Best Place to Act 9 Years Old - 2003
Carousel at Yerba Buena Gardens
Call it a merry-go-round if you must, but this is no ordinary amusement-park ride. Built in 1906 and in operation at Playland-at-the-Beach from 1912 to 1972, the Carousel is a time-tripping link to another era. Even if you're not old enough to have hopped a ride back in the day, or if you choose to forgo the pleasure and leave the riding to the little ones, it's impossible not to be transported to a time when the words "built to last" actually meant something. Children, who can't be bothered with ancient history, will simply be enthralled by the giraffes and camels alongside the customary horses and chariots. Lavishly detailed and lovingly restored, the Carousel is celebrating its fifth anniversary on the Yerba Buena Gardens rooftop at the entrance to Zeum, the children's art and technology center. Tickets run just two smackers, and are good for two rides. Personal to tourists in shorts: The Carousel is housed in a glass pavilion, offering respite from the elements, and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.