Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vacation Week Isn't Over Yet

If you're home with the kids this week, you're probably going a bit stir-crazy.  The weather has not been conducive to outdoor fun, and the kids (at least in my house) are getting a bit stir crazy. 

Well, vacation week isn't over yet, and there's lots to do in Salem that will keep you out of the elements.  Here are a few ideas.

Ride the red trolley.  Salem Trolley tours are awesome for all ages.  Younger kids who might not understand all of the historical nuances will just love being on the trolley, and older kids will appreciate Salem's diverse and dynamic history.  When you disembark from a trolley tour, you will be one-hour richer in Salem trivia, and full of facts on topics including Monopoly, the US Coast Guard, Salem's original sea wall, where Alexander Hamilton almost got to dance, and why doors on Chestnut Street are slightly wider than usual. 

Your trolley ticket is good for on-and-off shuttle service all day, too, so you can use the Trolley to visit the New England Pirate Museum, Salem Maritime, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, Salem Willows (trust me, you need popcorn from Hobbs), and the House of the Seven Gables.

Drop into the Peabody Essex Museum for Art Activities to benefit Disaster Relieve in Japan.  Join the PEM for a celebration of Japanese art and culture this week.  There are drop-in activities (included with admission) all week, and on Friday students from MassArt's Boston Origami Project will be on site creating Origami cranes and fund raising for Red Cross emergency relieve efforts in Japan.  For complete information and a schedule of activities, visit

This Saturday, April 23rd is Junior Ranger Day at Salem Maritime, the National Park in Salem.  This is a great opportunity (and, frankly, excuse) to take the kids to Salem Maritime and celebrate all of our National Parks.  There will be free, Ranger-led programs for kids of all ages between 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the Salem Visitor Center, on Derby Wharf, and on board the tall ship Friendship. The Junior Ranger program is a great way to engage your kids in the national parks.  It's fun, and kids who complete the tasks can earn a Junior Ranger badge. 

There's always the old standby of taking the kids to the movies. CinemaSalem is showing Rio this week, which is a film made for School Vacation Week.  It's animated.  It's funny.  And the kid's concession combo only costs $5. 

All of this exploring is bound to get the kids hungry, so here are a few options for food:

Diner-style, enormous servings... eat at Reds Sandwich Shop.  The pancakes are enormous, you'll only need a half-portion of the Mac & Cheese, and for adventurous eaters, the daily specials are $6.95 and market-fresh.  Located on Central Street, a block away from a Trolley stop.

Pizza... Essex's NY Pizza and Deli provides quick counter service for pizza, subs, sandwiches and salads.  It's located inside Museum Place Mall, so you are a short walk from both the PEM and CinemaSalem.

Italian... you've got to try Caffe Graziani for the fresh pasta in a family-friendly environment.  Located on Washington Street, just a short walk from the closest trolley stop (use the rear entrance to make it shorter!).

Seafood... try the new Seaport Cafe on Derby Street at the entrance to Pickering Wharf.  The seafood is fresh and they will event get some veggies onto the plate for the kids! 

So, if you need activities for the rest of vacation week, look to Salem.  For even more ideas, visit the Calendar on  Enjoy the rest of the vacation week.  Grab a sweatshirt and a rain coat or a poncho and you'll be having so much fun you won't notice the weather!  

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