Today, NYC Parks puts a focus on Carousels – a beloved, long-standing amenity in New York CityPparks – on the Parks website. A treasured nostalgic memory for many, Parks has a long history with carousels – some are over a hundred years old! At the start of the 20th century, Brooklyn was home to the largest concentration of carousel workshops in the country, as several master carvers set up shop in the city.
From historic and restored relics to modern marvels with striking waterfront views, the carousels in City parks are guaranteed to delight New Yorkers and provide fun for the whole family. Some highlights include:
Bug Carousel – Bronx Zoo
Location: Alongside the real animals in the Bronx Zoo
Style: You won’t find horses at this one-of-a-kind carousel. Ride on a grasshopper, ladybug, or firefly instead! Painted murals show caterpillars transforming into butterflies, and the music even makes use of insect sounds.
Know before you go: This carousel is wheelchair accessible and open year-round (glass encases it in the winter).
B&B Carousel – Luna Park, Coney Island
Location: Among the rides at Coney Island’s Luna Park
Style: Built in Coney Island in 1906, this colorful and classic carousel, situated on the world-famous Coney Island Boardwalk, transports riders back to the golden age of the American carousel, in the heart of New York’s favorite playground.
Know before you go: The attractions at Luna Park are open 7 days a week from March to November.
Location: Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in Coney Island
Style: Candy-colored horses will take you for a ride on this Coney Island classic, on the Coney Island Boardwalk, beside the famous Wonder Wheel.
Know before you go: The attractions at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park are open 7 days a week (weather permitting) from March to November.
Prospect Park Carousel
Location: Prospect Park’s Children’s Corner
Style: Carved in 1912, this historic carousel, operated by the Prospect Park Alliance, boasts 53 horses, riding alongside a lion, deer, giraffe, and two chariots pulled by dragons!
Know before you go: This carousel is wheelchair accessible and open Thursday-Sunday and on holidays from March through November.
SeaGlass Carousel – Battery Park
Location: Along the water at Battery Park
Style: This unique carousel transports riders under the waves. Instead of a central pole or horses, turntables spin iridescent fish, which are lit from within to recall bioluminescence, while lighting in the space creates a shimmering water effect alluding to its location by New York Harbor where the city’s first aquarium was located.
Know before you go: Housed in a pavilion, this carousel is open daily and year-round, weather permitting.
Central Park Carousel
Location: In southern Central Park’s Children’s District
Style: While carousels have been at this location for over a century (the first one was powered by a large horse or mule!) the current carousel was built in 1908 and installed here in 1951, bringing with it 57 hand-carved horses.
Know before you go: Open 7 days a week, weather permitting.
Hudson River Park Carousel
Location: Hudson River Park’s Pier 62
Style: 33 custom-designed, hand-carved animals reside on this waterfront carousel, including a seal, a raccoon, a bear, a deer, a seahorse, and more!
Know before you go: Open Friday-Sunday from late April through the end of October, weather permitting.
Location: Nestled in Bryant Park
Style: Designed to complement the park’s French classical style, Le Carrousel is an homage to European and American carousel traditions. Its 14 animals, including traditional horses plus other creatures, like a frog and rabbit, revolve to the sounds of French cabaret music.
Know before you go: Open daily year-round, excluding February when it operates Thursday-Sunday.
Forest Park Carousel – Forest Park
Location: Within the Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village
Style: Built in 1903, this NYC Designated Landmark is one of only two surviving carousels hand-crafted by internationally acclaimed master craftsman Daniel Carl Muller, featuring traditional horses, menagerie animals, and chariots.
Know before you go: The Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village is open with varying hours, Thursday through Sunday in April through October.
Carousel for All Children
Location: Willowbrook Park in Staten Island’s stunning Greenbelt
Style: Though it opened in 1999, this retro carousel features Victorian-style finishings, with 51 hand-carved wooden figures of mythical beasts, endangered species, and traditional carousel horses. The carousel is also decorated with hand-painted renderings of Staten Island landmarks.
Know before you go: Like its name says, this carousel is for all! It’s fully accessible and open to all ages, Friday-Sunday in the summer.
For a full list of carousels in City parks, please visit the new Carousels in NYC Parks webpage.