Timeout New York Kids

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Mermaid Parade takes place on Saturday, June 22 (slide show)

Cheer on sequined merpeople as they dance and twirl down the streets of Coney Island, then spend some time in the beachside nabe.

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    Mermaid Parade

Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

Mermaid Parade


After Sandy hit the city hard last fall, the odds weren’t looking great for Coney Island’s annual Mermaid Parade. But after a successful Kickstarter campaign and the generosity of more than 2,300 donors raising over $100,000, the creators of the iconic arts festival declared that the show would go on. On Saturday, June 22, families can  celebrate the start of summer in true Coney Island fashion by sporting whimsical sea creature garb, transforming strollers into mini-parade floats, dressing up family pets or just heading over to people watch. Last year, over 750,000 spectators showed up! Brush up on some Coney Island legend and lore, and have the kids keep their eyes peeled for the mythical King Neptune and Queen Mermaid amidst the hoards of bedazzled sea dwellers. (Note: Some of the costumes—or lack thereof—may be a bit risqué for little ones.)

RECOMMENDED: 50 things to do in the summer with the kids
 
While you’re visiting the Brooklyn beach town, check out these other Coney Island favorites:
 
Take a spin on the B&B Carousell
Kids have their pick of 50 hand-painted horses or two chariots on the newly-reopened historic B&B Carousell. After an eight-year restoration project, the vintage merry-go-round made its grand re-debut on Memorial Day; it's located inside a glass pavilion that allows visitors to enjoy the B&B year-round, rain or shine.
 
Treat that kids to a Nathan’s Famous hot dog
While you and the kids won't be able to gobble 68 hotdogs in 10 minutes (that’s the current Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest record!), it’s definitely worth it to have one frank when visiting the historic hot dog storefront on the corner of Surf and Stillwell. Be sure to complete your meal with some crinkle-cut fries.
 
Check out the rides at Luna Park
Post parade, head on over to Luna Park (which is open from 11am to midnight every Saturday through August). Kids will love the Coney Tower (the kid version of the Parachute), Balloon Expedition (perfect for admiring the beach views) and the aptly named Mermaid Parade log flume ride. Parents can try to escape and ride Coney Island’s trademark wooden coaster, the Cyclone, which takes brave riders on a  swooping (albeit rickety) adventure.
 
Dive in to the (newly renovated) New York Aquarium
We love the aquarium's sleek new Aquatheater—check out the Sea Lion Celebration performances (shows are every other hour from 11am to 5pm on Saturdays). Families can also spot seals and penguins in the outdoor exhibits and stingrays in Glover Reef.
 
Relax on Coney Island Beach
End your busy day by scrunching your toes in the sand on the beach. Kids can practice their sand sculpting techniques to get ready for the 23rd Annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest this August.


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