About

The Flying Houses Carousel is the nation’s oldest platform carousel. Since 1884, the Flying Horses Carousel has delighted visitors in the town of Oak Bluffs.

Constructed by Charles Dare of New York Carousel Manufacturing in 1876, it is one of only two Dare carousels that still exist. Originally operated as an attraction on Coney Island, it was moved to Oak Bluffs in 1884 and includes stationary carved wooden horses with manes and tails of real horse hair and inset glass eyes. Each horse is brightly painted and fixed to the rotating platform by a metal post.

In the 1870s, when the Flying Horses Carousel was designed, summer recreation in America was expanding. At its peak, Coney Island, the most famous of the country’s amusement parks, had 25 carousels in operation – including the Flying Horses Carousel.

The carousel was acquired by Vineyard Trust in 1986 to prevent it from being dismantled and sold piecemeal to collectors of antique carved horses. The Trust undertook an extensive restoration of the Flying Horses, returning the carousel to its original appearance, complete with the historic panel paintings that were done by a Dare factory artist.

Rental

The Flying Horses is available to rent for children's birthday parties, in April, May, September and October after normal hours. Birthday parties are scheduled by the hour and can accommodate up to twenty children plus adults. When you rent the Flying Horses Carousel, up to twenty guests will enjoy unlimited rides on the Carousel and chances to grab a brass ring. Popcorn, cotton candy and lemonade are available, or you can bring in your favorite food and cakes. For a modest additional fee, game tokens can also be a part of the party fun.

Connect with this landmark

It is with great sadness that we have made the determination that it is not feasible for us to reopen the Flying Horses Carousel this year. In order to keep both our staff and the public safe, we had devised COVID-19 sanitation protocols for the horses. However, after doing a paint analysis, we determined that the recommended dosage and frequency of alcohol based cleaning fluid would have eroded the historic paint on the horses.

As a preservation organization, our core mission is to protect and maintain the cultural artifacts in our care. While we recognize the important role the Flying Horses Carousel plays in making and helping to relive treasured island memories, we must take the conservative path this year in order to protect the Carousel for future visitors.

Now available to purchase: Flying Horses Carousel masks

Keep the memories you’ve made at the Flying Horses Carousel alive this year with a souvenir mask. Available in both adult and child sizes.

Buy yours in person at The Carnegie Gift Shop or online.

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Your purchase will directly support  the work of Vineyard Trust and has an added bonus of supporting our thriving island community.

 

 

This landmark is located at:
33 Lake Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA
Public street parking