Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours

"Brown Teddy Bear" by Lydia Jacobs

In today’s edition of, “If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours” we explore one of the best family travel entertainment values – a visit to a carousel, and we check in with the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission for the most recent toy and sports products related recalls and news.

From the construction of the first American carousel, sometime during the 1840’s by craftsman, Franz Wiesenhoffer of Hessville, Ohio, as an entertainment value, they can’t be beat.

Carousels, also referred by many as merry-go-rounds or whirligigs (depending on what part of the country you hail from and your age) are a constant delight for children of all ages.

If you’re seeking affordable entertainment during these tough economic times, consider packing a picnic lunch, taking a drive and topping the day off with a spin in the park.

Some of the best carousels around the country (pun intended) are actually the most affordable as well as being easily accessible by car or public transportation. 

The vast majority of carousels and merry-go-rounds open on Memorial Day weekend, so if your city has been left out of this post, don’t despair. The National Carousel Association has a handy carousel map locator, which provides a detailed description of the carousel and includes opening dates with hours of operation, along with telephone contacts for ticket prices.

To get your children primed for your entertainment outing check out Carousels.com, which is the definitive on-line source for everything about carousels. And, if you want to listen to some authentic carousel music such as a Wurlitzer Style 153 Military Band Organ, Carrousel Music (spelled the French way) of Chambersberg, Pennsylvania offers authentic selections to sample on-line.

Here are some top picks for this summer. Just click on the link or call for additional information and directions.

Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round in Los Angeles, California boasts 68 jumping exquisitely decorated carved horses with probably the finest and largest selection of music, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. year round Saturday and Sunday, 7 days during summer. Cost: $2.00 per ride (children under 11 months are free), located in Griffith Park Center, (323) 665-305.
Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford, Connecticut is a 95-year-old Stein & Goldstein antique gem that has “6 jumper horses (going up and down), 12 standers (stationary horses), two chariots, and a Wurlitzer 153 band organ.” Open 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Cost: $1.00 per ride, located in downtown Hartford, Bushnell Park, (860) 585-5411.

Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round in Berkley, California on the beautiful grounds of Tilden Regional Park this is a wonderfully preserved antique with distinctive calliope music and a menagerie of animals to ride. 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekends; 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekdays June 13 to September 2. Cost: $2 per ride or $10 for 7-ride ticket book, (510) 524-6773

Central Park Carousel, New York, New York, in the center of Central Park, approximately 64th Street and 6th Avenue, it is a Stein and Goldstien beauty that has the largest hand-carved figures ever constructed for a carousel, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (weather permitting), Cost $2.00 per ride.

The Paragon Carousel, 205 Nantasket Avenue, Hull, Massachusetts, is another antique treasure at 81-years of age, and was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1928, April, May to June 18 weekends only 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; June 18- Labor Day open daily – 11:00  a.m. – 9:00 p.m .Sunday - Thursday., and until 10 pm Friday and-Saturday.  Cost: $2.25 per ride - 781-925-0472.

Richland Carrousel, Mansfield, Ohio, corner of 4th and Main, it is the “first new, hand- carved carrousel to be built and operated in the United States since the 1930's” and .has 30 horses, 22 menagerie figures, which include  4 bears, 4 ostriches, 4 cats, 4 rabbits, a goat, giraffe, lion, tiger, zebra and a “mythical hippocampus” plus a Stinson Band Organ, May 1-Labor Day, Monday-Thursday 10:00 a,m. –5:00 p.m, Friday, 10:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m, Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed July 4th, Labor Day- December 31 Monday-Sunday 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. and the first Friday of each month 11:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cost: .75 cents per ride, 3 rides for $2.00, 8 rides for $5.00, 50 for $25.00.

Flying Horses Carousel, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
Off the eastern coast of Massachusetts and a walk-on ferry boat ride away, is the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where you’ll find the nation's oldest operating platform carousel – a true National Historic Landmark and treasure. Ticket prices are $1.50 and if you grab the brass ring, your next ride is free.

In the video below, take a visual ride on the Flying Horses and grab the brass ring.


The following is a compilation of notices from the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).
Below you will find the most recent recalls and product news updates from the CPSC for the last 7 days.

In case you happened to have missed any of the announcements, just click on the following links for complete information on each of the items and breaking news.




If you are searching for other consumer product items such as household, outdoor products, utensils, furniture and clothing that may relate to all family members, please review additional listings at the CPSC’s search page.

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