The wonderful carousel at Tilden has a century-old history, from being a traveling merry-go-round that moved from town to town, to the 'permanent' carousel that originally sat at Silver Springs section of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, to being the 'permanent' carousel in San Diego,
Sold by the original family who had it built, the carousel was later bought back when the family finally decided to make the merry-go-round 'settle down' in the hills of Berkeley.
Originally a three- lane carousel, this wonderful machine had a fourth lane added between one of its several moves. This lovely mostly-original merry-go-round has 53 animals (horses, a boar, a tiger, a lion, a chicken and a rooster, a pelican, and a gryphonish sea horse, as well as a spinning cup, a rocking boat and two chariots with benches and three child-size horses to keep the little ones from fear-induced panic attacks.
When we were last there, one tiny blonde fairie-girl was in tears at being placed atop what must have seemed to her a monster horse - the music was loud and the bright colors and blazing lights had knocked her right out of her comfort zone. But, like many children first encountering a carousel, by the time the ride was 1/3 over, she was smiling and looking about in wonder, finally able to enjoy herself.
The carousel has a nice sunny lawn around half its space with the parking lot on the other half, and families often come there to picnic.
Tilden also has other attractions, including great hiking trails, a child-scale steam train, Lake Anza, botanic gardens,gorgeous vistas, and wonderful picnic areas.
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