In 2017, Friends of Balboa Park invested in the largest asset in its history and acquired the historic Balboa Park Carousel that has entertained San Diegans since 1912. Friends’ mission to “preserve Balboa Park’s legacy for future generations through park-wide projects” was a major reason that Bill Steen, the Carousel’s owner for 40 years, together with his partners, offered to sell the Carousel to Friends of Balboa Park. The decision received full support from the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department and funding for a down payment was provided by a group of generous local foundations and philanthropists.

Thanks to the collaboration of Bill Steen and his partners, the Carousel will remain an integral Park attraction that all San Diego residents and visitors alike may enjoy. What’s more, revenue generated by the Carousel will be reinvested into Friends’ support for critical projects and programs throughout Balboa Park. Please consider becoming a supporter of this irreplaceable piece of San Diego history!

Hours & Location

June –September: 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
October – May: Saturdays and Sundays only, 11:00 am – 5:30pm

$3 per ride (seven minutes long!) / 4 for $10
For special large group rates, call 619-232-2282

Email: info[at]
Phone: 619) 232-2282

1889 Zoo Place, San Diego, CA 92101 (corner of Zoo Place and Park Boulevard)

“I grew up in (San Diego) riding this carousel and I recently had the opportunity to take my own son for the first time.  It was as much a joy for him as it was for me 30+ years ago. And a brass ring winner gave his free ticket to my son!  A priceless experience both as a child and now a parent.”

– Valerie J., Franklin, Wisconsin