Self-Guided Holiday Tours

Historic Town of Salem

winter sign

bridge stars

Begin your tour at the Old Salem Visitor Center (900 Old Salem Road) where you can purchase tickets and enjoy a free orientation video and free parking.

 Activities are included with the purchase of an All-In-One ticket*. Friends of Old Salem enjoy free admission (click to find out more about becoming a Friend of Old Salem).

*Seasonal pricing applies. All-in-One tickets are valid for two consecutive museum open days.

Please Note: Old Salem Museums & Gardens will be closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day (December 24 & 25)

For more information, please call (336) 721-7300 or email

Self-Guided Holiday ToursNovember 8 through December 31
Tues-Sat (9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) &
Sun (1-4:30 p.m.)
Old Salem Historic District
(900 Old Salem Road)

A visit to Old Salem during the Holiday Season is a step back to a time when the holidays were simpler, less stressful and more focused on faith and family. Traditional wreaths hang from the doors, lampposts and fence posts are wrapped in their winter greenery, the smell of fresh baked treats emanate from the bakery warming even the coldest nose, and the sound of music drifts through the air to draw you into the holiday spirit.

Follow the progression of Christmas decorating and how it changed over time, with more elaborate decorations in the 19th century buildings. Examples include:

  • Single Brothers’ House (1769/1786): View the putz, or nativity, in the Saal.
  • Salem Tavern Museum (1791): See traditional decorations in the public and dining rooms, and enjoy the children’s putz in the Tavern keeper’s office
  • Vogler house (184o): See decorations and gifts being made, including greenery, a Putz, and a traditionally decorated Christmas tree.
  • African Moravian Church (1823/1861/1890): Learn what Christmas would have been like for the African Americans in Salem.

See traditional Moravian Christmas activities:

  • St. Philips African Moravian Church: See the church decorated with greenery for the holidays.  Hear “Morning Star” a traditional song played during Moravian lovefeasts
  • John Vogler  House*: Learn how Christmas decorations were made for the tree and home; see Christmas gifts being made, and wooden cookie moulds being carved just as John Vogler made for his wife; see the baking of special treats for the Christmas guests; and see illuminations being painted for decorating the windows of the house.
  • Single Brothers’ House: Learn about Christmas services and the Moravian lovefeast held on Christmas Eve
  • Miksch Garden: See the winter garden and learn what seasonal foods were grown during Christmastime

*activities subject to change based on daily schedule and availability

Enjoy holiday shopping in our retail stores:

  • Moravian Book & Gift Shop:
    Purchase crafts items, including local pottery and handcrafted soaps; Moravian items; books, including titles on NC and Moravian history; NC foods; jewelry; seasonal home décor
  • A. Butner Hat Shop:
    Purchase handmade period hats; locally-crafted baskets; assorted teas and tea accessories
  • T. Bagge Merchant & Garden Shop:
    Purchase craft items, including pottery made in Old Salem; stationery, including inks, quills, sealing wax and greeting cards; candles, including Moravian beeswax candles; garden décor
  • C. Winkler Bakery:
    Purchase freshly baked sugar cake, lovefeast buns and breads and an assortment of other baked goods.  Learn the history of the bakery and view the 200-year-old brick bake oven