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Silver Beach Carousel

June 10, 2012

  • 333 Broad Street
  • St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • (269) 982-8500
  • Website

Last week, J got a call from a friend who was going to be in St. Joseph today.  Knowing it’s my day off, she asked if J and I would bring L and meet her and her family.  You don’t have to ask me twice to go to the beach.

I did some work for Whirlpool a couple years ago and spent a little time at Silver Beach so I knew there was more than just sand and water.  The other adults had no idea what we were walking in to and boy, were they surprised when we got there.

Our first stop was at the Silver Beach Carousel…well, our first stop was finding parking on a 90 degree Sunday in June.  The parking lot behind the carousel was closed and I didn’t know how to get to the lot for the Whirlpool Compass Fountain so we ended up going back up the bluff and parking next to Schu’s.

After getting down the stairs with a stroller (we didn’t see the ramp) we met up with our friends in front of the carousel.

The history of a carousel at Silver Beach dates back to 1910.  Unfortunately, this is not the same carousel.  That carousel is in Washington state undergoing a restoration and will be installed there.

This carousel was built by hand and opened in 2010.  There are 48 animals including recreations of six horses from the original carousel, twenty unique horses, and twenty three other creatures. 

The two boys we were with lit up when they saw the carousel in the room adjacent to the main entrance.  We all made our way in and over to the token machine.  Rides are $2, but the more tokens you buy, the less it will cost in the long run.  I assumed L would need a token so I put a $5 bill in the machine and got three tokens.

When we got to the turnstile, we found out riders who are under a certain heights need to have an adult hold them on the animals so it only takes one token for the rider and the adult.  Since Lexi can’t even walk or sit up, she didn’t need a token, so we ended up with a souvenir for her baby book.

We put L on a horse just to take a picture then the three of us took a seat on one of the benches.  L was fascinated with the whole ordeal.  She sat on J’s lap and just started at the lights.

J wasn’t really paying attention while the ride was going on, but at one point, she looked up at me and said “Whoa.  This thing is going fast.”  When you’re busy paying attention to other things, the speed kind of hits you once you look up….that’s what happened to J.

The ride only lasted a few minutes and since L won’t remember this trip, the carousel was more for us than her.  I’ve been on carousel with my nieces before and they just melted down.  L seemed to like it.  She didn’t screech with joy which is her new thing right now, but she didn’t scream in terror either.

The Silver Beach Carousel is just one of many great things to do at Silver Beach.  Today was kind of a scouting mission for J and I.  Neither of us can wait until L is old enough to understand what is going on.  The Carousel is going to be one of our favorite stops.

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