A ring of horses colorfully trimmed and bejeweled, chase a flamingo, giraffe, tiger cub and a menagerie of other animals round and round but never catching them. On the backs of the animals kids and kids-at-heart wear looks of delight as they whir to the tune of bellowing calliope music. This is the Silver Beach Carousel in St. Joseph, Michigan.
The carousel isn’t the original 1910 carousel that was a highlight of the Silver Beach Amusement Park for decades before the park closed in 1971. However, many of the horses on today’s carousel are replicas of the originals. They were carved by artists from the Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio, using the same techniques used over a century ago. Above the horses, photos commemorating local history frame the carousel on rounding boards. Amusement park memorabilia displayed around the carousel include the last of the three carousel band organs used on the original Silver Band Carousel. Also displayed are a layout of miniature amusement park rides with a spinning Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, and of course, several carousels.
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If you go to the Silver Beach Carousel
The Silver Beach Carousel, open year-round, is housed indoors at 333 Broad Street in St. Joseph, Michigan, just steps off the beach at Silver Beach County Park. The cost to ride the carousel is $2, with discounts for multiple tokens. Check the website for further details.
Look up into Michigan’s largest kaleidoscope while you’re there. Take the kids to Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone (admission charged) in the same building. Or throw fifty cents into an old-fashioned pinball machine before you leave to see if you’re still as good a pinball player as you used to be.
Need a hotel in St. Joseph? Check rates at area hotels here.
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