Historic Carousel and New Ferris Wheel in Forest Park Are Sweet Rides for Preschoolers
Good news for pint-sized thrill seekers in Queens: There's a new ferris wheel just for kids at the preschooler-friendly Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village, now open for the season. This leafy, old-fashioned mini amusement park in Forest Park (located in the park on the bandshell side of Woodhaven Boulevard) has long been a hidden-gem favorite of Queens families, with its historic carousel, rides, and games. The opening of a ferris wheel specifically designed with little ones in mind makes the park the perfect activity for a slow summer's day. Here's what to know before you go.
Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village is run by a super friendly and helpful staff and features four kid-friendly rides, including the Woodhaven Express Train (for all ages), the Frog Hopper (for riders 42 inches and taller), and the main attraction: the carousel. One of New York City's dozen carousels, this historic merry-go-round is definitely worth a spin. The ride is a NYC designated landmark and one of only two known surviving carousels crafted by Daniel Carl Muller, an acclaimed master carousel craftsman.
Hop on a horse and take a spin on the historic carousel.
This season also marks the arrival of the new 18-foot Woodhaven Wheel, giving little riders a treetop view of Forest Park. Keep in mind that this ride is only for kids between 36 and 48 inches tall; no guests under or over the height limits will be permitted to ride, so your little one needs to be confident riding without a parent. (But the excited laughs and squeals coming from other kids on the ride might be all the enticement your preschooler needs to climb aboard.)
Weekly summer entertainment at the park kicks off on June 1, and features entertainers like Phineas the Clown, The Spectacular Magic Shawn, and the Amazing Michael's Juggling Show. See the full schedule here. Birthday party packages and site rentals are also available.
Get giggly on the Frog Hopper.
After your ride, stick around and explore Forest Park. There's a small playground and a skate/bike park nearby, an extensive picnic area with picnic tables and a shaded area for kids to run around, and lots of scenic forest paths to explore.
Good to Know Before You Go:
- Rides and games are 1 ticket each. Tickets cost $3.50 per ticket, 3 tickets for $10, or $30 for 10 tickets. On weekdays, you can purchase a $25 unlimited ride wristband.
- Strollers can be left next to rides if you are going on with a child.
- Public bathrooms are just down the hill next to the playground.
- The small concession stand has limited snacks–hotdogs, water and juice, popcorn, and ice cream.
Forest Park Carousel and Amusement Village is located in Forest Park in Woodhaven, Queens. The carousel is accessible from the Woodhaven Station of the J and Z trains (the Z train is one-way during rush hour only). Open daily through September 2, 2019 and then on weekends through October 13, 2019 weather permitting. Check here for weather updates before you go.
Photos by the author