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Des Moines, IA

Heritage Carousel to Open This Weekend

Posted by 
Kimberly Ritter
Kimberly Ritter
 18 days ago

Des Moines residents will be able to soon enjoy the Heritage Carousel as this popular metro area landmark opens up for the season Memorial Day weekend.
Heritage Carousel in Des MoinesImage Courtesy of Heritage Carousel.

A long time Des Moines favorite with both kids and adults, a beloved Des Moines area attraction is kicking off the 2021 season this holiday weekend. The Heritage Carousel located in Union Park reopens at 11 a.m. this Saturday May 29th.

The Heritage Carousel has been a part of Union Park in Des Moines for over 20 years. Providing smiles to thousands of people since it first started going in circles in 1998, the Heritage Carousel provides about 45,000 rides during a typical season.

This turn-of-the-century replica carousel is hand carved from basswood, hand painted and ridden to the sound of an old-fashioned band organ. Through this the Heritage Carousel supports a nostalgic and unique aspect of the past whose availability dwindled during the depression. The carousel itself is a beautiful work of art displaying the heritage of Des Moines and surrounding communities through painted portrayals of buildings and sites of significance to these communities.
Heritage Carousel Passport ProgramImage Courtesy of Heritage Carousel.

New for the 2021 season the Heritage Carousel is launching a Ride Every Animal Challenge! Patrons can purchase a special passport for $15. This passport allows the holder to ride for free 1 time on each animal and to get it stamped each time. When the passport is complete, it can be redeemed for a fun prize, as well as a chance to enter a grand prize drawing.

Heritage Carousel is also thrilled to announce three Story Time at the Carousel events this season. They are partnering with the Des Moines Public Library to bring these events to the public and more details will be available soon. Watch for more upcoming events for the Heritage Carousel here.

Admission for the Heritage Carousel is just 50 cents for kids to ride and $1 for adults. There is no charge for an adult to stand next to a young child while they are riding the carousel.

Carousel Kid Cards are available for purchase where families can pre-pay for 6 rides and get 1 free. There is no expiration on the card and riders can use it as you go. A day rider wristband is also available for $10 per day which allows unlimited rides for the day.

For families wishing to ride the Heritage Carousel frequently there are individual passes, family passes, grandparents and grandkids pass and daycare provider passes as well. Find out more information and pricing here. Party and group rentals of the carousel are also available.

The Heritage Carousel is located at 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue in Des Moines. It is located in Union Park where families will also find a playground, splashpad, shelters and more.

To get there from I-235, take the E. 6th/Pennsylvania exit and turn north on Pennsylvania Avenue. Continue on Pennsylvania Avenue past University Avenue until you reach Union Park. The river is across from the park. Take the 2nd Union Park entrance. The Carousel is at the top of the hill.

For more information about the Heritage Carousel, go to

Looking for more fun things to do with your kids in the Des Moines area? Check out our Newsbreak article here. We also share free things to do in Des Moines with your kids this summer.