By Celene McDermott

Day Trips: Connect at Coney Island in Brooklyn

  |  Travel  

When imagining a traditional New York City summer, chances are that the famous boardwalk and beach of Coney Island come to mind. With the world-famous Cyclone rollercoaster, Nathan’s hotdogs, the annual Mermaid Parade, the New York Aquarium, the Sideshow, and Coney Island Museum, it’s easy to see why this destination remains a summer favorite.


Historic Amusement Park Area

One of the main attractions in Coney Island is the Cyclone, one of the only continually operated wooden coasters in the nation. Listed in the New York State Register of Historic Places, it occupies the space that once held the world’s very first rollercoaster.

   Deno Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, located on the boardwalk, features 25 rides including the famous 150-foot high Wonder Wheel, as well as two arcades, an old fashioned Sweet Shoppe, live entertainment, Karaoke, kiddie rides and more.



Special Summer Events

The New York Aquarium kicks off summer with Mermaids of the Deep, a fantastical weekend showcasing myths and legends of the high seas on June 20 and 21, 12-4pm. There will be activities, games, crafts, and music.

This event coincides with the famous Mermaid parade, on June 20, starting at 2pm on West 10th Street and the Boardwalk.

The famous annual hot dog-eating contest will take place on July 4 at noon. The Siren Music Festival is July 18 at 2pm, and the Sandsculpting and Arm Wrestling Contest is July 25, 12-5pm. The Coney Island Circus Sideshow is a 10-in-one circus show that performs Wednesdays-Sundays at Sideshows by the Seashore, located at Surf Avenue and West 12th Street. And beginning June 19, fireworks will be displayed every Friday night at 9:30pm.

What’s New This Year


For the first time, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will set up their big top with their show, Coney Island: Boom a Ring, featuring animal acts, acrobatics and more. A special all-access pre-show allows families to meet the performers an hour before showtime.

If You Go

Where:  1000 Surf Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn

When: Through Labor Day, rides and attractions are generally open daily, weekdays at noon through the late evening, and weekends from noon to the early morning hours.

Beach and boardwalk: Open year round; lifeguards on duty Memorial Day-Labor Day.

  • Nathan’s: Open almost every day of the year.
  • New York Aquarium: Open almost every day of the year.
  • Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park: Open daily 11am-midnight, Memorial Day-Labor Day; noon-9pm weekends and holidays April-May and September-October.
  • The Coney Island Museum, located on 1208 Surf Avenue between Stillwell and West 12th Street, is open weekends 12pm-5pm.
  • Sideshows by the Seashore: Generally open Wednesday-Sunday, weekdays 2-8pm and weekends and holidays 1-9pm. Hours subject to weather conditions and the size of the crowd.
  • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’s Coney Island: Boom a Ring: Thursday-Sunday June 17-September 7. Check website for show times and special offers including “Baby’s First Circus” program.

How much:

  • Cyclone: $8; $5 re-ride
  • New York Aquarium: $13; seniors $10; ages 3-12 $9; under 3 FREE.
  • Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park: $3-$25 depending on ride
  • Coney Island Museum: $.99
  • Sideshows by the Seashore: $7.50; $5 children under 12
  • Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: $10-$65

How to get there: Take the D, Q, N, or F train to the last stop, Stillwell Avenue. By car, take the Belt Parkway to Exit 6, Cropsey Avenue, to West 17th Street, to Keyspan Park and the Parachute Jump. Street parking or use parking lots on West 17th Street and West 12th between Mermaid and Surf, or West 15th Street between the boardwalk and Surf, and on Neptune Avenue between West 12th and Stillwell.

For more information: 718-372-5159,, or


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