comscore 5 carousels to consider that are fun for all ages | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

5 carousels to consider that are fun for all ages


    A woman enjoys a ride on the 1916 Herschell Carrousel during a visit to the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda, N.Y.

What’s not to love about a carousel? For a charming mix of music, whimsy and history, here are five to consider:

1. Indianapolis

Experience the magic of one of the three oldest surviving Dentzel menagerie carousels in the world. It’s the centerpiece of Carousel Wishes and Dreams, a permanent exhibit at the city’s children’s museum. This revolving gem was originally installed in 1917 at the Broad Ripple Park. After the building in which it was housed collapsed, the carved animals were salvaged, restored and eventually lowered through the roof to their home on the fourth floor of the expansive Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.


2. Salem, Ore.

Located in the city’s 23-acre riverfront park, this vintage-style carousel was lovingly created as a community project. Dozens of local families worked to prepare the site, even carve and hand paint the horses. With old-fashioned organ music as the backdrop, families now enjoy seasonal celebrations, birthday parties and more with the carousel as centerpiece. The gift shop offers handcrafted ornaments, books and gifts to providing continuing support for the community treasure.


3. Santa Ana, Calif.

Kids learn about environmental conservation and preservation when they climb about this eco-minded carousel at the Santa Ana Zoo. Rather than horses, the Conservation Carousel comprises endangered species. After circling aboard this unique ride, kids receive a collectible educational card with information about at-risk creatures. The zoo, founded in 1952, is located on a 20-acre urban oasis. A request from its original benefactor means you will find 50 monkeys in residence at all times.


4. Westerly, R.I.

Built in 1876 and a National Historic Landmark, fthis carousel is believed to be the oldest flying horse carousel in the country. Once part of a traveling carnival, the charming carousel in Watch Hill features hand-carved horses suspended from chains. Thus, as the speed increases they seem to “fly.” Each horse has a leather saddle and a tail and mane crafted from real horse hair. Revelers can reach for the brass ring near the end of the ride. If you are lucky enough to grab it, you’ll win a token for a free ride.


5. North Tonawanda, N.Y.

Visit the one-of-a-kind Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, housed in the original factory building where you can ride two antique carousels and delve into their history. The larger is 40 feet in diameter, with hundreds of lights and 36 hand-carved horses, some dating to the late 1890s. Rotating at 6.5 revolutions per minute, the carousel was originally intended as a thrill ride for adults. The “kiddie carousel” in the Children’s Gallery was created in the 1940s for the junior set to ride without the help of adults. It has been completely restored. Ask about carving and restoration demonstrations and other family events scheduled throughout the year.


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