This past Friday, Kamryn, my niece and I ventured out to a popular locale that I have only passed on the train but have never actually wandered inside of. We went to the New York Aquarium, located at Surf Avenue and West 8th Street, steps away from the Coney Island boardwalk. I chose to go on Friday in particular because every Friday after 4pm is “pay-what-you-wish-donation”. The standard ticket price is $11.95, so I really wanted to take advantage of this perk. I paid a $1 for each of us.
Apparently, as to be expected, a trip to the aquarium– that initially opened in Battery City in 1896, and has graced the Coney Island neighborhood since 1957 sitting on 14 acres of land–was on the agenda of many folks. As we darted off the train and down the steps and I nudged the girls ahead of me so we could try our best to secure a spot that wasn’t dead-last on the line, we saw just how far it wrapped around! The aquarium staff circled the line to alert us that due to the length of the line and time (we got on about a quarter to 5) not everyone was guaranteed entrance. The cut-off time for letting visitors in is 5, an hour before closing.
In spite of the current renovation (that should be completed some time next year) that has caused some parts of the aquarium to be off-limits, we had a pretty swell time. We were able to take in the exquisite coral reefs. We stared in wonder at the assortment of fish swimming around in a frenzy who paid us absolutely no mind. They were used to being on display and were therefore unfazed by the bugling eyes, opened mouths, and flashing cameras tracking their every move. There were various stations that displayed fish from around the globe. It was clear that the fish was the girl’s favorite part. They were reluctant to leave when I attempted to usher them elsewhere so we could take in all we could in less than an hour and so that I could get the most out of my $3. There were still sharks (which was my personal fave) and penguins to see. There would be no sea lion show for us. By the time we got there, all the seats had already been filled.
After leaving the aquarium, we sauntered over to the amusement park (how could we resist the temptation?) and the girls went on a few rides in Deno’s Park (though upon leaving we saw that Luna Park had much cooler rides: a must-go for next time). We ate, they played in the sand, and we boogied to the brave souls singing karaoke at the DJs headquarters.
A day well spent.
Where are some places you enjoy going with your kids that are inexpensive or free?