Courtesy of Musee Mechanique/David Gallagher
AAA Editor Notes
Musée Mécanique is at Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf, at the end of Taylor St. This “mechanical museum” is a treasure trove of working antique mechanical games housed in a large, warehouse-like structure. The collection includes more than 200 coin-operated musical instruments and arcade machines such as player pianos, a boxing match, pinball machines, an arm-wrestling game and Romani fortune tellers.

Near the front entrance is Laffing Sal, who formerly held court at the now-defunct Playland at the Beach amusement park. The towering, red-haired figure stands in a glass case, and her boisterous, vaguely menacing laugh gave many children nightmares when Laffing Sals were a standard feature in American fun houses of the 1930s and '40s. Bring plenty of coins if you want to play the games (change machines are also available).

Time: Allow 30 minutes minimum.

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