Balboa Park Carousel

If you’ve ever felt that your day is going in circles, here’s a perfect opportunity to just embrace that feeling. The Balboa Park Carousel has been letting people ride in circles for over 100 years.

Built in 1910 by the Herschell-Spillman company in North Tonawanda, New York, the carousel first landed in Los Angeles before making its way to San Diego in 1915. Much of the carousel is in its original condition, and most of the hand-carved Lindenwood menagerie is original as well. It’s one of the few carousels that still offers the brass ring game (grab a brass ring from a holder as you glide past to earn a free ride).

The ride lasts for about five minutes, and the price is the same for everyone who rides (except kids under 1 get to ride for free).

So if you have to go in circles, this is a fun way of doing it.

What You Need to Know

Location: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101


Summer: 7 days a week, approximately 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Winter: Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays, and all-city school vacations approximately 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Cost: $2.75 per ticket or $10.00 for 4 tickets. Same price for everyone; kids under 1 year old free.


Tips: You can see in the video below that the carousel moves at a pretty good clip. If you have someone who’s prone to dizzy spells, this may not be the ride for them.



Click to see full-sized photos.



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