|The wooden carousel at Mitchell Park in Greenport is a scenic waterfront spot to take a spin on a vintage ride.|
As you approach Greenport from the west, the open space of Mitchell Park grabs your attention when you enter the downtown area. The carousel is located in a large rotunda featuring windows that can be opened up, weather permitting. There is plenty of municipal parking in Greenport, but much of it is found on the north side of route 25, behind the line of stores. This means that traffic gets easily snarled as cars cruise up and down looking for an open space on the street. Save yourself the time and headache and head right for the north lots -- it's a short walk to anywhere in the town.
While there are no picnic tables to be found at Mitchell Park, the amphitheater provides for lots of seating overlooking the harbor. There are also covered pavilions to the rear of the theater, but there's no fixed seating in this area. Many of the restaurants in Greenport offer takeout, and this is a nice place to sit and have a meal or just a snack.
The main plaza at Mitchell Park is paved and features four large tower misters. They weren't running on the hot and sunny day that we visited, but the kids sure would have loved to take a run through them if they had been. It may be just as well, however, since there are no public restrooms at the park.
The carousel itself is a fun ride, with vintage painted horses that gallop and a few stationary seats for anyone who doesn't appreciate bobbing up and down on top of spinning around. At $2, the cost for a ride is reasonable, plus the carousel offers the old-fashioned opportunity to catch a brass ring for a free ride. They're not shy about giving these out, so a skilled ring-catcher could ride all day. The waterfront location gives this carousel an edge as one of the best rides on Long Island, and well worth the trip out east.
One thing the town of Greenport is not short on is food. There are many restaurants and ice cream parlors all along main street and down towards the harbor. The sidewalks have been around forever and are a little narrow to navigate comfortably with a stroller. At the marina, the famous Claudio's restaurant has three locations, and their Crabby Jerry's is a perfect spot to take kids. They're well-prepared for little ones, with stacks of highchairs and an extensive kiddie menu for $6.95 a plate. You have to order at a window and bring your food to your table, but what you give up in table service you gain in the ability to get in and out at your own pace and the unlimited supply of napkins. And the dining area itself can't be beat -- a covered veranda with the option to sit in the sun right out over the harbor. When they get tired of watching the boats go by, your kids can peer over the edge of the dock and watch the schools of tiny fish dart about or see the jellyfish hover. If you're the kind of parent who likes to punish their kids by making them go shopping, there's plenty of that in Greenport as well.
The Mitchell Park Carousel in Greenport is open every day during the summer from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. In the offseason, it is open only on weekends weather permitting. During the winter, Mitchell Park is the home of an outdoor ice skating rink. There is also a blacksmith shop that demonstrates the ancient art of metalworking on the weekends.
Greenport Carousel at Mitchell ParkOfficial Site: http://www.greenportvillage.com/mitchellpark.html
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TeeFour Productions, Inc.