Treat yourself to a trip back in time this weekend at the beautiful Fête Paradiso on Governors Island. Every Saturday and Sunday until September 29th, visitors can marvel at an exquisite collection of vintage carnival rides from Paris - and even try some of them out! So if you're free this weekend, head over to the island and put your pedal to the metal on the bicycle ride, have a drink in a repurposed bumper car, or play vintage games on the idyllic grounds of Nolan Park in Governors Island.
Fête Paradiso made its American debut this summer on Governors Island, traveling all the way to New York from Paris. The collection of vintage carnival rides includes gorgeously carved pieces from the late 19th century and early 20th century, each meticulously restored by a family of artisans. Set atop Nolan Park’s grassy knoll, the festival is like an escape from New York and is free to wander through, with rides costing just $3 each.
A bevy of wooden carousels, both functioning and for display only, are arranged around the lawn, giving each visitor the pick of their favorite animal to ride. A bicycle carousel from 1892 lets riders pedal their way around the track, using their own pedal power to help the ride go. Visitors can spread their wings and fly on the vintage swings, or try their hand at the Music-Hall Ball Guzzler game, which features wooden caricatures of Josephine Baker and Charlie Chaplin.
French restaurant Le Gamin will be serving up French cuisine at the fête, in addition to a beer and wine stand. Visitors can imbibe and nosh under chandeliers hanging from a decorative bumper car arcade, which has been repurposed into a dining pavilion.
As always, the Governors Island Ferry to the Fête Paradiso is free, making for an inexpensive family day out to a magical carnival like you’ve never experienced before.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat
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