Hi! It’s Jilly, from the blog…Hi! It’s Jilly. I’m happy to be here with you today! In other posts as the travel contributor I’ve talked about visiting Disneyland and Universal Studios, both of which are fun, but also a bit expensive. Today I’m sharing with you something FREE!
Up in the Greater Binghamton area, in New York’s Southern Tier (about 3 1/2 hours north of “The City”), there is a group of 6 antique carousels. It is the only carousel collection of its kind in the world! Because of they are so unique they have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Historic Register.
The story behind the carousels is so neat. On the site Visit Binghamton it says:
Between 1919 and 1934, George F. Johnson (1857 – 1948), shoe manufacturer and great benefactor, donated six beautiful carousels to our local parks. Johnson’s commitment to recreation was always more than just good business. He felt carousels contributed to a happy life and would help youngsters grow into strong and useful citizens. Because of his own poor childhood, “George F.” believed carousels should be enjoyed by everyone and insisted that the municipalities never charge money for a magic ride.
Now, into their eighth decade, these magnificent machines still spin from Memorial Day to Labor Day at no charge or for an admission of “one piece of litter.”
Is it dumb that reading that brings tears to my eyes?! I think that is so sweet!
Now when you ride the carousels you can gather a ticket at each one, then after you’ve ridden all six you can turn in your tickets and get a commemorative button.
While my sister was in town we decided to hit all six in one day. It was a lot of fun! They have different animals on the carousels, including a dog and a pig!
We would have easily gotten all six in one day if my check engine light hadn’t have come on, but that’s life, right?! We rode the last carousel the next day and got our pins.
So, if you are ever in Central New York and want a cheap and fun thing to do with the family, ride the Carousel Circuit!
Jillian Robertson is the mom of eight-year-old triplets and the wife of a podiatry resident. She is the author of the blog Hi! It’s Jilly, where she shares crafts, recipes, useful tips, and entertaining anecdotes. In her “spare” time she enjoys singing and playing the piano, crafting, planning parties for friends, and watching way too much Food Network & HGTV. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.