Friday, August 27, 2010

Salem Kids Tours

Salem Kids Tours is new on the scene in Salem for the fall season. We had the opportunity to follow guide Prudence Adams through her time machine into Salem's gross stories and ghost stories - of which, we learned, there are many.

For $8 per person we were taken on a fun and educational (we could call it edutaining) journey with stops in Salem's 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

The boys in our group, ranging in age from 6 - 10, gained some insight into Puritan life and punishments (yes, they would put kids in stocks), 18th century education methods (okay, it was more about disciplinary methods - and kids today don't know how good they've got it), a few lesser-told stories of people involved in the Salem Witch Trials, and why Salem is so fortunate to have the Peabody Essex Museum.

We also learned where the sayings, "Ear-marked" and "Raining cats and dogs" came from, which fascinated the adults in the group, myself included. It's a sign of a good tour when people exclaim happily, "I didn't know that!" And we did, or didn't.

Prudence Adams leads tours at 1:00 pm Thursdays through Sundays. The one-hour tour begins in Armory Park in front of the Salem Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street) and concludes in the Old Burying Point on Charter Street (where you learn the story of Judge Hathorne's gravestone and why it is framed in granite). The end point was perfect for our boys, who stayed in the cemetery for another 20 minutes trying to find the oldest gravestone.

Prudence Adams, in an alternate persona, taught 3rd grade, and she did a great job telling the history in a way that the kids understood and found interesting.

For more information, and to buy tickets, visit

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