When it comes to outdoor activities for kids – Prospect Park has that and more. In the hot summer months, the park has plenty of water features for kids to cool down. The park also hosts a range of events that are popular with families. The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, for example, is New York’s longest-running outdoor performing arts festival that is completely free to the public and takes place every summer in the park.
If you have a furry four-legged friend to come along, Prospect Park has plenty of spaces for them to run around too, and even a dog beach for your pooch to cool off.(In this photo: Kids play with the water features at the Harmony Playground. Photo by Paul Martinka © Prospect Park Alliance)
Though not technically outdoors, the Brooklyn Museum is a cultural gem for families. Their exhibitions have interactive elements that are exciting for kids, and they also organize art classes for families. A couple times a year they even have stroller tours for parents with babies up to 24 months, where parents can appreciate a stress-free stroll around the museum with their newborns.(In this picture: The facade of Brooklyn Museum. Photo credit: Elisa.rolle licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is beautifully curated and has a range of interesting plants and flowers for kids to learn more about. The Children’s Garden class aims to spread the love of nature to kids from the age of 2 to 13, by teaching them how to plant and harvest their own plants. The Discovery Garden is a part of the Botanic Garden designed specifically for kids, with an insect hotel that hosts bees, praying mantises and termites.(In this photo: Local schoolchildren enjoy an interactive experience at the Garden with Project Green Reach. Photo by Michael Stewart. © Brooklyn Botanic Garden)
Prospect Park Zoo is home to all sorts of animals: red pandas, dingoes, and the grumpy-looking Pallas’ cat, native to the central Asian grasslands. The zoo also has a farm with alpacas and sheep, a great place for city kids to feed some animals and experience being on a farm.(In this picture: A red panda at Prospect Park Zoo. Photo credit: Spinus Nature Photography licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)
Breezy Point in Queens gets you just far enough from the crowds, while still offering distant views of the Manhattan skyline. The sand dunes and marshes are popular with birds, but also surfers and families who want to have a dip in the warmer months. Not far from Breezy Point is the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which offers 20 miles of peaceful bike trails – perfect for a day out with the kids.(In this picture: Olesia and her daughter at Breezy Point beach. Photo credit: Family Lab)