Location: Mid-Park at 64th Street
Details: $3 per ride (cash only)
Open daily April–October, 10:00am-6:00pm.
During November-March, call before you go.
Contact Info : (212) 439-6900 Ext. 12
Note: About 250,000 people take a ride on the Central Park Carousel every year.
The famous ride has been very popular since 1871 when the original attraction opened. At first, the Carousel was not received positively; the park commissioners objected to having commercial enterprises in the park. However, since it was such a success, they eventually realized the potential value of the ride’s revenue. Since then, there have been four different models on the site, each of which has served as a pastime in Central Park.
A favorite of park-goers, the first Carousel remained in operation until 1924. It was powered by a mule and horse who walked in a hidden compartment underground below the attraction. The animals were trained to start and stop with a foot tap from the ride’s operator above ground.
The next two Carousels in the park were steam-powered and both destroyed by fire. In 1950, the Department of Parks and Recreation began to search for a replacement model and they found one abandoned in an old trolley terminal in Brooklyn’s Coney Island.
Originally crafted in 1908 by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein, the current Carousel is one of the nation's largest merry-go-rounds, featuring 57 hand-carved horses and two decorative chariots. While still in working condition, it is over 100 years old and has undergone many rounds of repair and maintenance.
In 1982, a donation from Alan and Katherine Stroock went to the cause and the Central Park Conservancy also restored the surrounding area and plaza with an upgrade in 1990. Currently, the organization is still working to make sure each individual horse is also restored.