Carousels in and around San Diego

If you or your children have an affinity towards carousels, then you're in luck. San Diego has at least 3 full-sized carousels which you are sure to enjoy.

Seaport Village carousels

Seaport Village:

In the West Plaza of Seaport Village, you will find a a carousel made by the renown Charles ID Looff (1852-1918). The animals on this merry-go-round are hand carved from wood! Choose from 54 animals (dragon, giraffe, teddy bear, lion) and 2 chariots. Completely renovated in 1992, these works of art now go round and round pleasing children and adults alike. Cost is $2. Photo...

Belmont Park carousel

Belmont Park:

Mission Beach has a small amusement park called Belmont Park. One of the few rides which young children can enjoy is the carousel. This traditional merry-go-round is called the "Liberty Carousel". It costs 2 tickets (equivalent to $2) to ride but if your child is under 2 years old, s/he can ride free if accompanied by a paying adult. Open at 11 am; closes at 8 pm (or as late as 11 pm during high season). Photo...

Belmont Park has lots of other "salt-and-pepper" style rides that you and older kids may enjoy. Most famous is the Giant Dipper, a 2,600 feet long roller coaster.

Balboa Park carousel

Balboa Park / Zoo:

North of Balboa Park and just south of the San Diego Zoo, you will find a historical carousel built in 1910. Most of the animals were hand carved by European craftsmen from the Herschell-Spillman company, though some were added later. At the outer edge, the ride spins 13 miles per hour! Costs about $2.50 but if you can grab the brass ring as the ride goes up & down, round & round, then the ride is free. Open from 11 am to 5 pm on Sat and Sun. Photo...

If your child is very small, don't worry. This walkway between Balboa Park and the Zoo also has a kiddie merry go round and a miniature train. The miniature train is richly decorated during the December holidays.

wild animal park carousel

Wild Animal Park:

The "Conservation Carousel" at the Wild Animal Park is not like any other carousel in San Diego. Here you can ride wild animals such as giraffes, rhinos, zebras, panda, cheetahs, tiger, eagle, hummingbird, ostrich, gorilla, frog, alligator and more!

Somewhat secluded, this ride is hard to locate so you will need to make an effort to find it at the northwest corner of the WAP. If you want to ride the carousel at the beginning of your trip, veer towards the left upon entry to the WAP. If you want to ride at the end of your trip, veer towards the right just before you reach the gift shops located at the exit. Open from 10 am to 5 pm. Costs $2 per ride or $4 for the day.