The carousel was unveiled over the weekend as part of Smale Riverfront Park’s “Opening Weeks” events. All during May and June, new features and attractions will be debuted at this beautiful riverside park.
We took the kids on Sunday, the day after the Grand Opening. We parked in the Reds garage right across from the Carousel. Not only was this super convenient, it also made for a quick walk, which was a plus since it started raining! Luckily, the carousel is set up inside a giant glass structure, so you can enjoy a ride no matter the weather or temperature. (And for what it’s worth, there are restrooms inside the Carousel building, and they were very clean and family friendly!).
This old-fashioned attraction was designed, built and hand-painted by Carousel Works of Mansfield, Ohio, the world’s largest maker of wooden carousels. Carol Ann’s Carousel features 3 rows of 44 Cincinnati-inspired figures, including The ‘Spring in Ault Park’ ladybug, The Carew Tower Gorilla, and The Cincinnati Zoo Baby Elephant. In addition, local artist, Jonathan Queen painted Cincinnati scenes on the carousel, making this attraction a true celebration of Cincinnati.
A ride will cost you $2, and kids under 42″ have to ride with an adult. Julian stood on his tiptoes, despite being just over 42″, but Mary was much too small!
The guys rode first. Julian picked the hot rod, and he, Harvey, and Daddy looked like they should have been part of the Reds Opening Day parade.
Mary and I took a turn next, and she chose the Ault Park ladybug. She was very proud of herself as she rode!
If you’re curious: the carousel is named for local philanthropist Carol Ann Haile, who, along with husband Ralph, had a passion and commitment for serving the Greater Cincinnati community. In May of 2013, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation announced that the foundation was making a $5 million gift to fund the Carousel’s construction.
Hours vary by season, and can be found on the Cincinnati Parks website.