By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Carousels hold a special, nostalgic charm. Maybe it’s the pipe organ music, so different from today’s ubiquitous pop music.
Or perhaps the craftsmanship of their intricately carved animals.
Carousel’s simple up-and-down-while-going-around motion contrasts modern amusement attractions as well.
Here are a few places to get your carousel fix in Upstate New York.
1. Olcott is home to Olcott Beach Carousel Park.
The vintage 1920s, two-row carousel has been completely restored and operates in a newly renovated building. A few kiddie rides also operated in the park. Olcott Beach Carousel Park, 5979 Main St., Olcott. 716-778-7066.
2. Herschell Carousel Factory Museum
The North Tonawanda museum provides two operating carousels but many more for carousel enthusiasts to view. Herschell Carousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda. 716-693-1885.
3. The food court at Eastview Mall in Victor.
It includes a very detailed, double-decker carousel. On a rainy day, when visiting a park-based carousel won’t work, tune in to your inner 80s child: hang out at the mall and then take the children for a carousel ride. Eastview Mall, 7979 Pittsford-Victor Road (Route 96). Victor. 585-223-4420
4. Carellos Landmark Carousel in Sylvan Beach.
It dates back to 1896. If you’re in the area, take a few minutes to admire its artistry and take a ride. The arcade also features games like pinball. Carellos Landmark Carousel, 118 Park Avenue, Sylvan Beach. 315-762-4361. firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Destiny USA.
With all the activities and shopping opportunities at Destiny USA, don’t forget that it used to be Carousel Center — and it still houses the 100-plus-year-old carousel. Midst fast food joints and typical mall chains stands a majestic Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel, running all day. Destiny USA, 9090 Destiny USA Drive, Syracuse. 315-466-6000.
6. Adirondack Carousel.
In Saranac Lake stop at Adirondack Carousel to ride its unique carousel. While most have horses and sleighs, riders may select from any of 24 eclectic and beautifully detailed wildlife figures such as a squirrel, fish, frog, duck, otter, loon, bear and more, all hand-carved by local artisans. A wheelchair accessible chariot is also available. Adirondack Carousel, 2 Depot St., Saranac Lake, 518-891-9521.
7. “Carousel Capital of the World.”
The Binghamton area boasts six publically accessible carousels (though one is temporarily closed for repair). Recreation Park Carousel, C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel, George W. Johnson Park Carousel, West Endicott Park Carousel, and Highland Park Carousel all provide free rides on their carousels. Because they’re so close, the Susquehanna Heritage Area and Broome County promotes a “Ride the Carousel” program to encourage visitors to ride all of them.
8. New York State Museum Cultural Education Center.
The carousel came from Herschell Carousel Factory in North Tonawanda in the early 1900s and includes 40 animals: traditional horses as well as deer and donkeys, plus seats, for a total of 50 riders possible. The most ornate animals, accented with sparkly jewels, adorn the outside row to make the carousel seem even more magical. New York State Museum Cultural Education Center 222 Madison Avenue, Albany.