I’ve lived in Brooklyn nearly my entire adult life, but raising two kids in this beautiful borough has turned me on to a new dimension of fun. This densely populated, diverse land is full of warmth and adventure, with thoughtfully designed children’s attractions alongside historic mainstays that anyone will love.
Classic city institutions like the New York Transit Museum and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum are wonderful spots for indoor adventures, but the borough’s incredible parks always hold a top spot on my family’s agenda. The recent crop of waterfront parks such as Domino and Brooklyn Bridge Park are a great bet for visiting families, since they combine views with innovative play structures and great food options. Here’s how to make the most of your visit here with kids.
If you visit in the summer, be prepared for heat, humidity, and thunderstorms.
If you only have time for one thing, make it the century-old Jane’s Carousel, with its views of the Manhattan skyline.
Get your bearings at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where dramatic bridge crossings and views of the Manhattan waterfront transmit the city's energy. Start among the cobblestone streets of Dumbo and swing by Jane's Carousel. Stop for lunch at Time Out Market, which offers everything from ramen to bagels, and then follow the waterfront path to the playgrounds on the park's other end. It's a long walk for little legs, so consider a family bike ride.
Take a ferry to the historic waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook for dinner and Statue of Liberty views. Dining options include Thai, barbecue, and seafood.
Walk two blocks from Grand Army Plaza to reach the Brooklyn Museum, with a world-class art collection that'll capture anyone’s imagination. Finish with dinner at a restaurant on nearby Vanderbilt Avenue. In summer, streets close to traffic so kids can run wild while you relax with pad thai and a cocktail.
Take a stroll down Riegelmann boardwalk and grab a Nathan's Famous hot dog. From spring through early fall, you can ride the historic Cyclone rollercoaster and Wonder Wheel, but I love Coney Island’s atmosphere and beach views in the off-season. For dinner, walk inland a few blocks for Russian, Georgian, or Uzbeki food in Brighton Beach.