The Iconic Central Park Carousel in New York

The Central Park Carousel is officially called the “Michael Friedsam Memorial Carousel.” It is a vintage carousel at the southern end of Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. The iconic wood-carved Carousel was built in 1908, and more than 200,000 people love to ride on it yearly.

The famous Central Park Carousel was installed in 1951. At first, it didn’t receive much appreciation from the park commissioners since it was a commercial enterprise in the park, which was maintained as a source of retreat from the urban environment.

However, its rising success and revenue proved its potential, and since then, there have been four different models of the Carousel on site.

Central Park Carousel History

  • The first Central Park Carousel opened in 1871, but the park’s designers were against such commercial amusements as it conflicted with their vision of a peaceful environment.
  • The first Carousel was powered by a horse and mule, who walked on a hidden treadmill underground, while the main attraction was above the ground.
  • The Carousel became an instant favorite among those who visited the park.
  • The second and third carousels were both steam-powered but destroyed by fire.
  • In 1950, the park recreation departments started searching for a replacement carousel. They found an abandoned model in Brooklyn’s Coney Island.
  • Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein originally crafted the fourth and current Central Park Carousel in 1908.
  • The current and fourth Carousel is one of the largest merry-go-rounds throughout the nation and features fifty-seven brightly colored hand-carved horses and two embellished chariots.
  • The Central Park Carousel is respected and admired as an incredible “American folk artwork.”
  • The current Carousel is over 100 years old, and even though it has undergone multiple repairs and maintenance, it is still in working condition.
  • The Alan and Katherine Stroock donation in 1982 went to the repair of the Carousel and restoration of the surrounding area.

The Central Park Carousel Experience

The Central Park Carousel is an attractive and well-loved entertainment spot in New York, as the Carousel is affordable for anyone who wants to have a simple but unique experience.

The famous Central Park Carousel features 57 horses and calliope music, an exciting year-round entertainment.

The Children’s District in Central Park

The Central Park conservancy keeps Central Park clean and maintained year-round. In the southern part of Central Park, Children’s District hosts weekly walks and other exciting events like tree tours, tree lighting, and the whole park’s tour.

The Children’s District of Central Park lies between 59th street and 65th street, and most of the features of this district cater to kids.

The Tisch Children’s Zoo is another feature of the Children’s District and holds animals on a smaller scale suitable for children.

The Delacorte Clock was a gift given in 1965 by philanthropist George Delacorte. The clock plays nursery rhymes and features little bronze figures moving around a carousel.

The sea lion exhibit bordered by a fence is another one of the park’s attractions in the Children’s District, along with Wollman Rink, an area that most people who visit the part are familiar with.

How Do You Get to the Central Park Carousel

If you travel to Central Park Carousel via public transportation, the following transit lines will have routes that pass near your destination.

  • Bus: M10, M5, M66, M31
  • Subway: 1, A, B, N

Suppose you are coming from East River Eatery. Head southwest onto E 64th Street towards York Ave. Then turn right onto York Ave, and then again make a right onto E 63rd St. After that, turn left before Starbucks and then make a right at 2nd Cross Street onto E 61st St. Turn left onto 5th Ave and then right and continue to follow Grand Army Plaza. Then turn right onto W 59th street, which will take you to the Central Park Carousel.

If you are coming from West Dr, head southwest onto 86th St Transverse, and continue onto E 84th St. Then turn right onto 5th Ave and follow the path, then make a right and continue following Grand Army Plaza. Then turn right onto W 59th St.

When Can You Take a Ride?

The Carousel is open the whole week, whenever the weather allows it. The operational timings are usually from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm from November to March, and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from April to October, depending on weather conditions.

The tickets cost $3.25 each, and every rider ages one and older requires a ticket.

Children who are not older than five must have an adult company if they want to ride on the Central Park Carousel.

Recreational and Private Activities

Central Park Carousel is a fantastic location to host an exciting birthday party for yourself or your loved ones. The breathtaking setting will provide the perfect ambiance for an unforgettable celebration. Adults can enjoy the fresh and relaxed environment of the park, while the kids can enjoy unlimited affordable rides on the Carousel.

The Central Park Carousel also offers a scenic backdrop if you want to tell a unique story through photo shoots or videography. The incredible details and bright colors make every horse a piece of art, perfect to showcase your talent at this iconic location.

Who Manages the Central Park Carousel?

Since 2011, the Central Park Carousel, or Michael Friedsam Memorial Carousel, has been successfully managed by the Trump Organization. Under their organization, the park received even more success and reached its highest level of visitors than before.

Donald J. Trump’s interest in the history of the Central Park Carousel and its preservation was why the Trump Organization decided to take over its management, operations, and renovation in 2011.

After the Trump organization couldn’t operate the rink, the concession of Central Park Carousel is now planned to be awarded to Central Amusement International.


The Carousel is the most famous attraction of Central Park, offering an incredible experience to kids and adults alike with its beautifully adorned horses and thrilling rides.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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