August 17, 2011

Carousel City

Ride Round-And-Round The Five Boroughs With The City’s Most Unique Carousels

By Kelly Farrell

Whether your child is riding on a giant insect at the Bronx Zoo or the very same horse that you chose every weekend as a kid yourself in Central Park, there are plenty of carousels throughout the city that are sure to inject some fun into the end of this summer (and bring out a little nostalgia of summers gone by). —


Friedsam Memorial
Carousel in Central Park

Perhaps the most famous and storied carousel in all of Manhattan, the original Friedsam Memorial Carousel in Central Park first left its mark on the city in 1871, when a blind mule and horse operated the movement of the ride. Three replacements (and a motor) later, the fourth carousel now boasts 57 wooden horses three-quarters the size of their real-life counterparts and two chariots that hold up to ten people each.

Hours: Mon-Fri, 10am -6 pm; Sat-Sun 10am-7pm. $1 per ride

Le Carrousel

Vive la France! In Bryant Park, Le Carrousel was created to complement the classical French aesthetic of the grounds. Fourteen animals revolve in time with French cabaret music.

Hours (through October): Daily, 11 am-8pm.
$2 per ride

The GE Carousolar

Think it’s all been done before when it comes to amusement parks? Try taking a ride on the world’s first solar-powered Carousel at South Street Seaport for a brand-new experience. There’s even a place for moms and pops to plug in their

Hours (through September 7): Daily, 10am-10pm. Free

Pier 62 Carousel

You’ll find more than just horses at the Pier 62 Carousel. There, 33 animals like the sea turtle and the wild turkey, many indigenous to the Hudson RiverValley, adorn the 36-foot waterfront ride.

Hours: Mon–Thurs, 11am-7pm;
Fri–Sun, 11am-8:30pm.
$2 per ride

Totally Kid Carousel

Kids can’t go wrong with a carousel designed by one of them! The first of its kind, the Totally Kid Carousel at the RiverbankState Park touts 36 whimsical animals, including flamingos, dragons and even a T-Rex, inspired by local
children’s drawings and created by artist Milo Mottola. Look above each revolving critter to find its original sketch.

Hours: Sat-Sun, 1pm-6pm.
$1 per ride


The Carousel at Prospect Park

With 56 figures carved in 1912 by Charles Carmel, one of the premier carousel designers of the time, the Carousel at Prospect Park makes for a fun and nostalgic ride. If you’re in the area, prepare to be drawn in by the famed Wurlitzer
organ, loud enough to be heard by passersby. Added bonus: Kids ride for free on August Thursdays thanks to the Astoria Federal Savings Bank!

Hours (through September
5th): Thurs-Sun and Labor Day, 12pm-6pm. $2 per ride

Jane’s Carousel

Keep an eye out for Jane’s Carousel, scheduled to open to the public this month. Completely restored, the carousel dates all the way back to 1922. This beauty is quite a piece of history, with scenery panels, rounding boards, crests, platform pieces and a center pole all from the original merry-go-round.

Hours: TBA, opens August


Feltman Carousel

The carousel in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a unique hybrid of two classic turn-of-the-20th-century carousels. The
historical ride debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair and has spun round and round in that spot ever since.

Hours (through
October): Daily, $2 per ride


Carousel for All

Behind a duck pond, in the Willowbrook Park section of Greenbelt, you’ll find the Carousel for All Children. This Victorian-style carousel features 51 hand-carved figures, from dolphins to panda bears to a Saint Bernard and scenes of favorite Staten Island landmarks.

Hours: August, daily, 11am-5:45pm; September, Wed-Sun, 11am-5:45pm. $1.50 per ride


The Bug Carousel

Hop on a praying mantis or a ladybug for a bugs-eye view of the Bronx Zoo, on the creepy, crawly Bug Carousel. Your child can choose his favorite of the 64 super-sized insects and learn about a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly from the ride’s hand-painted mural.

Hours (year-round):
Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun and holidays, 10am-5:30pm. $3 per ride with general-admission ticket, free with total-experience ticket

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