5 Reasons We Love Prospect Park

My kids are growing up with Prospect Park as their back yard. Very few of our weekends go by without a trip to some area of the park, whether it’s visiting the band shell for a Celebrate Brooklyn concert, going ice-skating or tobogganing in the winter, or just making a quick evening visit to the Long Meadow to run off some steam. Here are the things that we love best about Prospect Park.

1. The Children’s Corner, where you’ll find the zoo and the carousel. Despite its manageable size, this zoo has everything you’d expect and more. The outdoor children’s play area is a huge hit with the little ones and features tunnels that lead to plastic bubbles where you can actually stick your head up and watch the prairie dogs at play. There’s also a daily sea lion show, an amazing baboon family, and a barn and garden exhibit where you can feed the hungry alpacas and wooly sheep. After your visit, take a spin on the nearby historic Carousel, which was carved in 1912 and painstakingly restored in 1990.

2. The outdoor seasonal activities. Lace on up your ice (or roller) skates depending on the time of year, and head out on the rink at The Le Frak Center at Lakeside. Depending on the season, the facility also features a giant splash pad, paddleboats and bike rentals (including surrey bikes that seat a family of four.) After you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a hot chocolate or sit down for a meal at the Bluestone Café situated right next to the rink.

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3. A playground to suit every kid. The park is home to seven playgrounds, so whether your child likes hanging out in a sand-box, swinging from the monkey bars, splashing around in water sprinklers, or discovering a more scenic play-scape at the Zucker Natural Exploration Area, there’s something for everyone here. There’s also the music-themed Harmony playground and the Imagination playground, which is inspired by children’s literature and features climbing statues of beloved children’s book characters.

4. The history. Watch the restoration in progress as the park undergoes a series of refurbishments to bring some of its historic features back to the original vision of designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Projects include restoring the charming stone arches, the Oriental Pavillion, and the woodlands at Lookout Hill. Also don’t miss Lefferts Historic House located at the Children’s Corner. Originally constructed in 1783, it’s a historic gem that offers regular hands-on workshops for the whole family.

5. The off-the-beaten-track walks. After you’ve taken in the major sites, head off-road to discover some of the many smaller trails that wind around the park. You’re bound to discover something new, whether it’s an unusual bird, a picturesque bridge over a stream, or a stone bench with a stunning view of the lake. If you’d rather join a group and learn more as you walk, the park rangers offer regular tours including bird watching and building outdoor survival skills. 

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