Silver Beach Carousel Attractions

While you could ride the Carousel for hours without getting bored, we hope you will hop off and explore our other attractions during your visit. Peer closely at delicately refurbished artifacts from the Original Silver Beach Amusement Park, interact with our mechanical attractions and take some photos for the road! Here’s everything you can do before you hop on your next ride:

Original horse figure.

Seasonal horse displays

Occasionally, two of the original horse figures from the original Silver Beach Carousel are on display in the Carousel House for the summer. One stands in the classic stargazer pose. A rare collector’s treasure, it has been stripped of its paint so you can see the details of carver Charles Carmel’s masterful work in the basswood. The carousel jewels and natural horsehair tail add to this steed's heirloom beauty.

Many golden days ago, the other original figure, an intricately carved Arabian steed, spun for hours over the sands of Silver Beach. Carver Carmel captured the refined, high-spirited strength and beauty of this magnificent, ancient breed. This horse from the original Silver Beach Carousel holds thousands of nights of happy stories from riders who mounted its back and rode into a mysterious land of flying carpets and wish-granting genies. It was fully restored by a collector and returned home along Lake Michigan.

Carousel Band Organ

Original Carousel Band Organ

The Silver Beach Carousel had three band organs over its 50-plus years of operation. The model on display today was the third and last to operate in the park. Originally manufactured by the Herschell Spillman Company in 1911, its ownership and location before 1945 is unknown. It was located at the Silver Beach Amusement Park in St. Joseph, Michigan, from 1945 to 1972 until the park’s closing. In July 2001, Ben F. Donaldson II of St. Joseph, his wife Alice, and their family formally donated the band organ to the Silver Beach Carousel Society, Inc. After a full restoration, the organ once again thrills the ear with the familiar marches and waltzes known to generations of carousel riders. The current Silver Beach Carousel alternates between playing this original organ and the new organ for riders.

Kiddyland Rocket

Kiddyland artifacts

Horace “Chief” Terrill, the son-in-law of Silver Beach Amusement Park creator Logan Drake, was constantly looking for new ways to expand the popular destination. The Baby Boomer generation was too young for large rides like the Velvet Coaster, but the sheer size of the generation meant missing out on a great deal of extra revenue. So, Kiddyland was opened to breathe new life into the park in the 1950s. Kiddyland featured miniature versions of popular rides reserved for children too small for the thrills around them.

Today, the Carousel sometimes displays old ride seats from the park. There is also a rocket hanging in the Brass Ring Gift Shop from Kiddyland. These pieces have been restored, but the seats remain untouched. Before you take a ride on the Carousel, imagine yourself at a young age full of childlike wonder, scooting into these worn benches, gleefully giggling. With the same excitement, create your own memories during your visit. 

Kids enjoying looking at the Silver Beach Carousel Diorama.

Silver Beach Carousel Diorama

Most of our visitors never saw the original Silver Beach Amusement Park, but they can get a sense of the wonder visitors felt when they look at this diorama. Made by a volunteer who has since gone glimmering, Ralph Kitron created this masterpiece which whirs and spins to life the way the amusement park once did. Watch dancers glide across the ballroom, the roller coaster launch another cart and the carousel spin. Just pay a small fee and push the button.

Laughing Sal

Meet Laffing Sal

Silver Beach Amusement Park’s original Laughing/Laffing Sal left quite the mark entertaining, and sometimes terrifying, her visitors. The replica we have today was built by volunteer Ken Kaszubowski. The boisterous guffawing you’ll hear is a recording of the original Sal’s laughter. To this day, when now-adults hear Sal’s laughter, they still get the shivers recalling her gapped-tooth grin and rocking body. Move closer to her and press the lighted button — you’ll learn why she’s so unforgettable.

Special Thanks to LECO Corporation, St. Joseph, MI for donating the original Shadowland Ballroom ticket booth that houses our replica Laffing Sal.

kid standing on the original ballroom dance floor.

Shadowland Ballroom photo-op

The original Shadowland Ballroom housed many cherished memories. Couples young and old met, fell in love, had first dates and, after decades together, danced there. The Brass Ring Gift Shop has set up a piece of the original Shadowland Ballroom floor to take your picture on. In the background is a blown-up photo of one magical night at the original ballroom.

A mother and child looking at photos from the photo booth.

Photo Booth

Step right up, come inside! Make sure to stop in the photo booth with your group for two strips of photos to remember your visit. Find the up-to-date cost in our pricing guide.

Miniature train display.

Miniature Train Display

Our miniature train theme changes throughout the year, so be sure to come see it often! Halloween, Under the Sea and Christmas themes and more have graced the display over the years. Pop in a token or a quarter to watch it chug around the track.

the great danzini

The Great Danzini

Similar to a Zoltar fortune teller, The Great Danzini made by Dan Smith, will tell you what your future holds for a small fee. It could be a free bag of popcorn from the Refreshment Stand.

Contact Us

To ask a question about the Carousel or provide feedback about your experience fill out the information on our contact page.

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