We had a magical experience at Coney Island today. As a place that I visited often as a kid, it was incredible to share this special location with my own kids as we visited the New York Aquarium, Deno's Wonder Wheel, Luna Park, rode the Carousel, and even stopped by the beach for an impromptu playing with sand session.
As an area with renowned for its iconic history (sideshow attractions, burlesque shows, and vaudeville), Coney Island was recently devastated due to Hurricane Sandy where the aquarium was damaged, boardwalk and rides were devastated, and even worse its people were left without power for months.
During the event day, I had the chance to learn about how this exciting location continues to have its vivid energy and lively spirit as well as how its people, businesses, and spirit are continuing to carry the name of Coney to create place that is even better than ever.
We started the day by hearing an informative chat from the Alliance for Coney Island and other businesses in the area (Brooklyn Cyclones, Luna Park, New York Aquarium, etc) about how the organization is committed to both improving the quality of the experience of Coney Island to visitors and to the quality of life to the Coney Island community. With the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, this has included helping businesses and community organizations - where 100% of its funds have gone to support the storm relief.
One organization that was greatly effected was the New York Aquarium. Partially reopened after being closed for 7 months due to severe damage from Sandy, families can visit several areas at the aquarium while they continue to rebuild. One area that is open is the Sea Lion Celebration at the Aquatheater where we all enjoyed experience of seeing sea lions in action as they danced, clapped, and gave kisses. We also enjoyed the educational component as we learned about their significance in the ecosystem.
After the presentation, we walked around the New York Aquarium, which was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy and is currently rebuilding. While there are many areas that were not accessible due to damage and rebuilding, we were able to view the main area with the colorful fish, penguins, and walruses. I was excited to learn that they will be offering their summer camp (ages 6 and up) with an incredible new line-up of activities, animal experiences, arts-and-crafts and more.
We then walked around the iconic boardwalk, and soaked in the beauty of the beach. Since we have two small kids, we decided to go to Deno's Wonder Wheel where my girls enjoyed riding on Willie the Whale, Dizzy Dragons, and Fire Engines. Deno's also has adult rides like the Spook-A-Rama, the Bumpercats, and the historic Wonder Wheel, a ride that was built-in 1920 and is 150-feet high!
We then walked around Luna Park where we played a few games and enjoyed rides like the Mermaid Parade and the Tea Party. Luna Park is renowned for their exciting thrill rides where older kids and adults will love rides like the Sling Shot (yikes!) and the iconic Cyclone.
We then stopped for a bit at Nathan's Famous and played in the beach. As we ate at the boardwalk, it was incredible to see all of the new businesses there such as Ruby's Bar and Grill, Tom's Coney Island and Coney's Cones as well as several gift shops.
We then made our way to the B & B Carousell where we all enjoyed a ride on this historic 107-year-old Carousell. Located at the new Steeplechase Plaza, we loved looking at the beautiful and colorful horses as we soaked in the views from the rides and the beach.
After an exciting afternoon at Coney Island, I am really excited to come back as we visit even more of what Coney has to offer and we enjoy the relaxation, energy and non-stop fun that this iconic location as to offer.
For more information, please visit: http://coneyislandfunguide.com/ and follow the conversation on Twitter at #ConeyComeBack
Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given passes to the various attractions.