A trip to the Merry Go Round is an old fashioned thrill for all ages. Los Angeles boasts five fanciful carousels to choose from. All are very inexpensive, and make an ideal destination for a family outing. Bring a picnic along and make an afternoon of your visit. Or just do a quick stop to break up a busy day.
Santa Monica Pier Carousel
200 Santa Monica Pier
Suite ASanta Monica, CA 90401
My favorite carousel is the one at the Santa Monica Pier. Built in 1916, the carousel is adjacent to the amusement rides and the beach, making it an ideal stop to include in a day at the beach. It is also a great spot to hold a kids’ birthday party.
Griffith Park Merry Go Round
4730 Crystal Springs DriveLos Angeles, CA 90027
Located in Griffith Park not too far from Shane’s Inspiration Playground is a pretty Carousel that was built in 1926. It is open every weekend all year long and on all holidays. In the summer, they expand their hours and are open not only weekends, but also every weekday except Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 pm.
The next three Merry Go Rounds feel a bit more urban and commercial as they are located in or adjacent to shopping plazas. But if you have errands to do, a spin on some flying horses can be a great way to entertain kids during part of a shopping expedition.
Westfield Topanga Mall Carousel
6600 Topanga Canyon BoulevardCanoga Park, CA 91303
This ranks number three for me as, although it lacks a little charm as it is inside a bustling mall, this is a very elaborate two-tiered carousel. It is also conveniently located in a family friendly zone near Target, several children’s boutiques, and a kids’ play area. The cost is three dollars a ride, but accompanying adults ride free. It feels shiny and new and is worth a trip. The kids always want to go on the top level.
Encino Shopping Center
16101 Ventura Blvd.Encino, CA 91436
This small carousel is nestled outside between some shops and offices, but as it is the only Merry Go Round in the Valley can make a nice treat for some fun seeking children. This is open every day (except if it rains) and the price is $1.50.
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol StreetCosta Mesa, CA 92626
South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is a huge mall, but it is at least light and airy. Their Merry Go Round is open during mall hours and is only a dollar a ride. For Easter they change out the horses for bunnies!
Lee Rose Emery is the writer of the award-winning blog LACityMom, “tips from the carpool lane…”