|Topographical map of Salem|
The Witch Dungeon is one we would recommend; it is not the actual site of the jails as most of the buildings associated were razed, likely related to guilt or shame as having been associated with something so outrageous and awful. The only reason the Witch House survived this fate was because they thought it belonged to someone else.
The Dungeon includes a live re-enactment of part of a trial. This is a great activity for later in the day when needing a break from walking as you will be seated and there is air conditioning. You get a light overview of history and a glimpse of what the trials were like. The accused stood no chance when things like spectral evidence were being used. Following the reenactment, you move downstairs to replicas of the jail cells. To describe the cells as poor conditions would be an understatement; they backed up to the river in their original location and often flooded. A cell the size of our front hall coat closet would house 6 or 7 adults. The prisoners were billed for their cell, food, water and the iron chains. This quickly created a financial strain on their families and often led to bankruptcy. Also, once accused (not convicted) the local sheriff could then take the accused's possessions, further leading to financial ruin.
Another museum to visit is the Peabody Essex Museum. Children 16 and under are free. The museum offers free access to their atrium with ample seating (and nicer restrooms) and lots of cool exhibits including a new one featuring the tie with China from their long history of trade. Several of the exhibits were interactive so even littles could be entertained.