendly? What restaurants are kid friendly? Is it too scary? Where should we stay? Pretty much any variation of asking about kids, to be honest. So today I wanted to offer a few tips and share some resources to help you make educated decisions.
Have back up plans ready
I have mentioned this in other places, but I would definitely suggest having back up plans ready. If you wind up with a kid that can’t sit through an attraction, what other options are nearby that they might be into? If you need to allow them to run out some energy, how far are you from the Salem Common or the wharf where they have tons of space? Having a bit of an overview of what’s around you can definitely be helpful in my opinion.
Consider the crowds
If you’re planning an October visit, I would strongly consider how well the kids do in crowds. Another factor is the costumes which can range from very tame to intense and sometimes disturbing or violent looking. Some kids love everything to do with Halloween, some are not so good with it. Consider your specific kids of course and how they do with these things. You as the parent are the best one to make that call, naturally.
Related: Is Salem, MA too scary for kids?
Kid friendly options
Along the lines of having a back up plan, I would also suggest having a mental list of some kid friendly businesses in Salem. Most restaurants are fine but there are some that have more to offer a family than others. Things like having a kids menu might be a deciding factor, so it could be a good idea to do some research ahead of your visit.
Every fall I do a blog post that covers 10-12 attractions or events happening in October that are kid friendly. Check out the last few year’s worth for an idea of how it looks and stay tuned this fall for the 2019 post. I also do the same for the holidays, so keep an eye for that one too!
- Ten things to do in Salem WITH KIDS this October 2017
- Ten things to do in Salem, MA with kids this October 2018
- 10 kid friendly ways to celebrate the holidays around Salem, MA this year — 2018
If it comes down to it and you really aren’t sure if an attraction or season happening is okay for the family – call. Salem’s business owners are super friendly and I’m sure more than willing to let you know.
Things to do in Salem – The FB Group
My Facebook group has grown to almost 2,000 members now and is full of people who are happy to talk about their experiences. If you have a specific place in mind or want a second opinion from another mom or dad, consider posting there!
Click here to request to join my Facebook group.
Strollers + Walking
Some attractions and shops are big enough or have room to push kids in strollers, some not so much. A lot of Salem is very, very old and has been around since before…well, today’s strollers, so keep that in mind. All of the businesses will work with you in finding a place to store it as best as possible or give you other options. This is also something to think about in conjunction with the crowds I mentioned above, if you’re planning an October visit.
Salem is also largely a walkable city, so if the kids aren’t good on their feet for long periods, make sure you have alternatives in mind. You might consider hopping on board the Salem Trolley!
Where can you stay?
Most accommodations in Salem will allow kids and families, however there are a few exceptions. For example, the Curwen House which is part of the Salem Inn does not. You’d need to book in one of their other two houses as a family. Read over the website of the place you are considering or give them a call if you’re concerned.
A final note…
I don’t want any of this to seem like a deterrent in bringing the family to the witch city. It can absolutely be done. This info is just here to help you make educated choices so you can have the best trip possible. Enjoy!! <3