Flying Horses Carousel, Oak Bluffs

4.5
The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in America. Located in the historic resort community of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, on Martha's Vineyard, the carousel was apparently first located in New York City before being moved to the island in the 1880s.
The carousel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The carousel is one of only a handful of carousels that still have brass rings for a rider to attempt to grab as the carousel rotates.
Oak Bluffs, located on the northeastern part of the island of Martha's Vineyard, was originally settled as part of Edgartown in the 17th century. In 1835 the Methodist camp known as Wesleyan Grove (also a National Historic Landmark) was established in the area. Development of the area as a summer resort became more formally organized with the establishment of the Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company in 1866. The company developed what was then one of the earliest planned communities, guiding the community's growth over the following years.
The exact date of construction of the carousel is not known. Its artwork closely resembles that found in an 1870s catalog published by the Charles W.F. Dare Company, a major manufacturer of carousels in the late 19th century. At least one expert believes that artwork of the carousel itself was done by the same artist whose work appears in the catalog, suggesting its construction date to be between 1876 and 1878.
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Flying Horses Carousel Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
383 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Loved hearing that this is the oldest carousel in the nation. The man working took his time to explain its history. Would love to go back again.  more »
  • Get off the ferry at Oak Bluffs and walk about a block to the Flying Horses Carousel. This is a must see attraction for the entire family. The full size horses are for adults and children. The antique...  more »
  • Beautiful kept up antique carousel, very interesting to see. Wish it was actually running while we were there.  more »
Google
  • Really close to where the ferries drop you off in Oak Bluffs. Can be really crowded and hot in there. The ring grabbing game is a cool concept and very addictive for young children (even for adults). If you're a parent of a child who wants you to just ride and hold on to them, you still have to get a ticket. Kids under 12 get strapped in. Even though it seems kind of dangerous to try and stick your fingers in to a moving ring as the carousel goes around, it's still very fun!
  • Still as I remembered it as a child. Brought our daughter. She got 4 brass rings! Very special place for me and my husband. Hope it's around forever! Thank you! 🎠💕
  • Venerable establishment. A must for all who visit Oak Bluffs. Catch the brass ring! Children of all ages love it. Walk around to the back and see the gingerbread houses.
  • I totally tried to win at the ring toss game. If you want to get good pictures, go towards the back of the arcade near the photo booth. The door is open and you can take pictures of the carrousel unobstructed by people.
  • Not your run of the mill carousel. It’s done the way it used to be. The kids had a great time trying to grab the rings.
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