Sunday, March 16, 2014

Card for a free game of Skilo at Palisades Amusement Park

This blue card, 3⅞ inches in width, entitled the bearer to one free game of Skilo at the long-gone but fondly remembered Palisades Amusement Park in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Skilo is, according to Wikipedia, a game in which "the player pays a fee and throws a small rubber ball into a container divided into numbered sections for the chance to win money." It was once (and may still be) very popular at New Jersey amusement parks and along boardwalks.

Merriam-Webster, meanwhile, has a slightly different definition of Skilo: "a game of rolling balls into depressions in a grid based on the cards used at bingo with the object of getting five balls in a row."

That definition makes me think that Skilo is nearly identical to "I Got It," a game that has long been a part of the York Fair here in my neck of the woods. Here is a collage of "I Got It" photos from 2012, featuring my beautiful wife.1

Turning to Palisades Amusement Park, it was in operation from 1898 until 1971. It closed for good on September 12, 1971, less than a year after I was born. Multiple high-rise luxury apartments now stand where the park was once located.

Palisades was known for its multiple roller coasters, its rock-and-roll and Motown concerts at the music pavilion in the 1950s and 1960s, and its ceaseless advertising via such nontraditional means at matchbooks and comic books.

But perhaps it was best-known for its breathtaking location. Check out this undated postcard advertisement for the park, from the Wikimedia Commons.

(Is that a UFO in the upper-right corner??)

To learn more about the storied (and sometimes regrettable) history of Palisades Amusement Park, see these websites:

And here are some books about Palisades:

Do you have memories of Skilo and/or Palisades? Share them in the comments section!

1. For more photography from the York Fair, see these posts:


  1. This made me think of the old Freddy Cannon song. hmmmm....that might date me.....but I was VERY small when that song came out.

  2. I worked at Skilo 1968-1971...I still have my employee admission card

  3. The Skilo at PAP was a bingo game.The name replaced the name bingo,otherwise it was the same as bimgo