Polar Bear Plunge 2016: Dive Into the New Year and the Atlantic

Costumed revelers dance to Funkadelic at the Polar Bear Plunge in 2013. Photo by Hannah Frishberg


    Big party plans for New Year’s Eve? Head down to Coney Island on New Year’s Day for a proven hangover remedy — running into the Atlantic Ocean.

    The annual Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge has been organizing individuals to brave the Atlantic’s frigid waters since 1903, when fitness advocate Bernarr Macfadden began the tradition, believing the cold experience benefited one’s virility.

    Known for its costumed revelers’ boardwalk dance parties as much as its freezing plunge into the Atlantic, the idea of a cold-water dive is in no way special to Brooklyn, but this 112-year-old Coney Island rendition brings a bacchanalian warmth to the numbingly chilly task.

    Past years have attracted thousands of participants.

    While anyone can watch, to swim you must register and pledge online. There is no fee, but those who register (or observe) are encouraged to donate $20, and in exchange will receive a a free ride ticket to Luna Park. All of those who register will also receive free admission to the New York Aquarium.

    Swimmers should arrive by 1 p.m. on January 1, 2016.

    To register online, see the Polar Bear Club’s website.

    [Photo by Hannah Frishberg]

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