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Published January 19, 2023

8 Reasons Why Winter Is Actually A Great Time To Visit Coney Island

The best things to do right now in Coney Island. 🍻🎡❄️

by New York Bucket List


2023 is off to the races—and one of the best ways to ring in a new year is with a nostalgia-inducing classic! Enter: New York’s Coney Island. While many of us associate the boardwalk exclusively with hot summer days, America’s playground transcends seasons. And, with ice skating through March, newly released beers to sip in heated breweries, and reduced crowds—winter is also a little known perfect time for a visit. 

Here’s the scoop on all the awesome things to do at Coney Island in its “off” season, to make the most of your day in America’s playground:

Bike or stroll the Riegelmann Boardwalk

The iconic, seaside wooden panels of the Riegelmann Boardwalk beckons. The 2.7 mile stretch is perfect for brisk winter strolls, bike rides and photography—or prime people watching, with a stop in to eat your weight in funnel sticks from Ruby’s

For more information on the Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk.

Ice Skate at Abe Stark Sports Center

A beloved winter, Coney Island, and New York staple all in one: don’t miss a session at the Abe Stark Rink. The cozy indoor rink offers private skating classes, teen and adult hockey, and family-friendly public skating for all to enjoy. 

Where: 1902 W 19th St, Brooklyn

When: Saturdays only, 1:30 PM—3:30 PM.
The rink will be open from noon to 3:00 PM on January 17 (MLK Jr. Day) and February 21 (President's Day).

For more information on the Abe Stark Rink.

Eat at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Stand

Nathan's Famous hot dogs are an essential part of the Coney Island experience. The eatery started there as a simple stand in 1916, and has grown into a New York institution. While you may not come close to beating the pros of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, you can still taste the official franks of the event. Order a side of crinkle cut fries and wash it all down with a cold Coney Island Brewing Company beer, served on site. 

Location: 1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10am-10pnm

For more locations and information on Nathan's Famous hot dogs.

See SPINELESS at the Aquarium

Keeping with the classic vibes—the New York Aquarium located on Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island is the oldest operating aquarium in the nation for a reason.  Their latest re-opened exhibit, playfully named Spineless, is a must-see. Visitors this winter can see a giant, swirling Pacific octopus, glowing moon jellies, straight-out-of-a-movie “zombie worms,” and many more spineless wonders—all to be reminded of the beauty of weirdness. 

Where: 602 Surf Avenue Brooklyn NY 11224

When: Open daily 10 AM — 3:30 PM (park closes at 4:30 PM)

For more information on the New York Aquarium.

Sip pints at Coney Island Brewery

Steps from the boardwalk on Surf Avenue is the iconic Coney Island Brewery, open year-round with spacious, heated indoor seating. Step in from the cold for a pint, flight, or growler of craft beer! They’re known for their ever-rotating, deeply creative lineup of beers—we can’t wait to try the new Parachute Jump Pale Ale—as well as hosting live music. Be sure to check out their newly opened kitchen offering rotating specials and a weekday lunch Happy Hour, they have something for everyone. Local favorite bites include vegan options, wings and you must try their hand breaded chicken tenders!

Where: 1904 Surf Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11224

Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12pm – 8pm. (Kitchen closes 7:30pm)

For more information on the Coney Island Brewery.

Fish at the Steeplechase Pier

For the scenery seekers, stop by to watch the ocean waves roll at the Steeplechase Pier. If you’d like, you can also drop a line to try to catch a variety of fish, including the striped bass, dusky smooth-hound, and perhaps most popular Bluefish. 

Where: 1741-1899 Boardwalk W Coney Island

See the Parachute Jump

Standing a towering 250 feet, the Parachute Jump is often playfully called the” Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn.” Come see the landmark as part of the glittering Coney Island skyline, especially if you’re still seeking to soak in some holiday lights. Plus: don’t miss sipping the new in-market ale, named for the stunning landmark.

Take the new NYC Ferry route to Coney Island

There will soon be a new way to get to Coney Island in style! Called the Coney Island route, the ferry is a straight shot that connects communities in Coney Island and Bay Ridge to Wall Street/Pier 11. The ferry will have onboard refreshments, and, crucially: is pleasantly temperature controlled. 

For more information on the Coney Island Route.


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