New York City is home to many different carousels, which are a great activity for travelers with young children, as well as for carousel lovers of all ages. Our round-up of carousels will help you find the perfect one for your New York City itinerary.More: Best NYC Attractions for Families
Visitors to Central Park have been enjoying carousel rides since 1873, when a carousel first made its home mid-Park at 64th Street. The first carousel in Central Park was powered by a horse or mule located underneath the platform.
Today's Central Park Carousel is the fourth to occupy the spot, but it has a history of its own -- crafted in 1908 by Stein & Goldstein, it was restored by the Central Park Conservancy after being discovered in an abandoned trolley station in Coney Island. It is one of the United States' largest carousels and considered to be an excellent example of American folk art. Almost a quarter of a million riders experience the Central Park Carousel, which has 57 horses all of which have been or are in the process of being restored.
Season: daily early April - early October, weather permitting
Location: mid-Park at 64th Street
Le Carousel in Bryant Park was designed specifically for Bryant Park by Brooklyn based Fabricon Carousel Company. It features 14 animals, all of which are replicas of classic carousel creatures. Carousel riders will enjoy listening to French cabaret music while they watch Bryant Park spin by from Le Carousel.
Season: daily year-round, weather permitting
Location: 41st Street side of Bryant Park (lawn between 5th/6th Aves)
The Prospect Park Alliance restored the Central Park Carousel in 1990, recapturing Charles Carmel's 57 beautifully carved 1912 horses, plus a lion, a giraffe, a deer and two chariots. Located in the Children's Corner of Prospect Park, it's a great stop to combine with a visit to the Prospect Park Zoo, the Audubon Center, or Lefferts Historic House.
Season: Thursday - Sunday, from late June to late October, weather permitting
Location: Children's Corner, near the park's south east corner
The first carousel to be placed on the Register of Historic Places, Jane's Carousel was made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1922 and first called Youngstown, Ohio home. Now in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Carousel and the Nouvel commissioned Pavilion were a gift to the people of the City of New York by the Walentas family. Jane's Carousel has been named after Jane Walentas, who began restoring the carousel in 1984 in her DUMBO studio after buying it at auction.
Season: early November - early April, open Thursday-Sunday; April - October, open Wednesday - Monday (closed Tuesdays), weather permitting
Location: DUMBO section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges
Cost: $2/ride (riders 3 and younger or under 42" tall are free with a paying adult)
Whether you want to ride on a grasshopper or a praying-mantis, the Bronx Zoo's bug carousel is sure to entertain. There are even sliding glass doors to enclose the carousel, making it a year-round pleasure.
Location: next to the Mouse House; near the Dancing Crane Cafe
Cost: $3/ride (included in Total Experience tickets)
More: Bronx Zoo Visitors Guide
Located in Queens' flagship park, the Flushing Meadows Corona Park carousel debuted at the 1964 World's Fair and was actually created by combining two Coney Island carousels the Feltman Carousel (ca. 1903) and the Stubbman Carousel (ca. 1908). One of just six carousels representing Marcus Charles Illions' flashy, colorful style, it's one of the most well-loved reminders of the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Season: weekends year-round, daily March - November, weather permitting
Location: adjacent to the Queens Zoo