If you go to Martha’s Vineyard at all, with or without children, you really should head over to the touristy town of Oaks Bluff. It has a lot of offers and is very different from other areas of the island. One landmark that I remember going to as a child, teenager and even adult is the Flying Horses Carousel. The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest carousel still running in America.
The Flying Horses Carousel is different from the average carousel you see today at malls, amusement parks and even zoos. The horses are hand carved antiques, they don’t go up and down, it goes pretty fast and you collect metal and brass rings with each turn of the carousel. The person who gets the brass ring, gets a free ride. Trying to grab as many rings as you could with each roundabout was the goal as a kid. The most I’ve ever seen is 3 but I’m sure people can do more. Now? I can only grab 2!
It was purchased about 30 years ago by the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust to stop it from being dismantled and sold piece by piece by antique dealers. Thankfully, it still operates daily and it must receive hundreds of thousands of riders every summer season at $2.50 a ride.
So when we headed over to Martha’s Vineyard last week to visit some family friends, we promised Lennox a few rides on it! She was so very excited to do so. The first thing she said when she woke up was, is it time to go on the merry-go-round now??? The first thing we did when we got off the Ferry from Woods Hole to Oaks Bluff, was head to the big red barn building! First she rode with Kyle…. Then she went again and rode with me. She is too young to grab the rings still, but we helped her. I missed the brass ring by ONE RING, darn! You can see the rings on the top of the horse’s head in this picture… It’s a fun tradition and neat to see something so old still being used daily for the enjoyment for all the kids and adults (children at heart!)! If you plan a trip over to Martha’s Vineyard, make sure to add the Flying Horses in Oaks Bluff to your must see list, you can’t miss it!
Much more to come about Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod over the coming days. To see everything that is part of the Cape Cod series, click the badge below or go here.