Love carousels? Then you need to check out the Sandusky Ohio Merry Go Round Museum. It features a fully-restored Allan Herschell carousel and the admission cost includes a ride!
This year’s Mother’s Day camping trip at East Harbor didn’t get off to the best start due to some ferry restrictions that left us unable to take our car out to South Bass Island. We had intended to spend the day exploring Put-In-Bay, but instead had to scramble to find other things to do. My mood brightened considerably when I learned about the carousel horse museum in Sandusky.
My favorite things to visit in our travels are lighthouses, waterfalls, national parks, and carousels. Throw in a location that has pressed pennies, and I am a pretty happy girl. So the Sandusky Ohio Merry-Go-Round Museum definitely helped salvage our trip.
About the Sandusky Ohio Merry Go Round Museum
The carousel museum is located in the heart of downtown Sandusky just a few blocks from the Lake Erie shore. The museum is housed in the old Sandusky Post Office, which is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The building is a unique piece of architecture that has a round entrance with several columns.
Ride a fully-restored Allan Herschell carousel
The star attraction at the Sandusky Ohio Merry Go Round Museum is a fully-restored Allan Herschell carousel. It is the first thing you see as you look into the museum from the ticket booth.
After you pay for your admission, you are given a wooden nickel which is good for a ride on the carousel. I collect wooden nickels that I find on our geocaching adventures, so I decided to forego the ride and keep mine. It was better that way as I got to take pictures of Kevin and the kids!
Although the carousel has plenty of traditional horses, there are several unusual animals as well. My middle daughter immediately went for the frog. My youngest daughter chose the ostrich.
Those weren’t the only unusual carousel animals though. The carousel also had the pig from Charlotte’s Web and a sea monster that you could choose for your ride.
I was shocked at how fast the carousel went around. A friendly museum employee informed us that the Merry Go Round Museum carousel goes around at twice the speed of a normal carousel!
Other Carousel Museum Exhibits
Although the carousel is the centerpiece, there are plenty of other exhibits to check out at the carousel museum in Sandusky. The museum foundation actively restores antique carousel horses and there are quite a lot of them on display.
In addition to the unique carousel figures, there is a wealth of carousel artwork lining the walls, including this beautiful piece of stained glass.
The museum also houses an exhibit featuring Dentzel shop carving tools. Gustav Dentzel was an early American carousel builder based in Philadelphia.
Also on display is artwork depicting the carousel postage stamps that sparked the idea for the museum. In October of 1988, the U.S. Postal Service issued four carousel stamps. One of the carousel horses depicted was the King Horse from the nearby Cedar Point’s Kiddieland carousel. To celebrate the first day issue, a group of local residents put together a carousel display in the vacant post office building. That celebration was a huge success and it sparked plans for the creation of a permanent carousel museum. The old post office building was purchased and the Merry Go Round museum opened its doors in July of 1990.
We were told that the exhibits change about every 2 years. So if you haven’t visited the Sandusky Ohio Merry Go Round Museum recently, there’s a good chance things will look completely different.
See a hand carved wooden carousel horse take shape
The Sandusky Ohio Merry Go Round Museum also has a unique exhibit. In one corner of the museum, you can actually watch a carousel horse carver in action. He was a friendly man who was happy to answer all our questions.
You could tell the carver was really passionate about carousel horses. He informed us that a basic hand-carved wooden carousel horse takes about 400 hours to complete. A more intricate design can take 1000+ hours to complete!
Plan your visit to the Sandusky carousel museum
Merry Go Round Museum Hours:
During the off-season, the Merry Go Round Museum is open 11 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and 12 pm to 4 pm on Sundays. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and 12 pm to 4 pm on Sundays.
The carousel museum is closed during the month of January – which is probably a good thing because it is super cold and snowy on the lake in January!
Merry Go Round Museum Admission:
At the time of our visit, admission to the Merry Go Round Museum was $6 a person. Senior citizens can get in for $5 and children between the ages of 4 and 14 can visit for $4. Children under the age of 4 are free. The price includes a ride on the carousel.
To learn more about planning a visit to the Sandusky carousel museum, be sure to check out their website.
Merry Go Round Museum Pressed Pennies
If you love to collect smashed pennies, the Sandusky carousel museum has two machines, with a total of 4 elongated penny designs. Be sure to check out my information on the Sandusky Merry Go Round Museum pressed pennies.
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Quick Links to Info on This Page
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While you are here, be sure to read about the rest of our adventures on Ohio’s Lake Erie shores and islands.
So tell us… Have you ever visited the Sandusky Ohio Merry Go Round Museum? How did you like it? Be sure to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!