For me personally, my favorite part of summer is not the warm weather, but instead the fact that the days are longer. I like leaving work knowing that the sun is still out and hope it will stay light out forever. The Battery Conservancy of New York City had a similar mindset when designing their park’s interior. They realized that the southern end of the park needed more light. To fix this problem, the design team came up with the SeaGlass Carousel, an aquarium-themed ride.
The SeaGlass Carousel is described as an “immersive experience of movement, music, and light.” Tucked within Battery Park, it can be found from its glow in the night. Pedestrians, both young and old, have enjoyed its presence since it’s opening on August 20, 2015. The fish-themed carousel was even featured on "Younger," a television series created and produced by Darren Star.
The aquatic carousel sits in a 2,575 square foot pavilion. While standard carousels have a center pole, the SeaGlass does not. Instead, the ride is a custom design with four turntables driven by electric motors below the floor. Riders have the option to sit within one of the thirty fiberglass fish that were also custom designed. During the ride, the fiberglass fish glide in a 360-degree rotation. Throughout the ride, LED color-changing lights combined with a water effect lighting design, project an underwater illusion that makes the carousel magical. That illusion is projected onto the walls, fish, and riders to make an immersive experience. Enchanting music also plays throughout the ride to finalize the underwater atmosphere.
“It’s rare to be in the middle of New York City and feel like you’ve actually left. But, during my ride on the SeaGlass Carousel, I felt like I escaped into a fantasy world or an undersea bubble,” says Nicole Beach, 28. “It’s a super fun adult version of a childhood experience. I thought it was really cool being surrounded by all those lights and music.”
Tickets for the carousel are only $5! But fair warning, the ride only lasts between three to five minutes. However, there is plenty to do in the general area to make a visit to the SeaGlass Carousel worth your trip. There was a bit of a wait on the weekend that I went to visit, but the line did go quickly. Staff was prepared for the summer influx and knew how to keep the lines (and small children) moving along.
The SeaGlass Carousel is also available as a location for private parties! They provide a dedicated Party Host who will ensure a magical experience, help take care of all the details, and provide shade-covered terraces separate from the carousel itself. The terraces are within the park’s gardens and adjacent to Battery Woodland so that children can run around while adults can relax.
If you’re looking for more information prior to planning your visit, check out videos of the SeaGlass Carousel on their website, http://www.seaglasscarousel.nyc/seaglass-story/. The SeaGlass Carousel hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. Enter across from 17 State Street to be sure you don’t get lost in the park!