Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more with advance reservations. They may be scheduled almost any day and time throughout the year, even when the Museum is not open to the general public. Tours should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, and all visits are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
Tours can be adapted to all ages, from preschool to senior citizen. The price for guided tours is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 2-16. Tour company representatives, teachers, and Scout leaders are given complimentary admission with the group.
Guided tours last approximately 1 hour. Our docents lead visitors throughout the public spaces in the factory complex, explaining the history of carousel and band organ production in the Tonawandas, and the operation of this particular factory.
Tour groups view large photo murals mounted throughout the building showing the factory complex in operation in 1919, as well as the carving shop, the music roll production shop, and the Lockman Exhibit. All visits end with a ride on either our 1916 #1 Special adult carousel or our Kiddie Carousel in the Children’s Gallery.
Other amenities include a wonderful gift shop, picnic tables outside, handicapped-accessible restrooms and motor coach parking. For more information, or to schedule a tour, contact the museum at (716) 693-1885. We would be happy to assist with other arrangements you may require for your visit to the Tonawandas.
In School Program
The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum field trips offer unique experiences, like seeing our perforator machine that creates band organ rolls (one of the first forms of coding!) and viewing simple machines at work (there are plenty throughout the museum). In 2016, the Carrousel Museum received the Excellence in Collaboration Award from the Erie County Association of School Boards for our “T-NT (Tonawanda – North Tonawanda) STEAM is Dynamite!” program. Join us for fun, interactive tours, and brand new workshops in our Education Center. Students will have the opportunity to participate in award winning, hands on learning and see practical applications of their curriculum throughout our museum. Our exhibits offer the opportunity to ride an authentic 1916 Herschell Carrousel, and tour the factory it was hand carved and assembled in!
The cost of our workshops is $6.00/person. The museum requires one (FREE) adult chaperone for every 10 children visiting the museum. Additional chaperones are welcomed at the discounted cost of $5.00/adult. Each workshop can be facilitated on site at the museum or in your school. Contact Megan Hahin, the Education Director, at email@example.com to find out more information.
The following is a brief description of each program:
Workshops (Suggested for 4th and 5th grade students)
45 minutes program and 45 minute museum tour (90 minutes total)
- Energy: Students will learn about electricity and how it relates to the carrousel. They will participate in a workshop using squishy circuits to learn about closed and open circuits. Students will use conductive play dough to experiment with circuits in groups.
- Simple Machines: Students will tour the museum and go on a scavenger hunt for simple machines. They will be given a ride on our complex machine, the 1916 Carrousel! Students will have the opportunity to build their own complex machine, a moving carrousel horse out of cardboard.
- Kinetic and Potential Energy: Students will learn about Newton’s Laws by taking a ride on our Carrousel. They will participate in a Newton’s Carnival and learn about Newton’s Laws by playing carnival games.
- The Erie Canal: Students will learn about the historic Erie Canal and its importance to WNY. They will write a journal entry as a child traveling on the canal 100 years ago.
Outreach can be used as an introduction to field trips and workshops. Limit 30 students. 45 minutes – 60 minutes per program.
- Potential and Kinetic Energy: Students will learn about potential and kinetic energy by building their own marble run roller coasters out of pipe insulation and simple building materials. They will work in groups in 4-5, and have requirements for their marble run roller coasters.
- Simple Machines: Students will learn about the 6 simple machines and cartoonist Rube Goldberg. Rube Goldberg used simple machines to create complex machines to complete a simple task. They will watch videos with Rube Goldberg machines, and search for simple machines. Students will work in groups of 4-5 to design and attempt to build their own Rube Goldberg Machine.
- Energy: Students will learn about electricity and how it relates to the carrousel. They will participate in a workshop using squishy circuits to learn about closed and open circuits. Students will use conductive play dough to experiment with circuits in groups of 4-5.
- The Erie Canal: Students will learn about the historic Erie Canal and its importance to WNY. While working in groups students will play a board game about life on the Erie Canal. They will use their knowledge to write a journal entry as a child traveling on the canal 100 years ago.
Other workshops and outreach is available through consultation with the Museum Educator. Please call (716)693-1885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss educational opportunities
For a series of additional entertaining and informative tours, visit the Webster’s Bistro & Bar (http://webstersbistro.com/tour-groups/).