The best carousels in NYC for kids and families

Cool carousels in NYC are aplenty, so hop on the nearest horse, chariot or wonky creature and get ready for a spin

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We're always up for a spin on our favorite carousels in NYC! 

When venturing to family attractions, kids' amusement parks and outdoor spaces, hopping on a horse (or bug, or fish or mythical creature) is a must. It's an adventure we might love just as much as the kiddos...perhaps even more so!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to outdoor activities for kids in NYC

These whimsical carousels in NYC are more than just rides: Bryant Park's attraction is home to free family programming (think storytimes and magic shows) while the SeaGlass Carousel pays tribute to the city's first aquarium. There's even a ride that was designed by kids! How neat is that? 

If you're searching for cheap things to do with kids in NYC, consider a ride (or two) on one of these great merry-go-rounds. Enjoy!

Carousels in NYC

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Jane's Carousel
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Justin Kiner

Jane's Carousel (Brooklyn Bridge Park)

Season: Open year-roud

Hours: May 13–Sept 15 Mon, Wed–Sun 11am–7pm; Sept 16–May 10, 2020 Thu–Sun 11am–6pm.

Price: $2/ride; children 3 and under (or less than 42” tall) free if accompanied by paying adult; 12 tickets $20.

Website: janescarousel.com

After grabbing lunch at Time Out Market New York, take advantage of the surrounding area's gorgeous scenery and family-friendly fun. You can hop aboard one of the 48 horses or two chariots of Jane's Carousel while you spin about. Back in 1922, the Philadelphia Toboggan Company crafted the impressive ride, and it has since been restored to its pristine condition. The lower Manhattan skyline hangs in the background, so prepare for a few photo ops with the family, both on and off the horses!

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Photograph: Filip Wolak

SeaGlass Carousel

Season opening date: Open year-round

Hours: Daily 10am–10pm (weather permitting)

Price: $5/ride

Website: seaglasscarousel.nyc

Enjoy an underwater adventure without the scuba gear at this downtown Instagrammable spot. In lieu of horses, children are invited to sit in angelfish and clearfin lionfish in this whimsical, aquatic attraction. Inspired by the original location of the New York Aquarium, the Battery’s picture-perfect carousel is set aglow thanks color-changing LED light fixtures that evoke an underwater atmosphere. Who's ready to dive in?

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bugcarousel.jpg
Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

Bug Carousel (Bronx Zoo)

Season opening date: Open year-round

Hours: Various times

Price: Zoo admission: $36.95, children 3–12 $26.95, children under 2 free + $6/ride

Website: bronxzoo.com 

There isn't a horse in sight at this Bronx Zoo attraction. Expect to find praying mantis, beetles, grasshoppers and other multilegged critters on the beloved carousel fit for all of the little entomologists in your clan. The inspect-inspired hotspot is the perfect place to venture after you've made a pitstop in the neighboring Butterfly Garden or World of Reptiles. What youngster wouldn't want to get in on this creepy, crawly action?!

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Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock/EQRoy

Central Park Carousel

Season opening date: Open year-round, weather permitting (Call before you go, 212-439-6900 ext. 12)

Hours: Daily 10am–6pm (weather permitting)

Price: $3.25/ride, cash only

Website: centralpark.com

What's not to love about NYC's communal backyard? The gorgeous, iconic Central Park is home to many kid-approved pasttimes: ice skating, zoo visits, picnics and, of course, spins on its beloved carousel. Considering over 250,000 people per year hop on for a ride, you know it's worth a trip. The carousel first made an appearance in the park in 1871, and since then four attractions have called the green space home. Although it debuted with some doubts, the carousel quickly proved to be one of the most endearing parts of family's visits to the park. 

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lecarrousel.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Wally Gobetz

Le Carrousel (Bryant Park)

Season opening date: Open year-round

Hours: Various times

Price: $3/ride; discount card $10 for 20 rides

Website: bryantpark.org

Although its not terribly large, what the Bryant Park carousel lacks in size it more than makes up for with charm. Plop the kiddos atop of a horse (or perhaps a bunny or frog) and let them enjoy a little piece of tranquility in the midst of this busy midtown hub. The whimsical 20th century European designs will certainly inspire a photo or two, so have your cell fully charged. As much as we can't resist the ride itself, we love that the carousel is the site of free, fun activities for kids, including story times, magic shows and other outdoor happenings. 

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Totally Kid Carousel
Photo: courtesy of Riverbank State Park

Totally Kid Carousel

Hours: Various times: See website for details.

Price: $1/ride

Website: parks.ny.gov

Who better to cater to kids than kids? Upper West Side youngsters who frequent Riverbank State Park, home of the Totally Kid Carousel, are responsible for creating this super-neat attraction, decked out with a variety of colorful animals. There's truly no telling where little ones' imaginations will take them, and this is proof!

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carouselforallchildren.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy Greenbelt Conservatory

Carousel for All Children (Willowbrook Park)

Hours: Various times from May to October 

Price: $1.50/ride

Website: nycgovparks.org

Kids can choose from 51 hand-carved traditional wooden carousel horses, mythical beasts and even creatures like zebras, giraffes, panda bears and gorillas. The carousel’s wooden structure boasts 40 hand-painted images of Staten Island and Victorian flair. It was built in 1957 and originally located at the Midland Beach Boardwalk.

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Courtesy Ride Entertainment Parks & Attractions

Flushing Meadows Carousel (Flushing Meadows Corona Park)

Hours: Various times: See website for details.

Price: 1 ticket ($3.50/ride)

Website: fantasyforestnyc.com

Located in the Fantasy Forest at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, this carousel offers plenty of horses and chariots for pint-size guests. It was created for the 1963-1964 Worlds Fair by combining two Coney Island carousels.

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Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock/A Samson
Attractions, Arcades and amusements

Forest Park Carousel

Hours: Various times: See website for details.

Price: $3.50/ride

Website: forestparkcarousel.com

One of the few remaining creations of famed wood carver Daniel Carl Muller, the Forest Park Carousel was forced to shut down in 2009, after the operator let its contract with the city expire. In May 2012, the historic merry-go-round re-opened under different management.

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Photograph: Luciana Golcman

B&B Carousel at Luna Park in Coney Island

Hours: Various times May–Oct

Price: $3/ride (3 credits)

Website: lunaparknyc.com

While many visit Coney Island for the excitement of Luna Park's more hair-raising rides, families shouldn't miss low-key delights like B&B Carousell, which was built in 1906 and serves as a central attraction in Steeplechase Plaza. Choose from 50 hand-carved wooden horses or lounge in a grand chariot (there are two) as your kids grin ear to ear. 

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pier62.jpg
Photograph: Bob Vergara

Carousel at Pier 62

Season opening date: Open year-round

Hours: Daily 11am–7pm 

Price: $3/ride, $25 for 10 tickets

Website: hudsonriverpark.org

Pier 62’s carousel is the newest on the block, but that doesn’t make it any less cool—it has everything you could possibly want, and it even boasts a living green roof. Kids can pick from 33 wooden animal figures including a black bear, unicorn, rabbit, green turtle, sea horse or harbor seal as they go round and round with views of the Hudson River.

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Wally Gobetz

Carousel (Prospect Park)

Hours: Various times: See website for details.

Price: $2.50/ride; $11.50 for book of five tickets

Website: prospectpark.org

Catch a ride on one of 53 animals including horses, a lion, a giraffe and a deer. There are also two dragon-pulled chariots for parents with very little ones. The Carousel was carved in 1912 by Charles Carmel and was restored by Prospect Park Alliance in 1990. 

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