Fun fact: Griffith Park is over 5 times bigger than NY’s Central Park. With hikes, zoos, museums, beer (!), trains, playgrounds, ponies, golf, a carousel and lots more (all costing very little or nothing at all) it’s time to click through the slideshow and discover a baker’s dozen of the coolest places you just might not have visited in our gigantic urban forest.

We Go Round and Round

Since 1937 this carousel has been giving rides to the children of Los Angeles. Sure, it may be a little rough around the edges after all these years, but the Griffith Park Carousel has something no shiny new carousel can boas—it has history. All 68 of these jumpers are hand-carved and hand-painted. It also has a huge antique band organ that includes moving figurines, detailed woodwork and *loud* music. The carousel is open weekends all year and all week during winter, spring and summer school vacations. Rides are just $2.

Bonus: This is where Disneyland was first imagined. Walt Disney would sit on a bench here and watch his girls ride, every Saturday. Today, Walt’s bench has been moved from Griffith Park to Main Street in Disneyland, and a plaque reads “The actual park bench from Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round in Los Angeles, where Walt Disney first dreamed of Disneyland.”

Find It: 4730 Crystal Springs Rd.
Learn More: laparks.org/dos/parks/griffithpk/mgr.htm

photo: Alex D. via Yelp

What’s your favorite thing to do in Griffith Park?  We want to know!  Meet you in the comment section…

—Meghan Rose