Ten Places to Take Your Kids This Summer

May 29, 2012 Denise Romano
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With two months of summer vacation on the horizon, savvy parents are already searching for fun activities to keep busy. Luckily, Brooklyn has an abundance of attractions, studios, museums and parks that will delight kids of all ages. Here’s to a fun-filled season!

JANE’S CAROUSEL

Brooklyn Bridge Park

The newly renovated, historic carousel recently opened up to the public last fall at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Kids will love to look at the newly repainted, stenciled and re-leafed scenery panels and re-glazed beveled mirrors as they whirl around. If you go during the evening, you can enjoy the 1,200 rewired lights that illuminate the carousel. Tickets are $2. The carousel is closed on Tuesdays. For more information call 718-222-2502 or visit www.janescarousel.com.

 

BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

334 Furman Street

With brand-new playgrounds and spectacular views, Brooklyn Bridge Park is a great summer destination. Pier 6 features a nautically themed playground and a dog run, plus plenty of lawn to picnic on. Stay tuned for a schedule of summer events. Last year’s line-up included movies, seining and bird watching. For more information visit www.brookylnbridgepark.org.

 

PROSPECT PARK CAROUSEL

Ocean and Flatbush Avenues and Empire Boulevard

Celebrating its 100th birthday this year, the Prospect Park Carousel continues to delight. For just $2 take a spin on one of the 53 hand-carved horses, a lion, a giraffe, a deer and or two dragon-pulled chariots. It is also one of the few carousels in the world that is wheelchair accessible. If you’re feeling hungry, you can grab a snack at the Pony Express Bar right next door. For more information visit http://www.prospectpark.org/carousel.

 

BROOKLYN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

145 Brooklyn Avenue

Brooklyn is home to the first children’s museum in the world. Exhibits such as World Brooklyn, Neighborhood Nature and Pattern Wizardry will keep little hands and minds entertained while learning about the world around them. There are also special visiting exhibits and an animal collection. Kids will love to meet the museum’s most famous resident, Fantasia the yellow Albino Burmese python. Tickets cost $7 per person and are free for museum members and kids under 1. For more information, call 718-735-4400 or visit www.brooklynkids.org.

 

PROSPECT PARK ZOO

450 Flatbush Avenue

Brooklyn’s only zoo was especially designed for children. They will love the hands-on Discovery Center, where they can play zoo veterinarian, learn about tortoises and turtles, cook food on a “campfire” and more. Kids can watch animals of all types including the comical red pandas and feed the barnyard residents at the petting zoo. Tickets cost $8 for adults, $5 for children and $6 for seniors. You can also attend summer camp, vote for the cutest baby animals, and have a birthday party at the zoo. For more info, visit www.ProspectParkZoo.com.

 

MCCARREN PARK AND POOL

North 12th Street, Lorimer Street and Manhatan Avenue between Berry and Bayard Streets

With renovations to the historic pool, bathhouse and entry arch set to be completed any day now, the McCarren Park and Pool is all ready for the crowds from Greenpoint and Williamsburg who already gather every weekend to play on the baseball, soccer and football fields; use the handball, bocce and tennis courts; walk the dog; go for a run or a bike ride; and let the kids play on the fully handicapped accessible playgrounds. Summer also brings annual concerts and SummerScreen movies. For more information, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/mccarrenpark and http://www.mccarrenpark.com/.

 

ARTY FACTS AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM

200 Eastern Parkway

Arty Facts is a program for kids aged four to seven and their adult friends with a different focus each month. In each 90-minute class, participants will explore the galleries, do a family activity and then make personal art. Classes begin in the Rubin Lobby every Sunday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The materials fee, for up to four participants, is $10; $5 for gallery/studio families and for museum members at the family level and free for museum members at the contributor level and above. For more info call 718-638-5000 or visit www.brooklynmuseum.org.

 

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is blooming throughout the year with life and educational classes.

BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN

900 Washington Avenue

The over a century old garden in the heart of Brooklyn is likely most known for their annual Sakura Matsui cherry blossom festival, but the 52 acres of lush greenery, flowers and fountains is also home to a bonsai museum, three climate-themed plant pavilions, a greenhouse and an art gallery. There are themed gardens – Shakespeare, Fragrance, Herbs and Children’s – as well as classes, tours and an annual plant sale. The BBG is open every day except Monday and is free for members and children under 12, $10 for adults, and $5 for students/seniors. Visit www.bbg.org for a calendar of events and programs.

 

CUMBE: CENTER FOR AFRICAN AND DIASPORA DANCE

558 Fulton Street, 2nd Floor

Toddlers are often bundles of energy that, when not eating and playing, want to run around and explore. Channel that energy into dancing at Cumbe, a cultural center right off of Flatbush Avenue that offers performances, talks and dance parties on a regular basis for adults and kids. Their Friday “Playspace” class from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. is targeted for one to four-year-olds, and through May and June, the only cost is a $10 suggested donation. After getting out all that energy, though, having your child fall asleep shortly after might be priceless. Call 718-935-9700 or visit www.cumbedance.com for more information.

 

PUPPETWORKS

338 Sixth Avenue

For nearly thirty years, Puppetworks has been delighting audiences of all ages. Founded by pro puppeteer, Nicholas Coppola, the theater features a variety of shows, including “Punch and Judy,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “The Prince & The Magic Flute.” Weekdays are usually reserved for large groups, but the public can catch a show on weekends. Tickets are usually $8 for adults and $7 for children. For more information or to make a reservation call 718-965-3391 or visit www.puppetworks.org.


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