People walking outside chavis park carousel

John Chavis Memorial Park

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Park Alerts Community Center Historic Allan Herschell Carousel Outdoor Track Fields Rentals (Shelters, Fields, Rooms) Community Center Hours Carousel Hours

Year 1937 | Acres 28.87 | Landmarks Near Shaw University

Home to the No. 2, Special Three Abreast, Allan Herschell Carousel since 1937.  In April 2016, John Chavis Memorial Park was added to the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.  The park also includes a half-mile section of the Capital Area Greenway Trail.



Community Center | 919-831-6989
Director Grady Bussey
Assistant Director Adrian Starks

Carousel | 919-996-3286
Scott Mott, 919-996-6463
Historic Resources and Museum Program


John Chavis Memorial Park
505 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Raleigh, NC 27601



Park Alerts

Design rendering of the future John Chavis Memorial Park community center
  • The community center is closed so that we can pack and get ready to move into our new location. Patrons will be invited to visit the old community center for one last time in Spring 2021, based on construction timelines. Please check back for exact dates and details.
  • The north parking lot, playground, carousel, pool area, and tennis courts are closed for renovation. 
  • The following park facilities remain open: outdoor track, fields, greenway trail, picnic shelters, and areas west of the stream.

Read more about the John Chavis Memorial Park Phase 1 Improvements

Community Center

The front of the John Chavis Community Center with stairs and foliage in bloom

Center Programs

Community Center Amenities

  • Media center
  • Dance room
  • Community room
  • Clubroom: equipped with technology from Lenovo

See Rentals and Rates​​

weight machines and treadmills within chavis park fitness room

Fitness Room

The fitness room has two treadmills, stationary bike, elliptical machine, free weights, and Adults with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant universal machine. The monthly pass is $10, must be 18 or older.

air hockey and fooseball tables with folded up ping pong table at the chavis park game room

Game Room

The game room has board games, an air hockey table, a foosball table, a television, and ping pong. 

empty full court view of gymnasium inside chavis park community center

Gymnasium at the John Chavis Memorial Park community center


Seats 300, has several basketball hoops, and is available as a rental for $65 an hour.

View other court locations.

Historic Allan Herschell Carousel

Family with two girls smiling on the carousel horses at chavis park
The carousel is closed due to the construction of the John Chavis Memorial Park improvements project.

The carousel, circa 1923, was purchased in 1937 for $4,000. The band organ is a Wurlitzer 146A with an ornately carved and decorated facade. Carousel hours vary depending on the season and may close early due to inclement weather.

  • Tickets are $1.50 for all riders 1 year of age and older.
  • Riders 12 months and younger are free with a paying adult.
  • Riders must be 42 inches tall to ride unaccompanied.
  • Ticket sales close 10 minutes prior to closing.

For more information, call 919-996-3286.

Outdoor Track

track lanes with grassy field at chavis park
  • Walking track with sprint lanes
  • Lighted
  • Water fountain and benches


dirt baseball field surround by grass outfield and lights at chavis park

Youth Baseball Field #2

  • Distance: 185ft
  • Lighting: Yes

Multipurpose Field

  • 300' x 210'
  • Field not lighted (lighting on track only)

 View other field locations.

Request your field rental online using RecLink or by contacting Athletics at 919-996-2154.

Take note: Requests will be subject to staff approval. Upon approval, payment will be required to confirm the reservation. Your reservation is not finalized until you receive confirmation of your payment.

Rentals (Shelters, Fields, Rooms)

medium sized round picnic shelter with grass and flowers in bloom around it.

Shelter 3

John Chavis Memorial Park has meeting rooms, two fields, dance room, media center, picnic shelters and gymnasiums available for rent. 

Find Rates and Rental Information

Community Center Hours

10:00 am-9:00 pm
10:00 am-9:00 pm
10:00 am-9:00 pm
10:00 am-9:00 pm
10:00 am-9:00 pm
9:00 am-6:00 pm
noon - 6:00 pm

Carousel Hours

10:00 am-2:30 pm
10:00 am-2:30 pm
10:00 am-2:30 pm
10:00 am-2:30 pm
10:00 am-2:30 pm
10:00 am-2:30 pm
12:00 pm-6:00 pm

Upcoming Events