Three Carousels to Add to Your Montgomery County Things to Do List

Carousel in Montgomery County, Maryland

Carousels tap into our collective nostalgia, hearkening to a simpler time of a bygone era. Generations converge on the spinning platforms as horses gallop, organs blare, and brass rings descend. Most of all, they are fun!

Montgomery County, Maryland offers three stunning historic carousels – with two that are over 100 years old – that are perfect for making memories with your family.

Pro Tip: Operating hours, mask requirements and capacity resrictions may vary. Be sure to consult the carousel’s website before your visit.

Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, MD
Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, MD

Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park
7300 Macarthur Blvd | Glen Echo, MD

Celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2021 and considered one of the most beautiful carousels in the United States, the Glen Echo Park ride was installed in 1921 by the Dentzel Carousel Company of Germantown, Pennsylvania. The carousel is one of only 135 functioning antique carousels in the country and one of the few still in its original location. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the carousel is truly a Washington, DC area treasure!

Known as a “menagerie carousel” because of the variety of its animals, the Glen Echo Park carousel includes 40 horses, four rabbits, four ostriches, a giraffe, a deer, a lion and a tiger. It also features two circus chariots. With its playful animals and striking ornamentation, the carousel has been an iconic symbol of the Park throughout the site’s amusement park years and into its current phase as an arts and cultural center. The carousel is expected to reopen for the summer season in May 2021.

Pro Tip: Take a virtual tour of the carousel with a National Park Service Ranger.

Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel
2002 Shorefield Road | Wheaton, MD

Constructed in 1915, the Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel in Wheaton Regional Park celebrated a 105-year birthday in 2020. This Montgomery Parks gem features 33 jumping horses, three zebras and two chariots, this carousel is one of a kind. Having served as the Smithsonian Carousel on the National Mall from 1967 until 1981, this beautiful work of art has seen some amazing American history take place. Come, take a spin and find your favorite horse amongst these amazing hand carved masterpieces! The will reopen for the season on April 9, 2021 at 3 pm.

Pro Tip: Extend the day with a ride on the Wheaton Miniature Train, located nearby.

The Carousel at rio in Gaithersburg, MD
The Carousel at rio in Gaithersburg, MD

The Carousel at rio
136 Boardwalk Pl | Gaithersburg, MD

The Carousel at rio in Gaithersburg is presented by Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. The Americana-themed classic carousel features 30 Allan Herschell-style dancing horses, whimsical creatures, and two chariots, allowing for up to 38 adults and 30 children passengers, with wheelchair access and chariot wheelchair positions. Located next to the playground and featuring expansive views of the lakefront, a ride on the carousel is sure to be a memorable experience.

Pro Tip: After your ride, here are 10 things you should do at rio this summer.

Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park

Looking for more ideas for your next weekend getaway or road trip to Montgomery County, Maryland? Be sure to read our recommendations of family fun activities, hiking options, shopping and museums to visit.