Far Out Flora

Playland at SF Conservatory

December 26, 2011 by Matti | 4 Comments

Original Playland at the Beach Sign

Original Playland at the Beach Sign

We popped in the Conservatory of Flowers to check out Playland at the Conservatory.  Half blast from the past…half mini landscapes, 100% fun.  Back in the day, a ton of attractions started springing up near the Sutro Baths down in our hood. Officially becoming Playland at the Beach in 1926 this boardwalk-esque amusement park peaked around the 50s and finally shut down in 1972.  SF Conservatory does Playland proud bring back the essence of the fun and games.

The Fun House

The Fun House

Most of these miniature buildings and rides are created using found objects and reclaimed materials.  Take a closer look at the Fun House.  Looks like a couple of board games, including a chess board and a game of backgammon were used for the facade.

The buffalo and Windmill

The buffalo and Windmill

These are two of my fav things you can still see in Golden Gate Park (GGP).  First introduced to GGP in 1890s, you can still see bison hanging out in the Buffalo Paddock.  It’s one of those bizarre sites when tromping around the park, and a great stop if you have visitors as it’s a mellow and always fun stuff to see.  The Dutch Windmills are just down the road from the bison.  One of the two has been standing in the Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, but they just finished restoring the second windmill a couple blocks from our place.

The Cliff House

The Cliff House

Pretty sure this is originally how the Cliff House used to look.  Nice traveling tip, you can still explore the Giant Camera Obscura, which is adjacent to the Cliff House.

Roller Coaster

Big Dipper Roller Coaster

Gorgeous pink Cryptanthus and an assortment of Tillandsias popping out in the foreground of the Big Dipper roller coaster.

Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel

Can’t have an amusement park without a Ferris Wheel.  Oh, forgot to mention all the toy trains and cable cars buzzing around too.  We visited last year’s Garden Railway tour, and the Conservatory of Flowers did a great job changing it up since then.

Zoltar and a Laughing Sal

Zoltar and a Laffing Sal

Bring a handful of quarters and dimes cuz there are games to play, including the Zoltar (I wished I was a kid again).

Matti in the Dodger Bumper Car

Matti in the Dodger Bumper Car

…and it came true.  Hey, when you sit in this original Dodger bumper car, put the pedal to the metal…you’ll get a big treat.  The exhibit runs until Apr 15, 2012.  As you know time flies, don’t let this one get away.

– Far Out Flora