BROOKLYN FAMILY FAVES

From destination playgrounds to cool public art, this hip borough has fun for the whole family.  See the map view for planning.

Also see our favorite spots in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx & the country and suburbs beyond NYC.

Also find specific guides for museums or outdoor adventures.

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BY PROSPECT PARK

J.J. Byrne Playground & Old Stone House

Enjoy lots of modern climbing equipment juxtaposed with colonial themes inspired by the adjacent Old Stone House, site of the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn. Explore a submarine periscope and interactive panels depicting the historic battle among natural stone and rustic pavement, then attack your enemies with water cannons. A gated toddler area features bucket swings,…

Zucker Natural Exploration Area

Strategically placed branches and stumps of trees damaged by storms and other materials from within Prospect Park invite engagement nature and unstructured play in this magical playground. several areas to explore including sand for digging and water features for pumping and splashing.

LeFrak Center Boating, Biking & Splash Pad

Ride single or double kayak and pedal boat to explore 55 acres of waterfront in Prospect Park ($16-$36/hour). Lightweight, synthetic clothing & water bottles suggested.

Choose from an array of bike rentals from traditional two wheels and kids trailers to a four-wheeled, 6-person double surrey ($13-$38/hour).

Half-day, full-day and season pass rentals also available.

Prospect Park Zoo

This former menagerie is designed to allow up-close animal viewing, perfect for families with young children who want to learn about wildlife.

Explore a Discovery Trail and encounter 400 animals of 150 species including red pandas, dingos, procupines and a host of beautiful birds. Visit unique small cats, sea lions and Chinese-big headed turtles.

Food…

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Inspired by Brooklyn’s energy and diversity, this beloved children’s museum (the first in the world when in opened in 1899) creates experiences that ignite curiosity, celebrate identity and cultivate joyful learning.

Learn about world cultures, visual arts, nature, animals and more in well-designed, interactive exhibits including World Brooklyn, Neighborhood Nature, Totally Tots, Collections Central and…

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Explore a 52-acre urban botanic garden with a variety of plants and habitats.

*  Don’t miss the lovely Japanese Garden’s pond, home to turtles, carp, ducks and its small Shinto shrine guarded by two stone fox statues (and gorgeous cherry blossoms in the spring).

* Download a kids field journal and see tips…

Brooklyn Museum

This encyclopedic, community focused museum on the edge of Prospect Park hosts a huge, diverse permanent collection categorized by culture, as well as thoughtful visiting exhibitions from all over the world.

* Explore African Art, Indigenous Americas Art, American Art, Ancient Egyptian Art, Decorative Arts and much more in spacious galleries over five floors…

Family Discovery Days at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Experiment, learn, and play at hands-on activity stations throughout the Discovery Garden that encourage families to explore science and nature together. Pot up a plant or create a nature craft to take home alongside volunteer Discovery Docents.

Drop-in program for families with children of all ages. Free with Garden admission.

All programs are outdoors and…

Smorgasburg In Prospect Park

Spend your Sundays noshing at the largest weekly open-air food market in America featuring 35 local vendors—including Parantha Alley and Vaquero Elotes—and a full bar.  At what the New York Times calls “The Woodstock of Eating,” try Amazeballs meatballs by NFL player Derrell Smith, egg sandwiches based on Japanese tamagoyaki, Fluffies’ thick soufflé pancakes. Portuguese…

First Discoveries at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Explorers up to 5 years old (and their caregivers) can pot up a plant, create a craft, read a story, and use senses to explore nature at special Discovery Garden activity stations designed for toddlers. Activities rotate weekly.

Drop-in. Free with Garden admission.

All programs are outdoors and canceled in inclement weather. Check the website…

DUMBO/DOWNTOWN

Brooklyn Bridge Park Playgrounds

This expansive park has great attractions and a gorgeous only-in-NYC view. Explore refurbished piers, most of which host playgrounds (our favorites are at Pier 6 including giant Slide Mountain, Sandbox Village, Swing Valley and the splashy Water Lab). Play in the sand and admire tide pools at Pier 4 Beach (no swimming/wading).

Find a variety of yummy concessions throughout the park and restrooms at Piers 2,5 & 6. 

Time Out Market New York

Sample some of the best NYC food: fluffy pancakes from the venerable Clinton Street Baking Co., thin-crust pizza from Patsy Grimaldi’s Juliana’s, Middle Eastern bites from Miss Ada, fried chicken from Jacob’s Pickles, Japanese comfort food from Bessou, cookie dough scoops from DŌ and more amazing eateries—all cherry-picked by Time Out New York. 21,000 delicious…

Beat The Bomb

Kids and adults play together in a 1 hour video game escape room with a signature paint bomb ending. With hazmat suits, paint, lasers and smoke machines, take on Hack Attack, Laser Maze, Echo Chamber and Floor Grid, before reaching the bomb room game Cyberbot where you must drive a bomb-disposal robot through a maze…

 Black Atlantic 

Explore art inspired by the diaspora across the ocean that connects Africa with the Americas and Europe, displayed on the shores of a former shipping port. Over the centuries, these transatlantic networks have led to complex hybrid cultures and identities like those of the five artists featured in Black Atlantic.

Each commission suggests a unique…

Little Artists Curated By Justin Teodoro

See selected works from Children’s Museum of the Arts Permanent Collection of artworks created by children, curated by artist, illustrator, and designer Justin Teodoro in the Gallery at Ace Hotel Brooklyn. Includes an intimate selection of artworks that aspires to encourage the public to rediscover their love and joy in making art without judgment.

Cosmic CAMP

Jump across lava fields, drive rovers, participate in intergalactic trivia, decode ice crystals, collect coins, and shoot through three slides at an intergalactic adventure for all ages.

At experiential toy store CAMP, with free hands-on fun for all behind a secret bookcase. Inside a shopping complex with lots of food and shops; see our

Pier 2 Roller Rink

Skate on a world-class roller and inline skating rink with a waterfront view and a top 40 soundtrack. Skate rental available ($7). Wrist Guards Required for all skaters; rentals are provided free of charge.

Advanced ticket sales are no longer required/offered. All tickets can be purchased upon entry at the admissions windows. Sessions are 3 hours each.

Ed Center 7th Birthday Celebration

Join Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy for a special family-friendly event celebrating the 7th Anniversary of the Environmental Education Center. Enjoy special crafts, a Park scavenger hunt, mini photo booth, special raffles every hour, and explore the unique educational exhibits and animals inside the Environmental Education Center.

Scheduled activities include a  2 pm Bug Hunt and…

Brooklyn Bidge Park Kayaking

Glide along the East River on kayaks from the volunteer-run Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse (Pier 4 Beach). All levels welcome. Advanced registration required.

Kids under 14 must ride in a double kayak with an adult except on Sundays from 12 pm to 2:30 pm when kids age 7 or older can paddle alone (as long…

Open Hours at Environmental Education Center

Get to know Brooklyn Bridge Park with monthly educational themes, a 250 gallon aquarium filled with critters from the East River, a 10’ scale model of Brooklyn Bridge Park, crafts, a reading corner, and much more.

Drop-in hours three afternoons a week offer the opportunity for self-led investigation with guidance by expert educators to…

Atlantic Antic

Spanning four neighborhoods (Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Downtown Brooklyn) from Hicks Street to Fourth Avenue, the oldest and largest street fest in New York City brings together people from all ages and diverse backgrounds with hundreds merchants and vendors and ten stages of musical performances. Enjoy pony rides, storytelling, and face painting…

Citizen Science Fishing Clinic

Learn how to bait a hook, drop a line, and maybe even reel up a fish. Guided by Brooklyn Bridge Park’s education team, learn the basics of rod and reel fishing while catching-and-releasing.

Little Amal Walks NYC: St. Ann’s Warehouse

Say goodbye to Little Amal, a giant puppet of a 10 year old Syrian refugee girl, who has travelled over 9,000km with her message of hope and solidarity for displaced people everywhere.

At 5 pm, Amal walks New York one last time through Brooklyn Bridge Park, encountering all those she has met, all the…

WILLIAMSBURG

Domino Park

Find cool design and amazing bridge/Manhattan views at a large waterfront park on the site of a former Domino Sugar factory.

* The playground, designed by the artist Mark Reigelman, has fun features like spinning valve wheels cast from Domino Sugar originals and a 26-foot-high silo with ladders, webbing and slides pay homage to the…

Putting Green

Play an 18-hole golf course on a Williamsburg waterfront deck showcasing problems and solutions for climate change issues facing our planet. Find polar bears, whales, windmills and more while learning about green and blue infrastructure, animal habitat, energy, emissions and more.

Each hole has been designed by a community partner, including artists and designers, community…

Greenpoint Terminal Market

Support small Brooklyn businesses at an outdoor flea located on the waterfront with gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline. Shop over 100 vendors from vintage and antiques to local art and design, fresh fashion and a variety of international food.

Also enjoy live music, shows and outdoor activities for the whole family like comedy, skateboarding,…

Smorgasburg Williamsburg

Nosh at a Saturday open-air food market in America featuring over 35 local vendors in a waterfront park. At what the New York Times calls “The Woodstock of Eating,” try unique treats like fried cookie dough balls, Honduran baleadas, baklava beignets, butter tarts, Japanese fried chicken, lobster truffle fries and so much more yumminess.

Rock And Roll Playhouse at Brooklyn Bowl

Dance and sing along to the music of iconic rockers at an interactive and educational live music experience for families at the super cool Brooklyn Bowl. Featured musicians change weekly, from David Bowie to John Lennon to Tom Petty.

Loud (bring hearing protection earmuffs for sensitive ears) with lots of dancing. Doors open at 11:00…

SUNSET PARK/RED HOOK

Green-Wood

This historic cemetery (founded in 1838) is a lovely place to wander, with 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths, plus gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline and extraordinary 19th- and 20th-century statuary and mausoleums.

* Honor famous permanent residents such as Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort…

Shipwrecked Brooklyn

Play an indoor 18-hole miniature golf course and go on an adventure through four pirate-themed areas complete with theatrical scenery, lights, and sound. Use a bag of gold tokens ($5) to bring the story to life through animatronics, video, and special effects as you make your way through the course. The course is ADA compliant…

Brooklyn Night Market

Shop 40+ local vendors – small business owners – passionately sharing delicious food, tasty treats, eclectic handmade items, and arts & culture artifacts.

See our guide to happening Industry City.

Rock And Roll Playhouse at Industry City

Rock out to live music in a cool courtyard. Each week feature a different musician, from Abba to Billy Joel to Van Morrison. Expect dancing, interactive games and loads of fun.

All are welcome. The core audience is children 10 years and under. Rain or shine. Stick around for Irish music from 3-6 pm.

Also…

CONEY ISLAND

New York Aquarium

See sharks, rays, sea otters, octopus, jellyfish and more at the oldest continually operating aquarium in the US.

* Take in a sea lion show at the Aquatheater (limited seating), chill out while zebra sharks swim overhead and admire rainbow colored coral exhibits. See sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and penguins at outdoor Sea…

Green Meadows Farm Pumpkin Picking

Visit animals, go on a hayride, pick a pumpkin and take pics in fun fall photo-ops. Sit on 10 different tractors, operate a bulldozer, ride a bumpy roller slide, play in a farm playground and more.

Also join a Halloween Candy Hunt Oct 22-30.