Now its even easier to experience all the interesting activities and unique businesses in downtown Salem thanks to an early holiday gift from Mayor Kim Driscoll.
The city is offering free parking for up to four hours at all downtown meters on Saturdays through Christmas Day.
"Salem has many wonderful locally owned stores and restaurants," Driscoll said in a statement. "Our small businesses provide so much support to the community and it's important to support them, especially during the holidays."
But there's plenty going on around town during the week in Salem as well, including a special performance at the House of Seven Gables by renowned pianist Jacqueline Schwab, and don't forget that this Thursday marks the second to last chance for patrons to pick up fresh, locally grown produce at the Winter Farmers' Market.
Here's a snapshot of the rest of the week in Salem:
Salem State Art and Design Faculty Exhibition
Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Winfisky Gallery in the Ellison Campus Center (352 Lafayette Street).
The finale of the fall semester is a much-anticipated annual event showcasing the work of faculty from within Salem State's nationally accredited department of art and design. Works by both full- and part-time studio faculty in printmaking, painting, glass, design, sculpture, photography and various other media are exhibited.
Christmas Tours at the Gables
All December long during regular hours at the House of the Seven Gables (115 Derby Street).
Explore the maritime, architectural and literary history of the house, and discover Christmas' transformation from a rowdy seasonal celebration to the peaceful family centered traditions we recognize today. This special tour is offered during regular hours in December except during the production of "A Classic Christmas." Visit 7gables.org for hours and more information.
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the Peabody Essex Museum (161 Essex Street).
A fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities, designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers. Drop in and meet at information desk. For families with children up to age 5.
Leave Antarctica to Starboard
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6 - 8 p.m. at Finz Seafood and Grill (76 Wharf Street).
Join Sail Salem at Finz for a reception and presentation by Rich Wilson, circumnavigator and author of "Race France To France: Leave Antarctica To Starboard." Enjoy a fun evening with friends and sailors, a cash bar, light hors d'oeuvres and a short program. Suggested donation is $20. Sail Salem is an educational program for children promoting positive life skills and values through the sport of sailing. In the last four years Sail Salem has introduced sailing to over 1,000 children from Salem and surrounding towns. Lessons are conducted in Salem Harbor off of Winter Island. Adults are also encouraged to sail and evening lessons for all levels are available throughout the summer.
Pianist Jacqueline Schwab at the House of Seven Gables
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 - 10 p.m. at House of Seven Gables (115 Derby Street).
Pianist Jacqueline Schwab will perform vintage 19th century American parlor music, including Stephen Foster and Civil War songs, hymns, spirituals, and ballroom dances. Schwab is best know for her performances on Ken Burns' Grammy Award winning Civil War documentary, as well as the Emmy award winning Baseball and Mark Twain documentaries on public television. Admission is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.
Winter Farmers' Market
Thursday, Dec. 13, 3 - 6 p.m. at Old Town Hall (Derby Square).
Salem Trolley presents "A Christmas Carol"
Thursday, Dec. 13, and Friday, Dec. 14, at Salemdipity (86 Wharf Street).
This humorous and whimsical interactive performance reanimates Charles Dickens' timeless holiday classic. This wildly popular event is in its 26th year and all weekend shows are already sold out! This week, tickets remain available for 6 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, and 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online at salemtrolley.com.
Craig Lucas' "RECKLESS" at Salem Theatre
Thursday, Dec. 13, and Friday, Dec. 14, 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Salem Theatre Company (90 Lafayette Street).
Join Rachel on a crazy 10-year journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas in this richly inventive and often startling comedy filled with bizarre characters and events. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. For more information email email@example.com, call 978-790-8546, or visit salemtheatre.com to purchase tickets online.
Holiday Open House at Pamplemousse
Friday, Dec. 14, 5 - 8 p.m. at Pamplemousse (185 Essex Street).
Mayflower Brewing and Cody Brewing will be on hand. Don't miss great wine, beer, bubbles and hors d'oeuvres at Salem's downtown European market and boutique, Pamplemousse.
Tokyo Tramps at Howling Wolf Taqueria
Friday, Dec. 14, 10 - 11:30 p.m. at Howling Wolf (corner of Lafayette and Derby Street).
Tokyo Tramps bring a blend of true American blues/rock 'n roll to Howling Wolf.