Des Moines, IA

Ride the Heritage Carousel for Free on Sunday, July 25th

Kimberly Ritter

Des Moines residents will be able to enjoy the Heritage Carousel for free as the popular metro area landmark offers free rides on Sunday, July 25th for National Carousel Day.
Heritage Carousel in Des MoinesImage Courtesy of Heritage Carousel.

Did you know that July 25th is National Carousel Day? A special day to celebrate fellow Iowan William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa who was considered the modern inventor of the carousel in 1871, National Carousel Day honors this creation and its founder.

Heritage Carousel in Des Moines will be celebrating National Carousel Day by offering free rides all day on Sunday, July 25th at their location in Union Park. The free rides have been made possible with the support of sponsors, and carousel merchandise and gourmet cotton candy will be available for purchase.

Admission for the Heritage Carousel is normally 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.

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.

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 located at the top of the hill.

The Heritage Carousel located in Union Park in Des Moines, Iowal is owned and operated by The Des Moines Carousel Foundation. For more information, for pricing, to rent the Carousel, or to make a donation, visit

My family has been riding the Heritage Carousel for years and it is a long time family favorite, even now that my children are older and a teen and a tween. It's a fun and affordable location to visit for a family outing, and renting the Heritage Carousel for parties is also a huge hit.

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. Hit the follow button below to keep updated on Des Moines and other Midwest activities to do with kids.

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Two Kids and a Coupon is a frugal family website that shares news, ideas, entertainment, activities, recipes, and tips for today’s busy parents and family on a budget.


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