August 21, 2017

Brooklyn with Kids (Next Time, We’re Getting Off the Subway)

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Brooklyn Bridge Park

Last month, I took my girls to New York City for the weekend, and while we were there we accidentally took the subway into Brooklyn. Oops. So we turned around and made our way back into Manhattan. Well, after checking into all the family-friendly activities in Brooklyn, I realize I should have stayed in Brooklyn for a few hours, if not a few days. Take a look at these seven must-stop spots in Brooklyn when you’ve got little ones in tow.

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Your kids will love the Discovery Garden, including workshops that take place two to three times a month, offering opportunities to learn about wacky native plants, urban animals, bees, butterflies and more. Fall Family Weekend Workshops kick off next month complete with hands-on investigations and garden explorations. Check out the Children’s Garden for the chance to plant crops and flowers, as well as harvest them alongside garden instructors.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park: Stop by for hands-on, park-focused programs sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. You and your kids can seine the East River to catch and learn about fish and sea creatures, like blue crabs, shrimp and comb jellies. Various other weekend family programs focus on birds, recycling, trees and more. Get the free City Maps and Walks app for your iPhone to find a guided two-hour walking tour through Brooklyn Bridge Park and DUMBO.
  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum: I’m a big fan of children’s museums, and there’s so much to do at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Current exhibits include Totally Tots (for kids 5 an under), Neighborhood Nature (helping kids explore freshwater ponds, community gardens and more) and World Brooklyn (a great first look at everyday activities around the word). Stop in on Fridays from 5-7:30 p.m. through August 26 for free admission to the museum.
  • Coney Island: Yes, it’s in Brooklyn! I actually went to Coney Island years ago (never take the local train, yikes) and it was so much fun, especially on Mermaid Parade weekend in June. Sure, there are loads of amusement rides, but check out the Coney Island Museum on weekends, as well as the New York Aquarium. As a bonus, Fridays are pay-what-you-wish after 3 p.m. at the aquarium.
  • Jewish Children’s Museum: Enjoy craft workshops, a game show studio, theatre and kids library. And that’s just on the lower level of the Jewish Children’s Museum. You’ll also find a variety of fun exhibits to help children learn more about Jewish Life (look for the make-believe Kosher Supermarket on the third floor). You’ll even find six holes of mini golf on the fifth floor to help kids learn more about major Jewish life cycle events.
  • Lefferts Historic House: Built by a Dutch family in the 18th century, Lefferts Historic House features a working garden and historic artifacts, as well as period rooms and exhibits. Families can make candles, churn butter and tend to the farm. On weekend afternoons, kids can make arts and crafts, and even play games, just as they did 150 years ago. Every Sunday through August, you and your kids can also enjoy songs and stories. Come back for the Annual Quilt Show in November.
  • Prospect Park Zoo: Enjoy animal encounters, sea lion feedings and even a Discovery Center where little ones can pretend to be a zoo vet, get up-close with birds and reptiles and use field guides to learn about animals you might see on a camping trip. Your kids may get the biggest kick out of learning about “scat,” or animal poop, and how it’s used to track animals. On weekends, take in a zookeeper chat to learn more about featured animals each week.

Have you ever been to Brooklyn? I’m definitely kicking myself now for turning back around to Manhattan, but if you’ve been I’d love to hear about your favorite things to do in Brooklyn.

Comments

  1. I’m from Brooklyn and there is so much to do. And the diversity of food to try is endless. But the best thing of all is the pizza. You can’t beat it.

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