Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Coney Island is a peninsular neighborhood and entertainment area in the southwestern section of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Coney Island is so fun and makes the perfect day trip.
I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be much since there’s so much do to in New York, and although it was a little pricey, I’m so glad we went! Here is how to take a day trip to Coney Island.
If you’re staying in Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn, it really isn’t hard to get there because you just take the train (Q line)! The thing you need to plan for is time. Many different subway lines go out to Coney Island as their last stop. Since it’s the last stop, it does take about an hour to get there from most parts of the city so make sure you budget plenty of time.
The subway is just a few blocks from the beach and boardwalk. Once you leave the station, signs clearly mark the direction to the beach and boardwalk where you will find all the fun!
Buying tickets for rides
There are several ticket options at Luna Park:
Buy tickets for rides one by one. Rides range from 3 tickets to 10 tickets, depending on the thrill level ($3 – $10). The higher the “thrill level,” the more expensive. 1 ticket = $1
You can buy an all-day wrist band with unlimited rides for $60. They scan your wrist band at the gate for each ride with the band.
They also run a deal where you buy $100 in credits, you get 40 extra. Although you can split the credits between multiple people, the wrist band cannot be split. You get a card that is scanned at each ride, which makes it easy to share with others. They will let you buy any amount to put on the card.
Groupon also regularly runs specials, and for just $31, you can get an all-day pass — check there first! We missed out on this deal because we didn’t book in advance. Whomp whomp…
You don’t need to buy any tickets in advance unless you find a discount or are worried it will be extra busy that day. We walked right up and bought tickets in less than five minutes.
Hours vary based on the day of the week and season. I recommend checking online on the Luna Park website before going to see when they are open. Luna Park is typically open 12 pm – 5 pm, but if you want to make a day of it, get there early, go to the beach, and check out the boardwalk in the afternoon!
Don’t forget to check out my post about things to know before you go to Coney Island to help you plan your trip!
Spend the morning at the beach
The beach here is really big with tons of space for people to relax and unwind. Definitely worth getting there before Coney Island opens at noon (most days) to spend some time relaxing on the beach.
Eat lunch at Nathan’s Famous
Let me tell you, the line was seriously so long for this! I was shocked at how many people were buying corn dogs and hot dogs! Still, it may be cliché, but it is fun to get a Nathan’s hot dog from the original spot. They have a location on the boardwalk and closer to the subway. They both serve the same food.
Ride the rides in Luna Park
There are so many good ones, and they’re so unique! I was surprised at how many different kinds of rides there were. The ticket options vary (see my last post), but all offer you access to rides. You’ll find my favorites below.
The swings offer a great view!
The thunderbolt takes you straight up then drops you straight down!
The Cyclone is historical and an original at Coney Island. It’s been there for 90 years.
On Steeplechaser, you ride a horse which is kind of terrifying because you aren’t actually strapped in the front (you’re strapped on in the back).
The Wonder Wheel is actually not part of Luna Park and costs $8 a person but is unique because it has still and swinging cars!
Get Gelato from Coney’s Cones
For $6 I got two flavors of sorbet that were amazing! It was the perfect thing for a hot day. There are locations all over Coney Island where you can grab some of this delicious treat.
See the Brooklyn Art Walls
This area reminded me a little bit of Wynwood in Miami! A bunch of artists have displayed their murals in a park right in Coney Island! The murals are also located in a spot with a bar and food available in the evening, which is a great way to end your day.
By this point, we were exhausted, and my friends had a plane to catch so it was time to go! We had a ton of fun, and I hope you will, too. There’s lots to do in one day at Coney Island, and I know you’ll have a blast when you go too.