Midwest Living Review
Starting at the round facade of the museum building (a former post office), the Merry-Go-Round Museum captures the magic of carousels. Primarily composed of intriguing collections of antique carousel animals, the museum also includes an area to observe wood carvers making new animals, and other interactive stations. The star of the museum, though, is the full-size antique carousel presiding over the center of the exhibition hall. Built in 1939, this Allan Herschell unit represents a distinct era in carousel history. And, yes, you can ride it! Your admission price ($6 adults; $4 for kids 414; younger kids are free) includes a token for the ride, which is appropriate for adults and children. The collection of animal figures throughout the museum introduces a fascinating view of carousel history. Did you know the "lead" horse on a merry-go-round is fancier than its brethren? Or that French carousels spin counterclockwise, so the animals are all carved to face in the opposite direction? A guided tour (which takes about an hour) is the best way to experience the museum and learn tidbits like these. If you wander about on your own, you'll still enjoy the wide variety of animals (ever seen a giraffe on a merry-go-round? Or a rabbit?), but the docent-led experience is worth it for the extra insights.