by Jenni Walkowiak
Looking for some family friendly fun this summer? Look no further than Brooklyn’s own backyard and head on down to Coney Island! Sure, there are a handful of excellent beaches nearby, but few are as action-packed and rich with history as Coney Island. Coney Island was the place to be during the first half of the 20th Century, with never-before-seen amusement parks combined with a bustling seaside resort. In recent years, Coney Island has gotten a makeover, but still maintains its kitschy vintage vibe and boasts an amusement park, classic stand-alone rides,the original Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, the New York Aquarium, Cyclone’s Baseball, and thanks to Coney Island USA, a circus sideshow with all the thrills and frills. Learn the fascinating (and sometimes dark) history of Coney Island at the Coney Island Museum or just stuff your face with funnel cake and take a ride on the Wonder Wheel. Coney Island is the most fun you’ll have without leaving Brooklyn this summer.
Coney Island is a blast no matter when you go, but here are a couple special events to consider when planning your summer adventures:
The 35th Annual Mermaid Parade
Saturday, June 17th 1:00 PM
Invented by artists and for the community, the Mermaid Parade was created by Coney Island USA, a not-for-profit arts organization. It celebrates our creative neighbors and seaside mythology. With no religious or commercial affiliation, the Mermaid Parade is a unique celebration of Coney Island, Brooklyn, and summer.
Coney Island Cyclone’s 90th Birthday Celebration
Sunday, June 25th 12:00 PM
This historic wooden roller coaster and New York City Landmark is celebrating it’s 90th birthday this year. We’re celebrating with a special performance by legendary rapper Fabolous– and I hear the Harlem Globetrotters will make an appearance!
Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest
Tuesday, July 4th
Participate or observe, it’s gonna be a ball! Spend your Independence Day watching this legendary, over 100 year old international competition. Stick around for boardwalk fun and watch the fireworks at night.