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Freezin’ For A Reason Coney Island’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge!

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Every year on New Year’s Day, there is a Polar Bear Plunge at Coney Island. That’s when the Polar Bear Club, and anyone else who wants to do it, runs into the freezing cold Atlantic ocean on New Year’s Day.

This event is not only for fun. It is also a charity event.

No one  participating has to pay, but if you decide to pay, the money goes to Camp Sunshine in Maine. Camp Sunshine is a camp for dangerously sick children. In this camp, the children can take their minds off their sicknesses for a while, and just hang out with their families and make new friends. Also, if you do decide to give charity, you can get additional items like t-shirts and stickers, as well as free admission to the New York aquarium.

When you go to the plunge, you’re most likely going to make a day out of it.

Usually, the Wonder Wheel (Coney Island’s famous ferris wheel)  is closed in the winter, but it opens especially for the plunge (and that money also goes to Camp Sunshine, too).

You can also do stuff, like have hot cocoa and eat breakfast in the restaurants on the boardwalk. Afterwards, with your free admission, you can go to the aquarium, and a bit after that, why not go to the Polar Bear Plunge tailgate party?  

To organize the chaos, there are different groups that go into the water at different times, depending on what time they get there.

This year, the first group had blue wrist bands, and went at 1:00pm. The second group had red wrist bands and went at 1:05pm, and so on.

But, the action on the beach is the best.

There are crowds of viewers watching you. Bands are playing. People are taking videos and pictures to post online, and put in the newspaper. There are people in costume. There are helicopters overhead, and the coastguards in the distance.

You are the center of attention. You can’t help but smile, and chant and cheer with the crowd.

The water was freezing! Almost literally. The water was 39 degrees Fahrenheit! 

Everyone was screaming as loud as they could, so it wouldn’t feel as cold…until you actually got out of the water. Then, I was so cold that my legs were numb!

There was every type of Polar Bear plunger, from the “chicken dippers” who only stuck their big toe into water, to the crazy people actually diving in over their heads! It was so much fun!  

This event was also held at Long Beach, but if you weren’t able to go to either plunge, for Super Bowl Sunday (February 5), Long Beach will be holding another plunge.

The charity that day will be Make-A-Wish. The Polar Bear Club meets every Sunday from November to April, if anyone you know is into really cold water.

But everyone knows they’re “freezin’ for a reason,” and a good one too–Camp Sunshine.

https://www.campsunshine.org/

 

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13 Comments

13 Responses to “Freezin’ For A Reason Coney Island’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge!”

  1. Dash Alschuler-Pierce on January 30th, 2017 9:16 am

    OMG! Great review! My mind is blown. It seems so fun! I love the idea of doing quirky things like this for a good cause, like for kids who are dangerously sick. GREAT REVIEW! 😀

  2. Amina Radoncic on January 30th, 2017 9:24 am

    Wow, people will actually go into freezing cold water in the middle of the winter!!!!! At least it is for a good cause. I really liked the way you described everything that happened that day. Overall, great job!!!!!!!

  3. Alexis deSuze on February 1st, 2017 2:23 pm

    Going in freezing water doesn’t sound like much fun…BUT, I would do it for the dangerously sick children. It’s a nice thing to do for other kids and I would want to be part of that.??

  4. Lonnie Creech on February 3rd, 2017 12:51 pm

    I have a question about the event, Does this event only happen on New Year’s Day?

    Bethany Kosinski Reply:

    This event is also today, Sunday February 5th, in Long Beach, for the Super Bowl. The meeting place is Riverside Blvd. Boardwalk. Meeting at 12:30 pm, plunge at 1:30 pm. The Long Beach Polar Bear’s Super Bowl Splash 2017. If you do decide to go, good luck and stay warm!

  5. Cliff Cadet on February 3rd, 2017 12:56 pm

    Wow that sounds pretty cool! Going into 39 degree water would be so COLD! That’s really brave to actually do that. Kudos to you! 😀

    Bethany Kosinski Reply:

    Thanks! Also, all the fun can take your mind off the freezing water. The real coldness comes after you get out of the water! I remember being so cold that my toes were numb, and I had to stumble through the crowd to get back to our towel! Overall, it was a really fun event! Again, thank you for the comment! 🌡❄️

  6. Sara Sierzega on February 6th, 2017 8:58 am

    This year I went to do the Polar Plunge, but I went somewhere else. I went at 12:15 pm on February 5 2017 on Long Island. I think you described this really well great job Bethany. 😉

  7. Mya Miller on February 6th, 2017 9:01 am

    BETHANY! You did a amazing story. I cant believe people really go in freezing cold water! I would be extremely excited if I got to do that! Also, I have a question for you. What is the Polar bear plunge tailgate party?

  8. Emily Nothdurft on March 8th, 2017 12:59 pm

    WOW!! That was an AMAZING article. I’m never cold, so when I get a bit older I’m thinking about doing the plunge myself.

  9. Dori Chau on March 8th, 2017 1:01 pm

    Great review Bethany! The idea of doing weird and cool things to help people in desperate need is a really good idea! Though, swimming in freezing water is not that fun. The beach sounds like a relaxing place, too. The idea of being the center of attention is NICE!!

  10. Saniaa Harding on March 21st, 2017 1:19 pm

    Awesome review! I would love to go to that camp.It sounds AWESOME especially getting in the freezing water. 😉 🙂

  11. Jeanette Diamond on March 22nd, 2017 1:24 pm

    Wow sounds really fun and amazing. Swimming on New Years must be fun and to be able to go on a famous ferris wheel must’ve been exciting. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the marvelous event.

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Freezin’ For A Reason Coney Island’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge!