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Salem tends to be a little quiet at night (locals think pleasantly so) and can hardly be compared to Chicago's Rush, New Orleans' Bourbon or Austin's Sixth Street; but that doesn't mean the sidewalks are rolled up after dark. In addition to a number of bars, mainly within restaurants, a number of spots do offer live entertainment. In addition, there are occasionally concerts and comedy acts at some of the local private social clubs (which are opened to the public) and outdoor venues (downtown during October and the WIllows in the summer); however, there are no "dance" (except for some Salem State-sponsored functions) or any "adult" entertainment clubs.
One beautiful restaurant with bar that attracts a mixed age group and often, if intermittently, features first-class performers (leaning towards jazz and big band) is Rockafella's at Washington and the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. Whilst music usually starts later in the evening, diners wishing to chat may find the volume a bit overwhelming. The Gulu Gulu Cafe is right across from Rockafellas, and serves both coffe and craft beers. Their music and art scene is funky and fun. In a Pigs Eye on Derby St., past Pickering Wharf, is very popular with locals and spotlights a variety of music genres several nights a week. O' Neill's Irish Pub and Restaurant presents weekend Celtic performances suitable for enjoyment with a pint or fish and chips or both (from 6-9 Thu,Fri). The Peabody Essex Museum hosts an event every third Thursday from 6:30-9:30 with live music, art, and activities, plus access to their galleries.
A variety of activities in the lecture, art, antiques and charity function areas are held throughout the year- many of which will be announced on www.historicsalem.org, Peabody Essex Museum's site www.pem.org, the City's www.salem.org , the Salem Award Foundation www.salemaward.org for events related to the Salem Witch Trials and human rights and social justice today, as well as the Salem Chamber of Commerce site www.salem-chamber.org including Haunted Happenings events- costume balls, etc.- when Salem's October Halloween celebration is in full swing. At this moment, the author knows of no activities (currently scheduled) involving a cauldron, but you never know??