Hidden in a corner of Fisherman’s Wharf is a passage into the past. For some, it’s like stepping into their childhood. For others, it’s a fascinating look into a bygone era. A place full of mysterious sounds and equally mysterious and slightly eerie painted faces. I’m talking about Musée Mécanique an interactive arcade museum featuring games from the 20th century.
Musée Mécanique is home to a large collection of over 300 vintage arcade games. On display are a variety of vintage games from fortune tellers that reminded me of the movie Big to dioramas to music boxes. While the museum is free, to play any of the games visitors must pay. Games range between 1¢ to $1, with most typically costing 25¢ to 50¢.
The man behind it all, Edward Zelinsky, began his collection at the age of 11 with just one game. Over time the collection grew and now the collection is owned by his son, Dan Zelinsky.
I was naturally drawn to the dioramas which were so intricate and full of many small details. There were a number of scenes depicted throughout the museum including a carnival.
Towards the back there are some more modern looking arcade games. In some of the games you can spot the makings of today’s classic carnival and fair games found on the midway.
Despite it being a bright and sunny day and the museum having a number of visitors, I couldn’t help feeling a bit of trepidation as I wandered around. It was like there were eyes everywhere (which there were), and they were following me around (hopefully not). There were still times when I found myself in a corridor all by myself among all the creepy looking dolls.
A wander through Musée Mécanique is fun and mysterious. It’s quirky and wacky. The perfect way to spend a few minutes inside away from the sun and crowds outside. When in Fisherman’s Wharf next, duck into Musée Mécanique and enjoy a slower pace of life.
What is your favourite carnival game? Do you find these kind of places creepy?
Pier 45 Shed A at Fisherman’s Wharf
Weekdays 10AM – 7PM. Weekends 10AM – 8PM