A nonprofit arts & culture organization  •  Nederland, CO  •  303.258.3457


Meet Wolf & Owl

The Wolf & Owl are our newest additions to the magical menagerie, seated comfortably on the memorial bench. Scott carved the pair in memory of his sister Chauncey, who loved “the idea that two very different animals can find companionship, kindness and even love together.”  To have Wolf as your spirit animal means you must have a deep connection with your instincts and your appreciation of the wild. As a wolf, you are loyal and smart and carry the instinct for freedom. Black wolves like this one are less aggressive […]

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Annual Memorial Day Celebration

The Carousel of Happiness opened on Memorial Day in 2010, in dedication two U.S. Marines who lost their lives in Vitenam while serving with the Carousel’s Founder, Scott Harrison. Each year, we honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military with a ceremony at Noon on Memorial Day Monday. The building is open to all as we encircle the carousel, and visitors are invited to remember a fallen veteran.  Then, the carousel will turn for

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Closed for Maintenance 5/2 – 5/8

The Carousel of Happiness maintenance crew (our grease monkeys!) will be replacing a main gear set that is over a century old with a brand-new custom-fabricated gear set.  This part is expensive!!  But should keep us spinning smoothly for decades to come.   Consider making a donation to support our maintenance program! We will be CLOSED for rides all next week, May 2nd through May 6th, with plans to re-open on Thursday, May 9th.  Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram

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Free Rides March 23!

FREE RIDES Thurs, March 23 Open at 10am, last ride at 4:45pm. In Honor of Tom & Glenna Carline Tom and Glenna both grew up in Nevada and were high-school sweethearts. Their love of the outdoors, and especially the high country, led them to the mountains here in Colorado. They formed a real-estate agency and worked as brokers in the area for over 40 years, including developing the Sunnyside subdivision and helping to build ‘The Lodge,’ a large wood cabin in

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The Tortoise & Ladybug

He sits atop the old tool chest, near the carousel motor.  Ask the operator to help if you’d like to take a photo with him!  Scott’s smallest carving, Ms. Ladybug, is now on display in her toasty warm home above our radiant heat display, perched on a leaf. As Scott was finishing up tortoise, he remembered his good friend, George Blevins (our local cartoonist), wrote a story called “Mr. Turtle meets Ms. Ladybug.” And Scott decided he needed to carve a

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The Beehive

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” – St. John Chrysostom “The lovely flowers embarass me, they make me regret I am not a bee.” – Emily Dickinson Bees are so wonderful!  This happy little beehive arrived at the Carousel of Happiness in October 2023. Spiritually, bees are linked with rejuvenation, divinity, and the mysteries of the natural world. They’re viewed as divine messengers in folklore, navigating between the

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The Three-Toed Sloth & Her Two Butterflies

The sluggish sloth moves slowly inch by inch, yet it reaches our hearts. Found in the tropicalforests of Central and South America, sloths are tree dwellers. They can teach us to slow downand appreciate life if we have the patience to listen to their silence.  This beautiful creation arrived at the Carousel of Happiness in November 2023.  Some of the ornamental carved animals are available to permanently adopt.  Check out current adoption opportunites. A Bradypus, or Sloth, am II live

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The Carousel Needs Your Help!

“Love the carousel ride and the story behind the man who carved all of the animals. It is a gem that lives up to its name: bringing happiness to every visitor.” – Samson DONATE Donate to our year-end campaing and support carousel maintenance Our Goal this year is to raise $15,000 — Are you able to help? You can help us provide joy and connection to the Nederland community and our world of visitors by donating to our Colorado Gives Day Campaign. You’ll be doing more

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November 11 – Veteran’s Day – Join us for Animals After Dark!

Watch “Next Time Around” by Darryl Purpose on Youtube Join us for a night out with all the animals of the Carousel!  This year, on Veteran’s Day November 11, we are hosting our annual fundraiser gala, Animals After Dark. The night will focus on supporting the maintenance program for our carousel.  Dinner will be served at 7:00pm, and a live auction will occur at 7:30pm, with a silent auction available to browse from 6:30pm to 9pm.  We’ll end the night

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FREE Rides Aug 12th & 13th

It’s that time of year again!  Join us for FREE RIDES this weekend to celebrate one of our favorite carousel friends who has passed on to “Somewhere Else.” The Carousel of Happiness will celebrate “Mary Wingate Days” this weekend, Aug. 12-13, with free carousel rides for all. Carousel hours are 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and local residents as well as visitors are encouraged to come by for a spin. The event honors Mary Quinlan Wingate,

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Memorial Day Ceremony May 29th

Annual Ceremony Memorial Day Monday May 29 Noon to 1 pm at the Carousel of Happiness The annual celebration of Memorial Day is near and dear to the story of our carousel.  All are welcome to join us for a Memorial Day Ceremony here at the carousel.  Founder, carver, and veteran, Scott Harrison, will lead the ceremony.  Attendees can share the name of, or a story about, the service men and women they’d like to honor.  A special guest will

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Keeping our century-old machine spinning

Last year, some work was done on the carousel to smooth out it’s spin.  We had some experts in antique carousels come for a visit to help us with that work, as well as determine a plan for maintaining our beautiful carousel for the next century.  After that visit, we fundraised and planned for extensive maintenance this year. The carousel board and staff are grateful to the Clinton Family Fund and the Maihaugen Foundation for supporting the costs of our

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Easter Egg Hunt!

Join us here at the Caribou Village Shopping Center on Easter Sunday for lots of fun! Several businesses will be putting on an Easter Egg hunt, with a grand prize drawing.  Special thanks to Very Nice Brewing Company for helping us organize.  Stop by any participating business for a map of the egg hunt, and visit all the locations to collect eggs and do some crafts. And did you ever meet the Easter bunny?        You just might

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Choose the Next Mayor of the Carousel!

Help us raise funds to keep the carousel spinning, and choose the next Mayor! Giraffe – Panda – Frog Purchase votes for a donation of $1 each. You may use your votes however you’d like, and vote as many times as you like. Votes can be purchased at the front desk, or online using the button below. Only one candidate per online transaction, $1 minimum donation. Thank You Carousel Constituents! SEE THE CANDIDATES VOTE NOW! The first Mayor of the

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Free Rides March 23!

We’ve got some great events coming up! Join us for free carousel rides all day Thursday, March 23, in honor of Tom & Glenna Carline. The free ride day kicks off a week of events and the next “Mayor of the Carousel” campaign. On the 24th & 25th, celebrate through town with the Nederdays festival. Then stop by the next week during spring break, the Carousel will have special open hours for all the kiddos March 27-31! FREE RIDES Thurs,

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The Three Cherubs

Come and see the newest carved additions to the carousel!  This adorable group of cherubs, carved by Scott Harrison and installed on the carousel February 2, 2023, are ready to meet you.  With unique hair and skin colors, their magical star wands, and wings, this trio sits above the rafters, climbing towards the Twirling Girl.  You can get the best look at them from upstairs using the Carousel Overlook window. “I wish that friendship should have feet, as well as

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Feeling the Magic…

In May, we welcomed a few Emmy-award-winning filmmakers into our doors.  It all started the winter prior, when Atlas Obscura found the Carousel of Happiness, and decided to explore the intriguing story of our organization.  Andy and Farhod of Studio Koa are excellent documentary filmmakers, and were excited for the chance to learn about us.  Even so, nobody could have prepared them for the depth of the experience they would have.  And it was all beautifully captured on film.  

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We got the Gold! A Certified Green Business

The Carousel of Happiness recognized from the beginning that lessening our impact on the environment is deeply important to our community.  While planning the build, it was determined that the Carousel House could be a great demonstration opportunity for LEED design concepts and sustainable building strategies.  In June of 2022, the Town of Nederland launched it’s participation with the State Green Business Recognition Program, and the Carousel of Happiness was the first Nederland business to complete the certification process.  We

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A Celebration in the Mountains

If you stopped by the carousel house on August 8, 9, or 10, you noticed we were closed for special maintenance.  We received a consultation from Carousels and Carvings so that we can make sure to keep this thing spinning for another million rides.  Stay tuned for updates on maintenance and closures this winter ~ following us on Instagram or Facebook is the best way to stay up-to-date on our hours. On August 13 and 14, we celebrated with free

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One Million Rides and Counting!

Olive and James – Our 1,000,000 and 1,000,001 carousel riders! On Wednesday July 20, the Carousel of Happiness saw it’s one-millionth rider! Since opening in 2010, over 1 million tickets have been sold or given away.  And we have seen at least that many smiles.  This week we saw visitors from the Netherlands, France, Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, and all over, some who came just to see the carousel, and some who never knew we existed, but were ecstatic to find

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Fourth Friday Art Walk

4th Fridays at Caribou Shopping Center May through September, join our amazing local businesses for music, specials, artist demonstrations, snacks, treats for the kids, special vendors, and Carousel Rides until 7pm! Date, Time, Location: May 27 June 24 July 22 August 26 September 23   4:00pm – 7:00pm Caribou Village Shopping Center                    20 Lakeview Drive                                Nederland,

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Vote for your Denver Area Favorites

It’s time once again for Kids Out and About Denver’s annual survey of the top 20 places to take kids – check out the 2021 winners here – the Carousel placed #3! Easily nail down your summer bucket list, and find out about all the great family-friendly attractions and events in the Denver Area. It takes just 3 minutes to complete the survey, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card! And don’t forget,

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Memorial Day Ceremony

Monday, May 30 at Noon Each year we honor the men and women who died serving in the U.S. military. The building will be open to all, as we encircle the carousel, and visitors will be invited to remember a fallen veteran with his or her name, and perhaps a brief story. Please join us! The ceremony will begin at 12pm, and last approximately one hour. Brad Goode, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at CU Boulder, will play taps. Then,

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Save the Date – Animals After Dark Fundraising Gala June 11th!

UPDATE – Thanks to all who attended our event – see a slideshow of photos here. Join us for a night out with all the animals! We’re bringing back our annual fundraising event, complete with food and drinks.  A silent auction will run from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, with a short live auction of a few items at 7:30pm.   Decent Bagel is catering an Italian-style menu, then we’ll end the night with live music and dessert.   And of course we’ll

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Go Wild this Earth Day Weekend!

April 22 – 25 Join us in Nederland for a great celebration of our planet earth!  Wild Bear Nature Center is hosting their annual Wild Earth Day Weekend, full of fun activities for all ages.  When you visit the nature center this weekend, you can take part in a climate challenge, interact with exhibits and local informational partners, and maybe you’ll even win a prize!   Friday night there is a FREE showing of “Going Circular,” a film exploring how we

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Springtime in the Rockies!

Another winter has passed – yes we still have some snow up here! – and we are enjoying the melting ice and sweet bird songs each morning.  That also means that the ground is softening and plants will start sprouting up again soon.  (If you would like to volunteer in our garden, for spring clean-up or summer watering, call or email!)   Looking Forward As we look towards a busy summer, we are grateful for the gift our visitors bring

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Happy New Year!

We had an *almost* white Christmas, and are enjoying winter in the mountains.  As folks head up to ski at Eldora, the Carousel awaits to bring them a smile at the end of the day! We hope you and your families enjoyed wonderful holiday time over the last few weeks, and celebrated the gift of together-ness!  It was great to see you and your families over Winter Break.  In this special time of year, smiles are dancing through the Carousel house

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Holiday Adoptions are a Very Special Gift!

Adopting one of our unique animals is one of the best ways to support the Carousel and become a part of our family. We hope every smile experienced here turns into countless more beyond our doors! Funds raised by animal adoptions contribute to the maintainance and repair of our century-old carousel and band organ, and help us continue on our mission to inspire happiness. Carousel Animal Adoptions are usually for one year, and you can learn more about regular adoptions at the “Learn More” link below.

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Halloween & “The Carousel of Spookiness”

Join us on Halloween for an annual tradition… Our animals will be dressed to the nines in their best costumes, ready for trick or treat fun!  Come take a ride on the Carousel of Spookiness, complete with spooky jams on the Wurlitzer.  Those without costume will pay the normal ticket price of $3.  Wear a costume and ride for just $1! Want to win a prize?  Enter our costume contest for all ages for your chance to get some Carousel

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Fall Fun at the Harvest Fest!

Celebrate the fall with great food, live music, and lots of fun!  This Sunday, October 3, the Nederland Farmers Market ends the season with a bang, and over 70 vendors, located between First St. & Second St. in Downtown Nederland.  See www.nederlandfarmersmarket.org for more info.  Stop by the Carousel of Happiness booth to purchase & decorate pumpkins!     Pumpkin Decorating! Draw a scary face for Halloween, or make a pretty fall landscape. Bring a larger pumpkin to decorate from the Pumpkin

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Fall Colors in the Mountains

That fall chill is in the air… As any leaf peeper knows, witnessing Colorado’s aspen leaves change is one of the best ways to spend the day.  Plan your trip to see the beautiful colors that speckle our mountainsides, the peak time to see this amazing color change is coming soon!  We just had our first frosty mornings, triggering the trees to prepare for winter.  However, the days are still pleasantly sunny, the best time of year in the mountains. 

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11am to 5pm


11 am to 5pm


11am to 5pm


11am to 5pm


10am to 5pm


10am to 5pm


10am to 5pm

Last ride of the day at 4:45pm

Call (303) 258-3457 for more information

Join us for the 2nd Annual


$1 Carnival Games

Popcorn, Cotton Candy, Festival Fare

Two Circus Shows at 1pm and 4pm

Show Tickets $45-$55 per person

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We are a 501c3 Arts and Culture organization on a mission to promote happiness, well-being, and service to others through stories and experiences.  Your donation today will keep us spinning for another year!