New York City is one of the most visited locations in the world. Renowned for its stunning skyline, huge high rise buildings, thriving nightlife, non-stop activities, and world class shopping opportunities, the Big Apple attracts millions of visitors each and every year. If you're flying into New York City, you'll have the choice between three major airports: JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia. Of these three, JFK is the best-known and most popular. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Getting to Brooklyn from JFK
3.Getting to Brooklyn from JFK via Train
4.Getting the Bus from JFK to Brooklyn
5.Getting a Taxi or Private Ride to Brooklyn from JFK
6.Renting a Car and Driving from JFK to Brooklyn
JFK to Brooklyn (New York City)
- Overview, Photo: eqroy/stock.adobe.com
- Getting to Brooklyn from JFK, Photo: Natalia Bratslavsky/stock.adobe.com
- Getting to Brooklyn from JFK via Train, Photo: TheParisPhotographer/stock.adobe.com
- Getting the Bus from JFK to Brooklyn, Photo: shige_u/stock.adobe.com
- Getting a Taxi or Private Ride to Brooklyn from JFK, Photo: kasto/stock.adobe.com
- Renting a Car and Driving from JFK to Brooklyn, Photo: alpegor/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of viii - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: The Brooklyn Bridge
Connecting the two great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn is the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, a majestic structure that locals and tourists traverse by car, bike, and even on foot. People go there to see the bridge itself and it has become a must-visit for tourists over the years. More than just a tourist spot, however, this bridge is one that’s frequented by locals as well. In fact, the bridge has a dedicated walkway for pedestrians just above the bustling traffic which makes for a wonderful stroll.
Whether you’re starting off from Brooklyn or Manhattan, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is always an experience worth having.
Starting from Brooklyn
From this side, you can get the pedestrian walk via two entrances.
The walkway from the side of Brooklyn starts right where Tillary Street and Boerum Place intersect. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see what you would normally see if you were crossing the Brooklyn Bridge by car.
Alternatively, you can take the underpass at Washington Street. It’s just two blocks away from Front Street. The underpass will lead you to a stairway which leads to a ramp that goes up to the walkway.
Taking the Right Subway
There are a lot of subways that will take you somewhere close to the Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn side. All these will eventually require you to walk for about two-thirds of a mile before finally getting to the bridge. (Note: You’ll want to take this into consideration, especially when you’re carrying heavy stuff, wearing impractical shoes, or have children with you, since this could be a hassle)
You’re also going to want to regularly check the New York City MTA Trips Planner website so ensure that your ride is on schedule. Sometimes the routes and schedules can change, especially during the weekend, so you’ll want to be steps ahead in case they do happen.
There are two subway routes worth noting. One that’s close but not so pretty and another that’s a bit farther but more scenic:
- The closest albeit less scenic route is the A or C subway. You can take either one to the High Street Brooklyn Bridge stop. You’re going to want to take a right on Pearl Street followed by a left on Prospect Street, entering Washington Street. On your left will be the entrance to Washington Street’s underpass which in turn leads to the stairs and ramp that go up to the pedestrian path. Watch out for speeding cyclists as you get there. Note: It’s about a quarter of a mile to the walkway.
- If you want to savor the journey a bit more with sights and adventure, you’ll want to take the exit on the 2 and 3 subways at the Clark Street Station and take the elevator up to the streets. On your left is the historic Henry Street, which is worth a look. When you’re done, go downhill until you reach the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges - you can’t miss it. If you walk across the street, you’ll see a path that will lead you to the Cadman Plaza West. There, yet another path will take you to the Washington Street or the Cadman Plaza East. When you’re done sightseeing, you can go to the underpass and make your way to the Brooklyn Pedestrian Path. Note: The entire journey would be a third of a mile.
- There is yet a longer route, but offers a more straightforward path. You can take subways N, R, 2, 3,4, or 5 leading to Borough Hall. From there, follow the path along Boerum Place. You’ll pass by Brooklyn Marriot on your right. Since it’s a straightforward path, this is better for those who tend to get lost. The Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian is just across Tillary Street.
Going Back to Brooklyn
If you’re going for the sights, then you’ll want to take the NYC Ferry back to Brooklyn. It’s at the Fulton Ferry Landing Stop just by the Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can also catch the Ferry at Pier 6 on Atlantic Avenue, which will give you the chance to stroll along Brooklyn Heights where there are trees lined up along the streets as well as a promenade that overlooks lower Manhattan. This place is famous for its photo-worthy backdrop!
Alternatively, you can take subways 2 or 3 from Chambers street or go to the City Hall and take subways J, Z, 4, or 5.
Or, if you feel like it, you can simply walk back.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan
This one is a lot easier compared to the Brooklyn route, but it’s not as exciting.
From Manhattan, you can go to City Hall and find the pedestrian walk there. To make your way to City Hall, take the trains at J, Z, 4, 5, or 6. If you’re at the west side of Manhattan, take 1, 2, or 3 to Chambers Street and walk three blocks east. The pedestrian is just across Park Row.
Going Back to Manhattan
Again, you can just walk back. Alternatively, you can take the subway, specifically the N, R, 2, 3, 4, or 5 from Borough Hall. There’s also the A and C from High Street Brooklyn and the 2 and 3 at Clark Street.
In case you get lost, you can take a cab at the station by Brooklyn Marriott or use UberX to take a green taxi. If you feel like it, you can also contact a local car service to pick you up. Unfortunately, there are no buses at the Brooklyn Bridge.
In case you’re wondering, it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to cross the bridge itself. Lots of people pass by this bridge to work and back. There are no tolls on the bridge.
Remember; try to enjoy your way to Brooklyn Bridge since the journey can be quite the adventure itself. And in case you get lost, don’t hesitate to ask around - you’ll eventually get there and the whole thing will be worth it.
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Attraction Spotlight: Brooklyn Academy of Music
Whether a student of the arts or just someone who appreciates a good concert or play, there is something for everyone when visiting the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Even a beginner will learn and appreciate the arts in new and different ways through mediums they may have not even been aware of before. BAM has been at the head of the arts community in New York for the last 150 years, focusing on helping artists find themselves and express their creativity - through music, dance, theater, and visual arts.
They pride themselves on finding up and coming artists and giving them their start, as well as highlighting those that are experts at their craft. They are still going strong, and now run and operate three separate buildings as part of a great BAM Campus - Peter Sharp Building, Harvey Theater, and BAM Fisher. They are also very focused on getting children involved in the arts as early as possible - offering many workshops, camps, and programs specifically designed for them.
The main attractions at the three sites that compose the Brooklyn Academy of Music (or BAM for short) offer a few distinct categories of attractions. Check the website for specific information about what may be going on during the time of any planned visit as events may change.
Film - BAM offers many different films at its three buildings, featuring a mix of today’s films, smaller indie movies, and also theater series that are aimed at specific audiences - children, seniors, etc. Films rotate frequently to make sure to feature as many hit and up and coming films, as well as making sure to show artistically daring pieces.
Theater - There is a large focus on theater options at BAM as well. With larger, more well-known pieces as well as pieces that have been written and performed by local artists, theater is a large part of the attraction of visiting the academy. Guests can anticipate never seeing the same piece twice.
Dance - While visiting BAM, make sure to take in a dance performance. All types of dance styles are represented at the academy - African, contemporary, jazz, interpretive.
Music - Obviously, as the name dictates, BAM focuses heavily on music and all of the many ways that it can be interpreted in modern culture. The academy brings in well-known performers in categories like jazz and classical, as well as more interpretive and creative musical types like “Cellular Songs” and music to honor Cambodian genocide victims.
Opera - Another musical category that deserves its own feature is the academy’s offerings with opera. With many of the standard opera pieces represented, as well as many up and coming opera performances with local artists, opera is possibly the most frequently featured at the academy.
Visual Arts - There is also a smaller section of the academy that focuses on the visual arts, with a rotating series of art installment pieces. Some are more well-known (David Byrne prints) and some are local artist focused.
Kids - Besides the offerings focused on adults, the academy also focuses strongly on arts as they relate to and can engage with children, as children are the future of arts. There are performances that make use of puppetry, a film festival that focuses on children, different visual arts performances featuring on children (as well as those written by and with child performers), and other art forms meant to interest children in the arts.
Due to their focus on involving children in the arts, field trips are an integral part of the mission of BAM. Field trip to the academy helps to encourage and ignite creativity, imagination, and education by providing access to pre-show workshops, post show question and answer sessions, and an experience that helps students see art in a new and different way. In the past, some of these question and answer sessions have been hosted by well-known stars like Ethan Hawke! Contact the academy ahead of a visit for reservation, prices, and available shows. There are ticketing assistance programs in place for schools who may not be able to pay full price for a field trip. Study guides are provided ahead of time on the website, focusing on specific grade groups (kindergarten through 2nd, 3rd through 7th, and 9th through 12th) and align with state specific education standards (Common Core and NY State).
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11217, BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11217, BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217, Phone: 718-636-4182
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Attraction Spotlight: Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, New York is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society, whose goal is to conserve the world’s largest wild places through science, conservation, education, and inspiring people to value and cherish nature. At the Prospect Park Zoo, visitors will be able to witness a variety of the world’s most magnificent wildlife up close and personal while learning about everything nature has to offer.
The Wildlife Conservation Society was originally founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society. It was one of the first conservation organizations in the United States and it began with one clear goal – to advance conservation methods, to promote the study of zoology and to create a first-class zoo. They have more then met that goal – WCS now has 5 first-class zoos, including Prospect Park Zoo.
Currently, the Prospect Park Zoo is a family-favorite destination receiving tens of thousands of visitors a year.
Attractions & Activities:
Discovery Center: This child-friendly play space is designed to engage younger visitors with nature and help them become interested in pursuing conservation methods in their future. They will interact with animals up close and personal, act out the tasks of a veterinarian, and they can even help clean the exhibits. It is a fully interactive exhibit that is typically only open on the weekends.
Sea Lion Training Sessions: Visitors can witness real-life training sessions with the Prospect Park Zoo’s sea lions. These sessions help to stimulate the natural intelligence and curiosity of these playful creatures and the visitors will get to enjoy every minute.
There are a variety of family-friendly and educational programs on the calendar of Prospect Park Zoo. Visitors are sure to find something for every member of the family to enjoy, some of the most popular programs include:
School Holiday Camps: When the kids are on a break from school, the Prospect Park Zoo will keep them entertained with their educational, age-specific camps. Children will spend their time learning about the animals, making crafts, and playing games.
Family Programs: The Zoo hosts a variety of family-friendly programs including an Earth Day Celebration, a Mother’s Day Breakfast, a Little Hatchlings Session is designed for infants to explore, socialize, and be creative. They will interact with fun and furry friends like rabbits. There is a program called Toddler time for a bit older children where they can participate in various activities that foster their independence and they can even enjoy live animal encounters, including large snakes!
Scouts: Scouts of all ages can attend guided tours to meet animals, learn skills to earn their badges, and increase their knowledge of nature. Themed tours can include Animal Adaptations, Animal Families, Animal Defenses, Diets and Habitats, and Animal Coverings.
Summer Camps: During one week of the year, children can attend the Prospect Park Summer Camp. They will encounter live animals, engage in creative art projects, participate in interactive games and science experiments, and learn how to care for exhibits. Snacks and a Summer Camp T-Shirt will be provided but it is not an overnight camp.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Brooklyn
Prospect Park Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, New York 10460, Phone: 718-220-5100
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