Carousel of Happiness | What’s happening in Denver

Carousel of Happiness

20 Lakeview Drive, (just off Highway 119) PO Box 1811
Nederland , CO , 80466
Phone: 303-258-3457
39° 58' 22.1196" N, 105° 27' 53.1288" W
Contact name: 
Karla Johnson-Grimes
Subjects / Categories: 
Seasons in which we offer activities (select "All seasons" for all): 
Ages for which our activities are most appropriate: 
The Carousel of Happiness, operating year-round, is Nederland's magical menagerie with 56 whimsical, hand-carved animals on a restored 1910 Looff carousel, turning to a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ. Ride tickets are still only $2 and small group Carousel rentals are also available. Please Note: In accordance with current State social distancing requirements, the number of visitors allowed to ride the Carousel will be 9 at a time. Face masks are required for riders age 3 and up.

The Carousel of Happiness opened to an adoring crowd on Memorial Day Weekend in 2010, the culmination of a 26-year-long carving and restoration project by Nederland resident Scott Harrison, whose Vietnam War experience inspired the project. Since then, the carousel has given nearly 1 million rides to 'kids of all ages' and abilities from around Colorado and the world.

The carousel is accessible to people with disabilities, offering a wheelchair ramp and variety to seating to make anyone and everyone comfortable. We pride ourselves in being an inclusive destination and our staff will be happy to provide additional assistance if needed.

The 109-year old Looff carousel, with its delightful, growing menagerie carved by Harrison--now numbering 70 animals--is located in the Caribou Village Shopping Center, next to The Train Cars on Colo. 119. The carousel building also houses a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ, gift shop, children’s puppet theatre, and the “Somewhere Else” wall, another whimsical work of art created by Harrison in 2014. The exhibit presents a gateway to another dimension where the carousel animals come and go when no one is watching.

The Carousel is near Nederland's town park, with playground equipment, including toddler-appropriate, and a covered picnic area, kids fishing pond and grass area for flying kites and playing. The Carousel is also 1.5 miles from Mud Lake (Boulder County Open Space), a popular hiking area for families and kids, and next to the Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center where kids can pet a turtle and learn about the environment around them. The Carousel is on the way to and from Eldora Ski Resort and a popular spot to stop after skiing...a great reward for a good day on the hill. Nederland also boasts a full size, outdoor ice skating rink.

The Carousel is enclosed and open all year.  Face masks are required for riders age 3 and up.  The Carousel can be rented out for small groups of up to 9 people outside of normal business hours.  We ranked #3 in 2019 with Kids Out and About Top 20 places to take Denver kids and we hope you will make a day trip to come visit us and take a spin...or two...or more! 

Open hours: 
Sunday: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: Closed
Friday: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am-5:00 pm