Prospect Park is the ultimate place for families to spend time together, surrounded by the diverse neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, and Windsor Terrace. The park has something for every season, for each family, and for all interests. The summer sun is still hot, which makes a day at the park a great, last-minute summer celebration. But even as the weather gets cooler, Prospect Park serves as a beautiful place to simply walk around and spend an evening outdoors, after school, or on the weekends. Yet, in such a vast park, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate and decide on your family plans for the day. Even if you live in one of the neighborhoods bordering the park, you might not have considered all that there is to see, do, and eat! Especially as the summer winds down and you’re likely looking for ways to spend quality time with your family outdoors, we want to make sure that you know about the Prospect Park hotspots. Check out our guide to the top 10 things in Prospect Park to conclude your summer and start the fall season strong!
Looking for another great park to visit? Check out our guide to How to Visit Domino Park with the Family!
$2.50 per ride, $11.50 for a book of 5 tickets
Thursday-Sunday & Holidays 12-6 pm
Children’s Corner, 95 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11225
The Carousel in Prospect Park’s Children’s Corner draws a number of kids and families out to experience the ride. Dating back to 1912, the Carousel was restored by the Prospect Park Alliance in 1990. It has 53 horses, a lion, giraffe, deer, and two dragon-pulled chariots. The beautiful architecture and smiling faces of your kids as the Carousel spins make for Instagram-worthy photos. Furthermore, it is one of the only wheelchair accessible carousels in the nation! And if your little one’s birthday is coming up, consider having a Carousel Birthday Party with unlimited Carousel rides. Did we mention that there’s also the Pony Express Snack Bar? After your ride, enjoy ice cream, snacks, and cold drinks.
Host your kid’s next birthday party at the Carousel in Prospect Park! Photo by Paul Martinka.
Prospect Park Zoo
$9.95 adults, $6.95 children ages 3-12, free for children ages 2 and under
Monday-Friday 10 am-5 pm, Weekends & Holidays 10 am-5:30 pm
450 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11225
Operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Prospect Park Zoo has nearly 400 animals and more than 100 species for your family to see and learn more about. While August is almost over, you can still check out Calypso at the Zoo, which runs on weekends in August. Learn about wildlife in the Caribbean islands and get up close with animals! There are plenty of learning opportunities and experiences at Prospect Park Zoo, including Zoo Club, Stroller Safari Series, Keeper for a Day, Jr. Zoo Club, and Baboon Breakfast. And if you’re interested in having your kid’s next birthday party here, you’re sure to be impressed with the private party room, up-close animal encounters, hands-on science activities, games, crafts, and animal-themed goodie bags.
Prospect Park has not one, not two, but seven playgrounds for endless fun! Children get to release all of that built up energy in a safe environment, surrounded by other kids of similar ages. Many of the playgrounds feature water features to cool off under the hot sun. LeFrak Center at Lakeside has the Park’s largest water play area, Splash Pad. Be sure to check out Zucker Natural Exploration Area, the newest playground that puts an innovative twist on the standard playground equipment. Nature is the playground here, as the Prospect Park Alliance used trees damaged by storms and other natural materials from the Park to construct it. Imagination Playground is also a notable one for the way in which it encourages creativity and engages the mind. The playground draws on storytelling through sculptures and serves as a prime location for storytime. Every Saturday through the remainder of August features storytelling adventures! And we can’t forget about Vanderbilt Playground! Tots and younger kids have a separate play area with equipment suitable for them, while older kids can tackle the bigger, higher, and more challenging playground equipment. There are so many opportunities for unstructured play at Prospect Park Playgrounds, and with seven to choose from, your little ones will never get tired of playing (well, maybe after a few hours)!
Check out the Splash Pad to cool off in August! The Splash Pad is opened May through September, and it’s free for children ages 12 and under. Photo by @ProspectParkBrooklyn Facebook.
Lefferts Historic House
$3 suggested donation
Thursday-Sunday 12-5 pm through September 2, Thursday-Sunday 12-4 pm September 3-30
Children’s Corner, 452 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11225
Lefferts Historic House is a great place for kids to have a fun, yet educational experience as they discover how families have changed since the 19th century. There are plenty of hands-on, interactive opportunities, and you are encouraged to host your little one’s upcoming birthday here as well! Birthday parties include potato sack races, treasure hunts, 25 tickets to the Carousel, educator-led activities, and more. Throughout the fall and winter, children can head indoors for quilting, games, butter churning, and candle making. There’s also a working garden, which is always a family favorite, historic artifacts, period rooms, and exhibits. Take a trip to the past and absorb our incredible history at Lefferts Historic House.
Kids love the potato sack races at Lefferts Historical House! Photo by @ProspectParkBrooklyn Facebook.
Thursday-Friday 12-5 pm, Saturday-Sunday 10 am-1 pm
101 East Drive, near Lincoln Road entrance, Brooklyn, NY 11225
The Audubon Center, the first urban Audubon Center in the nation, offers nature-related programming for kids. Discovery Pack lets kids and families explore nature on their own with the help of a backpack full of nature activities and exploration tools. Animal Encounter introduces kids to the animals at the Audubon Center. Nature’s Helpers teaches kids about the environment through removing litter on the lakeshore, complete with science activities and a record of findings. Audubon also hosts pop-ups, such as Family Fishing Clinics and Family Birdwatching. Gather your family and head over to the Audubon Center before the summer’s over to develop a greater appreciation for the natural world around us.
Free entrance, food costs vary
11 am-6 pm, April 7-October 27
East Drive at Lincoln Road, Breeze Hill, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Enjoy food from 100 local and regional food vendors at Smorgasburg! Grab a late breakfast, lunch, or early dinner at Smorgasburg, with a diverse selection of food. Choose from lobster rolls, super cheesy mozzarella sticks (perfect for Instagramming your cheese pull apart!), pizza cupcakes, dumplings, souffle pancakes, and so much more. Experience a variety of cultures, taste delicious food, expand your taste palette, and spend the day as a family. As the largest open-air food market in the United States, Smorgasburg will surely fulfill and surpass all of your food cravings.
You don’t want to miss out on the S’more Cones from Bona Bona Ice Cream at Smorgasburg! Photo by @Feedyourgirlfriend via @Smorgasburg Facebook.
Have you ever tried a Creme Brûlée pancake? Well, now’s your chance at Smorgasburg in Prospect Park with Fluffy’s NYC! Photo by @jenjeneatsgood via @Smorgasburg Facebook.
Prospect Park Tennis Center
Program costs vary
Tennis Center open daily 7 am-11 pm
50 Parkside Ave., Parade Ground, Brooklyn, NY 11226
If your little ones enjoy playing tennis or want to try it out for the first time, the Prospect Park Tennis Center is the place to do so! The upcoming Indoor Junior Development Program begins in October and ends in May. There are several different levels, including 1-Hour Pee-Wee for children ages 5 to 6, 1, 1.5, and 2-Hour Junior Programs, and 2-Hour Training Program for advanced players. Special Aces is group tennis instruction for children with special needs, making the popular sport accessible to all. During the summer, the Tennis Center offers the Summer Youth Program and Outdoor Junior Development Program. And if you’re not looking for a full program but still want to get some tennis in, consider booking a court or lesson!
Grab a racket and head over to Prospect Park Tennis Center! Photo by @ProspectParkBrooklyn Facebook.
Open Play for Dogs
Off-leash hours: 5-9 am, 9 pm-1 am
Long Meadow, Nethermead, and Peninsula Meadow
Why should your furry friend get left out on the fun at Prospect Park? Bring your dog to Long Meadow, Nethermead, and Peninsula Meadow to run around in acres of green space during off-leash hours. There’s even a place to swim: Dog Beach! Meet other families as your dogs play together, and connect with other Prospect Park dog owners through FIDO. After your furry friends had their fun, head to other destinations in the park to keep the fun going for your whole family.
Let dogs in on the fun at Prospect Park off-leash hours! Photo by Prospect Park.
Roller Skating at LeFrak Center at Lakeside
$6 Weekdays, $10 Weekends & Holidays, $7 Skate Rentals, Weekend Pricing begins Friday at 4 pm
Monday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-7 pm, Sunday 12-5 pm
171 East Drive, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Roller skating is the perfect activity for families, great for any season. Bring your kids out onto the roller rink for the first time or watch as your kids skate loops around you. Either way, the roller skating rink is a safe environment for kids and families to skate together. Skating is also a creative way to stay active and partake in an activity that you don’t do that often; it keeps your kids engaged and entertained, all while creating special, family moments. The roller rink also offers skating lessons for all levels, beginning with Parent & Me, through Skate School and children’s birthday parties! Grab a bite at Bluestone Cafe afterward.
Gather your friends and family and hit the roller rink at Prospect Park for some skating fun! Photo by Prospect Park.
King David Tacos
Monday-Friday 7 am-11 am, Saturday 7 am-2 pm, Sunday 8 am-1 pm
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Visit the female-owned business, King David Tacos, for Austin-style breakfast tacos and sides. King David Tacos uses fresh tortillas made in Texas. As one of the best breakfasts, according to Eater New York, King David Tacos is a must-try! Stop in for an early start to your day in the park or a “brunch” after spending a few hours at Prospect Park on the weekend. Mom’s Migas has scrambled eggs, salsa, tortilla chips, cheese, and jalapeno rajas. Or’izo has Mexican chorizo, potato, egg, and cheese. The menu is super creative, full of delicious and innovative combinations, all inside of a tortilla! Even if your kids have never tried a breakfast taco before, if they’re open to the idea of trying new foods, they will certainly fall in love with this delectable, morning meal.