Never Too Old To Try New Things

My 67 year old mother had never been on a carousel until yesterday. Remember when I visited Mansfield’s Richland Carousel Park this summer?

It’s built to look old and is inside a building so it can operate year round. It’s gorgeous and, at just a buck a ticket, it’s a great bargain.

Plus, kids of all ages (even the big ones like us) race to get their favorite animal. And there is a beautiful selection of animals including traditional carousel horses as well as cats, rabbits, a giraffe, bears and even a ram.

So we took a little road trip up to Mansfield yesterday. I drove them by the old reformatory where the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed. They declined a tour but we could see from outside that they’re ready for Halloween. If you haven’t been, you really should go for a tour.

Then it was back downtown for a ride on the carousel and lunch at the Coney Island Diner just down the street.

My dad didn’t want to take a ride but we had a fun time while he held my purse and snapped a few pictures.

She chose a horse that went up and down while I chose the tiger. She had a blast and was glad for the experience. She came from a big family where money was tight for a minister, his wife and ten kids. While their needs were seen to, extras like carousel rides would have been an extravagance.

Who knew that a dollar carousel ride could fulfill a lifelong dream?

Is there something others take for granted that you’ve never gotten to do? It’s never too late! Tell me about it in the comments. Maybe we can brainstorm a way to make it happen!

PS: tomorrow we resume the road trip!

Richland Carousel Park

carousel 5

Nothing says childhood like a carousel. So I practically squealed like a little girl at the sight of the Richland Carousel Park in downtown Mansfield.

Housed in an enormous pavilion, this carousel was opened in 1991 and is officially the first carousel park to open in the United States since the 1930’s. There are 52 figures that were carved in early twentieth century designs. More than half are horses but there are also cats, rabbits, bears, ostriches, a giraffe and more. Some are even handicap accessible, a detail that I loved.

A Stinson Band Organ provides peppy music for the ride which goes a little more than 3.5 miles per hour. Panels at the top of the carousel depict local history scenes.

It’s only a dollar to ride, or you can buy six rides for $5. They’re open seven days a week, year round, except for major holidays. They welcome groups, parties and even weddings. Imagine getting married here – the pictures would be amazing.

And yes, the animals are big enough for adults to enjoy too!

Want to learn more? Visit the Richland Carousel Park online and then go visit them in real life! Mansfield has worked hard to revitalize their downtown and there are other things to do here so plan to spend a little time exploring the town after you take your ride.