The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America. Located in the historic resort community of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, on Martha's Vineyard, the carousel was apparently first located in New York City before being moved to the island in the 1880s.
The carousel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The carousel is one of only a handful of carousels that still have brass rings for a rider to attempt to grab as the carousel rotates.
Oak Bluffs, located on the northeastern part of the island of Martha's Vineyard, was originally settled as part of Edgartown in the 17th century. In 1835 the Methodist camp known as Wesleyan Grove (also a National Historic Landmark) was established in the area. Development of the area as a summer resort became more formally organized with the establishment of the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company in 1866. The company developed what was then one of the earliest planned communities, guiding the community's growth over the following years.
The exact date of construction of the carousel is not known. Its artwork closely resembles that found in an 1870s catalog published by the Charles W.F. Dare Company, a major manufacturer of carousels in the late 19th century. At least one expert believes that artwork of the carousel itself was done by the same artist whose work appears in the catalog, suggesting its construction date to be between 1876 and 1878. Plan to visit Flying Horses Carousel and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Oak Bluffs attractions using our Oak Bluffs trip website.
Flying Horses Carousel Reviews
Flying horses carousel was a good time! We rode the carousel three times and my daughter got the brass ring on one ride so we got a free ride. It is a historical site that has an old school feel... more »
If you love carousel horses, add this location to your list. Fun for children and adults alike! They are in an enclosure and protected from the elements. Plan extra time for parking in high season. more »
Really close to where the ferries drop you off in Oak Bluffs. Can be really crowded and hot in there. The ring grabbing game is a cool concept and very addictive for young children (even for adults). If you're a parent of a child who wants you to just ride and hold on to them, you still have to get a ticket. Kids under 12 get strapped in. Even though it seems kind of dangerous to try and stick your fingers in to a moving ring as the carousel goes around, it's still very fun!
Still as I remembered it as a child. Brought our daughter. She got 4 brass rings! Very special place for me and my husband. Hope it's around forever! Thank you! 🎠💕
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10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 1 day in Oak Bluffs BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 1 day in Oak Bluffs BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 40 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM SWEDEN June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium