Ride The Grand Carousel At The Children’s Museum of Memphis

Posted by Holly Whitfield | November 29th 2017 1149 1

The Grand Carousel at the Children’s Museum of Memphis is finally open to the public this Saturday, December 2. I had the chance to get an in-person peek at it today, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

This horse was reportedly Elvis’ favorite.

The carousel has been painstakingly and lovingly restored during a two year process and it’s back to its colorful, shiny, brightly-lit glory. There are 48 horses with all different designs, plus two chariots, one of which is ADA-accessible.

After the ribbon-cutting on Saturday at 10 a.m., you’ll be able to take kids of all ages to enjoy this part of Memphis history. Admission to ride the Grand Carousel will be $3 per person (it’s a separate ticket from the Museum itself). Hours will be the same as the Museum’s, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If  you haven’t been by at night, the view of the Carousel inside the Pavilion all lit up is worth a gander. So festive.

Very Important: One Adult, One Child Rule

Any child under 48 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult, meaning one adult per one child. If you bring two kids under 48 inches, they’ll have to take turns riding with you. Y’all all three can’t go on at one time. Those are state regulations.

Other things to know:

  • While you can’t get into the Museum unless you have a kid with you, adults can pay to enter and ride the Carousel unaccompanied by kids.
  • You can rent out the extremely nice ballroom space for parties, events, receptions, etc. The Carousel can run without music, or you can put your own music through the sound system. Y’all. The possibilities.
  • If you’re a CMOM member, your rides are free. Join here.
  • CMOM receives no city funding; you can donate to the restoration of the Grand Carousel here.
  • Most carousels have a menagerie of critters on them; this one is particularly rare because it’s all horses.

This historic Carousel has a long history in Memphis. It was built in 1909, installed at the Memphis Fairgrounds in 1929, and then installed at Libertyland until 2005. It sat outside for a while (yikes) then was in storage until the Children’s Museum decided to invest in its recovery in 2015. Read more here.

The Grand Carousel is a big deal. It’s one of the few historic Carousels in the country, and it was named to the National Register of Historic Places. While I didn’t personally ride it as a kid, from everyone’s comments, it seems like many, many generations of Memphis have memories of the Grand Carousel.

Go There:

Grand Carousel at the Children’s Museum of Memphis
2559 Central Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38104

$3 per person
Each child under 48 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult.


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. William Webb says:

    I’m crying! It’s so beautiful, and the music is just like I remember it. I used to pat the horses when I was riding like they were real. This is so great!!

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