Crazy for Carousels

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Are your kids crazy for carousels? There’s just something about that twirling, whirling sensation of a relaxing carousel ride. New York City is home to many a merry-go-round, with at least one or two in every borough. Here’s the rundown on ten of them. Has your family visited them all?

Carousel for All Children

Willowbrook, Staten Island – The Victorian-inspired Carousel for All Children in Willowbrook Park pays homage to the borough in which it resides. It displays 40 hand-painted renderings of Staten Island landmarks including the Conference House, High Rock Park, the Tibetan Museum, Martling’s Pond, the Vanderbilt Mausoleum, and Horrmann Castle. It also contains fifty-one hand-carved, colorfully painted figures of traditional wooden carousel horses, mythical beasts and endangered species. The Carousel for all Children is open on select days from May through October, from 11am to 5:45pm. Rides are just $1.50 per person. 2 for 1 rides Monday through Thursday throughout August!
The Conservation Carousel

West Brighton, Staten Island– This relatively new addition to the Staten Island Zoo calls attention to the endangered or vulnerable species of the world. The carousel features 25 hand-carved animals, including an Amur Leopard, which happens to be one of the Zoo’s most popular inhabitants, as well the Giant Panda, the Komodo Dragon, Poison Dart Frog, and Indian Rhinoceros, just to name a few of the more threatened species in the lineup. The Conservation carousel is open (weather permitting) on weekends and school holidays, 11am to 4pm. Rides are $2 each.

Sea Glass Carousel

Battery Park, Manhattan – This brand new carousel from the Battery Park Conservancy boasts a magnificent nautical theme, with 30 luminescent fish figures spanning as wide as 9 ½ feet and reaching up to 13 ½ feet tall. Unique among carousels worldwide, the motors lie under the floor – allowing full visibility across and around the shell, with no center post – and visitors sit inside the figures rather than atop them. So instead of “riding” the fish as one would on a typical carousel, visitors will “become” fish while gliding through the sights and sounds of a 360° aquatic adventure. The Sea Glass Carousel is open 10am-10pm daily from March through December. Rides are $5 each.

Central Park Carousel

Central Park, Manhattan – The fourth to stand in Central Park, this carousel is currently one of the largest in the United States. Rumor has it that a live mule or horse once powered it from beneath the platform, starting and stopping when the operator tapped the floor. Crafted in 1908 and restored in 1990, it holds 57 beautiful horses. The carousel is located mid-park, at 65th street and is open seven days a week during summer months.

Jane’s Carousel

DUMBO, Brooklyn – Of all the carousels in New York City, the view on Jane’s Carousel is arguably the most spectacular. It sits adjacent to the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park, offering breathtaking views of the bridge and surrounding skyline. Almost a century old – it was originally installed in Ohio in 1922 – the carousel was intricately restored by hand and reopened at its new home in Brooklyn in 2011. The classic three-row machine contains 48 exquisitely carved horses and two superb chariots. Housed inside a glass pavilion, it’s open all year round. You can visit daily from 11am to 7pm from May 11 to September 20 (closed on Tuesdays), and 11am-6pm from September 21 to May 8. Rides are $2 each.

Prospect Park Carousel

Prospect Park, Brooklyn – Originally erected in Coney Island in 1912 by famed designer Charles Carmel, this carousel now finds its home in the Children’s Corner of Prospect Park where it was restored by the Prospect Park Alliance in 1990.  Fifty-three horses ride alongside a lion, a deer, and two dragon-pulled chariots. It’s open from the spring to the fall; check their website for operating hours and dates. Rides are $2 each.

B&B Carousell

Coney Island, Brooklyn – The centerpiece of the iconic Steeplechase Plaza, the B&B Carousell is Coney Island’s last surviving carousel and a signature ride at Luna Park. The 110-year-old frame was built in Coney Island and restored in 2008, with 50 hand-carved, antique, wooden horses and two chariots. The B&B Carousell is open on select days from May through October and costs three “Luna credits” to ride.

Forest Park Carousel

Woodhaven, Queens This historic carousel is the only one of its kind to be declared a New York City landmark. The carousel frame was built in 1890, but was unfortunately destroyed by a fire in 1966. An extensive restoration led to its eventual reopening in Forest Park, a vast 538-acre park in Queens. The traditionally-themed carousel features three rows of 49 horses, three menagerie figures and two chariots. The Forest Park Carousel is open on select days from April to October. Check their website for operating hours. Rides are $3 each.

Flushing Meadows Carousel

Flushing Meadows, Queens – Although crafted from the merger of two different carousels in the mid-1900’s, the Flushing Meadows Carousel is home in Queens’ newest amusement park, Fantasy Forest in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The carousel opened in the park in 1968, beginning a restoration process in 2012, and was then joined by Fantasy Forest amusement park rides in 2013. It holds over 70 horses! It’s open on select days from March through November.

The Bug Carousel

Pelham Parkway, Bronx – Your budding entomologist will surely appreciate the Bronx Zoo’s popular critter-covered Big Carousel. Riders can choose from 64 massive insect figures and two chariots, the more popular of which features a giant Dung Beetle. It also displays a beautifully hand-painted mural depicting the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies. The Bug Carousel is open all year round, enclosed by sliding glass doors in cold weather. Hours are 10am-5pm daily from April to October, and 10am-4:30pm from November to March. Rides are $5 each, plus the cost admission.

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  1. Greenbelt Peepers

    March 23 @ 9:45 am - 10:15 pm
    March 23, 2017  |  9:45 am - 10:15 pm
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, two-year-old kids and their caregivers will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration requested. To register, please email naturecenter@sigreenbelt.org or call (718) 351-3450.
  2. Free Foreclosure Legal Services

    March 23 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    March 23, 2017  |  10:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Senator Andrew Lanza's District Office
    The Mobile Legal Help Center is a partnership between the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program that provides free foreclosure legal services to New Yorkers in need. Private meeting rooms
  3. Toddler/Preschool Story Time

    March 23 @ 10:30 am - 11:15 am
    March 23, 2017  |  10:30 am - 11:15 am
    St. George Library
    Songs, rhymes, picture book stories, & a craft activity are all part of this story time. Registration required.
  4. Toddler Storytime

    March 23 @ 11:00 am
    March 23, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library
  5. Tot’s Time Plus

    March 23 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    March 23, 2017  |  11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Your pre-schooler will create artwork, sing along and listen to stories.
  6. Greenbelt Tree Tots

    March 23 @ 11:00 am - 11:45 am
    March 23, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:45 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, children will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration required. Email nature center@sigreenbelt.org or by phone at 718-351-3450. Fee: $3 or Free for Greenbelt Conservancy Members.
  7. Bouncing Babies

    March 23 @ 11:15 am
    March 23, 2017  |  11:15 am - 11:15 am
    West New Brighton Library
    Come for playtime, stories and songs for babies and their caregivers.
  8. Baby Social

    March 23 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    March 23, 2017  |  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    St. George Library
    Playground is too cold or it’s rainy? Do you and your baby need to get out of the house? Come to the library! A safe, indoor space for babies 0-23 months and their caregivers to play and socialize. Baby toys
  9. Reading & Technology Family Workshop

    March 23 @ 12:00 pm
    March 23, 2017  |  12:00 pm - 12:00 pm
    Huguenot Library
  10. Animal Time

    March 23 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    March 23, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Join us for this daily program and meet one of the animals from our living collection. Check the white board at the museum for details.