We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

Stafford
Level Contributor
175 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

We have one night in Salem as part of a mega-three-week North East America tour in July/August...I really want to see the Rebecca Nurse Homestead, as a lover of history and literature. However, we are travelling as a large group, my parents who are in their seventies, myself and my husband and our three children. How long does the tour take? How much time should we put aside for it? My eldest, at 15, is autistic, and likely to let his frustration and restlessness show clearly and I don't want to spoil the tour for anyone else. My youngest at 7 might not appreciate the historical detail either. Is there anyting nearby that my husband could take the boys to, whilst myself, my daughter and my parents do the tour? We are planning to visit Salem for a couple of hours too afterwards.

Thanks in advance.

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
Level Contributor
5,705 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

The tour takes about an hour. It starts with a short talk and slide show in the meeting house (a reproduction built for the movie, Three Sovereigns for Sarah). Then the group moves to the house for a guided tour. You can explore the beautiful grounds on your own, including walking to the small cemetery. There is an entrance fee for the grounds only so some of your group could just do that part while the rest do the tour. There's also a small gift shop that could occupy a little bit of time.

Some alternative ideas for your husband and kids: 1) The Liberty Tree Mall is minutes away and has a food court and typical chain stores. 2) An archaeological site, the cellar hole of the parsonage where the witchcraft delusion began, is nearby (about a five-minute drive followed by a five-minute walk). The site is small, entirely self-guided, and owned by the town of Danvers. There's not a lot to see, but getting there and back and exploring a bit could fill most of an hour. If you'd like more information about it, I'd be happy to provide more specific directions and details.

Edited: 12 January 2013, 18:56
North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
Level Contributor
5,705 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

One other thought: School groups visit the Homestead on field trips, so they are used to younger visitors. I wonder if they might arrange a special tour for your group. Seven people is a pretty good-sized group for this excellent, but somewhat out-of-the-way place, so they might. I really have no idea if they would do this, but I think it would be worth an email to explain your various needs and ask. If any in your group are interested in archaeology, also ask if they can include information on the work that's been done at the site.

Stafford
Level Contributor
175 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate the info. The idea of a guided tour for our party sounds really good, it would be better for my 15 year old who would feel happier just with the people he knows, and feel more like asking questions (he asks A LOT of questions!!). I would also love to see the cellar of the parsonage, so directions would be great...I may be able to persuade my party to go along with it if I'm super nice to them and promise the kids that we WILL go to Hershey Park....sigh.

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
Level Contributor
5,705 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

My hunch is that they would be happy to accommodate your group and answer lots of questions from your son, so email them and see what they say. I wouldn't be surprised if it takes them a while to reply; it's not a big operation.

To get to the cellar hole, turn left on to Pine Street when you exit the Homestead. At the traffic light, turn left on to Holten Street. In a about a half mile, Holten becomes Centre Street. The site is at the rear of #67 Centre and between #65 and #67, you'll see a path and small historical marker. The path is between a stone wall and rail fence, some of which has recently fallen down, but it really is a public way. At the site there are several interpretive signs. Prepare your family to feel like they are in the neighbors' backyards. Although I said earlier that this could fill an hour, it can also be much quicker stop--maybe 15-20 minutes including walking time.

It is difficult to park on Centre Street, so I'd suggest going past the site, turning right on to Prince Street, and parking there. It's a short walk.

Alternatively, if you'd like to visit the Danvers Memorial to Witch Trial Victims (there's also one in Salem), you could park at the Memorial and walk to the cellar site. To do this take a right off of Centre Street on to Hobart (this is before you reach #67). The Memorial is just down the hill on the right after a school and in front of some ball fields (odd location). Park there and then walk to the cellar hole. You may want to look at some information on the Memorial first. I wonder if it may overwhelm your older son (but there's almost certain to be no one there).

danverslibrary.org/archives/victimsmemorial2…

I'm happy to try to answer any additional questions.

Edited: 13 January 2013, 18:29
Stafford
Level Contributor
175 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

Thanks again, perfect. We will play it by ear after visiting the homestead...see how my son copes. To be honest, if I can get him around the homestead I'll be happy, and I wouldn't want to push it, but it is the very first day of our tour so he might be amenable! I'm really looking forward to it. This is 'mom's part of the tour'...I'm telling the kids, we'll get it out of the way first then we'll do the stuff you want!

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
Level Contributor
5,705 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

I hope your visit to Salem and Danvers will go well and the same for the rest of your trip. I hope, too, that you'll have a chance to report back afterwards.

boston
Level Contributor
58 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

I appreciate your interesst in history and literature, but I am not sure that the Nurse homestead would be the best use of your short time in the Salem area. The Peabody Essex Museum is a world class museum in the center of Salem. It includes three historic houses, and an imported 17th Chinese house (bought in China and re-asssembled there)The House of Seven Gables is a few blocks away, and the sailing ship "Friendship". About two blocks from the PEM is a touching memorial ("pocket park" )of the Witch trials. There are (unfortunately) many kitchy shops, tours and children's "museums" like the Wax Museum, Witch Museum, Pirates.... etc. Perhaps the kids and elders could stay in Salem to visit some of those places if you want to drive the several miles into Danvers to the Nurse Homestead.

Delray Beach...
Level Contributor
592 posts
138 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

I would also recommend some reading ahead of time for the children to get a sense of what the Witch Trials were about - ask your local young adult librarian to suggest appropriate books for your range of ages and level of reading. Having taken young teenagers to Salem on a field trip, there was reading and information sharing ahead of time so their experience would be more meaningful and more historically accurate. Some of them read a book called Tituba of Salem Village, others read The Crucible, but there are other books at elementary levels. The Witch Trials period was fairly complicated for them to understand why this happened, especially in unpacking the stereotypes, superstitions, and hysteria of that time. To go to Salem and appreciate the seaport is another angle of its history. Also the Peabosy Essex Museum is an interesting place to look at the seafaring tradition and why it is connected to so many different cultures and places. Check out the websites of the various places to see if this would be what you want to visit.

9. Re: Rebecca Nurse Homestead, advice on taking kids?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 28 January 2014, 05:16