Music, Motion, Horses, Magic: Salem’s Riverfront Carousel

By Emy Sloan


Salem’s Riverfront Carousel is fun for all ages! We love it here. The rides are inexpensive and it’s just a beautiful place to be. No matter how many times we’ve been, we’re always so captivated by the beauty and magic of it all.

My kids seem to have just as much fun standing in line, holding on to their ride tokens and watching the carousel go round and round, as they do actually riding on it! There is just so much to be admired! Every one of the wooden horses is intricately carved and painted by hand. There is a unique story behind each one.

So much of the enjoyment is in walking through and choosing the perfect horse to ride every time.


The founder, Hazel Patton, was inspired by a similar carousel that she encountered in Missoula, Montana while visiting family in 1996. It happened to be the first old-world style carousel built in the U.S. since the Great Depression. Seeing how the wonder of it all seemed to unite the community, she came up with the idea to bring that type of togetherness here to Salem. In 2001 Salem’s Riverfront Carousel opened for business!



As part of Salem’s Riverfront Park, the carousel is host to many community events. There is a workshop to peek in on as well as a display room that shows off the newest carousel animals and projects in progress. The gift shop is large and always fun to browse and there are plenty of treats and refreshments available for purchase!

There is even a little free library located here! (Take a book- leave a book)



The Carousel is also a great place to have a birthday party!


Check out the website for information about hours and events as well as fun party packages:



101 Front St, Salem, Oregon 97301


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