Coney Island Polar Bear Club

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Art nerd ny, Events, Features, holidays

Ring in the New Year with these 10 artsy NYC events

By Lori Zimmer, Thu, December 21, 2017

Photo via Allison Marchant/Flickr

Close out 2017 with creativity at one of these arty parties or events. Look to Salvador Dali for the 3rd Annual Surrealist Ball, or channel the Great Gatsby at Hudson Terrace. If masquerade is your thing, check out Sleep No More’s sumptuous King’s Feast, the Truman Capote-inspired Black and White Ball, or get weird at the House of Yes. If you’re more laid back, have a classy evening of cocktails at Freemans or Raines Law Room. For the truly bold, brave the crowds to watch the ball drop in Times Square. And if New Year’s Eve isn’t your thing, celebrate New Year’s Day with a Victorian get together at the Merchant House Museum, or take a plunge into the ocean with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. Whatever you decide to do- have a happy and safe New Year!
Details on these events and more this way

Featured Story

Coney Island, Features, Interviews, New Yorker Spotlight, People

Coney Island Polar Bear Club, Dennis Thomas, Coney Island history, New Year's Day swim

The city may be having an unseasonably warm December, but it’s fair to say most New Yorkers still find it a bit too chilly for the beach. Members of the famed Coney Island Polar Bear Club, on the other hand, relish the drop in temperature as they head out for an ocean swim.

The Polar Bear Club is a New York institution dating back to 1903. While the organization is renowned for its annual New Year’s Day swim where New Yorkers gather to welcome the year with a chilly dip, it’s far from the only time the club embraces the cold water. In fact, they meet 12 times throughout the winter months and draw a sizable membership that’s a mix of ages, backgrounds, and cultures from the metropolitan area and beyond.

At the club’s helm is president Dennis Thomas, who fell in love with Coney Island years ago and later discovered the serenity of swimming on brisk days. More than thirty years after he first became a member, Dennis spoke with 6sqft about the Polar Bear Club’s history, what a typical swim is like, and what happens when hundreds of New Yorkers turn out for a New Year’s Day swim that supports Camp Sunshine.

Read the interview here

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