Halloween In Salem- Saturday Morning Stroll

I know this is a gardening blog but it’s hard to live here in Salem without blogging about Halloween.

Halloween takes on a life of it’s own in Salem. There’s just nothing else like it.

Here’s a few before photos from my early morning walk when I dropped off my girls at work this morning.

If you happen to be here and see a very pretty girl selling tickets for the Salem Trolley say hi for me! There’s also a beautiful little blonde girl and a handsome twenty year old boy whom I know very well working at the Witch Museum .

IMG_7440This is where they’ll be. I love the way the SWM provides cover for guests who are waiting for their tour.

IMG_7439Just down the street, this colonial home is ready for a pirate invasion.

IMG_7437Restrooms are available, sort of, if you can stand this sort of thing..

IMG_7441 The food on the Common is good to go. I think that most of these vendors came straight down from the Topsfield fair, so it’s fair food if you don’t want to wait in line at one of the restaurants.

IMG_7446Same with the carnival… left the fair and arrived in Salem a day later.

IMG_7442The Hawthorne is barricaded to prevent damage..
IMG_7448 Front Street is quiet… now…IMG_7449..with very cute ghosts in the windows…IMG_7450made from lanterns…  IMG_7456Store windows are dressed everywhere… IMG_7459 The hats are ready!IMG_7460 This scene will be very different in a few hours!IMG_7462Here they come!

Look out!

More later,



A Little Bit of Haunted Happenings

We’re right in the middle of our wonderful, amazing, scary, fun, not so scary Halloween celebration here in Salem, Massachusetts. Yesterday Michael and I left the garden (yes we do that sometimes) and ventured downtown with our youngest daughter and one of her besties to take it all in.  Haunted Happenings just gets better and better every year!  Here’s a few photos from our visit.  Be sure to check out the photography here on the Social Palates facebook page as well.  I absolutely love John Andrew’s work.  He captures Salem in a way that no one else can!

Happy Halloween from the Salem Garden!

Click on any image to enlarge and view as a slideshow

Motorcycle Parades, Herb Freezing Time and Spiders

Life here in Salem, Massachusetts is so much fun and so crazy right now.

Yesterday we enjoyed one of my favorite Halloween activities, the annual Motorcycle Ride for Muscular Dystrophy.


Really, where else can you see this? I read a conversation on Facebook last night about moving the event to a different month because it disrupts traffic and creates confusion for other visitors. I guess it would be successful at any time of the year but I think that it adds a lot of fun to our Halloween season.


These are nice people dressed as superheroes

IMG_3458and pumpkins.

Hundreds of them ride into the downtown together, then they enjoy the city and give the economy a little extra lift, all for a great cause!

IMG_3314Before we left for the bike parade I chopped back some parsley yesterday.

IMG_3325I left some to keep it growing as long as I can.

Truly fresh parsley is the best!

IMG_3330I separated the chicken food from the good green stuff…

IMG_3333washed it off well..
IMG_3336chopped off the leaves…
IMG_3342and then chopped them finely.

IMG_3358I put it into an ice cube tray..IMG_3362then I added some water and froze it until today.

IMG_3773Now I have parsley ice cubes, all ready for winter cooking!
IMG_3775I stuck them in a freezer bag and stored them away.IMG_3366Another easy way to freeze parsley is to just pop it into a bag like Michael’s mom does. I was feeling pretty ambitious yesterday when I made the ice cubes. I enjoy that moment in January when I come home from a busy day and just pop the little cube into the dish I’m making. It’s really your preference.

And lastly, I’ll leave you with this photo that I took downtown yesterday:

IMG_3767How great are these guys?

We love our Halloween here in Salem!

Enjoy Everything!


Halloween Saturday in Salem–A Smile for You!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yesterday I promised that I’d post photos that would make you smile today and here they are! Salem was packed full of people having fun last night.  Here’s a little bit of what we saw… Enjoy!

An October Saturday Night in Salem

Last night we took the kids for a walk downtown with the idea that we would visit a Haunted House that Michael had tickets for. We got there and looked around the entrance. This is everyone hanging in the door making the decision about whether or not to go in. I was very clear, I don’t do haunted houses, sorry, but I did strongly encourage the rest to give it a try if they wanted to… The final verdict was “not today, maybe another night”… Just call us “the brave family”!We walked by the Salem Witch Museum, where my oldest son was at work. The museum erects these canopies for the month of October so that guests don’t have to wait outside in bad weather. The line stretched out the door and way down the street! Needless to say I had a very tired teenager coming in at 10:45 after work.There are lots and lots of places like this right now… we, of course, say hi and keep going  🙂  but the crowds waiting to vist are huge!Here’s one of many guided tours that we saw. There are lots of these right now with different themes, everything from “ghosts of Salem” to a food tour that stops at different restaurants. They look like fun!Salem Common is the place to head for carnival food and games…
There’s a cute hay maze on the common for toddlers and small children (and they don’t have to be “too small” to enjoy it)!Donations collected at the maze benefit the schools.
This young lady was encouraging people to visit one of the haunted houses. She said that we just had to say “monsters be gone” and they would back off if we were too scared.. still no takers from my crowd! Michael looks ready to go!There’s lots of interesting shops to visit..and a witchcraft and wizardry school..
Or for a lighter experience you can relax on the ferris wheel…My little kids loved this ride..So did Dad, but he was concerned about the safety of it. We’ll stick with the ferris wheel and merry go round next time.You can win a great witch decoration at the water gun game..

And there are ghosts in windows everywhere…

Just a very small glimpse of an October night in downtown Salem. Next Saturday the costumes will be out! We just saw a few last night, nothing too exciting, but their coming!!

The Grand Parade!

Last night was our Halloween parade in Salem.  The forecast was for rain, downpours actually. I’ve never seen it rain on that parade and last night was no exception. The rain held off until the very end and then it just drizzled a tiny bit. One of the great things about the Halloween parade here is that it’s a very local thing. All of the schools participate along with lots of local businesses and community groups. It always feels very wild and crazy but in a comfy, cozy way. We see lots of friends and neighbors and everyone is having fun. It’s kind of our local Halloween Celebration before the tourists show up on Saturday. 

Unfortunately my camera completely failed. It wouldn’t focus, hated the spot I was in and refused to take nighttime photos. Michael was in the parade with our younger kids (while I spent most of the night in a teenager accessible area) but he did snap a few photos as the parade left the staging area and as it came in after them at the Common. I’m going to attach a link to Salem Patch’s photo gallery at the end. Be sure to click on there, there’s lots of great photos that are sent in by their readers.

Here’s Salem Maritime National Historic Site group, ready to go..

Carlton School, one of seven public elementary schools in Salem. The theme was “world animal day”… this gave everyone lots of material to work with!The police department has recently added a canine unit. This was the city’s first time to welcome the dogs and their handlers!Our wonderful mayor, Kim Driscoll, reviewing the parade.There were lots of marchers from Salem State. They seemed to be having a great time!There were members of the Wiccan community. And of course, the Ghost Busters, always a favorite!The parade is “highly interactive”, these guys really add to the interaction!So does the lawn chair drill team, everyone loves them!
The Bate’s School Art teacher, Todd Bleckly, went to Kutztown University, in Pennsylvania, during the same years that Michael and I did.  If any of our college friends are reading, you may remember him… Michael and I don’t run into Kutztown alumni often so we love that he’s here in Salem!Ghouls on wheels..The Witchcraft Heights Elementary School Pandas… where else on earth would you find this?My very favorite middle school..and their Marching band, led by an awesome drum major who’s a close family friend!And of course, here’s our principal and vice principals, dressed as mice. There was lots of dancing!Lots of riding

and a few drops of rain at the end, but it was lots of fun!

The parade was over an hour long this year, so this is a very quick glimpse. Check out  Salem Patch for more great photos!

Happy Halloween from Salem!

Halloween in Salem is Here!

It’s October 1st!  To those of us in Salem, Massachusetts that means that  Haunted Happenings, is here. There is nothing quite like Halloween in Salem! I used to resent all of the traffic and tourists and craziness but then a few things changed. Ten years ago we moved up and out of the downtown. We lived right in the heart of all of the festivities for many years and Halloween really took over our lives. Since we moved to the edge of town Halloween has been something that I enjoy rather than endure. I also went to a Halloween themed decorated barn in Pennsylvania several years ago. I had never really visited another Halloween celebration and I found that I loved it! Suddenly my perception changed and I understood why people love to come here to celebrate.   Over the last several years the city of Salem has pulled together and does an amazing job of managing the month.  There’s lots of police and safety protection, lots of porta johns and lots of great things for people to do.  People love it and it makes great income for most local businesses. I’m hoping to get out there, take photos and share it with you throughout the month of October. If you have a question or if there’s an aspect of the celebration that you’d like me to post about, send me an e-mail or leave a comment. I love to hear about what you like to read about!

Happy Halloween from the Halloween Capital of the World!!