Join Atlas Obscura DC Field Agent Julie Seigel for a behind-the-scenes tour of Glen Echo Park's grounds and a ride on the beautifully built 1921 Dentzel Carousel, which the National Carousel Association calls one of the best-restored carousels in the country.
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 a company out of Germantown, Pennsylvania, this Philadelphia-style deluxe menagerie carousel features horses, rabbits, ostriches, chariots, and even a brass ring.
On our tour, National Park Service Ranger Janet Greene will highlight the remnants of the amusement park and share how the carousel served as a site of protest during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. We will also be joined by historian and co-founder of the National Carousel Association Barbara Fahs Charles, who will discuss the carousel's 20-year restoration. 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 Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture.
- 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.