Salem Saturdays at Christmas 2019

Salem Saturdays at Christmas (November 16th – December 28th) are a daytime, town-wide event that is great fun for the kids, and just what you need during the hectic holiday season. Slow down, stroll Main Street, visit the decorated buildings, and sit & chat by a fire with our interpreters.   Learn how this remote part of Carolina created an environment of celebration and reflection in the solitude of this rural landscape.  A Moravian Christmas in North Carolina has a distinctive southern quality. A slight nip in the air, an abundance of pine & magnolia leaves, the smell of beeswax candles, intricate putz, decorated pyramid trees, and of course baked treats straight out of the beehive oven.

Don’t go to the mall this year, plan to visit with St. Nick in his very special Workshop in the Butner Hat Shop.  Tell him what you would like for Christmas, take pictures all while you warm yourself next to the cozy fireplace.  There will be a St. Nick at the Vogler House for those with special needs (Date to be confirmed). Regular holiday ticket required.  A full day of gift buying can be enjoyed as you search for the perfect Handcrafted Salem item!

  • Take notice of all of the Christmas decorations our Horticulture Team have created using plants directly from the historic district.
  • Our newly updated Winkler Bakery has two full floors of goodies, baked goods, cookies, chocolates, and gifts just waiting for you to enjoy.
  • Winkler Bake Day – join us in actually making goodies and cooking in the squirrel tail bake oven.
  • Salem Sleuth”. Let the little ones enjoy Salem while they keep their eyes open in our scavenger hunt.
  • Miksch Gardens & House. Stop in and stay a bit, and see how the earliest houses in Salem celebrated Christmas.  Find out what’s cooking, fold some clothes, and become part of the family.  Maybe you can help grind spices for our gingerbread!
  • John Vogler House “Quilting Frolic”.  Unlike any other house museum, take a seat and chat while you try your hand at our group quilting party. Try your hand at a Christmas craft and help decorate the tree.
  • The Joiner’s Woodshop. See how the Christmas pyramid is constructed and try your hand at the lathe or the hand-plane.  This is definitely a stop for those who like to try things out.
  • Boys’ School.  Experience the Cabinet of Curiosities while you listen to a selection of Moravian music.  Impromptu concerts of holiday music will be played on our piano forte are not uncommon.
  • Gunsmith Workshop. There is a chill in the air, but don’t stand to close to the coals while you watch our master craftspeople prepare metalwork.
  • Potter’s Workshop. Always an exciting time in our new workshop, Get messy while you join our master craftspeople in creating our special and Handcrafted Salem pottery.
  • T. Bagge Merchant. People come from all around to buy the unique items in our stores. Take home one of our new Handcrafted Salem items. Perfect for Christmas gifts!
  • Salem Tavern Museum and Barn. Experience the tavern barn yard and join us for a special Saturday hearthside cooking day.
  • “Hidden Town” Room of Meditation & Reflection. Spend some quiet time in our room dedicated to those who were enslaved in Salem (above the historic tavern kitchen).
  • St. Philips Heritage Center. The entire family can learn about the African-American legacy that grew out of the Moravian town of Salem.  See how this congregation celebrated the season.
  • Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts – Get up close to (and maybe even touch!) a different seasonal artifact every week at our “closer look” tables and search our galleries for clues in our special scavenger hunt!
  • Single Brothers’ House. Sit, lie down, open drawers, and journal in the unmarried men’s communal living quarters. See how they prepared for the winter season ( and kept warm) in the 1700’s. Don’t miss our “Salem Waterworks” Exhibit or our textile craftsperson working the loom.
  • Visit our Salem Stitches workshop space, in the lower level of Moravian a book and Gift. View the Quilts made by local quilt designers, schedule time to sew a holiday gift, or buy a gift for your favorite sewist.


HANDCRAFTED + SALEM 1766  items will be available in our retail stores and ready to be wrapped and placed under the tree.









Additional Experiences

We also offer special workshops, evening tours, and other experiences: Some of which are listed below:











Buy a Christmas 2019 Ticket to Tour During the Holidays!

Holiday Ticket Pricing will be in effect for your visit between November 12, 2019 to December 31, 2019.

Enjoy Old Salem at Christmastime.  Buy a ticket, visit our craftsman preparing for the holidays, walk the streets, visit St. Nick, and buy some gifts at our “Shops at Old Salem”. Quite frankly, simply walking Main Street won’t even give you a clue as to the compelling experiences found in the ticketed areas.  With an All-in-One Ticket, you are welcome in our historic, interpreted buildings.  There are over 25 interpreted stops within the historic district for you to explore and learn.

  • Explore the entire historic district with over 90 buildings – over 25 of them interpreted & supported by a team of over 150 staff.
  • Over 100 acres of interpreted  gardens and landscapes.
  • Fully immersive, hands-on demonstrations by tradespeople featuring historic craftsmanship.
  • Daily discoveries throughout the interpreted buildings.
  • Award-Winning Single Brother’s House Heirloom Gardens
  • Internationally recognized Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) self-guided galleries

All-In-One – Best Value!                               $35 Adult                     $16 Student

Valid for two consecutive days!  Admission to historic buildings and MESDA’s self-guided galleries.

 Two-Stop Ticket                                              $25 Adult                      $13 Student

Admission to any two museum buildings of your choice.  (MESDA’s self-guided galleries may count as one stop)

Sunday All-In-One                                            $28 Adult                  $14 Student

Valid for two consecutive days! Special Half-Day Pricing for Sundays.

 MESDA Guided Tours                        1-Hour Guided Tour $20,          2-Hour Guided Tour $40

MESDA Self-Guided Galleries Only – $10 per person

Guided tour price includes MESDA’s Self-Guided Galleries.  Booked at the Frank L. Horton Center only

Become a Friend and Tour All Year!




As a Friend of Salem, the Gardens or MESDA, you receive:

  • Free All-in-One tickets on any visit during your membership year
  • 10% off retail purchases
  • 20% off retail purchases on Friends Shopping Days
  • Newsletters
  • Opportunity to purchase tickets for special event programming in advance

Senior/Educator/Student $45

Individual $60

Dual $80

Family – Best Value! $120

Available Discounts

  • Group Rates: Tour with a group and save!  We offer special pricing for adult tour groups and school groups.  Visit our Group Tours pages for more information.
  • Membership Discount: Friends of Salem and Friends of MESDA enjoy FREE All-in-One tickets year-round!  Visit our Membership page to join now on-line.
  • Active & Retired Military Service Member* – $3 off Adult All-in-One admission (not applicable for the two-stop ticket or the already discounted Sunday ticket)
  • Undergraduate Students with Valid College ID – admitted at discounted Student rate
  • Blue Star Museums program which admits active duty military service members and their families (up to 5 people Free) from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Please refer to our Access Salem Initiative for information regarding caretakers and those with disabilities.  If you need further assistance please contact the Old Salem Visitors Center



Please note that Old Salem Museums and Gardens does not participate in reciprocal, reduced or free admission offered through other museums or their membership programs without our prior approval. Contact the Visitor Center at 336-721-7350 to confirm applicability of discounts prior to your visit.

Old Salem offers a number of convenient ways to see The Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and the Gardens of Salem. You can purchase tickets online, at the Old Salem Visitor Center, Moravian Book & Gift Shop or MESDA.  The Visitor Center has a brief introduction video to the Moravians and their town of Salem and historical exhibits. Please note that our historic buildings close at 4:30 p.m. Please check our Hours of Operation page for the specific times . Tickets are required for adults and children/students ages 4-18.  Children under four (4) enjoy free admission.  Tickets for School Groups and other parties of 10 or more must be purchased in advance by calling 1-800-441-5305.

Museum Building Note

Please note we reserve the right to close any exhibit building for repairs or other internal operational needs. For detailed hours of operation and holidays which we are closed, please visit our Hours of Operation page. Inclement weather can cause closings – call 336-721-7350 if weather is a concern.

Return Policy

All tickets are non-refundable.  Pricing and entitlements for admission passes and tickets are subject to change. Events are subject to change; some may be weather dependent. Tickets purchased online can be validated for one year from purchase date.

Privacy Policy

We will only collect personal identification information when you process a membership, make a donation, place an online order, request information, or send us an email.  We may contact our online visitors in the future, but we will always give you the ability to opt-out of receiving messages.