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 10 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 51 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 through October, from 11am to 5:45pm. Rides are just $2.50 per person. Plan your visit.
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 Wednesdays, weekends and school holidays, 11 am to 3pm. When school is out, it is open daily. Rides are $3 each. Plan your visit.
Sea Glass Carousel
Battery Park, Manhattan – This 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 daily, 11am-9pm. Rides are $5.50 each. Plan your visit.
Central Park Carousel
Central Park, Manhattan – This is one of the nation’s largest merry-go-rounds. 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, 10am-6pm, weather permitting. $3.50 per ride. Plan your visit.
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. It was originally installed in Ohio in 1922. Then, 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. Hours are: Thursday-Sunday, 11am-5:50pm through May 15. Open every day except Tuesday, 11am-6:50pm, May 16-Sept. 11, 2022. Rides are $2 each. Plan your visit.
Prospect Park Carousel
Prospect Park, Brooklyn – Carved in 1912 by famed designer Charles Carmel, this carousel lives in the Children’s Corner of Prospect Park. It was restored by the Prospect Park Alliance in 1990, and subsequent improvements were made in 2020. Fifty-three horses ride alongside a lion, giraffe, deer, and two dragon-pulled chariots. It’s open from the spring to the fall; Thursday-Sunday and holidays, 12-5pm. Rides are $3 each. Plan your visit.
Coney Island, Brooklyn – The historic B&B Carousel is a signature ride at Luna Park. It was built in Coney Island in 1906 and has been restored. It has 50 hand-carved 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. Plan your visit.
Forest Park Carousel
Woodhaven, Queens — This historic carousel was built in 1903. It was hand-crafted by world-renowned artist, Daniel Muller, and became a designated landmark of New York City in 2013. The Forest Park Carousel is open on select days from April to October. Check their website for operating hours. Rides are $4.25 each. Plan your visit.
Flushing Meadows Carousel
Flushing Meadows, Queens – This carousel was created for the 1964-65 World’s Fair by combining two historic Coney Island carousels. It’s part of Fantasy Forest Amusement Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It has 64 jumping horses, seven standing horses, a menagerie animal and two chariots. It’s open on select days from March through October. A ride is $4.25. Plan your visit.
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 a variety of massive insect figures, including a praying mantis, bright green grasshopper and dung beetle. The Bug Carousel is open all year round, enclosed by sliding glass doors in cold weather. Check zoo hours on the website. Rides are $7 each, plus the cost of admission. Plan your visit.
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