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Plan a day trip to Coney Island this summer

The beaches are open for summer, which means it’s the perfect time to plan a day trip to Coney Island! There are so many family-friendly things to do, from visiting the New York Aquarium, to enjoying the boardwalk and beach, to hopping on rides for all ages in Luna Park and Deno’s. Here’s everything you need to know for your day trip this summer.

Getting there 

  • By subway: Take the D, F, N, or Q to Stillwell Ave Station
  • By car: Off-street parking is available daily from 8am-8pm at the Official Coney Island Parking Lot next to Maimonides Park (enter at Surf Avenue and West 19th Street). Parking rates are $13 Monday-Friday, $20 on weekends, and $27 during special events. The New York Aquarium is located right off the boardwalk, and their parking spots are at $18 for 0-3 hours, $25 for 3-4 hours, and $40 for over 4 hours.
  • On Sunday, July 20 only, take the NYTM Nostalgia Ride to Coney Island! This special summer event is presented by the New York Transit Museum, and riders can take a 1930s vintage train car from 96th Street-Second Avenue Station on two-hour jaunt to Coney Island. $60/$40 – Adult/Child, $50/$30 – Museum Member Adult/Child. More information and tickets here.

New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium, located just off the boardwalk, is an incredible destination for kids of all ages! Visit this summer to see their new traveling art exhibition Washed Ashore, now through September 2. The exhibit includes 35 larger-than-life sculptures made entirely from marine debris. Sculptures of sharks, penguins, jellyfish, and more illustrate the problem of plastic pollution and give visitors of all ages a chance to reflect on how we can protect the ocean and ocean life. There is no additional admission to see the Washed Ashore sculptures, which are installed throughout the grounds of the aquarium.

Beyond the Washed Ashore exhibit, guests will discover over 500 incredible species of marine wildlife at the aquarium. Located in the outdoor Sea Cliffs area are the black-footed penguins, harbor seals, and sea otters. Visitors will find sharks, rays, sea turtles, and more in the indoor Sharks! exhibit, and guests can visit the hall of Spineless creatures to see octopuses, moon jellies, zombie worms, and more invertebrates. Learn more about all indoor and outdoor exhibits here. Note: The Aquatheater is currently closed for construction, meaning the California sea lions’ performances are currently on hiatus. 

The aquarium is open daily from 10am to 6pm, with last entry at 5pm. Non-peak admission starts at $29.95 for adults, $27.95 for seniors, $25.95 for children (3-12) and free for children 2 and under. For all admission prices, including for peak hours, click here. The WCS Zoos Membership grants membership to the New York Aquarium, as well as the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo. Individual memberships starts at $90, dual memberships starts at $150, and family memberships starts at $225. 

Don’t miss out on the aquarium’s FREE Wednesday afternoon admission from 3-6pm! The Wednesday Tickets Store opens Monday afternoons at 3pm for that Wednesday’s reservations. 

What else you need to know for your trip to New York Aquarium:

  • All visitors must have date-specific tickets. Admission includes all exhibits and one visit to the 4-D Theater.
  • Parking rates start at $18 for up to 3 hours, $25 for 3-4 hours, and $40 for over 4 hours. Members can park for free for up to 3 hours. Note: Parking can hit capacity during peak summer hours!
  • Stroller parking is required for all indoor exhibits. You will find designated parking areas outside each of the aquarium’s buildings.
  • No scooters allowed.
  • No beach equipment or beach attire allowed.

Luna Park

Coney Island’s amusement park has rides and games for all ages! Luna Park’s most famous attraction, the Coney Island Cyclone, dates back to 1927 and is the second-steepest wooden roller coaster in the world. Another thrilling ride can be found on the infamous Thunderbolt Rollercoaster, with its 90 degree drop, plus so many more inversions and turns. There’s also plenty of rides for Luna Park’s youngest visitors, including the historic B&B Carousell and other tamer rides for tykes. Visitors to Luna Park can purchase wristbands ($42.99 for visitors under 48″ and $64.99 for over 48″) for 4 hours of rides. However, pay-per-ride experiences are available at ticket booths, no admission needed. Luna Park’s hours vary daily throughout the summer, but the park opens between 10:30am and 12pm on weekdays, closing between 8am and 12am. Open 11am-12am on Saturdays and 11am-11pm on Sundays. Check their calendar for park hours before you go!

Deno’s Wonder Wheel

Although they are side by side on the boardwalk, Deno’s Wonder Wheel amusement park is separate from Luna Park. Admission is free, but tickets are needed for both adult rides and kiddie rides; see all pricing here. All kiddie rides are $5, and a ride on the Wonder Wheel is $10. The Kiddie Park opens at 11am, and all adults rides (including the Wonder Wheel) open at 12pm daily throughout the summer. Closing times vary with the weather. Tip: consider a ride on the Wonder Wheel on Friday nights for the best views of Friday night fireworks!

Coney Island Beach

The beach is open for the season! Swimming is permitted Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend daily from 10am to 6pm, with lifeguards on duty.

There is a playground located on the beach, just across the boardwalk from the Wonder Wheel. Bring your sand toys, it’s one big sandbox!

There is a beach volleyball court located at W 10th Street.

Talk a stroll down the Steeplechase Pier, at the intersection of the boardwalk and W 17th Street. 

Brooklyn Cyclones

Sports fans will enjoy cheering on Coney Island’s very own minor league baseball team. The Cyclones play in Maimonides Park, just off the Coney Island boardwalk. Join in on the fun with other spirited fans, enjoy the ballpark’s concessions, say hello to the Cyclones’ mascot Sandy the Seagull, and of course, cheer on Brooklyn’s team! Tickets start at $13/person on special pricing game days, $20/person on regular game days. Browse all tickets and pricing here.

Upcoming Events

Play your day trip around one of this summer’s unique events!

  • The 42nd Annual Mermaid Parade | Saturday, June 22nd, 2024 | 1pm | This annual parade and float procession of costumed mermaids and mermen is Coney Island’s most popular summer event. The parade starts at 1pm, rain or shine, on West 21st and Surf Avenue. It goes east to West 10th Street, to the Boardwalk, towards Steeplechase Plaza, and on to the Parachute Jump, where the parade comes to an end.

What else you need to know for your day in Coney Island:

  • Public restrooms are located conveniently along the boardwalk at various entrances to the beach (W 8th Street, Stillwell Avenue, W 17th Street and W 21st Street.) Restrooms are also located inside of Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Nathan’s Famous at their Surf Avenue location.
  • Seaside Park, next to the boardwalk and the Coney Island Amphitheater, has picnic tables and playgrounds.
  • Leashed dogs are permitted on the boardwalk, but not on the beach.
  • No BBQs are allowed on the beach.
  • Bike riding and rollerblading are permitted on the boardwalk only between 5am and 10am.
  • For classic Coney Island fare, try a Nathan’s hot dog! The original location is on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues, and there is also a location on the boardwalk.

Updated: June 24, 2024. Main Image: New York Aquarium.

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