GLEN ECHO, Md. – Fun is part of the mission for the National Park Service. When it created the agency in 1916, Congress charged that park lands be managed for visitor enjoyment. This week’s National Park Getaway has specialized in fun for more than a century.

Glen Echo Park National Park Park Panger

A ranger hands out tickets for the carousel to a group of visiting youth. (NPS/Diana Bowen)

Glen Echo Park has an intriguing history of entertainment, education and amusement. Today that has evolved into a modern-day recreational park, complete with a working carousel and innovative arts and entertainment activities.

In the hustle and bustle at the park’s center, you’ll find yourself surrounded by numerous arts and culture activities, such as glass blowing and pottery throwing. The numerous artists, studios, and classes that make up this vibrant scene are organized by the non-profit Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture.

In summer, the center of the park is dominated by the whirl of colors and percussive notes of the 1921 Denzel Carousel and 1926 Wurlitzer Band Organ.

The 2012 summer season gets underway on Family Day, Saturday, April 28, when the carousel and the band organ reopen. Rangers offer a variety of programs throughout the summer, such as the morning bird watch, the invading suburban backyards program, and Glen Echo Park and carousel tours. Exciting activities are on tap for kids who participate in the Junior Ranger Program. Be sure to check the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Cultures website for additional programs, courses, dances, and concert series.

Glen Echo Park’s amusement era motto is as true today as it was 50 years ago, “Fun is where you find it at Glen Echo Park!”

On the bluffs above the Potomac River, and just minutes from Washington, DC, Glen Echo Park is accessible by car or public bus.

This week’s National Park Getaway paints a full picture at

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