National Carousel Day Returns to the Balboa Park Carousel


Media Contact: Erin Taylor, Communications Specialist, Forever Balboa Park,, (619) 331-1929

National Carousel Day Returns to the Balboa Park Carousel 

Celebrate with FREE rides, entertainment, and family fun 

SAN DIEGO (July 20, 2022) — The Balboa Park Carousel celebrates National Carousel Day on Monday, July 25, from 11am to 5:30pm. Kids of all ages can enjoy free rides, entertainment by local performers, and other family-friendly activities. The festivities also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Carousel’s establishment in Balboa Park. 

The Carousel is located at 1889 Zoo Place, and all event activities in and around the Carousel are free. Performances begin at 11am and continue until 3pm as follows: 

  • 11–11:30am Hullabaloo Band 
  • 11:30am–Noon Kathryn the Grape 
  • Noon–2pm Kids DJ and Photo Booth 
  • 2–3pm Kumu Kahne’s Polynesian Dancers 
  • All Day Free Carousel Rides 

Wandering Acrobats by J7 Cirque Entertainment 

Lawn Games 

Face Painters 

Bubble Machine 

“As many years as I’ve been a part of the National Carousel Day celebrations, they never get old, and this year’s 100th anniversary in the park makes it a particularly special one,” says Bill Brown, the Balboa Park Carousel’s longtime manager. “I’m looking forward to seeing our magnificent Carousel, with its recent restorations, as the centerpiece of the first full-scale National Carousel Day celebration in three years.”

Forever Balboa Park is also introducing new Carousel signage honoring local philanthropist Dorothea Laub, who made significant contributions to the successful Capital Campaign that funded the acquisition and much-needed restorations of the historic Carousel. Built in 1910, the Carousel still runs on its original General Electric motor, and the hand-painted animal menagerie and paintings, military band organ, and brass ring game are original as well. The Carousel was brought to Balboa Park in 1922, making this year the 100th anniversary of the popular park attraction. 

“Balboa Park is truly unique, especially when families from all over the San Diego region converge to celebrate one of the city’s most remarkable, beloved historic attractions,” says Dr. Elizabeth Babcock, Forever Balboa Park’s president and CEO. “Thanks to scores of donors who have contributed to the care and operation of the Carousel, we are delighted to share this fun-filled day with the community.”

The Balboa Park Carousel will close for a new round of major capital improvements in fall 2022. The work will stabilize the building’s structure and include repainting and other essential infrastructure upgrades. A new fire suppression system will also be installed. Paid for with funding secured from community members, donors, and foundations, the project helps ensure families will enjoy the historic Carousel for another 100 years.

Balboa Park Carousel: 

(619) 232-2282 

Hours: Until Aug. 26: 11am–5:30pm daily 

After Aug. 26: Saturdays, Sundays, and School Holidays, 11am–5:30pm

Check for updated hours during the Fall 2022 Restoration. 

Tickets: $3 per ride or $10 for 4 rides 

Lead support for the Balboa Park Carousel is provided by Dorothea Laub. Major support is provided by Conrad Prebys Foundation, Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation, Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, J. W. Sefton Foundation, and San Diego Foundation. We gratefully acknowledge the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the many generous individuals who contributed to the acquisition and restoration of the Carousel.

Forever Balboa Park 

Forever Balboa Park is the City of San Diego’s partner in advocating for the greater good of Balboa Park. Its focus is to sustain the park’s legacy, enhance its many assets, and collaborate with park stakeholders to envision and execute future plans to benefit both residents and visitors for decades to come. It brings valued resources to the park as a convener and organizer, raising funds and cultivating volunteers to realize and activate projects, programs, and services for the best interests of the park and the greater San Diego community.


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