Sandusky Merry-Go-Round Museum
When we first saw an ad for the Sandusky Merry-Go-Round Museum, my family said we had to stop the next time we were anywhere nearby! Luckily, we were able to make that stop on our last trip, and we are so glad that we made it.
The first thing that strikes you before you ever go inside is the neat building. And across the top it says US Post Office; turns out, this was the Sandusky Post Office until the 90s. Once you walk inside, you can immediately see the full size carousel in the center of the building, all decked out with animals of different types, lights and mirrors!
First we stopped by the ticket window to pick up our passes and, the best part, we got our wooden token for the merry-go-round ride that we’d take later. We were paired with a volunteer who took us around the various exhibits and explained the art, history and even quirks about the different time periods and artists themselves. Our guide loved to point out “hidden” details in the different animals such as a bunch of grapes, a sinister face or even a ghostly figure!
We were shown wonderful pieces from some original carved horses, hand painted scenery pieces, and even original wood carving tools they keep on display. We learned all kinds of interesting facts like the carousels in Europe go “backwards” than those in the US, so their animals are displayed pointing to the left. Also, the backside of an animal is often not as detailed as the front side because no one was going to see it. Or, the kids favorite, that by displaying the animals with its legs “flying” in front and back made them seem to be moving but in fact actually made it easier for transport so they could be stacked together!
Some of the awesome pieces on display included the lead horse, Stargazer, who officially is the start of the museum’s carousel. We also got to discover other animals like frogs (who always must be dressed), pigs, dogs and even cows!
My favorite part of the tour was the carver that was working that day. Because she works “on the floor”, you can watch as she works and talk with her as she has time to answer your questions. She was busy working on this year’s Raffle Horse, which is being done with a Halloween theme and dark colors. It’s a beautiful piece of work for sure. Plus you can enter to win it!
Finally, we closed our tour with a ride on the merry-go-round. Just as it amazed us when we were young, there was clamor to find the perfect mount to ride, and smiles and laughter all around as we enjoyed spinning around the indoor carousel, in what used to be a US Post Office.
I’d definitely recommend the Sandusky Merry-Go-Round Museum to anyone traveling nearby, young or old, family or solo. This is not your average boring museums the kids say we drag them to sometimes, but very entertaining for the entire group. We’d love to go back the next time we’re in town too!
Being a homeschooling mom to seven is the definition of chaos! It is easy to see why I am always looking for the simple way to get things done! I love to travel and am most excited about last minute trips. “Ready to Leave in 60 Minutes” could be my family call tag! Some of our most exciting trips were last minute hops around the country. I specialize in family travel, frugal travel, couple travel (got to always keep that relationship special) and extreme ride travel (a house of coaster junkies). Sherryl writes on her sites Simply Sherryl and The HomeSchool Village.