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There are a number of fun places to take the family in Salem. One longtime favorite is the Salem Willows, a waterfront park with amusement arcades and food vendors. Nearby is Winter Island Park, home to an abandoned 18th century fort along with a campground offering great views of Salem Harbor and plenty of open space.
For a slightly more historic perspective, go to the Salem Witch House which is also one of the last surviving buildings from the 17th century...at the corner of Essex and North Streets. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site at Derby Wharf now features a replica of the 19th century China trade ship, the Friendship, which may be toured whilst in port. Literary and architecture history enthusiasts may wish to visit the House of Seven Gables, a few blocks down Derby St., made famous by the Nathanial Hawthorne novel. On Derby St., you will also find the New England Pirate Museum, a small specialty museum where you can learn about 17th and 18th century pirates.
Across the street is Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company, the oldest continuously operated candy store in America, be sure to enjoy their famous Gibraltars! The family can also enjoy a trolley ride to see the sights.
Adults and older children will be impressed by the Peabody Essex Museum. There is also the Children's Museum adjacent to the 'Y' on Essex St. and a pirate museum on New Derby.
Salem's 13 Ghosts is a 3D haunt. Visitors are given comfortable 3D glasses that make the walls and floors come alive with color and action. No blood, no gore, just great scares.