Nothing conjures up childhood memories like hopping on an antique carousel with your kids does it? (That and chasing fireflies does it for me.) The music, the lights, the magic. It’s like being 8 all over again, minus the skinned knees and missing teeth. Honestly, there’s just something about a ride on a merry-go-round that just makes folks of all ages smile. We’re fortunate to have many beautiful ones to choose from around the New York area.
Central Park. But of course, there’s one here in the hub of the city. The carousel with large horses and a bit of speed, takes over 250,000 riders for a spin each year- city kids and visitors alike. $2.50 a ride.
Midtown West at Bryant park offers the small Le Carrousel which is great for younger children.
Hudson River Park offers the Pier 62 Carousel, at 23rd street, with beautiful animals to ride on( how about a seahorse or a unicorn?) and a smattering of twinkling lights to add to the festivities along with a pretty cool view.
Called ” the happiest corner of Flushing Meadows Corona park, Fantasy Forest offers over 70 horses for your riding pleasure. Couple this with an afternoon at the Queens Zoo right nearby and it’s a fun day for all.
At Woodhaven Boulevard, you can find the Forest Park Carousel. Another one being painstakingly refurbished a little at a time, this carousel offers 3 rows of horses. $3 a ride or 2 rides for $5
The Bronx Zoo’s famous Bug Carousel lets you choose a grasshopper , a ladybug or many other 6- leggers of your choice. How about a dung beetle? Always wanted that didn’t you? $3 a ride or included in the total experience ticket or with membership.
Open for the 100th season, the Prospect Park Carousel,is a landmark and well known carousel to ride on that a large amount of riders can fit on at once.
Brooklyn Bridge park The historic and beautifully restored Jane’s carousel at the park is now open in the Empire Fulton Ferry section. And again, it’s the combo of the ride and the view that is terrific. Well, add an ice cream cone and you’ve just about got the perfect day!
The Carousel For All Children features 51 hand carved figures ranging from the classic horse, to gorillas, to giraffes and all the glitz of the lights as well. True to it’s name, it’s accessible to people with physical challenges to allow everyone in on the fun.
Garden City’s museum row offers a great carousel tucked between the children’s museum and the Cradle of Aviation museum. Nunley’s Carousel feels like a bit of a carnival in the middle of the museum strip and at $2 a ride, you can’t afford to miss it when visiting museum row.
Greenport- Out near the tip of the North shore and in the heart of a bustling village at Mitchell parks stands the carousel in Greenport.It has the golden ring kids love to try to grab for a free ride and some wonderful water views too. It’s $2 a ride and open year round.
Hempstead Lake State park also is home to a carousel called the Hecksher carousel with 36 jumping horses. It’s open on weekends.
Looking for more fun places to take the family to? Check out these hot spots on Long Island