What
  • Blindness and Low Vision
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Low Sensory
  • Mild Activity
  • Wheelchair Accessible for Most
Where
   

A magical menagerie of 35 rideable, hand-carved animals on a restored 1910 carousel, with music provided by a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ. The carvings were created by Nederland resident Scott Harrison, a former U.S. Marine who came up with the idea of the carousel while serving in the Vietnam War. The nonprofit Carousel facility also offers a carousel-themed gift shop and a do-it-yourself puppet theatre and children’s play area. The Carousel and Gift shop are ADA-accessible, and we offer group rates to nonprofit organizations.

Tickets are $3 per ride, or $25 for a 10-punch card. Last ride of the day 15 minutes before closing.

Q What does your experience offer so people are able to participate?

At the Carousel of Happiness, we also offer a few other attractions.

Puppet Theatre: Upstairs is our D-I-Y puppet theatre, a great place to play and put on a show for your friends and family. It is created from an old band organ facade, and situated in a child-size play room. Please note the upstairs area is not accessible to wheelchairs.

Story-Catcher Booth: Use our professional-quality sound booth to record your story! The story of the carousel has inspired many, and since opening in 2010, many more stories have been created here. We invite visitors to tell their story and record it on their own device, or a USB of the recording can be created for a small donation. Please note the booth is not accessible to wheelchairs, but we may be able to make reasonable accomodations for use of the recording equipment.

Wonder Box: What makes you wonder? We believe that child-like wonder and curiosity should be cultivated in children and adults, which is why we ask visitors to share their questions and ponderings with us (or maybe just a pretty picture!). Located in our gift shop, this is 100% ADA accessible.

The Carousel & Band Organ: The main attraction here, our carousel has seating positions for those who like to ride up and down, those who want a bench seat, those that want an animal that doesn't go up and down, and one space for a wheelchair to be strapped in next to the Gorilla. We have a ramp outside next to an ADA parking space (with loading zone, capable of parking a van). The sidewalk allows wheelchairs to navigate into the front of the building, or around the side and back next to our garden. We have a wheelchair ramp that loads visitors onto the carousel. The Carousel spins to the tunes of our 1913 Wurlitzer Band Organ, which is quite a site to behold as it plays on its paper rolls. Often this instrument can be too loud, so we do offer noise-cancelling headphones upon request for those that need them.

Q What are the specifics of your experience that may not allow someone to fully participate?

Our vision is to be a welcoming and inclusive space for all. We have had visitors with developmental disabilities of all kinds, visitors with extreme sensitivities, and visitors with a range of physical abilities. If you are not sure if we can assist you on your visit, please give us a call to discuss your needs. We will attempt to accomodate all visitors. We do understand that the chaotic, colorful, and loud environment at the carousel may not allow for you to participate fully, but we will do our best! If you'd like to see the carousel after hours when it is calmer, please give us a call to discuss accomodation options.

Q How have others with a variety of disability concerns been able to participate in your experience?

We have found that many with developmental disabilities are able to fully participate and enjoy their experience here. We also have had those with walkers, wheelchairs, casts, and other physical abilities enjoy their experience at the carousel. Those with sensory issues often find a good way to experience the carousel, either by wearing special glasses or by using a pair of our headphones. Those that do not do well in crowds can visit on a slow day and still enjoy their ride without overwhelm. Our staff is very accomodating, and loves to meet and share the story of the carousel with everyone!

Q What adjustments can guests make, or different equipment can they bring, to allow them to fully participate in your experience?

Though we offer one location for a full-sized wheelchair on the carousel, we encourage visitors to bring friends or family that can help load the wheelchair and rider on/off. There are several full-sized animals, and two benches, that can accomodate those with disabilities who may not want to ride in the wheelchair position (everyone has a favorite animal!). We have always allowed family and friends to pick up and carry a rider to their chosen animal, however our staff cannot help to pick anyone up.

If you are sensitive to visual stimulation, please bring dark glasses or some other accomodation. Though we do not have bright indoor lighting, there will be lots of moving colors and lights.

If you are sensitive to auditory stimulation, ask the staff for headphones, or bring your own.

if you are sensitive to crowds, please visit on a weekday. Call in advance so the admin can suggest a slow time, and you may just be able to get a private ride!

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Additional Details

  • Details Confirmed by Exploryst:No
  • Activity Level:Wheelchair Accessible, Mild Activity, Moderate Activity, Strenuous Activity
  • Experience Categories:Activity, Attraction
  • Pricing:$ ($10 & Under)
  • Restrooms:Standard stalls, ADA Accessible stalls (5 foot diameter with appropriate grab bars -horizontal and vertical)
  • Outdoor/Trails:Paved
Show all
  • Child Friendly:Yes
  • Incomplete Disability Details:No
  • Disability Amenities:Blind/ Low Vision Amenities, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Amenities, Low Sensory Amenities
Show all timings
  • Monday11:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Thursday11:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Friday10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Saturday10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Sunday10:00 AM - 05:00 PM