Take a Ride at the Merry Go Round Museum Sandusky Ohio

Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky Ohio
Did you know there is a lead animal on the carousel ? It has it’s head up, like this horse.

It started with a stamp: Merry-Go-Round Museum

Who knew in 1988 when the United States Post Office issued 4 carousel stamps,  it would turn into a Merry-Go-Round Museum happening in Sandusky Ohio?  One of the horse from the Kiddleland carousel from Cedar Point was featured on one of the stamps and a celebration was held in Sandusky at the old post office building.  Because of the interest in the carousel (2,000 people attended the event) Soon after the event, plans were made to form a non-profit merry-go-round museum that now resides at that same post office building that the celebration was in, in downtown Sandusky.

YouTube video

What You Can See at the Merry-Go-Round Museum

Stepping inside the old post office, you see beautiful carousel animals beautifully carved.  You can still see the buildings history too  The window (over on the left of this photo), is there where you could buy stamps and mail letters.  Look at the marble floor and see the wear, from years of people standing.  Walk a little farther through the large doorway to the right, you see the beautiful carousel lite up and ready to take a spin.

And yes, you can take a ride.  The carousel is functional.  The cost to get into the museum, includes a ride on the beautifully restored carousel.

The phrase “Grab the brass ring” came from riding the carousel.

Grab the Brass Ring at the Merry-Go-Round Museum

Did you know the term grab the brass ring referred to merry-go-rounds?  It does!  There would be an arm that you would pass by and if you were able to grab the ring, you’d get a free ride.

Where is the Merry-Go-Round Museum?

Located in downtown Sandusky Ohio, you will find the Merry-Go-Round Museum.  It is filled with several different types of carousel animals that are beautifully carved. Not to far from Cedar Point and a short ride east of Catawba where you can take the ferry to Put-In-Bay

If you are heading east to Cleveland (because it rocks!), you might want to stay in Sandusky at the Hotel Kilbourne.

what is on display at the Merry-Go-Round Museum?

If you’ve visited previously, you will want to check back.  They have difference pieces that are on display and they are changed out from time to time. When we visited, they had reindeer.  Some of them had been on display at the White House during President Obama’s administration.

If you are lucky, you can see the volunteers working to restoration on the animals (only certain days of the week).  On display is how the animals are restored, so that is interesting to see in person.

You can also see one of the horses displayed on the U.S. postage stamp.

There are also carved animals from around the world and a small gift shop to take a treasure home.

Also on display are older animals, some from other countries.  Did you know that carousel animals have a good side?  They do!  The side you see from the outside, is the one that is ornately decorated.  The other side is plain.

On display, the museum shows how the restoration process happens.

Carver Skills Start at the Rear of the Sculpture

Less skilled carvers for carousel animals, started at the rear of the animal because there are fewer details at the rear.  As their skills improved, they move farther forward on the horse.  The most skilled carvers work on the head of the animal.  The carvers were able to show off their skills, like on these horses above.

Fun Fact: Did you know there is a front of the carousel?  The front has the lead horses head up.  That helps the ticket taker, know where they started collecting tickets of the passengers.

This is a destination that your entire family will love to explore.  Be sure to take your ride on the carousel too!

Be sure to check this out on your way to Castaway Bay.


Similar Posts


  1. This is so informative and interesting. I never knew that about the horses head being up at the being so that the ticket collectors know where they stated, but it does make sense. We will have to check out this Merry-Go-Round next time we are in Ohio.

    1. I didn’t know about the lead horse until they pointed it out on the tour! Subtle and smart idea, right?

  2. The timing of me seeing this is perfect as I will be close to Sandusky this week. Will definitely add it to my list of things to do if we end up with extra time .What a cool spot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.