15 DMV Carousels - DC with Kids in 2023

Maryland Washington DC Virginia

I couldn't believe the DMV has so many carousels! As a family, we've ridden on 6 of the 15 so lots more to try! Northern Virginia carousels are first, then Maryland Carousels, and last DC Carousels.

DMV Carousels

Northern Virginia Carousels - DMV Carousels

Frying Pan Farm - Herndon

We loved our time at Frying Pan Farm seeing all the cute animals and the ride on their antique carousel was the cherry on top! Open Monday thru Sunday starting at 10:30 AM but you must purchase tickets ahead of time here. $3 per ticket.

frying pan farm carousel

Burke Lake Park - Fairfax Station

This is a family favorite that my kids have visited for years! Right next to the Carousel is a mini train and big playground. You must purchase tickets online ahead of time here. (May 31, 2022 - closed until further notice for maintenance issue)

Lake Accotink Park - Springfield

We just went on this carousel last fall! They are back and open along with mini golf and boat rentals on certain days. You must purchase tickets online ahead of time here.

Lake Fairfax Park - Reston

We haven't checked this carousel out yet but looks like a lot of fun! You must purchase tickets online ahead of time here.

Franconia Rec Center (Chessie's Backyard) - Franconia

Located next to another awesome playground, Chessie's Backyard! You must purchase tickets online ahead of time here.

Clemijontri Playground - McLean

Incredible playground in McLean with a Carousel that just reopened! You must purchase tickets online ahead of time here.

Maryland Carousels - DMV Carousels

Glen Echo Park Carousel

Perhaps the most ornate of the list, the Glen Echo Park Carousel is open now after restoration! Website here.

And to read about the role this carousel played in de-segration of the park, check out this article with very interesting photos.

Maryland Carousels

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Wheaton Regional Park

The Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel is back open at Wheaton Regional Park! Check here to purchase contactless train tickets online.

National Harbor

We love this Americana-themed carousel right on the waterfront of National Harbor! Tickets are open and can be purchased online here. Current hours are Friday through Sunday 12- 8PM.

Rio Lakefront in Gaithersburg - Lots more than just another of the DMV Carousels

A couple of Instagram friends told me about the Rio Lakefront Carousel in Gaithersburg! Looks amazing with more info here. (Closed for maintenance April 26-28, 2021) They also have duck and dragon paddle boats!

B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore

This was another recommendation by Instagram friends! Can't wait to check it out soon. The B&O Railroad Museum has a small carousel thats indoor in the winter and outdoor in the summer. They also have a mini train ride. Check out info here.

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Lots of fun at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore including a lovely carousel! Info on tickets can be found here as well as for their train ride and Zoo experiences.

Watkins Regional Park

The Chesapeake Carousel is beautiful and on our list to visit! Currently closed but check out the park's website for more info.

DC Carousels - DMV Carousels

Smithsonian Carousel on the National Mall - most iconic of the DMV Carousels

The iconic DC Carousel on the National Mall has a neat history with the Civil Rights Movement which you can read about here. Currently closed as of 2022.

National Zoo Carousel - my #1 in DMV Carousels!

This is my personal favorite DMV Carousel as it features all endangered animals. From their website: "Where else can you ride a naked mole rat, panda or armadillo? Situated across from the Zoo’s Lemur Island, the carousel features dozens of custom-carved and hand-painted animals under a brightly colored, open-air pavilion."

Check out their website here for more info on free-timed Zoo tickets when they are available.

dc zoo carousels

Photo: FamilyTripGuides.com

And make sure to check out these free playgrounds in the DMV!