Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Holidays from Destination Salem

Diane at The Lobster Shanty sent me this picture, and I just love it! Salem is beautiful in the snow. If you have a great picture to share (it can be snow, sun, rain, whatever!) email it to me, and I just may post it on the blog.

If it's really great, I may ask you for permission to use it in the 2009 visitor guide, or on Salem.org. There's no cash involved, but the fame your would discover through being featured in a Salem tourism publication is quite priceless.

More snow is expected this week - so if you're coming into town, make sure to check Salem.com for snow emergency/parking ban information.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Snow Postponement to Report

The big band event that was scheduled at Rockafellas for this past Sunday, Decmeber 21st, has been rescheduled for Sunday, December 28th. The rest of the details for the evening remain the same - you can review them on the December 16th post of this blog or visit Rockafellas' web site.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow postpones "Cold is the Nightwind."

This just in...

The Dec. 21 "Cold is the Nightwind" Program has been postponed to Dec. 28 due to the snow, ice, and downtown parking ban that was in effect in Salem over the weekend...

"Cold is the Nightwind" A Victorian Christmas Program will be held on December 28, 2008, at 2 p.m. at St. Peter's Church, Salem, MA. (We'll have the New Year to celebrate musically, too, after all!)

Ticket sales have been extended to Dec. 28 and advance tickets will be on sale all week! You can purchase tickets at the door, or online, as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Salem Trolley Christmas Carol is Great Family Fun

The Salem Trolley Christmas Carol is the best ticket in town right now! This contemporary adaptation of A Christmas Carol has been done by Eric Rodenheiser of The Griffen Theatre, and it is wonderfully scripted to appeal to all ages.

It's a movable production - the audience travels via trolley with Ebeneezer Scrooge between today, Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. Jacob Marley comes aboard, and the famed ghosts ensure nobody is left behind on this journey of self-realization and holiday cheer.

Bring your hats and gloves, and appropriate footwear, if you go - traveling between scenes does involve walking on snow and ice right now, and it is chilly at night.

The Trolley Christmas Carol runs through Monday, December 22nd, and tickets are $22 per person. It's great for all ages (last night the youngest audience members were 7 and 8 and laughing hysterically), and the production is less than 90 minutes, so attention spans can stay in tact!

Call the Salem Trolley at 978-744-5469 for tickets.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Get into the Holiday Spirit at Rockafellas!

Rockafellas is offering two great holiday shows this Sunday, December 21st. I love the big band scene, and think we need more of it. And who doesn't love a family sing-along - especially if the Jolly Ol' Elf is going to make an appearance.

Here are the details for you and your families - it looks like it's going to be cold on Sunday, so come on down and stay warm in Rockafellas.

Holiday Family Brunch Sing Along featuring Lisa Love & Billy Garzone
12:00 p.m.-2 p.m
The brunch buffet will feature everything from an omelet station to a carving station and it will finish with a variety of desserts. The buffet begins at 11 a.m., and music is from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Admission is $22 per person, and children 10 & under eat for free. There will also be a guest appearance by the man who can tell whether you've been naughty or nice.

Holiday Dinner Show: The Compaq Band and Special Guest Singers Ed Scheer & Britt Sawdon
6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.
The 21-piece big band, The Compaq Band, will feature special guest singers Ed Scheer and Britt Sawdon in their 4th annual holiday show at Rockafellas. Seating begins at 6 p.m. with music and a buffet dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. The buffet has a wide selection of winter favorites, including stuffed broiled pork loin, wild poached salmon, and baked stuffed haddock with lemon butter sauce. Reservations are required, and admission is $38 per person, while children 10 & under eat for free.

For people interested in enjoying the bar scene on Sunday night, seats at the bar are $10 a person beginning at 6 p.m. Whether with a group, on a date, or by yourself, the Big Band Show always provides a classic evening of entertainment and refreshment.

For reservations or more information, call 978-745-2411 or email rock@rockafellasofsalem.com

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas with the Phillips Family Tour

Celebrate the holiday season with a special tour of the Historic New England’s Phillips House. This 40 minute tour will focus on the way a prominent Salem family celebrated through the month of December. View original Christmas cards, shopping lists, wrapping paper, and gifts that were exchanged. A limited time exhibition will show young Stevie Phillips’ letter to Santa and the gifts he received in 1915.

The Phillips House is located on 34 Chestnut Street. Tours are available on Saturday and Sunday through December, on the half-hour, from 11-4. This special tour is $5.00 for adults and free to Historic New England members and Salem residents with a valid ID.

The gift shop is also open. All jewelry is 15% off and holiday items are on sale as well. Historic New England members can receive 10-15% off with their membership card.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gift Ideas on Washington Street

Head over to Crunchy Granola Baby to stuff a stocking full for the little ones on your list. This weekend only, CGB is offering a handcrafted recycled sail cloth stocking at a 20% discount - buy the stocking, and fill it with fun stocking stuffers, like toys and clothes, and everything you can fit in your stocking is also discounted 20%!

Some may say the discount is the best part, but I love that the recycled stockings are a local product from Again and Again in Gloucester! The handcrafted stockings perfectly capture the essence of living on the Massachusetts coastline.

While you're on the top of Washington Street, head upstairs to Body & Soul Massage and buy that special someone a gift certificate for massage. If you're reading this from far away, and are planning a trip to Salem for 2009 - what better way to round out a trip to Salem then relaxing during a massage? Body & Soul can make any trip into a spaaaaaaaaahhhhhh trip! They have lots of specials going on for December, so check out their website for shopping ideas.

Back down on street level, Salem Cycle has great gift ideas for all the cyclists on your list. Whether you're a member of the Lycra set or a more casual cyclist, Dan and his staff can set you up for the holidays. If you're looking for an original souvenir - they have awesome t-shirts for the whole family. The witch-on-a-bike logo makes a great gift to give or keep.

Discover the magic of holiday shopping!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Get Glowing for the Holidays

I was at a meeting a couple of weeks ago and Anne Massey, who owns Rouge Cosmetics, described the store as, "We are located on Derby Street. We glow pink at night." I love that description, and at this time of year, seeing that warm pink glow coming from Rouge warms the cockles of my heart. Or it warms my pores. Some days it's hard to tell.

Rouge has some fabulous holiday gift ideas on their web site. They also have the list printed in convenient flyer format in case you want to leave it surreptitiously around the house. And they are running a "give a gift - get a gift" program in December, so if you're a "What's in it for me" personality - you'll find Rouge is a win/win this month.

Don't think Rouge is just for women - Rouge carries some fantastic lines for men and kids. Go in and browse about. The staff is fabulous, and they will steer you in the right direction for your holiday shopping.

So get glowing! Head down to 322 Derby Street toward the shop that is glowing pink.

A Classic Christmas at The House of the Seven Gables

If you didn't make it the The House of the Seven Gables last weekend for the Classic Christmas, check it out this weekend.

A Classic Christmas is Salem’s newest Christmas tradition. You will be surrounded with the spirit of the season as Holiday scenes from famous works of literature including Little Women, A Christmas Carol, and A Child’s Christmas in Wales are brought to life for audiences in the rooms of The House of the Seven Gables.
This is a unique and exciting theatrical experience that transforms The House of the Seven Gables into a living illustration of Christmas. It is a fantastic reason to discover - or rediscover - this gem on Turner Street.

Performances begin every five to ten minutes in The House of the Seven Gables and last approximately 30 minutes. The last performance begins at closing. Reservations are recommended and group rates are available.

Saturday, December 13, 4:00PM – 7:00PM
Sunday, December 14, 4:00PM – 6:00PM

For Tickets in advance, please call 978.744.0991 ext. 104.
Adult Tickets: $12 each. Child Tickets (Ages 5-12) $8.00 each.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Happenings in Salem

There is a lot going on in Salem for the holidays. Check out some highlights below (thanks to the Salem Chamber of Commerce for providing their comprehensive list!) and download your copy of the Holiday Happenings brochure at Salem.org.

Chulamama Maternity & Baby - 12 Deals of Christmas - 320 Derby Street
Through December 12 - Every day from now until December 12 Chulamama is having a daily special: Discounts, raffles and free gifts! All offers are good while supplies last and discount prices will go back up the next day. For more information call (978) 741-4600.

The Theatre of Light Presents: Narnia.....the Musical - St. Peter's Episcopal Church - December 13 and 14. Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 3 pm - NARNIA....the Musical, based on "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", C.S. Lewis' most popular story from the Chronicles of Narnia, will be presented by the Theatre of Light on the above mentioned dates. Suggested ticket donations are $5 for children ages 5 and under, $10 for students and seniors and $15 for adults. For reservations and more information call (781) 210-9818.

Peabody Essex Museum Winter Festival - East India Square - Saturday, December 13 from 11 am - 1 pm
Midwinter Magic, inspired by Claude Debussy's work for piano, Snowflakes Are Dancing. Len Gerwick and Deborah Cosine delight audiences with this story of two children awaiting the first snow, featuring over 30 puppets. For adults and children ages 5 and up.
Gingerbread Houses and Cookies - Saturday, December 13 from 11 am - 3 pm - Chefs from the award-winning North Shore Community College Culinary Arts program in Danvers demonstrate the art of gingerbread house construction and decoration. Decorate your own gingerbread cookies for a yummy snack! Don't miss the chefs' gingerbread house interpretation of the museum's Gardner-Pingree House.
Crystal Watercolor Snowflake - Saturday, December 13 from 1 - 3 pm - Create a design as unique as a real snowflake. Paint with watercolors; then sprinkle on some salt and see what happens! (For all ages).
Make Your Own Snow Globe - Saturday, December 13 at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm - For adults and accompanied children ages 7 and up.
Animals in Winter - Saturday, December 13 at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm - Meet at the information desk. For accompanied children ages 3 - 6.
For more information on these events visit http://www.pem.org/.

Teddy Bear Tea at the Hawthorne Hotel - 18 Washington Square West, Salem, MA
Saturday, December 13 from Noon to 2 pm - A favorite tradition at the Hawthorne, this tea is dedicated to "Toys for Tots". Buffet luncheon with finger sandwiches. All children will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the Hawthorne Bears. Adults $21, children 12 and under $13.50 or free when they bring a "Toys for Tots" donation (new and unwrapped, please). (Above prices are inclusive of tax and gratuity). Reservations are strongly recommended. Please call (978) 825-4311.

Holiday Event at Maria's Sweet Somethings - 26 Front Street - Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14 - Visit Maria's Sweet Somethings this Saturday and Sunday and take a dip at our chocolate fountain. Also, enjoy complimentary samples of other fabulous gourmet items. Shop for great gifts for everyone on your holiday list - Marias carries Christopher Radko, Bearington Bears, Gund, Kurt Adler, Patience Brewster, Jim Shore and much more! Custom gift baskets, corporate gifts, shipping. For more information call (978) 825-9111.

The Jewel Tones at New Civilitea - 318 Derby Street - Saturday, December 20 from 1 to 4 pm - Celebrate this joyous season with the Marblehead High School Jewel Tones. The Jewel Tones will be entertaining at New Civilitea for the afternoon of December 20. Stop in to hear this highly trained group of young singers as they bring joy to your world with their unique arrangements of the holiday standards. No Charge. For more information call (978) 740-2832.

Celebrate the Season at Rockafellas - 231 Essex Street
Holiday Brunch Sing Along featuring Lisa Love & Billy Garzone on Sunday, December 21 at Noon. $22/person, children 10 & under free!
Holiday Dinner Show featuring the Compaq Band and special guest singers Ed Scheer and Britt Sawdon. Sunday, December 21 at 6 pm, seating starts at 6 pm and dinner at 6:30 pm. Reservations required, $38/person, children 10 & under free!
For more information call (978) 745-2411

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

American History & Music Festival

Mark your calendars for the American History & Music Festival Inaugural Event on Dec. 21, 2008, at 2 p.m.

This family-friendly event will be held at St. Peter's Church and will feature a program rich in holiday traditions and spirit, including:
  • Cold is the Nightwind: A Victorian Christmas Program - a concert featuring Jim & Maggi Dalton
  • Illustrated Talk on Salem and Regional Christmas Customs with Historic New England's Julie Arrison and Megan Mac Gregor
  • Tour of the lovely and historic St. Peter's Episcopal Church and more!
Ticket prices:
  • Adults $10.00
  • Festival Excursion (Children under 12 years of ageaccompanied by one adult) $18.00
  • Family Festival (Two adults with their children under 12 years of age) $25.00
  • Historic New England Members: $8.00
Print ticket order form here

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas in Salem House Tours this weekend

There are perennial favorites, and then there are perennial favorites. Christmas in Salem - a tour of historic homes that benefits Historic Salem, Inc. - is of the latter variety. People love this annual weekend, and for good reason.

This is the 29th year residents of Salem's grandest, most historic, and most interesting homes and properties have decked their halls and flung open their doors to public tours. This year the houses are located in Salem's McIntire Historic District.

Here are the highlights of this weekend's event:
Friday, December 5th, 2008
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Candlelight preview of 3 selected homes
15 Chestnut Street
1 Cambridge Street
10 Broad Street

A limited number of $30 tickets will be available that night at these houses. Cash and checks only, please.

And the Tour:
Saturday, December 6th, 2008
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday, December 7th, 2008
11:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Stop by Hamilton Hall, 9 Chestnut Street, for:
There will be complimentary trolley service from downtown Salem to the tour area, and many of Salem's fabulous shops and restaurants are offering discounts and promotions in conjunction with the event.

Tickets: $30 day of tour on Saturday and Sunday
Available at Hamilton Hall only 9 Chestnut Street

Don't stop there - the weekend is full of things to do in Marblehead, too. For information on the Marblehead Christmas Walk, visit our friends at the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce.

It's a New England holiday bonanza! Discover the magic, indeed...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Maritime Lecture Tonight - Wednesday

Have you ever seen a Friendship Sloop gliding gracefully along under a full press of canvas? Ever wonder about her design, or what it’s like to sail one? If so, attend a presentation by Friendship Sloop owner/builder Charles Burnham of Essex this Wednesday, December 3, at 7 PM.

Through use of both new and historical photographs, Charles will discuss the history, characteristics, and special sailing qualities of this workhorse turned yacht. Also discussed will be the resurgence of popularity in recent years, fostered by the Friendship Sloop Society, and the undiminished enthusiasm such a beautiful sailing vessel can inspire.

St. Joseph Hall, 160 Derby St., Salem.
The Hall is handicapped accessible.

Directions: Derby Street runs along the Salem waterfront, from Pickering Wharf where Fame is located, through the National Maritime Historic Site where the Custom House and Friendship are located, down to the power plant, whose stacks are visible from a great distance. St. Joseph’s Hall is a three-story brick building on the landward side of the road, immediately after the small gray West India Goods Store and before the Witches’ Brew and Pig’s Eye Pubs. Enter through the gray door on the street and go up the gray stairs to the second floor.

Parking: There is legal parking all along Derby Street, but it may be difficult to find a space. There is two-hour parking on Pickering Wharf and a parking garage at the corner of Derby & Congress Street.

For more information, call 978-729-7600 or 978-740-1660.
Pictured: Friendship Sloop "Resolute", launched 1973, built by Charles Burnham.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Greensleeves at New Civilitea

This sidenote from the Crunchy Granola Baby newsletter caught my eye, so I'm passing it along. I know I'm in the market for stocking-stuffers, and this is a great one:

Do you ever get annoyed with those stupid (and ecologically disastrous) cardboard coffee sleeves at your local java house? Luckily, one local mom has come up with a solution! Greensleeves are fabric coffee sleeves that are both stylish and reusable! We don't even sell them at CGB, but we just adore the idea and couldn't wait to share the news! Pick up your Greensleeve today at New Civilitea (318 Derby Street) for only $8!

After you go to New Civilitea for greensleeves for all, check out these events at CGB: