Coney Island, the poor man’s Hamptons, is the beach for the working class, free for all, for the price of a ride on the subway. With the opening of the Ford Amphitheater just past the Parachute Jump on the boardwalk, you can also enjoy free concerts. Add that to your list of free fun things to do in New York.

 free fun things

The Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

The newly opened Ford Amphitheater, on the boardwalk in Coney Island, brings more free fun to Brooklyn. Six concerts in 2016 are free, including:

  • The Beach Boys, July 4 (followed by fireworks, naturally)
  • Billy Ocean, July 21
  • Latino Music by the Sea, July 28
  • Kool & the Gang, August 12
  • ABBA the concert, (a tribute band) August 15
  • Rick Springfield, August 18

You have to pick up your free tickets at the box office; check here for distribution times.

The covered Ford amphitheater, with 5,000 seats, is open to the ocean breezes. Its concessions evoke a real Brooklyn flavor, with Nathan’s hot dogs, Juniors cheesecake and Beigel’s Bakery black and white cookies. The theater, incorporating the New York City Landmark Childs Building, was home to the gigantic Childs Restaurant and then a candy factory.

The amphitheater is part of The Seaside Park and Community Arts Center, which will have family shows and other free events. Surrounding the theater will be an acre of park land, with a picnic area and Play Garden opening soon.

free fun things

The Coney Island boardwalk, with the Parachute Jump in the background. Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

While you are in Coney Island, be sure to spend some time on the beach, which is always free.  If you are feeling flush, there are plenty of ways to drop some dough: ride the Parachute Jump, Cyclone, or another amusement park ride, catch a Cyclones minor league baseball game or buy a zeppole – fried dough. Just don’t eat the zeppole before riding the Cyclone!