For many, riding one of the iconic carved wooden horses on Nunley's Carousel is a quintessential childhood must-do.
Nunley's Carousel originated in Canarsie, Brooklyn, in 1912 and was later relocated to Nunley's Amusement Park in Baldwin, where it remained until 1995. The beloved carousel celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012, where it now resides on Museum Row in Garden City.
Riding one of the 41 horses or one lion on the carousel was a rite of passage for many Long Islanders -- and some are experiencing the classic ride as adults with their children.
Think you know everything there is to know about one of LI's most treasured attractions? Take a look at 20 secrets and fun facts we found about Nunley's Carousel.
In 1912, Nunley's Carousel was located in Canarsie
Nunley's Carousel was built in 1912 by The Stein and Goldstein Artistic Carousell Co. of Brooklyn. It was first located in Golden City Park in Canarsie and stayed there until 1939, when the park was demolished to make way for the Belt Parkway. The building on the left is the carousel building.
William Nunley moved his carousel to Baldwin in 1939
In 1939, William Nunley moved his carousel and the big white carousel building to Baldwin. The carousel that was originally located in this building was moved to the 1939 World's Fair.
Nunley's Carousel lived in Baldwin for 56 years
Nunley's Carousel remained in Baldwin until 1995. The other rides were auctioned off and the entire carousel was put into storage.
The carousel was restored in Ohio
In 2007, the entire carousel was shipped to Carousel Works in Ohio for a complete restoration.
Nunley's Carousel lives at the Cradle of Aviation
Nunley's Carousel opened in Garden City on Museum Row next to the Cradle of Aviation in 2009. This is where the present-day carousel resides.
The music played during a carousel ride is a band organ
The carousel features an original Wurlitzer 153 band organ. Although the band organ can play using perforated paper rolls, it currently operates using a modern midi system.
Billy Joel wrote one of the songs played on the carousel
Billy Joel wrote a song in tribute to Nunley's Carousel titled Waltz #1 (Nunley's Carousel). It's one of the songs played on the band organ throughout the day.
Billy Joel sponsored a horse on the carousel
Pennies for Ponies (the child-run organization that helped to raise funds to restore the carousel) named a horse in Billy Joel's honor as a thank you for the time, effort and financing he put in to re-record "Nunley's Carousel" to be compatible with the band organ. Joel autographed the sheet music that was placed inside this horse. On opening day, the first ride on his horse was given to a child through the Make a Wish Foundation. He did, however, name the horse "Penny" as a nod to Pennies for Ponies.
A time capsule lives inside one of the horses
Inside the lead horse, which is hollow, is a time capsule containing newspaper articles and pictures that tell the story of the carousel and its restoration through 2009.
The carousel features popular Long Island images
The rounding boards on the carousel feature current and past historical sites located in Nassau County.
Aliens are present on the carousel
There is an alien spaceship painted on one of the carousel's rounding boards. You'll need X-ray vision to see it.
Horses aren't the only animals on the carousel
In addition to the 41 horses and one large lion, there are 28 animals hiding on the carousel. This owl rides on the lion's saddle. See if you can find others on your next ride.
Nunley's horses receive beauty treatments
The horses' tails are made from real horse hair. They get brushed and conditioned weekly.
Nunley's was mentioned on a hit HBO show
Nunley's Carousel was mentioned on an episode of HBO's "Entourage," starring Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon and Adrian Grenier. It was spoken about as an amusement destination on Long Island.
Couples have said 'I do' on Nunley's Carousel
There have been numerous weddings and endless wedding photos taken on the carousel.
Nunley's Carousel has welcomed famous people
Many famous people have ridden Nunley's Carousel. Howard Stern mentioned he visited Nunley's on one of his radio shows. Pictured is famed car customizer George Barris enjoying a spin. Even "Star Wars" re-enactors have been spotted.
Horses are named by Long Island schoolchilden
Many of the horses are named by local schoolchildren whose schools have "adopted" the horse.
The loud bell rings actually represent something
The very loud former ship's bell signals one ring for seat belt check. Two rings means the ride is about to start.
The lion predates the carousel by 20 years
No one knows why the lion was included in the herd of horses, and he predates the carousel by 20 years. Guesses range from religious origins to a symbol of good luck.
You can win a free ride on the carousel
Fewer than 20 vintage carousels in the country still have ring machines to offer their riders an opportunity to grab the brass ring and win a free ride. Nunley's Carousel still boasts its original ring machine.