Normally we wouldn’t be thinking about riding carousels in December, but the temps this month have been anything but normal! So when we headed into the city a couple of weeks ago to meet some friends for the holidays, we decided to make a stop down at Battery Park, where the new $16 million SeaGlass Carousel is up and running, after 10 years in the works. And we were so glad we did — it is simply amazing! Check it out if you’re in the city anyway to watch a holiday show or catch a glimpse of the tree at Rockefeller Center.
The carousel is an incredible sight to behold and an even more incredible experience as a rider. It features 30 sea creatures made of fiberglass and steel that glow, rotate, and bob up and down in a seemingly random pattern. “Aquatic” music composed specifically for the ride blare from stereo speakers in each fish, and lights within the domed building add to the illusion that you are swimming through a bioluminescent underwater world.
It’s hard to do the experience justice with words. All I can say is that we rode the carousel three times, twice in the afternoon, and once after we took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry (also a great thing to do with the kids, by the way — it’s only a block from the carousel, completely free, and features great views of the Statue of Liberty). The sun was going down by the time we returned to the Manhattan dock, and the carousel was lit up in an ethereal glow, so of course we had to go on it just one more time. We never waited more than five minutes on the line — although during our last ride a huge tour group showed up just after we got on.
The carousel will be open for extended hours from December 21 to January 2. After that, it’ll only be open on weekends and holidays through the winter. Check their Facebook page for weather-related closures. Children under 42 inches must ride on an adult’s lap, only one child per lap, and both children and adults must have tickets. Tickets are $5 per person; I recommend getting the 10 pack, since your kids will want to go on more than once, and you get one free ride with it!
SeaGlass Carousel, State Street and Water Street, New York City; 212-344-3491