With the temperature rising and summer right around the corner, we are all looking for a summer vacation.
And not everyone can afford the time and money to leave for a different country or state.
So looking around New York City, we have to find somewhere to cool off this summer heat.
This is what Coney Island is for, a summer vacation within the city. And this is where Coney Island got its name from, the city’s summer playground.
As one of the Must-Visit Places in Brooklyn, Coney Island, also known as the people’s playground, was first opened with its first amusement park in 1895.
Ever since Coney Island has been the heart of Brooklyn and New York in the summertime, this place has become where new yorkers go to cool off the hot weather.
Coney island offers various entertainment activities. From sightseeing the Cyclone (wooden Roller Coaster) to the New York Aquarium, Luna amusement park, the famous boardwalk, the Atlantic beaches, the Brooklyn cyclone minor baseball leagues, to the famous Nathan hot dog, the list is just endless.
The sun-soaking, surfing, the thrills, the unique entertainment, and parades at Coney island all scream summer. Coney Island, the city’s summer playground, is the most electric place in summer.
So let us explore and join the heatwave of this city’s summer playground!
Some other neighborhoods you may want to check out. It is better to overview the complete neighborhoods of Brooklyn with the map before you continue.
- Bed Stuy
- Fort Greene
- Bay Ridge
- Brooklyn Heights
- Green Point
- Park Slope
Where is Coney Island?
Coney island, New York City’s amusement district, is located in the southwestern part of Brooklyn, New York City.
Coney Island, also known as the Coney Island peninsula, consists of Coney Island Proper, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach, two of the Best Beaches in Brooklyn. This Island extends 4 miles (6.4 km) in length and 0.5miles (0.8km) in width.
The Lower New York Bay surrounds Coney Island, from the south to the west. This fun center is then surrounded by Manhattan Beach and Brighton beach on the east and Gravesend to the north.
Some sections of the Sea Gate also neighbor Coney Island from the west.
When is Coney Island open?
Coney island operates seasonally. This fun center mainly operates from Easter to Halloween. Then closes for the winter season.
During the times that Coney Island operates, there are times it only opens for weekends, and there are other times when it opens both on weekends and weekdays. Let us see the schedule below:
After a long winter, the first time Coney Island opens is right around easter. From easter to Memorial day, rides and other general attractions are open, but only for weekends.
Then right at the end of May, which is marked by Memorial day and with the start of summer, Coney Island opens the whole day every day. All rides, amusement activities, and other actives become hot and busy in the area.
Though the beaches and boardwalk are open all year round, they start to be crowded, which is the highlight of along-awaited summer.
Things start to dial down right around labor day. Especially because schools begin to reopen and the weather gets cold.
From September 5th, labor day, to the end of October, Coney island goes back to being open only on weekends. Until it fully closes after Halloween, waiting for another year and another warm season.
What time does Coney Island open and close?
Coney Island has different sections that open during other parts of the day. And some don’t even close. The beach and boardwalk are open all the time.
Rides and other attractions are open from noon to late evening on weekdays when they fully start operating. This is only between memorial day and labor day. Then Coney Island goes back to being open only on weekends.
On weekends these rides and other attractions stay open till early morning, starting from noon.
Coney Island Boardwalk
Opened in 1923 on the south shore of the Coney Island peninsula, the Coney Island boardwalk (Riegelmann boardwalk) covers 2.7 miles (4.3km) of the area right beside the Atlantic beaches.
Coney Island boardwalk is the world’s second-largest boardwalk, next to the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Coney Island boardwalk connects with the West 37th Street to the west and Brighton on !5th street in Brighton Beach on the east.
This boardwalk has hosted many events throughout the years; one of the major ones still going is Nathan’s hotdog eating contest. The other one at the Coney Island boardwalk is the mermaid parade. This parade starts at West 37th Street and passes through the Coney Island boardwalk before ending at steeplechase plaza.
Coney Island Boardwalk is open all year round. And is also free, so anytime you feel like taking a stroll and just collecting your thoughts.
Coney Island Beach
Coney Island beach is an ideal escape from the scorching heat of the summer and the chaos of the city. These beaches lie on 3.1 miles (5km) and have various facilities and services available.
Coney Island beaches are one of the cleanest beaches. They are consistently cleaned and replenished. There are also several sports courts where you can partake in various game activities. There are volleyball courts, handball courts, and basketball courts.
There are lifeguards on the stand every day, from memorial day to labor day, and they are available from 10 am to 6 pm.
After swimming and playing, there is also a food court where you can find your favorite fast foods and replenish yourself.
Swimming at Coney Island
Swimming at Coney Island is only open for swimming during the beach days, which start from the weekend of memorial day to September 11.
Life Guards are on the watch every day during this time. And they are available from 10 am to 6 pm. And swimming when lifeguards are not on the clock is not allowed.
Things to do in Coney Island
Though there are many activities that you can do at Coney island, many of them are seasonal. One of the reasons for that is the weather.
To experience many of the available activities, summer is the best season as the island will be open every day, both on weekdays and weekends.
So now let us see some of the places you can visit and the activities that you can do.
Luna Park in Coney Island
1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224
One of the best places to visit at Coney Island is Luna Park. Luna Park is an amusement park that first opened in 1903 and operated until 1944. Then it was relocated to Astroland and was reopened in 1962, then after it was closed down in 2008.
The Luna amusement park we have today was opened in 2010. The park has 28 rides. One of the most exciting rides is the Coney Island Cyclone.
It is a wooden rollercoaster first built in 1927 and refurbished in the 1970s. This wooden roller coaster still is running and working perfectly.
Besides the rides, Luna Park also has various carnival games. Some of the games are Warpzone retro darkade, Luna Arcade, water racers, etc. In general, Luna, the park, has 13 carnival games.
It is one of the places at Coney island where the fun won’t just end, so make sure to drop by.
● Visit the New York Aquarium
602 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224, United States
Phone: 718 265 3474
If you ever come to Coney Island, New York Aquarium is one of the must-see places. This aquarium is found on the famous Coney Island boardwalk, and it is one of the hottest destinations.
One of their biggest showcases is the “Ocean Wonders: Sharks” this humongous tank contains 500,000 gallons of water, with 18 species of sharks in it.
In addition to the shark species, this tunnel tank also has other 115 species, including rays, sea turtles, and many other fish species.
Right before you leave, you will go through the Canyon’s Edge, where there is a single glass separating you from the sharks, and you will get to stare at them.
This is the deep-sea life in front of your eyes. This is an experience you shouldn’t miss for the world.
● Visit the Deno’s Wonder Wheel
3059 W 12th St, Brooklyn,
NY 11224, United States
The first and one of the most significant structures you will see when you get to Coney island is Deno’s Wonder Wheel. This structure has been named one of the area’s landmarks, as it has been standing right there since the 1920s.
Deno’s Wonder Wheel is not just a ferry wheel but an amusement park by itself. This ride has 16 different rides for kids that are family-friendly. And at the same time, five additional adult thrill rides that you can take part in.
Deno’s Wonder Wheel is one the best place to be, especially if you have brought kids with you to Coney island.
You will be surprised to hear that the first hotdog scene at Coney Island is not Nathan’s but Feltman’s. The original stopped selling in 1954. Now, Feltman’s hotdog can only be found in stores, so you can make it at home.
But one of the activities you must take part in while visiting Coney Island is trying the original Coney Island hot dogs.
Feltman’s has an important place in American history. Feltman was the place that started the hotdog in a bun craze. For the first time in history, hotdogs were served in a bun here at Feltman’s.
The German immigrant, Mr. Feltman, for the first time, put the bun in a long and easy to eat form and called it “red hot” in 1869, which later became a hotdog.
Now in place of Feltman’s, other hotdog places are satisfying the hotdogs demand of the customers.
So make sure to check them out.
● Catch a Coney Island Circus Sideshow
Coney Island Circus Sideshow is one of the most bizarre and crazy things in the midst of the island. But once you start looking, you will be left in awe. They showcase different magic tricks such as sword swallowing and fire-eating.
The American sideshow tradition has a long history, and Coney Sideshow has been working hard to preserve that performance culture on the street.
Free activities you can do at Coney Island.
During the highlight of the summer, Coney Island provides several activities that are free or are very cheap, where your only expense would be your transport method to get there.
Bellow, we will see some things that you can enjoy at Coney Island for free or almost for free.
Build a Sand Castel:
Nothing beats memory. Spending time with your family partaking in different activities is what stays up in kids’ memories when they grow up.
“We used to come here and build sandcastles with my dad every summer” you can’t put a monetary value on this.
And if you get a little competitive, Coney island has a sand-building contest that you can take part in with your family for free and even win and get something out of it besides memory.
This competition takes place from the W 10th through W 12th streets, between the boardwalk and the beach.
Catch a Seaside Concert
Though there are several concerts that take place at Coney Island which are not free, you can still enjoy some music for free by the seaside.
The Ford Amphitheater is the place where these seaside shows take place. They do have paid shows, but they also have a series of seaside concerts that are entirely free, which is an excellent addition to your day, creating a festive and hype vibe around the area.
What is more exciting than looking at dancing fireworks in the night sky, creating beautiful and art-like scenes? There are several firework scenes that you can enjoy from Coney Island.
You can watch the Brooklyn Cyclones fireworks after every match. You can also watch fireworks at Luna Park on Coney Island every Friday at 9:30 pm, starting from the last Friday of June to the last Friday before labor day. And all this, for free.
Enjoy the Sea breeze from the boardwalk.
What is more than taking in the beautiful scenery and breathing in the fresh sea breeze while taking a stroll on the boardwalk right beside the beach?
It is a great place to cool and take your mind off the hectic city life and get immersed in the wind.
It is not just the natural scenery here for you to enjoy, but also the rides and the amusement parks. And let’s be real, people-watching is a lot more fun than it is given credit for.
The famous mermaid parade is one of the most sought-after activities at Coney Island every year.
The mermaid parades take place right in the mid of June, on a Saturday. This event marks the opening of Coney Island’s beach season.
Many tourists from all over the world come to Coney Island to participate in this festival. People dressed in colorful and bright costumes might seem a little overboard and silly, but that is one of the reasons why it is loved by many. Most importantly, you can take part in this parade for free.
Learn about the history of Coney Island at the Coney Island Museum
Coney Island is a place that has a long and exciting history. Do you know hotdog was first sold at Coney Island?
Although such histories might not be taught broadly anywhere else, you can find almost everything that is there to know about Coney Island at the Coney Island Museum.
The Coney Island Museum is a museum with a vision of preserving the history of Coney Island. This museum showcases various photographs of Coney Island from different times, architectural elements used in Coney Island, and amusement-related pieces.
Coney Island Musem is not entirely free, it is $3 for kids and $5 for the general population, but compared to the services this place is giving to the community, we can say it is almost free. It is open on weekends and memorial day from noon to 5 pm.
Enjoy the 4th of July hotdog eating contest.
Nathan’s Famous Hotdog eating contest takes place every year on the 4th of July. Twenty contestants participate in a hotdog eating competition with a total cash price of $40,000.
You get to be part of the excited crowd supporting their favorite contestant.
Tan under the Sun
Last but not least is tanning under the sun, soaking up all the vitamin D and glowing with melanin. You can also enjoy swimming to cool off the heat.
This public beach is 3miles long and has sports courts, such as a basketball court, volleyball court, and handball courts. Under the bright, beautiful sun, you can enjoy ball sports on these courts while soaking up the sun beside the Atlantic Ocean breeze.
How to get to Coney Island?
Getting to Coney Island can be taken on using different transportation methods. You can either take the Bus, Express bus, train, or drive.
Using the bus: You can take the B36, B64, B68, B74, or B82 buses to get to Coney Island.
By the Express Bus: You can take the express bus if you are coming from Manhattan. You can take the X 28 or the X 38 bus.
Using the Train: To get to Coney Island, you can take the D, Q, N, or F train from Stillwell avenue.
Using your car: if you drive to Coney Island, take the Belt Parkway to exit 6. There will be several public parking services to park your car when you get there.
Following a map to where you want to go within Coney island is highly recommended.
How far is Coney Island from times square?
From Times Square to Coney island, it is about 12 miles. And the road distance is more than 15 miles, 15.3 miles to be specific.
Though there are various transportation methods we will see below, the most cost-effective way of transportation from times square to Coney island to actually driving. It costs $1-$3 and takes 25 minutes.
But that is if you have a car available to you. If not, there are other transportation methods from times square to Coney Island.
How to get to Coney Island from times square?
To get to Coney island from times square, if you are not driving, you can either take the train or the bus.
Using the subway:
All the N, Q, D, and D trains run through Coney Island. The N and Q train directly go to Coney Island from times square. The D and F train also leave just one block away from the 6th Ave.
Among these trains, Q is the quickest one to get to Coney Island from times square. But instead of waiting for the Q train to come, taking the other options is reasonable.
Using the bus:
There are also buses departing directly from times square to Coney Island and vice-versa. These buses depart on the 5 av/ W 41 St., arriving at W 17 St/ mermaid Av. These buses give service every day, and they make turns every hour.
The best way to get to Coney Island from times square is to take the subway. It takes about 52 minutes, and it costs $1- $3.
To sum up, everything we have seen, Coney island is full of history and fun activities to carry on. From free activities that you can take on to the most marvelous in the world, this place is full of it.
Especially when it opens fully, from Memorial day to labor day, Coney island is a great way to cool off the summer heatwave and take a break from the hustle of city life.
Coney Island is also an excellent place for a quick family trip, and kids can play on different rides at luna park with their parents, learn history at the Coney Island Museum, swim in the ocean, and get their favorite fast food.
It is also an excellent place for adults as well, who want to take a quick break and run by the beach and soak up the sunlight and enjoy doing some fun activities.
This has been Coney Island, everyone. We hope you enjoyed reading our article and are now ready to cool off the summer heat by visiting Coney Island.
Let us know in the comments what caught your interest among all the activities and places on Coney Island mentioned above. Make sure to give it a like and share it with your socials.