'Round and 'Round: Where to Ride a Carousel in Central Arkansas
Besides the amusement rides you find at a traveling fair or carnival, carousels are not a common attraction these days. The grand ride typically features painted horses that "gallop" up and down. For little ones, that first ride can be a real thrill!
To our knowledge, there are four classic carousels that exist in central Arkansas today. Here's where you can find them:
1. Little Rock Zoo: Restored in 2007, this antique carousel is the one-of-a-kind Over the Jumps Carousel.
It originally appeared in Little Rock in 1924 at the Arkansas State Fair, held in what is now called War Memorial Park. These days, the carousel resides nearby at the Little Rock Zoo, where riders can take a spin for $3 per person. The carousel and pavilion area are available to rent for parties and special events. For more info, click here.
2. North Little Rock Funland in Burns Park: The seasonal amusement park, located in North Little Rock's Burns Park, operates several rides for little ones, including a Tilt-a-Whirl and small Ferris Wheel.
They also have two carousels, a classic carousel with horses and carriages, as well as a carousel with cars that kids "drive."
The park is open through Sept. 28; ride tickets are $1 each or $10 for an unlimited ride pass. For more info, click here.
3. Magic Springs Water & Theme Park: A beautiful, gilded carousel is one of the many attractions at Hot Springs' seasonal theme park.
Big enough for children and adults alike, riders can hop on a horse, zebra, or even a giant rooster. The park will be open through Sept. 28. Rides are included with general admission to the park. For more info, click here.
4. Camp Aldersgate: Right in the heart of city, you'll find this 120-acre facility that hosts camps for children with disabilities. In addition to many other amenities on its grounds, the camp also boasts a wheelchair-accessible carousel, which officially opened in July 2013.
Like the Little Rock Zoo carousel, the refurbished antique was also an attraction at the War Memorial Amusement Park until 1991.
The carousel is not open to the public on a daily basis, but is available for children who attend Aldersgate camps or those who rent the facilities for retreats, reunions, weddings, birthday parties and more. The carousel will be open to those who attend Camp Aldersgate's 31 Annual Fish Fry, coming up Sept. 14 ($15, children 6 and under free). For more info, click here.
Know of another carousel in the area? Let us know in the comments!