Brooklyn, NYC is a fun destination, home to unique art museums, outdoor markets, fantastic food, free attractions, romantic wedding venues, unique areas like Dumbo, music events and theater performances. Families can head to Luna Park to ride a roller coaster, watch a puppet show at the Toy Museum and interact with hands-on exhibits at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Here are the best things to do in Brooklyn, New York.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
1. Luna Park, Coney Island
© NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer
Named after the original park, which burnt down in 1944, Luna Park is an amusement park based on Coney Island and one of the best things to do in Brooklyn. Once dubbed ‘The World’s Largest Playground’, the original park had three huge fairgrounds that provided hair-raising rides, a model off which the recently opened park has built itself on. Luna Park is home to nineteen new attractions and games, including the historic Cyclone Roller Coaster, and the famous Coney Island ‘Funny Face’ Tickler Ride.
There are family-friendly rides, thrill rides, a ‘scream’ zone and a go-kart track, to name but a few of the rides and adventures in the park. The park works on a Luna Card system, whereby visitors buy Luna Credits to spend on rides and amusement as opposed to spending cash, or use an unlimited ride wristband that allows for four hours of ride time on select rides.
1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224, Phone: 718-373-5862
2.Brooklyn Bridge Park
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Stretching along Brooklyn’s East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre waterfront park that has been revitalized from the previous post-industrial waterfront. The park runs for 1.3 miles along the shoreline and incorporates the six famous Brooklyn Piers numbered 1-6, the historic Fulton Ferry Landing, and the pre-existing Empire–Fulton Ferry and Main Street Parks.
There are a variety of activities to enjoy in and around the park, ranging from sporting activities such as basketball, volleyball, soccer and boating, or you can take a tour of the park with an expert guide, who will walk you through the history of the park. If you are wondering what to do in Brooklyn today, this is a great place to visit. There are a number of playgrounds for children and Jane’s Carousel is always a popular stop. Have a swim at the pop-up swimming pool, join a fitness class on the lawns next to the river, or enjoy a picnic in one of the secluded hideaways throughout the park.
334 Furman Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201, Phone: 718-802-0603
3.Things To Do in Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Flea
© Courtesy of Ekaterina Pokrovsky - Fotolia.com
The Brooklyn Flea has grown into one of New York City’s top attractions and should not be missed. Fondly known as the ‘mother of all markets,’ the outdoor market starts on the first weekend in April and continues through November, and can be found in Fort Greene on Saturdays and Williamsburg on Sundays. Featuring hundreds of vendors, you will find everything and anything piled on folding tables, from vintage furniture and clothing to a handpicked selection of handmade jewelry, arts and crafts by local designers, as well as an array of beautiful antiques and collectables.
The market is also home to ‘Smorgasburg’, a vast all-food market that usually takes place in Williamsburg on Saturdays and Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sundays. Gourmands and foodies will delight in the delicious choices of artisanal cuisine on offer. During the colder months between November and March, the market moves indoors and continues trade under cover, while every summer four Flea/Smorgasburg food vendors showcase their wares at the Central Park Summer Stage outdoor concert series.
186 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11238, Phone: 718-928-6603
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4.Brooklyn Historical Society
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Founded in 1863 by Henry Pierrepont, the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) is an urban history center that reflects on, preserves, and emboldens Brooklyn's fascinating 400-year history. Housed in a magnificent 19th Century landmark building in Brooklyn Heights, which was designed by George Post and has been described as “one of the City's great architectural treasures”, the BHS is also home to a museum, the Othmer Library and an educational center.
The BHS offers a wonderful variety of programs to suit a wide range of audiences, including exhibition-related lectures, musical events, history and current affairs topics, walking tours, readings and plays. The Othmer Library has an extensive collection of historical maps, atlases and genealogy collections.
128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201, Phone: 718-222-4111
5.The Ford Amphitheater, Brooklyn, NY
© The Ford Amphitheater
The Ford Amphitheater is Coney Island's newest live entertainment venue, opened along the famed Coney Island Boardwalk in June of 2016. The amphitheater was constructed at the site of the historic 1923 Childs Restaurant, which was fully renovated as part of the venue's redevelopment. Hip musical acts are showcased at the amphitheater throughout its regular summer season lineup, including performances by internationally-renowned acts such as the Beach Boys, Peter Gabriel, Sting, the Counting Crows, and Willie Nelson. All shows are presented rain or shine at the outdoor venue, which offers a covered space for inclement weather. Before and after concerts, diners can enjoy classic American fare at Kitchen 21, which offers a rooftop bar featuring a clever cocktail program.
3052 W 21st St, Brooklyn, NY 11224, Phone: 718-954-9933
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6.BLDG 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center
© BLDG 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center
Located in Wallabout Basin along the East River, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 is a museum, exhibition and visitor center that celebrates the history of this famous naval yard. Once one of the most active and innovative military shipbuilding facilities in the United States, this unique museum now plays tribute to the importance of the role the Navy Yard played in America’s naval, industrial, and cultural history.
Operated by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the museum celebrates the Navy Yard’s heritage through a collection of excellent exhibitions, displays and programs, such as ‘Brooklyn Navy Yard – Past, Present and Future’, which recounts the extraordinary history of this vitally important navy yard, and ‘Designing the Future’, which looks forward to the future of the yard.
63 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205, Phone: 718-907-5992
© Emma's Torch
Emma's Torch is a unique restaurant and nonprofit culinary training organization in Carroll Gardens, helping to transform the lives of international refugees by helping them build culinary careers in their new communities. The restaurant provides culinary training for refugees and helps them place in jobs as line cooks throughout New York City, also offering participants ESL courses and interview preparation assistance. It partners with some of the world's top charities, including the International Rescue Committee, Sanctuary for Families, and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. Brooklyn visitors looking for a feel-good dining experience can enjoy delicious seasonal menus at the company's restaurant, which is helmed by culinary director Alexander Harris. Delicious brunch and dinner menus highlight traditional international fare, including Burmese spicy beef curry, Iranian stuffed red snapper, and traditional Togo-style poulet cocotte grand-mère.
345 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231, Phone: 718-243-1222
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8. Toy Museum of NY, Brooklyn, NY
© Toy Museum of NY
Established in 1999, the Toy Museum of NY is a traveling museum that produces a magical theatrical performance about the historical toys from its vast collection. Aiming to educate the public on the importance of dolls and toys in our culture and history through art collections and theatrical plays, performances focus on the history of several toys, such as pieces played with during George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s time.
The museum also features an interactive and educational children's theatre program called ‘Queen Marlene's Toy Theatre’, and features professional actors, original scripts, handmade costumes and fun special effects.
Some of the museum’s interactive shows include ‘The Toy Museum: A Mini Musical’, focusing on the history of certain toys and their origins, ‘Storytelling: The Stories Behind Popular Toy Inventions’, where children can learn about the invention of popular toys such as the Frisbee and the Teddy Bear, and ‘Storytelling with Puppets’, where everyday stories and life lessons are shared through the use of puppets.
90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11249, Phone: 718-243-0820
9.BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY
© Courtesy of jdoms - Fotolia.com
BRIC is a non-profit organization that presents contemporary art, live music, performing arts, exhibitions and community media programs that reflect Brooklyn’s creativity and diversity. Located in one of the country’s most creative artistic hubs, BRIC is at the forefront of providing various platforms and opportunities for an array of Brooklyn artists and media makers to create and present their works.
Some of the exhibitions presented by BRIC include Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival, and BRIClab, as well as community-based television programs such as Brooklyn Free Speech TV and Brooklyn Bulletin Board. BRIC is proudly part of the growing ‘Downton Brooklyn Cultural District’ project, which also includes Theater for a New Audience, UrbanGlass, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s three buildings.
647 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York 11217, Phone: 718-683-5600
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10.Free Tours by Foot, Brooklyn, NY
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Free Tours by Foot offers free tours in and round New York with one aim in mind – to educate and entertain guests with fantastic tours of New York City that showcase the history, heritage and culture of the city. Tours are led by passionate guides who love their city, want to share their knowledge, and give visitors the best sightseeing experience possible. These tours have no upfront costs, however you can determine what you think a tour was worth at the end and award the guide.
Take a Free Tour by Foot through Brooklyn and experience this independent district’s vibrant energy and atmosphere. Although Brooklyn is the city’s second largest borough, the Free Tour by Foot of Brooklyn takes you to all the most important sights and attractions of this city within a city, allowing you to get a real feel for the district.
Walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and learn about its heritage and history; ride the East River Ferry and discover the waterfront neighborhoods while taking in spectacular vistas of Manhattan Island; amble through Brooklyn Heights and the trendy suburb of Williamsburg, and stop for a delicious lunch in Dumbo.
11.Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn, NY
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Tucked away in Carroll Gardens in a part of Brooklyn that is yet to be overrun with restaurants, Buttermilk Channel is a cozy eatery with warm hospitality and just as welcoming cuisine. Named after the strait between Brooklyn and Governors Island, the restaurant’s corner location offers lovely views from pretty windows on two sides, buffed wooden tables, shiny brass fittings and glowing sconces on the walls creating soft light.
Distinguished by a slight emphasis on comfort food, the menu offers a delicious variety of classics with a twist. Start with popovers in lieu of bread, followed by buttermilk fried chicken or duck meatloaf. If you are looking for romantic date ideas in Brooklyn, this is a great place to visit. Don’t miss the sublime desserts, like the made-to-order, warm, crunchy apple cider doughnuts or the sublime pecan pie sundae. The restaurant has become increasingly popular and only accepts bookings for parties of five and up, so if you are a walk-in, be prepared to wait for a table.
524 Court St, Brooklyn, New York 11231, Phone: 718-852-8490
© Courtesy of Brad Pict - Fotolia.com
Smorgasburg is Brooklyn Flea’s giant all-food market, held every Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Brooklyn Bridge Park from April through November.
Boasting over 70 vendors selling a range of delicious culinary treats, ranging from freshly baked cookies to quinoa falafel, the market has fast become one of the most popular experiences in New York. Hailed as ‘the Woodstock of Eating’, the market is open from 11 am to 6 pm, where you will find packaged and prepared foods, a variety of beverages, and other gourmet delights.
Food aficionados and gourmands will love the artisan food on offer, and you’ll get to taste cuisine from all over the world, but be prepared to stand in line and pay a bit more than you would elsewhere.
13.Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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Designed by the Olmsted brothers in 1910, this beautiful 50-acre garden holds many delights, including an Elizabethan-style ‘knot’ herb garden and one of North America’s largest rose collections. The garden’s magnificent centerpiece is a Japanese hill-and-pond garden, complete with a teahouse and Shinto shrine. In late April and early May, the park promenade is aglow with delicate cherry blossoms, and hosts an annual Japanese festival, which highlights the country’s distinctive culture, food, and music.
The Magnolia Plaza is home to an exquisite display of creamy, blossoming trees against a backdrop of daffodils on Boulder Hill in April, while the Fragrance Garden is a sensory journey, in which exotic scents float languidly on the air. The conservatory houses one of America’s largest bonsai collections and some rare rainforest trees, whose extracts allow scientists to produce life-saving drugs.
880 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11225, Phone: 718-623-7200
More ideas: Best Day Trips from NYC
14.Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn, NY
© Kings County Distillery
Kings County Distillery is the oldest whiskey distillery operating in New York City and the first since the Prohibition. It was founded in 2010 to produce handmade bourbon and other types of whiskeys. It first started in a 325-square-foot room in East Williamsburg with five 24-liter stainless steel stills. In 2012 the distillery moved to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the 118-year-old Paymaster Building. The distillery uses traditional wooden fermenters made locally and New York grain to produce distinct award-winning whiskeys. Tours and tastings at the distillery are available from Tuesday to Sunday afternoon. The distillery also has the Gatehouse tasting room, located at the mostly ceremonial 1896 entrance to the navy yard. The tasting room is open every day.
299 Sands St, Bldg 121, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Phone: 347-689-4211
Bringing together the worlds of Fashion, Art, and Design in one perfect package, FAD Market is a traveling, pop-up market in Brooklyn. At various times, FAD Market pops up, bringing together the work and creations of artists and designers and making the worlds of art and culture much more accessible to the Brooklyn public. So if you’re looking for top quality art and handcrafted products in the Brooklyn area, look out for the next pop-up FAD Market near you.
FAD Markets are open to all guests and fully free, so you won't need to worry about buying a ticket. This rule applies to all events and is part of the FAD Market philosophy, so these pop-up Brooklyn markets will always be free and accessible to all. Upon arrival at a FAD Market event, you can expect to see a vast and varied selection of handcrafted creations, including clothes, toiletries, home furnishings, decorations, art, and jewelry. All of these products have been lovingly made with passion and talent, ensuring that every single item has a story and personality. You'll also be able to find locally-crafted drinks and food all around the FAD Market too, so no attendee will have to worry about going hungry or thirsty. For more information, visit fadmarket.co.
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16.Patisserie Colson, Brooklyn, NY
© Patisserie Colson
Echoing Hubert Colson’s beloved establishment of the same name in Mons, Belgium, Patisserie Colson is a little slice of confectionary heaven. Established by Parisian-born filmmaker Yonatan Israel in 2006 to satisfy his craving for the French patisseries of his youth, he has reproduced a number of Colson's famous French and Belgian recipes, including croissants, waffles and financiers. And the top five sweet treats to try according to the experts?
Chocolate financiers (little dark chocolate sponge cakes), fluffy apple turnover, waffles with dollops of cream or ice cream, melt-in-your-mouth croissants, and rice macaroon tarts meringue in almond cream.
374 9th Street (at 6th Avenue), Brooklyn, New York 11215, Phone: 718-965-6400
17.Brooklyn Children’s Museum
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Founded in 1899, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the first museum to be designed specifically for children and since then has inspired more than 250 museums for children across the country. Located next to Brower Park and housed in high-tech building dating back to 1976, the museum layout is a network of interconnected passageways, running off the main ‘people’ tube, a huge drainage pipe that connects four levels.
The emphasis throughout the museum is on hands-on, interactive exhibits, exploration and discovery, with displays and exhibits made to be touched, experienced or played with – there is even a walk-on piano! The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is one of the best things to do in Brooklyn with kids. Special educational exhibitions teach children about other cultures, the planet, or how to resolve fears, problems, and squeals of delight can be heard from every corner.
145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11213, Phone: 718-735-4400
18.Henry Norman Hotel
© Henry Norman Hotel
Located in a converted 19th century warehouse, immersed in the Greenpoint neighborhood industrial vibe and surrounded by film stages and production offices, Henry Normal Hotel offers 50 electric rooms and suites with hardwood floors, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, and local art. Some rooms have terraces and suites have sitting areas, while some have kitchens, extra bedrooms, or roof decks. The hotel guests have access to laundry facilities, a sauna, business center, and a fitness room and car service. The hotel is located close to the lovely Msgr. McGolrick Park, perfect for taking a stroll through the shady lanes, relaxing on benches under the majestic trees, or taking photos of the historic bandstand.
239 North Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222, Phone: 718-663-2100
19.Brooklyn Unplugged Tours, Brooklyn, NY
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Brooklyn Unplugged Tours aim to share their passion and love for Brooklyn through fun and education walking tours, which highlight the magical energy and vibe that Brooklyn is fast becoming known for. Groups are generally quite small to ensure a personalized experience and private or customized tours can also be arranged, where logistics are planned from scratch with the guide, to create a totally exclusive and unique Brooklyn experience.
The company’s signature tour is the ‘Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour’, which takes place in Brooklyn’s trendy district of Williamsburg and serves as a great introduction to Brooklyn and its culture, local lifestyle, history and street art. The company also offers several other walking tours, which cover Brooklyn's most popular and significant neighborhoods, such as Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, Coney Island and the Brooklyn Graffiti and Street Art Excursion.
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20.Things To Do in Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Museum
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Designed by New York architects McKim, Mead & White, the Brooklyn Museum aimed to be the largest cultural edifice in the world. While only one-sixth was completed, the museum today is one of the top influential cultural institutions in the United States, and home to a permanent encyclopedic collection of over one million pieces.
The museum houses one of the finest and most extensive art collections in the country, including an unrivalled collection of Native American art from the Southwest; American period rooms; exquisite pieces of ancient Egyptian, Islamic and African Art; and important American and European paintings.
Innovative, cutting-edge exhibitions and programs showcase a contemporary view of historical and traditional, as well as modern works, and engagement with some of today’s most important artists and ideas.
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238, Phone: 718-638-5000
21.Pastry Classes with Valrhona
The gourmet pastry classes offered by L'Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn can help out and make your dreams come true. Almost everyone on the planet can appreciate the wonder and delight of well-made chocolates and other sweet treats, and even if you don't happen to have a sweet tooth, learning new culinary skills as ways to impress your friends or further your career is never a bad idea.
Whether you live in Brooklyn or are visiting New York City on vacation, this is a wonderful activity to try out and a great way to make some magical memories either by yourself or with friends or family members. Each class will feature small groups and hands-on activities to let you truly put the things you're learning into practice and acquire new skills to try out at home. You'll develop a whole new level of love and appreciation for the amazing work that goes into the creation of a single chocolate or cake and will definitely want to start cooking more in your own life when you see these amazing chefs at work. For more info, visit: valrhona-chocolate.com/pastry-classes
22.Unique Places to Visit: BKLYN Larder, Brooklyn
© BKLYN Larder
One of the special things that makes Brooklyn such a unique part of New York City is its spirit of togetherness and community. Brooklyn people are known for respecting and looking out for one another, with local businesses always offering a friendly smile and warm welcome to their favorite customers and many people engaging with the sense of community all around them. The positive attitude and communal feel of Brooklyn can be felt every time one visits BKLYN Larder, a local provisions store.
Located on Flatbush Ave, BKLYN Larder is a retail cheese, meats, and provisions store specializing in high quality and sustainably made products and ingredients. BKLYN Larder pursues sustainability and eco-friendly techniques in all it does, utilizing wind power for its energy and environmentally friendly, recycled materials whenever possible too. In essence, it’s a modern location with a forward-thinking attitude while also upholding the traditions of the past.
228 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217, Phone: 718-783-1250
23.Leyenda, Brooklyn, NY
A charming Latin cocktail bar in Brooklyn, Leyenda manages to create an exotic South American vibe, with brick walls, a pressed tin ceiling, and church pew booths, without looking kitschy and overboard. Dark and cozy, it is a perfect spot for a hot date or a bunch with friends who appreciate good quality tequila, rum, mescal, raicilla, or sotol, in addition to legendary cocktails. Chef Sue Torres offers imaginative small plates such as watermelon and cucumber gazpacho with Maine crab and tajin and a whole range of interesting tacos. Leyenda has a nice little outdoor sitting area for warm evenings. Bring the family for their excellent traditional brunch.
221 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201-6533, 347-987-3260,
24.Vinegar Hill House, Brooklyn, NY
© Vinegar Hill House
Vinegar Hill House
is a cozy, home-away-from-home retreat that serves comfort food with a twist – an ideal refuge for those wanting an escape from the kitchen and cooking in a warm and welcoming environment. Rustic wooden tables, vintage wallpaper and interesting odds and ends gathered on travels and from flea markets are dotted about the interior, which is warmed by the glow and crackle of fire from the large wood-burning oven in the open kitchen.
The log cabin ambiance is enhanced by fresh seasonal flowers on the tables, and a snug downstairs den where you can relax with a post-dinner drink. And the cuisine is just as comforting - uncomplicated, beautifully prepared and mouth-wateringly delicious. Chicken liver mousse with vinegar onions and pistachios is out of this world.
72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11201, Phone: 718-522-1018
25.The Brooklyn Film Festival
© Ulia Koltyrina/stock.adobe.com
Running for over 20 years now in the vibrant, diverse New York City borough of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Film Festival is a wonderful celebration of independent film. Organized by the Brooklyn Film Society, a non-profit organization, the Brooklyn Film Festival is held on an annual basis in June of each year. Thanks to sponsors and support the Brooklyn Film Festival is able to award generous prizes to independent film-makers each year. Awards come in various forms, honoring the best pictures in various categories like 'Feature Narrative', 'Feature Documentary', 'Short Narrative', 'Animation', 'Best Brooklyn Project', 'Best New Director', and more. The awards are an exciting part of the Brooklyn Film Festival and it’s exciting for film fans to track the award winners and see what kinds of careers they go on to forge for themselves in the movie industry.
The Brooklyn Film Festival is focused on independent filmmaking in a huge variety of formats. This includes both long and short narrative movies, as well as documentaries, animated movies, experimental pieces, and more. This means there’s a lot of different styles of cinematic expression to be seen and experienced every single year. brooklynfilmfestival.org
25 Best Things To Do in Brooklyn, NY
- Luna Park, Coney Island, Photo: NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer
- Brooklyn Bridge Park, Photo: Courtesy of dell - Fotolia.com
- Things To Do in Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Flea, Photo: Courtesy of Ekaterina Pokrovsky - Fotolia.com
- Brooklyn Historical Society, Photo: Courtesy of Salvatore Coppola - Fotolia.com
- The Ford Amphitheater, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: The Ford Amphitheater
- BLDG 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, Photo: BLDG 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center
- Emma's Torch, Photo: Emma's Torch
- Toy Museum of NY, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Toy Museum of NY
- BRIC Arts Media, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Courtesy of jdoms - Fotolia.com
- Free Tours by Foot, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Courtesy of william87 - Fotolia.com
- Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Courtesy of Microgen - Fotolia.com
- Smorgasburg, Photo: Courtesy of Brad Pict - Fotolia.com
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Photo: Courtesy of Brad Pict - Fotolia.com
- Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Kings County Distillery
- FAD Market, Photo: lorabarra/stock.adobe.com
- Patisserie Colson, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Patisserie Colson
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Photo: Courtesy of coffmancmu - Fotolia.com
- Henry Norman Hotel, Photo: Henry Norman Hotel
- Brooklyn Unplugged Tours, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Courtesy of Brad Pict - Fotolia.com
- Things To Do in Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Museum, Photo: Courtesy of lightphoto2 - Fotolia.com
- Pastry Classes with Valrhona, Photo: nuiiko/stock.adobe.com
- Unique Places to Visit: BKLYN Larder, Brooklyn, Photo: BKLYN Larder
- Leyenda, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Leyenda
- Vinegar Hill House, Brooklyn, NY, Photo: Vinegar Hill House
- The Brooklyn Film Festival , Photo: Ulia Koltyrina/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of eyetronic - Fotolia.com
Cafe Regular du Nord, Brooklyn, NY
Cafe Regular du Nord is just that – a regular little corner coffee shop that serves great coffee with friendly smiles. Located on Berkley Place, mornings are packed with locals and sometimes the line snakes outside the front doors.
There is very little seating inside – just two cushioned window seats, which are ideal places for sitting, sipping and watching the world go by.
158 Berkeley Pl, Brooklyn, New York 11217, Phone: 718-783-0673
More vacation ideas: 25 Must-Try Romantic Restaurants in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn, NY
Founded in 1858 and home to the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, the Academy of Music (BAM) is Brooklyn’s oldest and leading cultural venue, producing outstanding innovative and avant-garde performances. Among the other greats who have performed here include ballerina Anna Pavlova, actress Sarah Bernhardt, musicians Pablo Casals and Sergei Rachmaninoff, and statesman Winston Churchill.
The BAM Next Wave Festival, which usually runs over the last three months of the year, has presented contemporary artists such as musicians David Byrne and Phillip Glass and choreographers Pina Bausch and Mark Morris. The BAM also runs the Harvey Theater nearby, a movie theater now used for dance, drama, and music events. BAM Rose Cinemas show first-run independent films and BAMcinématek has classics, retrospectives, festivals, and sneak previews.
30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11217, Phone: 718-636-4100
Waterfront Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Founded in 1985 and housed aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge #79 in Red Hook, the Waterfront Museum is an eclectic institution dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of New York’s waterways and maritime history. Interesting exhibitions document the history of the river, the industries based around it and railroad barges. The museum’s permanent collection houses a nearly one-century old wooden barge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Waterfront Museum is ideally located right on the river opposite the Fairway Market. There is a long wooden pier along which to stroll and soak up the views, beautiful gardens to picnic in, and unbeatable vistas of the magnificent Lady Liberty.
290 Conover Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231, Phone: 718-624-4719
New York Transit Museum
Located in downtown Brooklyn, the New York Transit Museum can be found inside of a historic subway station that was used until it was decommissioned in 1936. Celebrating the public transportation network of the region, the museum highlights the “ins and outs” of public transportation, from typography used in stations to vintage subway cars to construction equipment. The New York Transit Museum was established in 1976 and shares many stories related to mass transportation, such as communities drastically transformed by the transportation network, engineering feats, design and technology, and much more. Visitors can also walk through a turnstile “time tunnel.”
99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, 718-694-1600
Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Designed by Olmsted and Vaux of Central Park fame, and made up of magnificent sweeps of broad lawns and grand vistas, Prospect Park’s Long Meadow is the longest unbroken swathe of green space in New York. Aiming to create spaces where people could escape the city and crowds, Olmsted’s park boasts a number of notable features, such as Stanford White’s colonnaded Croquet Shelter, and the pools and weeping willows of of the Vale of Cashmere.
The Music Grove bandstand shows Japanese influences and hosts both jazz and classical music concerts throughout the summer. The park has a wide variety of landscapes, from classical gardens dotted with statues to rocky glens with running brooks. A favorite feature of the park is the Camperdown Elm, an ancient and twisted tree planted in 1872, which has inspired many poems and paintings.
There are a myriad of activities to enjoy in the park, from baseball and birdwatching to skating and nature programs.
95 Prospect Park, West Brooklyn, New York 11215, Phone: 718-965-8951
Get Up and Ride
Get Up and Ride offers fantastic bike tours, sightseeing experiences, and outdoor and urban adventures. Based in Brooklyn, bike tours are designed to take you off the beaten track and see New York as never before, highlighting beautiful parks, bustling markets, impressive architecture, local arts and crafts, interesting history and heritage and of course, great food. Get Up and Ride bikes are modern, priority brand bikes that are designed for city cycling, are easy to handle and very reliable. There is a variety of bike models to choose from, including front baskets for memorabilia picked up along the way and riders are equipped with walkie-talkies so they can communicate with the tour leader. Tours are led by licensed, professional bike guides who know every nook and cranny of the city, and promise an unforgettable day of fun with friends. Phone: 646-801-2453
Wyckoff House Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Standing in M. Fidler-Wyckoff House Park, the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum is New York City’s oldest house and first official landmark, dating back to 1652. The house was built by Pieter Claesen Wyckoff, a farm laborer who arrived in 1637 from the New Netherlands and who became a successful magistrate in the area known today as the East Flatbush-Flatlands in Brooklyn.
Designed in the vernacular farmhouse architecture of the Dutch-American farms of Brooklyn and Queens, the history of the farmhouse includes the enslavement and consequent freedom of African slaves by Dutch-American landowners, as well as the use of European immigrants as farm laborers. Owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the museum can only be viewed on a guided tour, so be sure to book ahead.
5816 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn, New York 11203, Phone: 718-629-5400
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Theater for a New Audience
Established in the West Village in 1979, Theater for a New Audience has been producing major classic and contemporary plays, including 28 works by Shakespeare, as well as other classic works and distinguished plays. The theater aims to celebrate classic drama, particularly those of the Great Bard, and has produced over 28 Shakespearean works, including The Merchant of Venice and Titus Andronicus.
Other productions include The Lion King director Julie Taymor's The Green Bird, which later opened on Broadway, Howard Brenton’s Sore Throats, W.S. Gilbert’s Engaged, Edward Bond’s Chair, and Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders. Drinks and light meals are served at Food & Drink in the lobby of the Polonsky Shakespeare Center before and after performances.
154 Christopher Street STE. 3D, New York, New York 10014, Phone: 212-229-2819
Rucola, Brooklyn, New York City
Nestled in the heart of historic Boerum Hill is a little slice of Northern Italy. Rucola rests on a historic corner in rootsy Brooklyn and offers a fantastic farm-to-table experience in a rustic-chic setting.
Inspired by the slow food movement in Piedmont, the menu, wine list and cocktail menus change seasonally, and the rich, rustic dishes promise to delight even the most hardened critic. Ornate ironwork, natural woods and stylish bric-a-brac create a comfortable and cozy ambiance, true to Northern Italy. Enjoy delicious starters such as pan-fried veal spiedini, or hearty green lentil soup laced with Parmesan.
Homemade pastas smothered in chunky Bolognese sauce and plump rosemary-infused chicken are winners on the mains list, while dark chocolate pudding dressed in sea salt and olive oil is a must for dessert.
190 Dean St (corner of Bond St), Brooklyn, New York 11217, Phone: 718-576-3209
Pizza Loves Emily
Pizza Loves Emily is one of Brooklyn's trendiest pizza joints, located within the borough's diverse and laid-back Clinton Hill neighborhood. The cozy eatery, which was opened in 2014 by owners Emily and Matt Hyland, is known for its high-quality and creative wood-fired thin-crust pizzas, served up in an intimate space soundtracked with indie and alternative rock hits. Pizzas are offered with red, white, green tomatillo, and vodka sauce options, ranging from traditional favorites topped with buffalo mozzarella and basil to creative offerings such as the Olympus Mons, topped with Szechuan oil, pickled jalapeno, garlic aachar, and seasonal greens. Diners can also enjoy housemade pasta dishes or the restaurant's signature Emmy Burger, which pairs secret sauce with caramelized onions, Grafton cheddar, and a pretzel bun.
919 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238, Phone: 347-844-9588
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Brooklyn Bridge Walk
Located in the heart of New York City, this bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, two boroughs with the population of more than four million people. Obviously, the importance of the Brooklyn Bridge is huge, so it’s not a big surprise that it’s one of the largest bridges in the city.
Actually, the Brooklyn Bridge is the 3rd-longest bridge in New York City, behind the Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge. So, how exactly is the Brooklyn Bridge long? The answer is 5,988 feet or 1.134 miles.
Obviously, it’s a pretty long distance, but it doesn’t mean you can’t cross it by foot. In fact, a huge number of people decide to do it. The reason is not just that the traffic can get jammed, so that driving over the bridge would take longer than going on food. It’s also because walking over the Brooklyn Bridge gives you an amazing view of the city.
According to official stats, over four thousand people cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot each day. A great thing about it is that the pedestrian walkway is above the automobile lanes, which means that they get to breathe clean air and have an even better view of Manhattan and Brooklyn than those traveling by car.
For those reasons, walking over the Brooklyn Bridge has become a sort of tourist attraction. This is why if you’re in a hurry, you might find yourself trying to dribble past the tourists taking selfies or simply walking too slowly for your taste.
Furthermore, you too might get distracted along the way, as there are many places on the bridge that offer amazing views of the city. The chance is high that you’ll want to make a short break and enjoy the landscape.
Unfortunately, there isn’t the ultimate answer to this question. It all depends on many factors, starting with how crowdy it is. At some times during the day, tourists go the bridge to take photographs of the city. It usually happened in the afternoon, meaning that crossing the bridge in the morning is fairly easy.
The second factor is your physical condition. There are many people jogging over the bridge in the morning, but if you’re not one of them, you will probably need about half an hour to cross it. Sometimes even more! For example, it can get pretty windy up there, so you might be walking against wind as strong as 40 mph.
Another factor that decides how much time you’ll need to cross the bridge is the reason why you’re going over it. If this is a part of your daily commute, then you better hurry. But, if you’re a tourist, you can take your time and enjoy the experience. If this is the case, make sure to bring a camera with you, as there are some parts of the bridge that provide truly breathtaking views.
The fact is that once you get up there, you will be able to see a big chunk of Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn and a few other neighborhoods of New York. However, some parts of the bridge simply offer better views than the others. Here are some of them!
Washington Street – If you want to make the Brooklyn Bridge the star of your photos, a good idea is to do it at the entrance. If you’re coming from Brooklyn, take a moment to take some selfies at the bridge entrance on Washington Street. You’re guaranteed to make awesome photos here with the massive sign saying Brooklyn Bridge in the background.
Brooklyn-side arch facing Manhattan – This is probably the most popular spot on the bridge for those who want to make awesome photos of the city. This part of the bridge offers amazing views of Manhattan and its skyscrapers, making it perfect for panoramic photo-shooting. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone knows about this, which is why this part of the bridge is almost always crowded with tourists.
Under the archways – If you wanna take a photo of the bridge, this seems like a perfect spot. You can take selfies with the arch in the background, although you won’t be able to catch a big part of New York skyline from here. At least, not as much as you would from some other parts of the bridge.
Midway facing west – Here’s another place that seems great for taking selfies. If it’s a bright day, you will be able to make some amazing photos with you, the bridge, and Manhattan skyline in the frame. From here, you will also be able to see the Statue of Liberty, although not too well without binoculars.
Midway facing east – This is a spot that gives you a great view of the Manhattan Bridge, as well as Empire State Building.
The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway has a special lane that’s reserved for the cyclists. It’s marked by a yellow line, but it seems that not many people care about it. The thing is that some tourists simply get distracted by the amazing views that the bridge offers. This is why you need to be extra careful not to run them over.
Our advice is to try to avoid cycling over the bridge when there’s too much crowd. Usually, tourists get to the bridge in the early afternoon or just before the sunset, especially during summer. So, it seems that the best solution is to take a bike trip over the Brooklyn Bridge early in the morning.
Actually, cycling seems like a great method of exploring not only the Brooklyn Bridge but other the whole city. In fact, New York is a pretty bike-friendly place, with bike paths all over Manhattan. Here’s a suggestion you might like – cycling over the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to the Central Park, passing a number of NYC landmarks along the way – Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Trump Tower, and so on.
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