July 4 Marathon of Fun in Coney Island: Great Fireworks! Shows! Rides!

How to Spend 12 Hours on July 4 in Coney Island

••• Coney Island offers tons of fun on July 4th. Photo by Ellen Freudenheim


Fun in Coney

What better place to spend Independence Day than in that most American of all places, Brooklyn New York's Coney Island?

How to Spend All Day on July 4th in Coney Island: An Hour by Hour Sketch

Here's how to spend from 9:30 in the morning till 9:30 at night in Coney Island on July 4th.

  • 9:30 A.M.: Start your Independence Day holiday with some early swimming and sunbathing; don't swim until 10 A.M. when the lifeguards arrive.
  • 11:30 A.M. : Take a break at 11:30 and head over to Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, and wave at the TV cameras, because the contest will be broadcast live on ESPN. After watching the contest, if you haven't lost your appetite forever, you might be hungry, so grab a hot dog yourself.
  • 12:45 P.M.: Head over to the NY Aquarium to watch the educational fun world of fishes, penguins, sharks and more. It’s a good place to hide from the midday sun (and there's also a snack bar.)
  • 2 P.M.: Head over to the Coney Island USA for a hilarious, only-in-Brooklyn "sideshow," which is 45 minutes of outrageous, weird spectacle that just might include such acts as a bearded lady. (You cannot pre-order tickets, but shows run from 1-8 P.M.) (See below for more info.)
  • 4 - 8 P.M. : Stroll on the boardwalk and grab some treats at the historic Williams Candy Shop. on Surf Avenue.  Or, for a sobering moment, visit the MCU Stadium's moving Wall of Remembrance, dedicated to the fallen of September 11, 2001. It is free and open to the public.
  • 6:00PM: On Wednesday, July 4, 2018 the Brooklyn Cyclones will play a baseball game against the Aberdeen IronBirds, that's great and you can go and cheer your heart out for the home team and their cute mascots. Hungry? You can enjoy a kosher hot dog, giant pretzel, or (if you go to the kiosks at the far edge of the stadium) a chicken wrap.
  • If you don't have a ticket to the game, spend a few hours at Coney Island's amusement park: ride the Cyclone if you dare, take the kiddies to Luna Park, or scream your heart out on rides in the "Scream Zone."
    — For dinner, you can diet, or buy some more fast food. Or, take the 30-minute boardwalk walk over to Brighton Beach for some borscht or to sit in a sidewalk cafe and sip a vodka or enjoy these activities in this festive seaside neighborhood.
  • 9 P.M: Head back to Coney Island for the post-game fireworks, at Coney Island, at dusk.

All in all, a very wonderful Independence Day!

More Info: 8 Things to Do on July 4th in Coney Island in Brooklyn New York

  1. July 4 Fireworks in Coney Island: Join real New Yorkers on the Coney Island boardwalk to watch July 4 fireworks. They won't last as long or be as fancy as Macy's Independence Day extravaganza, but heck, Macy's cannot offer ocean breezes.
  2. Beach & Boardwalk : As many as 120,000 people can flock to the Coney Island beach on a hot day. (And, July 4th is usually pretty darn hot.) So slather on that suntan lotion, bring plenty of water, and go splash in the waves.
  3. Sideshows by the Seashore. Have a ball. For just $10 per ticket,take in an approximately 45 minute live show. It's billed as "the last permanently housed place in the USA where you can experience the thrill of a traditional ten-in-one circus sideshow. They're here, they're real and they're alive! Freaks, wonders and human curiosities!"
  1. July 4 Brooklyn Cyclones Baseball Game at MCU Stadium: On July 4, 2018, there' a home game at 6pm.
  2. July 4 Amusement Park is OPEN: Coney Island's a treasure for amusement park lovers. Sure, it's a little more expensive than suburban amusement parks. But you can ride the landmark Cyclone roller coaster, if you have the stomach for it. Or go to the Scream Zone. Take the kids for some of the cute little kiddie rides. And then, head to the beach for fireworks, or to MCU Stadium for a game.
  3. July 4 NY Aquarium is OPEN: Lots of things are closed on Independence Day but not the NY Aquarium. It's right next to Coney Island's Amusement Park and you can enter from the boardwalk. Find out what's fishy at New York City's best (and only) aquarium. Watch the sharks being fed, the seals flapping their little wings, and more fun.
  1. Nathan's Hot Dogs & Annual July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest: You can get here at 11 AM and listen to live music, and then at noon join the crowds in hooting and hollering about the men's and women's face-stuffing, hot dog-gobbling, race to the prize. And, the prize ain't peanuts; it happens to be $20,000 for men and women respectively.
  2. Enjoy the boardwalk.

Two Good Reasons to Go to Coney Island on July 4th

  • Fun!
  • Easy Subway Access: No muss, no fuss. Get on the subway and head to Coney Island. It's easy, and cheap. How to Get to Coney Island

Edited by Alison Lowenstein