Want to make the most of your Coney Island adventure? These Coney Island activities are great for kids!
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For the quintessential New York experience (in the summer), head to Coney Island to play all day at the New York Aquarium, stroll the boardwalk, eat a sizzling hot dog, and if you play your cards right, even enjoy a some fireworks by the beach. Needless to say, Luna Park is also by far one of the best amusement parks for kids in the city, and newbies, did we mention it’s right on the beach?
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See below for our favorite things to do in Coney Island during the summer months. It tops our list of awesome summer day trips to do with the kids. And fear not: if it rains, you can always head to some of our favorite local indoor amusement parks.
Kids will love posting under an umbrella on this iconic stretch of sand to people watch between dips in the ocean. Expect the three-mile beach and boardwalk that runs along it to be crowded on nice days, but with enough adult companions, the memories are worth fighting the hordes. If you’d rather have more space to yourself, head to the eastern end of the peninsula to find a spot on the sand in Brighton or Manhattan Beach, both of which are on the quieter side. During the summer months, stop by on Monday nights to watch family movies like
Playing on a 40-foot inflatable screen on West 10th St. Don’t miss great photo opportunities like the annual mermaid parade and sand sculpture contest.
Coney Island’s Luna Park offers nothing but good times during the summer season. There’s plenty to do for all ages: Rated from “Extreme Thrill” to “Mild Thrill,” there are quiet rides for the little ones (like the Seaside Swing and the twirling cups at Tea Party), thrilling but not scary rides like Lynn’s Trapeze and Coney Island Hang Glider and totally thrill rides (definitely scream-worthy) like Thunderbolt, Sling Shot, and the classic Coney Island Cyclone. There are also plenty of classic games on offer, ranging from Whac A Mole to Water Racer. As an added bonus, during certain parts of the summer, Luna Park also awards free ride credits for good grades.
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There’s nothing like a loaded dog and a cold soda at Nathan’s after a day of fun in the sun. Pass around a Chili Cheese Dog, a stack of cheese-wrapped fries, or a Double Meat Cheeseburger or Bacon Cheeseburger to fill the adult bellies. Kids may prefer the crispy chicken tenders, boneless wings, or the super regular cheeseburger. Don’t miss Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, held at Coney Island’s Nathan’s Famous every Fourth of July.
Get an up-close look at the creatures that swim the high seas at New York City’s own aquarium. Curious kids can see a living recreation of the Pacific coast and spot various species from the East River. Every day, there is a lively sea lion show in the Aquatheater (11am, 1pm and 3:30pm), plus meals for the sea lions, sea otters, penguins, seals and walruses for families to view. Visit Glover’s Reef, a 150,000-gallon tank stocked with some 35 species of marine life off the coast of Belize, including jawfish and moray eels. Enter the 4-D theater to see
, (open daily, shows run approximately every 15 minutes) and get excited by “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” which will open June 30, 2018. Note that a good portion of the aquarium is still under construction and undergoing renovations after damage from Hurricane Sandy.
You’ve been to Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, but have you enjoyed a baseball game at this quaint stadium, just a stone’s throw from Coney Island’s beach and boardwalk? Take young hitters to see the Brooklyn Cyclones play other minor league teams through early September. Be sure to stay afterward on select days to let the kids run like the pros and enjoy a postgame fireworks display from their seats.
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Luna Park isn’t the only place for thrills on Coney Island! Along with its twisting roller coasters, this classic amusement park features adorable kid-friendly rides like the spinning Dizzy Dragons and Tilt-a-Whirl for parents and kids to enjoy together. Older kids can race their own individual bumper cars or brave the terrifying sights at Spook-A-Rama. Before you leave, be sure to take a spin on the 1920s-era Ferris wheel, lifting the kids 150 feet into the air for stunning views of the coastline.
This brightly colored neon lighthouse captures all the kitsch Coney Island is famous for. Take a break from the sun’s unforgiving rays and enjoy exhibits like a 3D-printed scale model of the original Luna Park in all of Fred Kahl’s last-century majesty, or a thought-provoking look at the surrounding area through of an installation of paintings, sculptures and photography by the artist Africasso. Peek into the funhouse’s mirrors as you peruse a collection of coolers and thermoses from the ’50s and ’60s.
While you’re at the museum, you can also charm and mystify your kids with feats performed in “the ultimate 10-in-1 non-stop traditional show.” A live cast of professional performers engage in sword swallowing, fire eating and other acts that seem to defy human ability. In addition, every Sunday at noon, illusionists, escape artists, mentalists and close-up magicians from around the world speak in a children’s show called “Magic At Coney.”
Restored a few years ago after damage from Hurricane Sandy, the pier is back and better than ever. Take in the stunning views of the ocean and anglers looking to catch the catch of the day. An undulating wooden lounging area mimics the rhythm and flow of the sea, inviting you to recline in its swell while staying nice and dry.
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The famous Cyclone roller coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel sponsor an impressive fireworks display every Friday night at 9:30 p.m. m. (June, the weekend before Labor Day), and the Brooklyn Cyclones shoot after select Saturday games. Plus, expect an Independence Day fireworks extravaganza to rival Macy’s at MCU Park’s FourthFest. Check the website for an updated schedule.
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Get out and explore these 40 Fun Places to Take the Kids Near Me – go with the family, just the kids, or plan a day trip!
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Every trip, to the grocery store, the park, or the beach, always seems to require large amounts of stuff.
But summer means day trips and family road trips: a chance to explore new places and let your kids see another part of the world or have a new experience.
So today we’re going to get your family ready for adventure by sharing a FREE printable list of 40+ fun places to go with kids and some great travel tips to get them out the door fast!
Trust me, I have been carrying, hauling, and traveling with my kids for 20 years to nature centers, factory tours, historical sites, etc.
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We’ve had our share of Awesome! and not-so-great moments along the way (be sure to check out our list of 27 travel hacks and road trip tips).
There was this one time we drove 2 hours to see the sites and when I opened the back of the truck, I realized that I had forgotten the bag of snacks (
My children also remember leaving the keys in the car during a visit to the Farmer’s Market in mid-July.
And the day we took my son to a golf activity over an hour from home, my 3-year-old and I were ready to explore the local children’s center and natural area.
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But guess who decided to take off her shoes in the driveway before getting in the car?
And guess who was in too much of a rush to check and make sure both kids had their shoes on?
However, every summer my kids ask what fun places we will explore this year, so I must be doing something right 😉
Here are some of our BEST tips, our favorite take-with-us articles along with affiliate links and a FREE printable checklist to inspire you to get out there and adventure together.
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So now we pack our “what if” bag with items we MIGHT need for a big day:
Many of our trips require driving; Let’s face it, we live in the Midwest and almost everything is over an hour away.
And not all of those “fun places near me” are very close, so encourage your kids to pack things to do while
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