The National Carousel Association says the Dentzel Carousel is one of the best-restored carousels in the country. Join Atlas Obscura DC Field Agent Julie Seigel for a behind-the-scenes ride on this beautifully built Merry-Go-Round and a tour of Glen Echo Park's grounds.
Opened in 1891 as the National Chautauqua Assembly, Glen Echo Park evolved from an educational retreat to an amusement park—complete with bumper cars, a shooting gallery, and a Spanish ballroom—until its closing in 1968. The last of the operational rides is the Dentzel Carousel. Built in 1921 by the Dentzel Carousel Company of Germantown, Pennsylvania, this Philadelphia-style deluxe menagerie carousel features horses, rabbits, ostriches, chariots, and even a brass ring (if a rider managed to grab the ring they won a free ride).
National Park Service Ranger Janet Greene will illuminate the remnants of the amusement park and share how the carousel itself served as a site of protest during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. Historian and co-founder of the National Carousel Association Barbara Fahs Charles will discuss the creation and 20-year-long restoration of the Dentzel Carousel. Afterward, guests will be treated to a group ride and a small picnic!
- The ticket price includes carousel admission, a small picnic and a donation to the National Park Service.
- The park is accessible via car and bus.
- Check-in will commence outside the Cuddle Up Pavilion.
- The majority of the tour will take place outside; please dress accordingly.
- This is a family-friendly adventure! All kids 9 and under are free when accompanied by an adult!
- If you are bringing a small child, please email us prior so we can have an accurate count.
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Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.