How to Visit Coney Island (with kids, of course) on a budget

coney island on a budget entrance and tickets

UPDATE: Luna Park is again offering Free Admission on Opening Day with a $10 donation to charity (per person)! The best way to visit Coney Island on a budget!

This year Coney Island’s Luna Park opens April 6, 2019! That’s next week! So in honor of one of the greatest amusement parks, I’m sharing our fantastic visit last year for opening day. Here are my best tips for visiting Coney Island on a budget!

Things to Do in Coney Island

There are several attractions to visit in Coney Island. In addition to the Luna Park amusement park, there are actually several separate attractions not covered under the Luna Park tickets. These include Deno’s Wonder Wheel and the Coney Island Museum, amongst others.

Then there is MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones (to the West), The New York Aquarium (to the East), and of course the boardwalk and beach (to the South).

coney island on a budget swings ride

Because our kids are still young, we usually frequent the beach and boardwalk, and have been to the aquarium several times. So going to Luna Park was a huge treat! (Last year on opening day, rides were free after a charity donation).

ny aquarium seal show
show at the aquarium

Rides at Coney Island Luna Park

The rides that are more appropriate for younger kids, are towards the beach side. That’s where we spent a majority of our time. In particular, there are several rides that are great for the 4-8 year old set, and a couple that are tame enough for two and three year olds with no height limit at all. (Although, I can’t say I would go out of my way to take a toddler there.)

That said, our older kids were just barely tall enough to ride the Tickler, and despite the long line, were insistent on going! In retrospect, I think it was too much for them, and they were pretty dizzy afterward. But it was such an amazing day!

train ride for little kids

Buying tickets on a budget:

Overall, for younger kids, I would recommend buying just a few tickets for the rides they are able to go on. For older kids, a day pass is more likely a better deal.

The earlier in the day you get there, the less people will be around. I definitely suggest spending the first half of your day there, and then moving on to the beach or something else as it gets busy in the afternoon.


Coney Island is known for hot dogs! There are several fast food dining spots along the boardwalk, but if your little one is more used to organic applesauce pouches and the like, then pack those with you! We pretty much always pack a picnic.

coney island on a budget from the boardwalk

To Visit Coney Island:

Subway to Coney Island- Stillwell Ave D F N Q; or West 8th NY Aquarium N Q

Coney Island Boardwalk (NYC Parks)

Luna Park

Coney Island USA (non profit)

Summer is right around the corner and we can’t wait! How about you?Have you taken your kids to an amusement park? Do you love the thrill? Hate the crowds?

2 thoughts on “How to Visit Coney Island (with kids, of course) on a budget”

  1. These rides are too short for the price. The pricing is so convoluted we didn’t even get on a ride and we were already dizzy. (too many ‘exceptions’ for the cost). The one ride worth the trip is the Cyclone. But that’s a splurge to be done only occasionally @ $10 pp. The rest of the rides just don’t make the grade for the cost. Bigger rides need to be added to the mix. The Tickler is a joke (meaning you feel robbed when it’s over). Not good. The same for The Steeplechase coaster and the blue and red coaster – pretty ordinary. The subway can give you a similar ride in places. The park also needs a really good Haunted House. Deno’s next door has one but it’s just okay. The Wonder Wheel cost us $10 ea. to go around at a snails pace twice. That’s all folks. Sorry, not worth it. The carnival idea that the park is modeled after can work but they need to put a lot more thought into the place cuz’ for what you get for the money just isn’t worth it. And with 2 kids it’s a small fortune. The place was cleaner on our last visit. That was nice to see. But theres so many ‘dead’ zones especially on the Avenue – owned by some bozo named Sitt. Brooklynites have another word for that crook. But I digress – build another coaster. A REAL coaster. Bring in some really creative, unusual thrill rides so it doesn’t come off quite so blah.

    1. I agree it is very expensive for a family, hence my post on when you can visit when it is much more affordable.The amusement park is a once in a while activity and our (young) kids still enjoyed the rides.

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