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


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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Maintaining a 100-year old Motor

On February 6, the maintenance crew removed the motor from the carousel for THE FIRST TIME since it was installed over a decade ago. It was quite a job to hoist the engine out and over the carousel deck!

Join our Family!

You can now become a member of the Carousel of Happiness and enjoy some awesome perks. See our Membership Plans & Pricing page to sign up!

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.

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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Carousel to Offer Free Rides this Weekend in Memory of Mary Wingate

The Carousel of Happiness will celebrate “Mary Wingate Days” this weekend, Aug. 14-15, 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, a life-long summer resident of Nederland who was known for her kindness and generosity to others. Wingate worked with the Town of Nederland during her lifetime to create …

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Adopt a Carousel Animal to Support the Carousel

The Carousel is offering a discount on new animal adoptions during the months of August and September. You can adopt your favorite Carousel animal for just $600 for the initial year (regularly $750) if you make your donation by Sept. 30th.  Those who have adopted an animal in the past can re-adopt their animal for $500 per year.  Animal adoptions are a terrific gift for a birthday, anniversary or wedding, as well as a special way to honor and remember …

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Carousel Named as Top 3 Spot to Take Kids

The Carousel of Happiness has been named the #3 Top Spot to take kids in and around Denver for 2021, by readers of Kids Out and About Denver.  The Carousel ranked immediately behind the dual powerhouses, Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which puts us in good company! (See the complete Top 20 list here.) Make plans to bring your family to the Carousel today!

The Wonder Project Comes to Life

Carousel visitors are in for a treat! Artist Scott Harrison has carved a new carousel animal – only the second new rideable animal to join the platform since the Carousel’s opening 11 years ago. What is it, you may wonder? A giant, glorious, blue butterfly. The butterfly will only be mountable by small children. But its wings will soar higher than the Bear bench at its side. The carving was inspired by a new novel, On Wings of Wonder, by …

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The Moose Wins Carousel Mayoral Campaign

With more than 1,400 votes cast in the Carousel’s spring mayoral election, The Moose swept to a decisive victory, winning 59 percent of the final tally. The Peacock and The Mermaid trailed with 24 percent and 17 percent, respectively.  Voting was heavy in the final weekend as supporters took to the streets with their campaigns. Team Moose campaigned with the slogan, “He won’t spin the news or the truth. He’ll work to keep the Carousel spinning.” Nederland Mayor Kris Larsen …

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Watch the Film, Carving Joy

Film About the Carousel Now Available for Streaming! Carving Joy is an award-winning, short documentary film about the origins of the Carousel of Happiness and its founder, Scott Harrison. Produced by Reel Inspired Media, the film debuted at the 2020 Mountainfilm festival and is now available for streaming on Vimeo for $10 per view. Fifty percent of the proceeds, after taxes and fees, will go to support the Carousel, the inspiration for this touching film. The free trailer is posted …

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Vote Now for Mayor of the Carousel!

To cast your vote, simply make a donation of any size to the candidate of your choice… Vote as many times as you like through Memorial Day Weekend. The candidate with the most support wins! THE POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED

Sweetheart Ride – Feb. 14

Bring your sweetheart to the Carousel of Happiness on Valentine’s Day for a special Sweetheart Ride… Buy one ticket and your “sweetheart” rides for free. We’ve hosted numerous weddings and proposals. Your visit could be the start of something special!

Kids “Safari” Offered by Beanstalk

Join Mr. Josh of Beanstalk.com on a special safari as he visits Nederland’s own Carousel of Happiness! Thanks to Beanstalk for providing this free, one-hour recorded program for kids ages 3-6. https://vimeo.com/506278475/64d97bc8e9  

Exclusive for the Holiday Season

The Carousel of Happiness is excited to share our 2020 Holiday Exclusive “Bundles of Joy,” curated and specially wrapped for the holidays! Access the items in our online store for local pickup or shipment to your home. If you are ordering a book package, you can specify whether you would like your book signed and personalized, by entering the name and message in the order notes during checkout.   “The Stockings Were Hung from the Chimney with Care” – $25 …

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Holiday Animal Adoption Special

The Carousel is pleased to offer a Holiday Animal Adoption Special through the end of 2020. For a $179 donation (paid before the end of the year), you can adopt a Carousel animal through the first quarter of 2021. You will receive an adoption certificate for your animal and a Carousel of Happiness T-shirt in orange or burgundy (please specify size and preferred color). An animal adoption makes a great gift for someone you love—and helps us keep the Carousel …

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Support the Carousel on Colorado Gives Day

Colorado Gives Day is coming up quickly, on Tuesday, Dec. 8th. Schedule your donation to the Carousel of Happiness today and help us reach our goal of $80,000 by the end of the year to keep the Carousel spinning for years to come. Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Donations are accepted for qualified nonprofits through ColoradoGives.org. Carousel donors of $150 and above will receive access to view …

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Carousel of Spookiness

Celebrate Halloween with us at the Carousel of Spookiness! We are excited that Halloween falls on a Saturday this year and can’t wait to see you!! Our event will be a little different this year as the Carousel animals will not be able to dress in costume, so we are looking to our guests to get creative and come dressed for some spooky fun. Buy one ride, get one free for all who come dressed up for Halloween! Open regular …

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Historic Carousel Goat Rocker on Display

This carving is beyond unique! Its scale is seldom seen for a rocking horse, goat or anything else that rocks. The design for this goat dates to the very early 1900’s with Robert Muller, a German immigrant who studied as a young man at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. According to the authoritative website CarouselHistory.com, “ A sample of fine early 1900 carousel horse (mostly) carvings all attributed to the talented Daniel Carl Muller. Muller’s figures are understandably some …

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Grandparents Day

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” Happy Grandparents Day on Sunday, Sept. 13th! All you grandparents, come take a ride with your grandchildren…Grandparents ride free on Sunday. Sprinkle a little of your magic. Masks required 3 years of age and up. Don’t Delay Joy!

Enjoy the Fall Colors in Nederland

Make plans to stop by the Carousel of Happiness this fall and see the aspen changing colors along the Peak to Peak Scenic Highway. Nederland is a prime viewing area for fall colors, which usually peak in late September/early October. We plan to continue our summer schedule through the “leaf peeping” season so you can enjoy a ride on your favorite carousel animal while visiting the area.

Carousel Named Top 3 Family Favorite

The Carousel of Happiness has been named a Top 3 Family Favorite by Colorado Parent magazine. And, the recognition comes in two categories — Family Day Trip and Birthday Party Spot. Make plans to visit us today!

Adopt a Carousel Animal

As part of the Carousel’s 10th Anniversary Campaign, we are discounting Carousel animal adoptions to $600 per year if you adopt an animal by August 31st. And, if you have adopted an animal in the past, you can re-adopt for $500 per year. Animal adoptions include a brass plate with a custom inscription of your choice, which is displayed at the base of your animal. Animal adoptions are a terrific gift for a birthday, anniversary or wedding; as well as …

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National Carousel Day – July 25

Celebrate National Carousel Day with a ride on our unique, hand-carved carousel! Experience simple joy, while taking a step back in time to ride this 110-year-old, magical machine. Hours are 10 am-6 pm on Saturday, July 25–and rides are still only $2.   

Shop in our Expanded Online Store

The Carousel has launched an expanded online store to better serve carousel fans during the pandemic. The online store includes more than 40 items from the Carousel Gift Shop, ranging from books to T-shirts to ride tickets. Items can be shipped to your home or arranged to be picked up curbside. Visit www.carouselofhappiness.org/shop/ to peruse the online shelves. Or just click on “Shop” in the menu bar of our webpage. Thank you for supporting the Carousel of Happiness!  

Covid-19 Impact on the Carousel

As summer approaches and some areas of the U.S. are relaxing stay-at-home restrictions, the Carousel is starting to get questions about when we will reopen. We have compiled the following Q&A for our visitors and will update it periodically as more information becomes available. Is the Carousel closed? Yes. Unfortunately, the Carousel was closed to the public on March 12 and remains closed until further notice. The Carousel Board of Directors decided to take this proactive measure after Colorado’s governor …

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Community Band Organ Concerts

On April 26, the Carousel launched a series of band organ concerts for the Nederland community so that residents can enjoy the old familiar sounds of the carousel, and we can continue to share the joy during the Covid-19 pandemic while the carousel is closed. The concerts will take place on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 3 pm in the shopping center parking lot, and feature our 1913 Wurlitzer band organ playing assorted old-time music. Local residents are encouraged to …

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Carousel Closure

In order to be proactive in our response to the spread of the coronavirus, the Carousel closed on March 12 until further notice. We regret any inconvenience and we extend our heartfelt wish that our community stay healthy and safe. We will be engaging our staff in spring cleaning efforts and plan to continue to post messages to our community via our social media accounts during this period. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s happening and stay …

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a ‘Sweetheart Ride’

Bring your sweetheart into the Carousel on Valentines’ Day for a special Sweetheart Ride from 4 to 7 pm. Buy one ticket and your “sweetheart” rides for free. We’ll have this sweet hand-painted Looff carousel frame for your photo opps and Valentine’s stickers for the kids all day on Feb. 14. What better way to say “I love you” than a ride on the Carousel of Happiness!  

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Summer Hours begin May 26! Open Every Day!


11am to 5pm


11am 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




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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!