Every New Year’s day my family heads to Coney Island for the Polar Bear Plunge. I never get in, but my boyfriend does, and I love catching a buzz off the fun energy. The rest of the year I try to avoid it. However I asked one of my besties what she wanted to do before the summer was over, and guess where she wanted to go.
So today we packed up our two little girls and drove the 45 minutes from Manhattan down to Coney Island. We started our morning at the New York Aquarium, located on the boardwalk. My family has a membership to Wildlife Conservation Society so the admission and parking was free. A huge bonus.
Unfortunately it’s a sad little aquarium. Every since Hurricane Sandy destroyed this little historical gem it’s been under construction. I have no doubt it will be great once it’s rebuilt but for now it’s not really a destination but best served as part of a beach day.
We spent about 15 minutes seeing the few tanks, corals and fish then headed outside to see the otters, penguins and the sea lion show. The show was about 15 minutes and the girls loved it. It’s filled with pop music and circus-like tricks. The trainers were as cute as the sea lions and it really seemed like they were all enjoying themselves.
The aquarium is situated right on the beach, so we exited onto the boardwalk, crossed over it and were there. An ideal convenience with little kids. Being late August the water was actually warm enough to enjoy. And since it was a weekday the beach was pretty empty and remarkably clean.
After we were sufficiently sandy and salt sprayed from the beach we strolled the boardwalk. The Coney Island boardwalk is iconic. We ate Nathan’s hotdogs, shopped at Brooklyn Beach Shop where I scored cute stuff with Brooklyn’s name and people watched. Our girls were hitting their expiration point so it was time to get on the road before we had a chance to go on any rides at Luna Park.
We stopped in the aquarium once again to use their bathrooms which were barely nicer than the ones on the beach, but was necessary for a cleaner ride home.
Overall it was a good outing. I was reminded of the awesome grittiness and edge Coney Island owns. And it’s something I want more of. The girls didn’t have any expectations for the aquarium, so it was enough for them. And the fact that we got free parking and everything was so close made it an easy beach day. I’m hoping to make another Coney Island blog post before the Polar Bear Plunge in January.
click first photo to view all as slideshow:
Not fit for print:
My daughter doesn’t need a sibling to experience sibling rivalry, all I need to do is bring along her best friend.
I never knew you could fight over matching markers.