Polar pursuits: What to do after the New Year’s Day Plunge

Boardwalk brews: Ruby’s Bar & Grill in Coney Island will be a hot spot after the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge.
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Make a post-plunge plan!

So you’ve just finished the New Year’s Day Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge into the ocean — or perhaps you’ve watched your foolish friend do the same. Now what? There is plenty to do in the People’s Playground on New Year’s Day!


Party with the Polar Bears, at the Plunge’s official after-party at Coney Island Brewery. The small space below MCU Park plans to install a heated tent in its front yard to accommodate the huddled masses yearning to get drunk. The brewery has eight taps, but your first choice should be The Plunge — a Belgian-style ale with a warming hit of spice — and for today, $1 from each Plunge ale sold will go to the Coney Island Alliance. A glass to commemorate the occasion can also be yours for $10.

Coney Island Brewery [1904 Surf Ave. at at W. 17th Street, (718) 996–0019,]. 11:30 am–8 pm. Free.

Get a drink

Warm up with a shot of whiskey! Every bar along with the Boardwalk will be open on New Year’s Day ∏— the only challenge will be fighting through the crowds! Stop by Tom’s Diner, Ruby’s Bar and Grill, or Paul’s Daughter (1229 to 1001 Riegelman Boardwalk, between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th streets), or stop for a beer and gawk at the Freak Bar (1208 Surf Ave. at W. 12th St.,

Eat up!

Fill up after your ordeal in the freezing water! In addition to the many fried foods available on the Boardwalk, several eateries along Surf Avenue will be open. Stop for nature’s most perfect food — a Nathan’s hot dog at Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters (1310 Surf Ave. at Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, For a sit-down meal, you can grab a coal-fired pizza from Grimaldi’s (1215 Surf Ave. between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street), or make your out-of-town visitors feel at home with a stop at Grimaldi’s next-door neighbor Applebee’s. (Note: usual Coney Island mainstays Kitchen 21, Wahlburgers, and Garguilo’s will be closed on New Year’s Day).

Seaside sorcery

After a cold snap of reality, stop by a family-friendly show of marvels from Magic at Coney! You can catch either of two afternoon performances from the enigmatic magician Lee Alan, illusionist Omar Olusion, and mentalist Gary Dreifus.

Sideshows by the Seaside (1208 Surf Ave. at W. 12th St., Noon and 3 pm. $10 ($5 kids).

Shark show

The New York Aquarium will be open as usual on New Year’s Day, so after you imitate a polar bear, visit the other mammals at the sea lion show, or check out the predators of the “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit.

New York Aquarium [602 Surf Ave. between W. Fifth and W. Eighth streets, (718) 220–5100,]. 10 am–4:30 pm. $24.95 ($19.95 kids).

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Updated 8:50 am, December 24, 2018
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