In July 2017, Friends of Balboa Park became the new owner of the historic Balboa Park carousel, a landmark feature that has contributed to the park’s world-renowned heritage.  Friends is now working to ensure this extraordinary 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel remains the beloved icon it’s been known for since becoming a permanent fixture in Balboa Park in 1922.  Friends’ mission – to “preserve Balboa Park’s legacy for future generations through park-wide projects” – makes the operation and preservation of the carousel one of our highest and most noble initiatives.  The acquisition was made possible thanks to a small but generous group of San Diego philanthropists who contributed towards the necessary down payment.  With the continued help of the public, Friends of Balboa Park will not only be able to carry on the traditions of the carousel but revenue from ticket sales will be reinvested into what Friends’ has become known for: Making meaningful capital improvements throughout Balboa Park.

Now we need your help!  Support our $3M capital campaign to will enable Friends of Balboa Park to complete the purchase, launch a comprehensive restoration effort, and establish a healthy maintenance fund for the carousel.  Make your tax-deductible donation today!

National Carousel Day - July 25th

Councilmember Chris Ward, County Supervisor Ron Roberts and other dignitaries will help celebrate the capital campaign launch:

Time: News Conference: 9:30 a.m.
Public Event: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Free Carousel Rides: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Balboa Park Carousel (Park Blvd. and Zoo Way off the Zoo entrance parking lot)

The public event will entail children’s music and carnival activities, face painting, and more until 2:30 p.m., while free rides will be available until 5 p.m. 

Hours & Location

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

$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

Posted in Events.