Ever since I heard about the new SeaGlass Carousel – opened in August of 2015 in Battery Park in NYC – I’ve been intrigued. Aquatic and nautical in theme, it was inspired by the New York Aquarium’s first home, which until 1941 was located in Battery Park. After seeing pictures I could see it was like no other carousel – with 30 massive iridescent fish as the seats, it mimics the underwater sea world in a fascinating swirl of colors and lights. I finally took my girls there on a recent day off from school, and indeed it was a completely unique carousel experience.
From Grand Central, we took the #4/5 express down to Bowling Green and walked the couple blocks to the carousel. The pavilion was easy to spot – a big, chambered nautilus made out of steel and glass, set close to the water. We went in the morning and were able to buy tickets right away, and only had to wait for one ride before we could aboard. Watching that ride had my girls giddy with anticipation and excitement, a mesmerizing site for all.
Each of the fish are made out of fiberglass and internally illuminated with “color-changing LED light fixtures…designed to recall the bioluminescence found deep in the ocean.” There are also “water effect” light projectors as well as opera music to create a “mystical underwater experience”. Pretty cool! And it was cool…with no center pole (there are four electric motors below the floor), the fish that we climbed into swirled about in different directions, all the while with the music and special light effects to transport you into a world of aquatic sea.
My girls really loved this carousel, and being located on the water at the southern tip of Manhattan, we were able to walk around Battery Park after and admire one of the best views you’re going to get of the Statue of Liberty (this is where the ferries to Lady Liberty depart). There are also a few important war memorials to see, which we walked around, but my girls are a bit too young to appreciate this sort of thing. For an early lunch we went to a nearby beer garden, which had simple fair but fine enough for the kids. It had outdoor seating which was perfect on this beautiful day – did I mention we had spectacular weather? The best for a jaunt in Battery Park.
Between the carousel, the views, and walking around the park, it was a great way to spend the morning – but note if you live outside the city, or are visiting, as neat as it is, the carousel is not a full-day, or even half-day destination in and of itself. You will want to combine it with other NYC activities (perhaps the Statue of Liberty?). But it was so worth it to go down there and see my girls’ eyes light up at the whimsy of it all. Mine did too.
SeaGlass Carousel, Entrance at State Street and Water Street
Hours: Open 7 Days a Week, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Weather Permitting