Carousel Gardens Amusement Park

It may have 17 rides and an annual holiday lights festival, but Carousel Gardens Amusement Park will always be defined by its namesake antique carousel.

Antique carousel

Naturally, the central attraction to this corner of New Orleans’ City Park is the antique carousel, for which Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is named. Locals call it the “Flying Horses.” Carved and hand painted by Charles Looff and Charles Carmel, some of the animals making the rounds here date to 1885, though the overall structure was built in 1905. Still, this is the oldest ride in the park, and certainly the most beautiful.

Over a dozen rides

The carousel may be the most famous ride at Carousel Gardens, but there are 16 other attractions for kids of all ages. These include carnival classics like bumper cars and the Tilt-a-Whirl, and whimsical picks like Monkey Jump and Slime Buckets. Strict height restrictions are in place for each ride, though the rules vary per specific ride.

Seasonal fun

While the park’s hours grow more and more reduced as cold weather approaches, the winter season does bring one last hurrah to Carousel Gardens: the Celebration in the Oaks. Hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy what is one of the country’s largest holiday lights festivals each year.