Salem Willows Amusement Park, Salem, MA


The Salem Willows Amusement Park is famous for providing the first ice cream cone and with the introduction of the first double jointed peanuts in America from a peanut cart. The Salem Willows Amusement Park is located at 167 Fort Ave, Salem, MA 01970. The park sits on a peninsula that is part of Salem Harbor and has been a municipal park since 1858. There are two hundred year old white willow trees that grace the park's landscape. Besides the two first's a famous Bavarian woodcarver, Joseph Brown designed the Flying Horse Carousel in 1866. The horse remained at the amusement park until 1945 when they were sold to Macy's New York Department Store. They had a prominent place in their holiday windows. The park still has the original carousel even though the horses have been replaced.

Jazz is part of the tradition of Salem Willows Amusement Park. As a young man Duke Ellington played at Salem Willows in 1932. Other notable performers were Louis Armstrong and Count Basie. The Charleshurst Ballroom is where these legends performed and is now the Willows Casino. There are jazz concerts given in the summer at Salem Willows. There is no admission fee to enter the park nor is there a fee to park.

Besides the rides and games visitors to the park can relax under the shade of the white willow trees, play on the beach or fish from the public pier. There are many summer concerts at the bandstand. Guests can rent a kayak and explore the coastline or take a cruise on a 50 foot Finback.

The Willows Casino features Skee-ball, air hockey and other family style games. Players redeem their tickets for prizes and merchandise. The Willows Arcade has classic 80's coin operated video games. All the favorites are on hand such as Pac-Mac, Ms Pac-Man, Tournament Arkanoid and Galaga. Fans of pin ball machines can play on the vintage machines or get their fortunes told by the Fortune Teller. Even though they have classic games guests can enjoy twenty first century arcade games as well with virtual reality games.

A midway with rides for all age groups is part of Salem Willows Amusement Park. There are rides for very young children and thrill rides for older children and adults. The historic Carousel is in Kiddieland along with lady bug rides, boats and cars. When guests are tired of rides they can also play a game of miniature golf.

When visitors get hungry they can eat at Genghis which features Chinese food with the famous Chop Suey Sandwich. Cappy's Seafood is around to present fried clams, sub sandwiches, hamburgers, fried dough and homemade ice cream. E.W. Hobbs has been serving food since 1897. Their specialty is salt water taffy, homemade ice cream and "the best popcorn in New England''. Everett Hobbs served the first ice cream cone in 1906 in America. Peppy's Pizza is the final food choice, with thin crust Italian pizza served in their newly refurbished air conditioned restaurant.

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