Conservation Carousel

Open Daily at 10:00 a.m.

Hours may vary; depending on staffing, weather, and attendance.  

The carousel has been newly painted and stained! Try out some of our 4 brand new mounts next time you take a spin!

Take a ride on the beautiful antique carousel located near the main plaza.  Children under 42″ tall must be accompanied by an adult. If the child is too young to ride alone and must be supported, the child needs a ticket, but the parent rides free. Purchase tickets at the carousel booth. Subject to the cooperation of weather and Zoo maintenance.


Carousel $3.50
All Day Pass $4.50

Today’s Schedule | Rider Policy…

About the Zoo’s antique Conservation Carousel

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For many children, one of their favorite features of the Louisville Zoo is its beautiful restored antique Conservation Carousel.  This turn-of-the century carousel was built in 1919 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, one of the premier carousel makers in the world at that time. The carousel that is known as PTC#49 and is nicknamed the Old 49, found its way from Clementon, New Jersey to Marion Ohio in 1996.

There it was meticulously restored by Carousel Concepts before making its way to the Louisville Zoo in 2000 with the help of the Mary Lee and Adam Burkle Charitable Remainer Trust. It stands majestically at two stories tall, has a 24-foot tall center mast and displays over 700 lights; the rounding boards, shields and inside scenery panels are reminiscent of bygone days. The handsome pavilion was built in Louisville with support from the Paul Ogle Foundation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When refurbished, the carousel’s original 48 wooden horses and 2 chariots were replaced with non-wooden replicas echoing the vintage feeling of a nostalgic ride. The Zoo has since replaced 24 horses with hand-carved and painted wooden animals of all kinds, many endangered. The most recent additions include a butterfly, Komodo dragon, penguin and Canada lynx.

Dr. Bill Foster, Zoo Director at the time of the carousel’s arrival, stated that the carousel is a unique way to accomplish the Zoo’s mission “to better the bond between people and our planet.” He explained that “for young children, the carousel is a gentle introduction to the world of animals; for adults it is a reminder of the need to conserve our rich resources for the next generation.” He added, “I can see these children bringing their children to the Zoo and telling them ‘when I was your age, I always rode the cheetah.’”

Be a part of history!

Commission a hand-carved wooden animal for the Conservation Carousel. All donors will be recognized on a plaque installed on the Carousel pavilion. To learn more, contact the Development Office at (502) 238-5615.