The wife and I took our annual trip to Salem MA this past weekend. This is our favorite time of year, and Salem is a great place to visit right before Halloween. For those of you that aren’t big on fancy book learnin’, Salem is known for the infamous witch trials, where 20 people met there deaths as punishment for practicing or being associated with witchcraft.
I’ll be writing more about Salem before Halloween, but this post only focuses on a new place we discovered there – Salem Willows Park.
It’s located right near the water, about 1.5 miles from the historic cemetery in downtown Salem.
It’s setup almost like a boardwalk…except…replace the boards with a big parking lot, and in between that and the water put a park with Willow trees and loads of squirrels. Other than that, it’s exactly like a boardwalk. All the different locations are connected together with storefronts facing the park.
The arcade is split into 2 separate buildings, one being the arcade…
the other a “Casino” with all redemption games:
Both the arcade and the casino were awesome. We got there when they opened at 12pm and stayed ’till closing at 6pm. We lucked out, as it was the last day they were open for the season.
They have a good mix of old games, classic games, and new games. What I mean by “old” games is penny, nickle, and dime machines from the pre video game era.
This band of monkeys greets you at the entrance of the arcade:
Here is a “Relax-a-Lator” that is supposed to relax your tired feet. We’d been walking around Salem for 2 days and my feet were killing me. When I saw this bad boy I just had to take it for a spin. This thing should be called the “Leg Snap-a-lator”. See those handles up top? If you try this puppy, make sure you use them. It shook violently for about 2 stomach churning minutes. I was praying for it to end, and I think I threw up a little. For a second I thought of getting off, and thought better of it. If I put one foot on the ground, the imbalance could have sheered my other foot clean off at the ankle. It wasn’t until I finally disembarked from this pre WWII torture device that I noticed the blood stains at the bottom from its prior victims.
For classic games, here are a few I remember off the top of my head:
- Ms. Pac-Man
- Space Invaders
- Sea Wolf
- lots more that I forget
There were also a decent number of pinball machines. Here are a few more shots inside the arcade:
On to the Casino…
I’m not normally big on redemption games, but we had just as much fun over in the redemption area.
This Pac-Man coin pusher was sweet.
and I think we need one of these Simpson’s Kooky Carnival machines:
It’s made by Stern, the same people that made Linda’s Simpsons Pinball Party pin. Here is a closeup of the back:
I have a lot more pictures of this place here:
As for the rest of the park, I’d advise you put on a haz-mat suit before entering the bathrooms. They are located outside in the park, in separate buildings and haven’t been cleaned since the Reagan administration. For food, you can choose from 2 pizza places, 2 Chinese restaurants, and 3 ice cream places. If I were you I’d get something from each place, mix it all together and eat it right before taking a white knuckle ride on the Relax-a-Lator.