SAN DIEGO — Balboa Park has extended the operating hours for its iconic carousel through the summer.
The historic ride will open daily from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until Aug. 26, when San Diego Unified School District returns to classes, park staff announced. After that, it will resume its typical schedule of weekends and holidays.
This year marks a special milestone for the beloved carousel: 100 years in Balboa Park. It was originally built in New York in 1910 and shipped to Los Angeles, where it was briefly displayed in a park before moving to a summer resort in Coronado for several years.
The carousel moved to Balboa Park in 1922, originally setting up on the east side of the park. In 1968, it moved north to its current location.
While it’s bounced around a bit, the carousel itself remains remarkably similar to its state when it first arrived at the park 100 years ago. It runs on its original General Electric motor, and the original hand-painted murals, military band organ and brass ring game remain — though they’ve been repaired and re-touched over the years.
According to Forever Balboa Park, all of the animals on the ride are original, excluding four small horses that were added in the 1960s (but still made by the original company behind the carousel). Rides last five minutes, with a top speed on the outside ring of 13 miles per hour.
Tickets cost $3 per ride or $10 for four rides. You can find the ticket booth at 1889 Zoo Place, where you can pay with both cash and card. Learn more here.