A penny for your thoughts? In addition to a melange of penny structures, this quirky, offbeat museum, has a variety of ... More
A penny for your thoughts? In addition to a melange of penny structures, this quirky, offbeat museum, has a variety of interesting gadgets and knick-knacks. A must-see is the toothpick amusement park, built by San Quentin inmates. Bring a handful of quarters to Musee Mecanique so you can play some of the ancient games, including the miniature antique pinball machines. Visiting the museum is free of charge. Visit the website for more information on these unique exhibits.
my children were absolutely enamored with all of the antique moving characters in the machines. they couldn't wait to play the pinball games, and thought the robotics were awesome! They are five and 8, and eagerly look forward to going back
I loved Musee Mecanique and I'm a Mom with fourteen kids so I know what's best for my children. I've had tons of experience in the San Francisco Bay Area because my sister lives here with twelve children of her own. We're Mormon, by the way.
We slipped into this place as the rain fell. Much to our delight, it was free (about 2004-5?). We were totally absorbed and I challenge even the kids to be bored. A wonderful place for walking off the just eaten clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls from the surrounding stands. Or, if you find you have to wait for a table, a great place to pass the time.
You certainly get good bang for your buck - like other folks have mentioned, the parking will likely fall outstrip any money you're likely to spend.
I had a great time wandering the aisles, looking at games from the past and confirming that though the graphics and electronics of nowadays might be fun, they're not a prerequisite to enjoying yourself... but all philosophic waxing aside, they have a great collection of old machines, most of which still amazingly work for a nickel or so.
Tucked among all the touristy, expensive things to do at Fisherman's Wharf, this little interactive museum is a gem! It has all the coin operated machines from the past century - things that wowed your grandparents all the way to biorhythm and pinball machines from the seventies. For a quarter you can see (in 3-d!) flip-photos of the devastation from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, or 'What the bellydancer does on her day off' (tres risque - in grandpa's day). Remember the fortune-telling machine from the movie 'Big'? There are several similar ones, and one that will read your palm. There are mechanized farm and dance scenes, where a quarter sets the scene into motion.
Okay, I'm gushing, but I really thought this museum was both fun and a time machine. I don't think we spent more than $5 in quarters; It's completely possible to spend nothing, just watch the machines that others have started up, but you'll have more fun if you invest a few dollars yourself.
i found this place by accident i finished my dinner before every one else and decided to take a little walk and i never noticed this spot before . and i been there at least a dozen times to the warf . it was really run and to be honest i felt like a kid again ! all i have to say is take plenty of change! and enjoy
I loved it all! It was very nostalgic. I was born in 1956, so many of the very old pieces were not a really large part of my childhood. But I have always been fascinated with those old machines that entertain...especiallly the musical ones. Most were operational with just a quarter, some with 50 cents, but all were worth every penney! I adored the old Wurlitzer and the numerous variations of player pianos. There are so many fun pieces there to enjoy! Plus, it's FREE!! Even if you don't want to put in the quarter, you can walk in for free and just hang around until someone ELSE puts in the quarter!
Musee Mechanique is a hidden gem and most locals don't even know about this place! If you love retro stuff or just interested in SF history, you should not miss this place! It houses original games and gadets that were used when there used to be an amusement park on Ocean Beach.
Free to get in, gadets are coin operated.
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