Prospect Park is one of the best parks in Brooklyn (if not all of New York City) and we’re about to tell you why! Prospect packs a lot into its 596 acres and whether you want to take a canine companion to Prospect Park Dog Beach, have a family outing at the Prospect Park Zoo, a photoshoot in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, or a meal in the Picnic House in Prospect Park, there’s something for everyone!
Prospect Park is also located next to the Brooklyn Museum(opens in a new tab), arguably one of the best museums in New York City. Being the third-largest NYC museum in terms of physical size, the Brooklyn Museum boasts a huge collection of American art, as well as a collection of Egyptian antiquities that spans over 3,000 years of history. The museum also schedules regular special events and talks, including programming specifically for kids and teens.
Without further ado, however, let’s jump into why you should visit this awesome NYC park!
PROSPECT PARK FOR KIDS
Take the family out for a fun day sightseeing to one of the many highlights at Prospect. The historic Prospect Park Carousel is a must-see and was actually featured on the PBS series Treasures of New York as a “historic gem of Brooklyn.” The carousel was originally placed in Coney Island and built in 1912, it features 53 carved horses, giraffe, deer, and even dragons!
Another highlight is the Prospect Park Zoo(opens in a new tab). Featuring over 800 different animals to see and learn about, it’s the perfect family day out. Both children and adults can enjoy the zoo’s playful sea lion training sessions, the adorable red panda exhibit, or feeding a friendly alpaca. Any of these activities are enough to brighten up anyone’s day. The zoo also featured seasonal events such as “Boo at the Zoo” in October, keep an eye out for updates here(opens in a new tab).
PICNIC HOUSE IN PROSPECT PARK
Dating back to 1927, the historic Georgian-style Picnic House is a welcome comfort station in the middle of the park. The building has become a favorite venue for weddings. With scenic views of the 90-acre Long Meadow, it works as a beautiful setting for those looking to tie the knot.
However, your everyday park-goer enjoys this area for the previously mentioned Long Meadow. Long Meadow is approximately 1 mile long, making it one of the longest uninterrupted stretches of parks in the United States! It’s the perfect place to lay out a blanket and have a picnic, play with the dog, or throw the frisbee around. Hot tip: there are relatively upscale public bathrooms just next to the field.
PROSPECT PARK DOG BEACH
Prospect Park is exceptionally friendly to our canine companions. If you’re looking for things to do in New York with dogs, head over to Prospect Park Dog Beach. This one-of-a-kind creation is a treasured community resource. Prospect Park Dog Beach is a manmade lake designed to look like an Adirondack oasis and it offers dogs a pet-friendly place to swim and play with their friends. Dog beach even features off-leash hours so that our furry friends can really fly free!
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is 52 acres in size and, according to their website(opens in a new tab), features “over 14,000 taxa of plants!” The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also home to over 200 cherry trees and locals especially love to visit during cherry blossom season (usually early May.) Cherry Walk is located in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s “Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden,” one of the very first Japanese gardens to be created for an American garden.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also home to a variety of other specialized gardens. The “Shakespeare Garden” is home to over 80 plants specifically mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. The Alice Recknagel Fragrance Gardens was the first garden in the country to be specifically designed for those with impaired vision. The Children’s Garden gives kids an opportunity to register for a plot of land and plant their own vegetables. And the Water Garden is dedicated to plants that thrive in a more wetland environment.
To learn more about the park, take a tour of the grounds or attend one of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens special events(opens in a new tab) which include pop-up dance and music performances! If you visit during the winter, weekday entrance is pay-what-you-can, perfect for those traveling on a budget.
To learn even more about this park’s must-sees and interesting history, book a tour with one of our friendly guides today!(opens in a new tab)