With the first model originally installed in 1871, the Carousel is one of Central Park’s most popular and famous attractions. Since the first carousel arrived, there have been a total of four distinct models with the original model being powered by a horse or mule which walked in a concealed compartment underground below the attraction. The animals were taught to start and stop with the sound of a foot tap from the ride’s operator above.

The carousel installed at Central Park today –the Friedsam Memorial Carousel –is considered one of New York City’s finest examples of American folk art. Crafted in 1908 by artisans Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein, the carousel features 57 hand-carved brightly caparisoned horses, two ornately embellished chariots, and a mechanical organ. The structure was found in an old BMT trolley terminal at Coney Island. It was donated to the Central Park by the Michael Friedsam Foundation in 1951. A ceremonial marker was placed on the exterior wall of the carousel building on the carousel’s dedication day on July 2, 1951. The Friedsam Memorial Carousel is one of the nation’s largest merry-go-rounds and a beloved year-round attraction for New Yorkers and tourists alike.

In addition to the many memories the carousel holds for children across the globe, the Central Park Carousel was notably mentioned in J. D. Salinger’s novel “The Catcher in the Rye” and is featured in the Marvel TV series “The Punisher” (though filming took place at the Forest Park carousel in Queens).

Located mid-park at 64th Street at the south end of Central Park, the Central Park Carousel is one of several attractions that make up the Children’s District an area designed for children and their caregivers. It has been cherished by the children, families for over 150 years and continues to be a cherished amusement to this day.

The Central Park Carousel will be open daily from 11AM-5PM.

About Central Amusement International Inc.

Central Amusement International Inc. (CAI) is a family-owned amusement park developer and operator located in New York City whose management team has more than 150 years of combined amusement industry experience. CAI’s expertise lies in creating safe, unique, enjoyable, and memorable experiences in boutique-style amusement parks and venues that foster economic development, revitalize local areas, reinvigorate neighborhood pride through sustainable and equitable practices. CAI is specialized in, and takes great pride in, preserving, revitalizing, and operating iconic locations and landmarks.

CAI was founded in 2002 with the goal of establishing a traditional-style seasonal amusement park with charming artisanal rides in New York City’s Central Park. That vision came to fruition in the summer of 2003, when CAI opened the gates of its first amusement park, Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Seven successful years later, CAI opened Luna Park in Coney Island, a brand-new amusement destination that helped the People’s Playground see its most successful summer in decades. Since then, CAI has successfully developed more than eight acres in Coney Island and added 38 attractions, while restoring and maintaining longstanding historic attractions, such as the Coney Island Cyclone and the B&B Carousell and enhancing the retail and food options in the Amusement District. In 2021 CAI was awarded a Proclamation from the City of New York highlighting their contributions leading to the successful revitalization of the Coney Island Amusement District.