Museums >Musee Mecanique
Pier 45 (at the end of Taylor Street), San Francisco, CA | Directions 9413337.802170 -122.414620
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Russian Hill
my kids love this place – This is surprisingly fun, although in a creepy way. From Laughing Sal (a gigantic weirdly dressed woman who laughs uncontrollably) to the strange little scenes (especially the guillotine and hanging vignettes) this is truly unusual and not to be missed. After a few quarters, the silliness of it all leads to laughing out loud. There is one little scene that is called, I think, "End of the Road" that is so lame that we still recall it and laugh. Every time we are in the Fisherman's Wharf area, we have to go here and drop a few quarters- and we never regret it. Seriously, these machines are very well mantained and historically interesting.
Best use of quarters in San Francisco – Stumbled across this bizarre museum during a break from a conference and couldn't believe my eyes. If you're as phobic about clowns, scary puppets and eerie little vignettes as I am, enter at your own risk--but bring plenty of quarters so you can disturb your peace of mind at will. For a full-on freakish experience, check out the "The Opium Den", but watch out for the dragon!
A playground of nickel-and-dime curiosities for the pre-Pac Man generation. – In Short
At the beginning of the century, Thomas Edison took the entertainment industry by storm with a host of dazzling mechanical contraptions that kept the masses and their coin-filled pockets running to the nation's penny arcades. Nuzzled among the piers at Fisherman's Wharf, this museum lets you re-enact the thrill of those nickelodeons with a mechanical world of antique games, mechanical miniatures and player pianos. Newer additions include 90s video games like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jams.
AWESOME FUN – This is one of the greatest. Everyone I have taken has had great fun and always comes away laughing and in good humour the rest of the day, at least. My children still talk about our many trips there.
Most fun for a roll of quarters – This place has everything mechanical you could hope to find from old amusement parks and carnivals. Make sure everyone with you has their own quarter roll.
A metal gem – After playing the simulations on computer, it's great to see the real thing! The staff of this place takes loving care of all the old machines. It's going to be in a temporary home for awhile and won't have the charm of when it was at the cliff house but the museum should still be a must-see
The good, old days – I remember when they also used to have a location over in Tiburon, right by the fairy dock -- but that's been closed for years. It's amusing to take kids here and see their reactions to the games from the old days -- and compare them to the arcades of the present. And, for us older folks, we get a chance to re-live out youth.
Quarter Turn – Best San Francisco treat --- lots of cool items to obsess over, and amazing video games (Frenzy!) to boot. Glad it's still around, although Laughing Sal stays with you a long, long time.
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