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13 Reviews
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February 25, 2010

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February 25, 2010

this is a great place if you like pinball! they have at least 30 machines, from old to new style, its a good place to take the kids on a rainy weekend, it has historical momentos on display, lots of things for kids to do, a free show, and very friendly staff to help you if you need it. i wish ther were more places like this around the areas of the eastbay!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

all the working pinball machines that were offered to play as much as you would like, with respect to other players.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, courteus and knowledgeable

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be a whole lot of fun for all the visitors

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 25, 2010

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February 25, 2010

I've been to Playland-Not-At-The-Beach as a visitor and a volunteer. It's a really fun, special hidden gym in the east bay.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more money to complete the vision they have begun

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The fun atmosphere, learning about a piece of bay area history I knew nothing about.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Awesome

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Open a real East Bay playland.

Ways to make it better...

They need more space! ...and a working roller coster

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

It's location, and the unwillingness of people to explore their neighborhoods.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 24, 2010

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February 24, 2010

My daughter had her birthday party at this venue. She and her classmates loved it. Not only was it fun for the entire class but also educational. The adults that attended the event were thrilled to see "Laughing Sally" and her sister. It brought back memories of how San Francisco used to be at Ocean Beach. The artifacts, pinballs, Dickens, San Francisco, Santa, etc villages were beautiful and amazing. The volunteer staff were hospitable and so were the Administrators. The place is quite a drive from where our circle of friends live but it's worth a drive to see it once just to know the history of Ocean Beach / Playland in San Francisco. Overall, Playland-Not-At-The-Beach exceeded my expectation.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that is taught me the history of San Francisco and the appreciation of artifacts that was from the 60's and 70's.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Excellent, hospitable, and knowledgeable about the museum.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand and do massive advertising and marketing in the entire Bay Area.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 24, 2010

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February 24, 2010

As a vounteer, I have seen people enter the museum not expecting much and leaving hours later with huge smiles on their faces. I have watched guests rushing about the building on a treasure hunt and others spending a day playing the 25+ pinball machines. This place truly has something for everybody. The only unhappy people I have seen are those who didn't allow enough time to experience everything to their hearts desire.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing people leave with huge smiles while wishing they could stay longer. I've met hundreds of vistitors and have yet to meet anyone who did not have a great time.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 24, 2010

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February 24, 2010

I've visited 4 times, bringing family and friends with me each time. There is so much to see that it's easy to miss some of the fabulous areas. My mother just turned 88 and she declares Playland the best place she's ever visited. My children adore all the hand-on machines and get very competitive winning the giant panda bears. Magical Nathaniel has been performing there for 3 years, but they have other oustanding performers putting on shows every day the place is open. We look forward to rainy days so we have another excuse to visit Playland. They have a discount pass available, but they are so inexpensive that we would feel guilty trying to get a cheaper admission. Where else can I take my kids and mother for $10 for a full day's entertainment?

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the joy in people's faces. Everyone feels like you're hanging out with old friends.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them a building ten times the size and immense amounts of funding. They have never received a single dime of government funding. Volunteers did all this, and it's exquisite.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Things are always changing. They are about to open a seance room and a Disney tribute and somewhere in the future there is talk of a Wizard World.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Terrifically warm and friendly. They helped my kids to learn new skills, were very generous with praise, and made us all feel like we were at the best of family reunions without the tension.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Open a new building in other cities and bring out volunteers and artists and start all over again. All my out of state guests are jealous that they don't have anything like this back home. Maybe some day!

Ways to make it better...

I could spend more time. My kids would nominate me Father of the Year.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Running out of space. They say there are still unused portions of the building. This is a clasic case of making a miracle happen with no money!

One thing I'd also say is that...

Playland-Not-at-the-Beach is a secret gem. The best time to visit is in the mornings. I attended one evening party here too, and it was the funnest party I have every seen. This place is all heart!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 24, 2010

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February 24, 2010

Educational and fun. Introduces people of all ages to special exhibits from an era where families enjoyed time together. Grandparents and parents bring their children or grandchildren to show them what they did for fun before X-Box etc. It is an amazing place all under one roof. For children a museum that teaches and is fun. I also learn from the visitors with their knowledge and experiences and I like the one-on-one contact with the visitors.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

history I've learned and help I have given to the first time visitors.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 23, 2010

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February 23, 2010

Although I had no idea how "Playland at the Beach" could translate to an indoor venue, just the name, "Playland-NOT-at-the-Beach, Museum of FUN" [Emphasis supplied], said it all. I was an East Coast person familiar with some amusement parks, but never the iconic Playland at the Beach. Through short films, authentic carnival games, and pinball machines spanning decades, as well as delightful miniature worlds presented with great attention to detail, I was taken back to a time I had only heard stories about. Any one of the gentlemen at Playland NATB can give you personal narratives of this bygone era, and will gladly offer as much information as you want to hear. Sharing the stories and the artifacts is what it's all about. When my son asked if he could volunteer, he was welcomed enthusiastically, and seems to learn something new about the business every time he volunteers. Giving young people this chance is fostering a real sense of responsibility, and frankly, I'm delighted that he takes pride in this endeavor which is a real change from the technological nature of our lives in this day and age.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

regular departures from my role as a grown-up! What joy there is in playing games alongside children and other adults without the modern "arcade" atmosphere.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add a snack bar.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Watching my son take on the role of game operator and all-around helper, as a weekly volunteer.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

happy to see me, happy to help, happy to share their stories.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach a wider audience, fill a larger space, ensure that generations to come will know what entertainment was "back in the day." I'm confident this enterprise would reach out to the underprivileged to provide entertainment and education where is need.

Ways to make it better...

there were more room in the games area, more room in the audience area for the magic shows. They manage to keep a flow, nonetheless, with very efficient use of space.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

space and profile.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This is a unique, quaint, and joyful experience, due largely to the sincerity and heart of those who created Playland-Not-At-The-Beach. Thank you.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 23, 2010

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February 23, 2010

I know it's cliche, but this really is a hidden gem. For little more than the price of a happy meal, I can have hours of fun there. In addition to an extensive pinball collection, there are also carnival arcade games, and museum displays of amusement and carnival history (including, of course, Playland by the Beach). The staff and volunteers are masters of old-fashioned fun! It's tight quarters inside, but they definitely make the most of every inch. But because of the layout and spacing, it doesn't really feel cramped or crowded...just fun! Upbeat music and live performers round things out. In addition to visits, they also offer parties. But not just children's parties during visiting hours. they also offer after-hours parties for children and adults. Having planned a party or two in my day, I think this is what really sets them apart from other venues...the versatility. I found this place through the Disney volunteer promo, and am so glad I did! Though I've not made any plan to use my Disney ticket, I have already planned two return visits here with friends/family and have set my sights on becoming a regular volunteer despite its distance from my house. There aren't enough places to have plain, old fun. So helping ensure this one continues is a priority.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their simplicity. They have one goal...to share the joy of a bygone era (okay, and maybe to resurrect the innocent fun)!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

just great! So enthusiastic, so knowledgeable, and just so much fun. They cheer you on at the games, explain the history of the machines, or give you a "tour" of the old Playland.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Roll out the fun to everyone! I know that the emphasis in our culture is on technology. But PNATB is a place where you can lose yourself in another time, where things were a bit slower but the fun was just as good!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 23, 2010

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February 23, 2010

I'm so pleased that Playland-Not-At-The-Beach is in my neighborhood. Reminders of 1960's visits to Playland-at-the-Beach, of course, which gave my sister and I great joy in the reminiscing, but also it was delightful seeing families of all ages there, together. My husband marvelled at the historic, detailed circus dioramas. The story-telling was engaging, we 3 had a delightful 3 hours there, and we're so glad these wonderful items have such a good home. You should go, too, and bring the whole family!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being educated, entertained and enchanted.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them a lot of donors so they can continue to grow.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the recollections it brought up of a different America.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, informed and enthused, everyone of them, including the teen volunteers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

ROCK!

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed another hour, but I will definitely revisit the museum.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

its low profile.

One thing I'd also say is that...

a trip there is a magical thing that will bring the family together.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 22, 2010

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February 22, 2010

Playland-Not-At-The Beach is the perfect blend of old-fashioned fun (retro pinball machines, carnival games, magic shows), circus and carnival art and memorabilia which preserve a by-gone era and industry, and historical artifacts from a 100-year old San Francisco institution. The volunteers are so knowledgeable and friendly, and the space itself is cozy and welcoming. We had a private party there for about 40 and it was a memorable time. Full use of the kitchen made it very easy to provide food and drinks, the jukebox has great songs from different eras, and the movie theater provides a chance to see live footage of the original Playland, Sutro Baths and Fleishacher Pool. Many other surprises await you! I've been there many times and always feel I've recaptured a part of the past.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The variety of people who are associated with it, both as volunteers and visitors. I've heard many stories of memories made at the original Playland, and watch the joy it brings to people who recapture a part of their lives when they visit PNATB now.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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