Fete Paradiso on Governors Island: The Vintage Carnival Is a Magical Experience for Kids and Adults
By now you may have heard about Fête Paradiso, the summer-long installation of vintage French carnival rides and attractions on Governors Island. Everyone's been writing about it, including us, but we wanted to experience it in person to see if it really was as awesome as it sounded. So despite the threat of rain, my seven-year-old daughter and I went on opening day and I can say without reservation that it's the most fun we've had this summer.
With its Victorian houses, lush lawns, lack of cars and old-time vibe, Governors Island is already a fantastic seasonal destination. Fête Paradiso makes it even more magical and if you click through our slide show, it's easy to see why. When you get off the ferry, just follow the spray-painted merry-go-round horses on the ground to Nolan Park where you'll find meticulously restored carousels, flying swings, swing boats and other rides from the 19th and early 20th centuries. But the rides aren't its raison d'être: Fête Paradiso is all about atmosphere and it transports you to old-world Europe with mimes, musicians and French cuisine.
Before you hop a ferry back in time to Fête Paradiso, we've got some insider tips that will help you make the most out of your visit with kids.