Free Health + Wellness Events in Brooklyn’s Backyard

May 23, 2024

Did you know that spending just 30 minutes in nature a day can decrease stress, lessen feelings of loneliness, lower blood pressure and promote wellbeing?

Whether admiring the trees from a park bench, enjoying a woodland stroll, yoga class or a high-intensity interval training session, there are countless ways that spending time in nature can help sustain your health.

If an Rx for Nature is just what the doctor ordered, join us for a range of health and wellness classes to make the most of your time in Prospect Park and be your healthiest self all summer long!

View our events below, and for more information visit prospectpark.org/wellness.

Prospect Park Yoga
Thursdays, May 30–August 29, 7–8 pm
Long Meadow North (Enter at Third Street or Grand Army Plaza)

Learn More + RSVP
Brooklyn’s most beloved outdoor yoga series is back in Prospect Park! Brooklyn Flow, Prospect Park Alliance and NewYork-Presbyterian present free, outdoor yoga on the Long Meadow. Brooklyn’s finest yoga teachers from different studios around the park lead free, outdoor group yoga classes in a low-pressure, beautiful environment. Join hundreds of Brooklynites each week to celebrate yoga and wellness in our treasured Prospect Park. Bring your own mat or towel, a bottle of water and friends. All levels are welcome. Please sign the waiver prior to your first class.

Free Fitness Walks in Prospect Park for Adults Ages 60+
Tuesdays, June 4–June 25, 10–11 am
Locations Vary

Learn More + RSVP
Join Prospect Park Alliance and Heights + Hills for free fitness group walks in Prospect Park for adults ages 60 and over. Explore the park while discussing the importance of exercise and movement, particularly for people experiencing arthritis. Participants will receive guidance on developing their own personal walking and exercise programs. Walks will be on the park’s paved walkways at a slow to moderate pace.

AMP’d Interval Training with Chelsea Piers Fitness 
Tuesdays, June 11–July 30, 6–7 pm
Prospect Park Long Meadow (enter at Third Street or Grand Army Plaza)

Learn More + RSVP
Join Chelsea Piers Fitness and Prospect Park Alliance to hit the grass and push your body to new limits in this high-intensity interval training class that combines bodyweight strength and cardio on the Prospect Park Long Meadow. You will move through a range of movements from running and jumping to lunges and crunches to keep you motivated and energized. All levels are welcome.

Energy Healing and Meditation Workshop
Mondays, June 10, 17, 24, July 15, 22 and Tuesday, July 23, 8:30–9 am
10th Avenue Lawn

Learn More + RSVP
Join Tell Every Amazing Lady® and Prospect Park Alliance for a free 30-minute guided meditation moderated by Jane Weedon MSPT, MFA, of Integrated Physical Therapy and Healing Arts, to help you relax and focus on your wellness before kicking off your day!

Prospect Park Wellness Walks 
Fridays through June 28, 10 am–12 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center

Learn More + RSVP
Join Prospect Park Alliance at the Prospect Park Audubon Center for an uplifting and energizing morning walk along the scenic trails of the Lullwater, Peninsula, Midwood and park waterfalls.

Prospect Park Stroller Walks 
Thursdays through June 27, 10 am–12 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center

Learn More + RSVP
Calling all parents and caregivers with children! Join Prospect Park Alliance naturalists for a leisurely stroll along Prospect Park’s waterways. Embrace the sound of streams and songs of birds; enjoy fragrant flowers and explore the towering trees of Brooklyn’s Backyard.

2024 Summer Events in Prospect Park

May 17, 2024

Prospect Park Alliance kicks off summer with a range of fun events for all ages to enjoy. The season starts on June 1 with the debut of the Alliance’s first Artist in Residence at Lefferts historic house museum: Adama Delphine Fawundu’s large-scale, site-specific installation, Ancestral Whispers and a celebration of the historic African-American Pinkster festival with Chief Baba Neal Clarke.

Throughout June, Brooklyn’s Backyard will be home to a month of Caribbean-American Heritage celebration with music, dance, cuisine and much more for Brooklynites of all ages. On June 23, enjoy One Love Little Caribbean Day with I AM CARIBBEING featuring a Carnival workshop, dance class, music and more more, as well as The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie! to learn about legendary Carnival characters. End the month with Caribites on June 30, a culinary paradise that celebrates the flavors of the Caribbean diaspora.

Looking to improve your health? Join the Alliance for a series of wellness events in Prospect Park all summer long. On Thursdays from May 30 to August 29, join Brooklyn Flow and Prospect Park Alliance for free weekly yoga on the Long Meadow presented by NewYork-Presbyterian. Hit the grass and push your body to new limits on Tuesdays starting June 11 with Prospect Park Alliance and Chelsea Piers Fitness in a high-intensity interval training class. Plus, Prospect Park Alliance partners with T.E.A.L. for morning meditation on select Mondays and Tuesdays in June and July. And don’t miss fitness walks for adults ages 60+ on Tuesdays in June with Prospect Park Alliance and Heights and Hills.

Plus, enjoy beloved flagship summer events including New York Philharmonic in the park in the park on Friday, June 14 and summer movie nights in the park on Thursdays in June with Paramount+, Brooklyn Magazine and BSE Global in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance and the Brooklyn Borough President. Kicking off Saturday June 27, Prospect Park Alliance partners with The Public Theater for an inaugural series of biligual adaptations of The Comedy of Errors in Spanish and English on Thursday, June 27 and Saturday, June 29 followed by a movie screening of Much Ado About Nothing on Saturday, June 29.

 = Kid Friendly

June:

Adama Delphine Fawundu: Ancestral Whispers
Exterior On View Daily
Interior On View Thursday–Sunday, 12–5 pm, June–December

Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts
Prospect Park Alliance’s first ever ReImagine Lefferts Artist in Residence, Adama Delphine Fawundu’s site-specific work, Ancestral Whispers, is informed by Prospect Park Alliance’s research into the lives of Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. Fawundu has created 25 fabric banners that transform the house’s Flatbush Avenue facade, inspired by and honoring the heroism of the 25 Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. The exterior installation is on view daily and the interior is viewable during Lefferts Historic House open hours.

Park Pitch In: National Trails Day
Saturday, June 1, 11 am–2 pm
Lookout Hill, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/pitch-in 

Did you know that Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s last remaining forest? Help care for our forest trails on this national day of service in one of the park’s most scenic woodland destinations, Lookout Hill. Appropriate for groups, teens and adults.

Pinkster Celebration
Saturday, June 1, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/pinkster

Join Prospect Park Alliance for a Pinkster celebration with Chief Baba Neil Clarke, the Pinkster Players and friends, including long-time Lefferts storyteller Tammy Hall. This family-friendly event will feature music, history, performances, storytelling, demonstrations, games and food related to this historic celebration of Africans in New York.

It’s My Park Day: World Environment Day
Monday, June 3, 10 am–12 pm
Grand Army Plaza, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/volunteer 

Looking to get involved in a park clean-up effort? Join Prospect Park Alliance for It’s My Park Day to care for the park after busy weekends. All necessary tools will be provided for your volunteer experience. Appropriate for teens and adults.

 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Family Show
Saturday, June 8, 3–6 pm
Lena Horne Bandshell, Free: prospectpark.org/celebratebrooklyn
Doors 3:00 pm/Show 4:00 pm

Celebrate the opening night of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! 2024 with Indigenous-inspired electronica group Halluci Nation, lyrical hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl and the powerful African dance and drum company Asase Yaa Youth Ensemble!

 Chancellor’s Day School Holiday in Prospect Park
Thursday, June 6, 12–5 pm
Audubon Center + Carousel, Free: prospectpark.org/events 

Join Prospect Park Alliance for family-friendly programming on Chancellor’s Day at the Prospect Park Audubon Center and the Carousel. Enjoy nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, and enjoy a ride on Prospect Park’s beloved 1912 Carousel.

Adama Delphine Fawundu, Ancestral Whispers: Opening Event
Sunday, June 9, 2–5pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, Registration Encouraged: prospectpark.org/ancestral-whispers

Welcome Prospect Park Alliance’s first ever ReImagine Lefferts Artist in Residence, Adama Delphine Fawundu, at the official launch of her installation and exhibit Ancestral Whispers at Lefferts Historic House on view until December 1, 2024.

Birdwatching: First Sunday Outings
Sunday, June 2, 8 am–2 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free: prospectpark.org/birdwatching

Join the Brooklyn Bird Club and Prospect Park Alliance in search of dozens of species that visit the park through all seasons. Learn about the different habitats in Prospect Park and why they are important for all types of birds. Please bring your own binoculars.

Free Fitness Walks in Prospect Park for Adults Ages 60+
Tuesdays in June, 10 am–11 am
Locations Vary, Free: prospectpark.org/wellness

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Heights and Hills this June for free fitness group walks in Prospect Park for adults ages 60 and over.

Elevating Black Queer Ancestors
Thursday, June 13, 6:30–7:30 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/elevate

Join Prospect Park Alliance Public Programs Manager Riah Kinsey on the porch of Lefferts Historic House for an evening tribute elevating Black Queer Ancestors. Bring a picnic and listen to excerpts of historic records documenting 300 years of Black Queer life in New York and beyond.

New York Philharmonic Concert in the Park
Friday, June 14, 8 pm
Long Meadow Ballfields, Free: prospectpark.org/events

The New York Philharmonic partners with Prospect Park Alliance as part of the Philharmonic’s Concerts in the Parks. Following the performance, there will be a display of fireworks to light up the sky.

Assembly Member Brian Cunningham Father’s Day Celebration
Saturday, June 15, 12–3 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/fathersday

Join State Assembly Member Brian Cunningham for a celebration and discussion of Father’s Day. Lunch will be provided.

Park Pitch In: Pollinator Day
Sunday, June 16, 11 am–2 pm
Lookout Hill, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/pitch-in 

Join Prospect Park Alliance as we care for one of Prospect Park’s most important pollinator habitats, the Butterfly Meadow on Lookout Hill. Volunteers will help by sprucing up the surrounding area to keep it accessible and clean. Tasks may include trail mulching, path edging, litter removal and more. Appropriate for Groups, Teens and Adults.

*77* District 40 at Lefferts Historic House
Monday, June 17, 7–8 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance and *77* District 40 for an evening of community and culture building. The event will feature seven seven-minute presentations.

Uhuru Season: 17 Days of Freedom
Wednesday, June 19–Friday, July 5
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Visit the tollbooth outside of Lefferts Historic House to view a series of posters created by local artist Grey Jones. This site-specific exhibition commemorates the historical tradition of celebrating Juneteenth, the last day that Americans were freed from enslavement, and July 5, the day that many Black Americans historically celebrated American Independence as a sociopolitical protest to the continued enslavement of people prior to emancipation.

 Juneteenth School Holiday in Prospect Park
Wednesday, June 19, 12–5 pm
Audubon Center + Carousel, Prices Vary: prospectpark.org/events 

Join Prospect Park Alliance on the school holiday for Juneteenth for family-friendly programs at Prospect Park Audubon Center and the Prospect Park Carousel. Enjoy nature education activities, animal encounters and more at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, and take a ride on the beloved Prospect Park Carousel.

One Love Little Caribbean Day
Sunday, June 23, 11 am–7 pm
Prospect Park Boathouse, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/caribbean

Spread Love, the Brooklyn Way with I AM CARIBBEING and Prospect Park Alliance. Pull up with your friends, family and neighbors for a day filled with Caribbean Culture + Community + Commerce with a Carnival workshop, dance class, cuisine, music and more.

The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie!
Sunday, June 23, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/caribbean

Join Prospect Park Alliance, JouvayFest Collective, BUSH WO/MAN Conversations Project and 2J & Friends to learn about the significance of these legendary African masquerade characters and how they have circulated through the diaspora across the Caribbean and other Carnival cultures around the world.

Paramount+ Movie Nights: Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark
Thurs, June 26, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/movies

Enjoy outdoor movies presented by Paramount+, BSE Global and Brooklyn Magazine, in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Prospect Park Alliance.

The Public Theater: The Comedy of Errors
June 27 + 28, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Prospect Park Peninsula, Free: prospectpark.org/theater

Join Prospect Park Alliance and The Public Theater for The Mobile Unit’s Bilingual Musical Adaptation of The Comedy of Errors in English and Spanish! The Comedy of Errors adaptation embraces contemporary music styles from Latin America in a tale of separation and reunion.

The Public Theater: The Comedy of Errors + Much Ado About Nothing Movie Screening
June 29, 5:30 – 10:30 pm
Prospect Park Peninsula, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/theater

Join Prospect Park Alliance and The Public Theater for The Mobile Unit’s Bilingual Musical Adaptation of The Comedy of Errors in English and Spanish at 4:30 pm and enjoy contemporary music styles from Latin America in a tale of separation and reunion. Plus, once the sun starts to set, enjoy a free outdoor screening of The Public’s 2019 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing.

DJ on the Porch: Lefferts Libations, Homage of Music and History 
Saturday, June 29, 2–7 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Juwandi House Riddems for a family friendly afternoon of house rhythms in the yard of Lefferts Historic House.

Conversations on the Porch: Adama Delphine Fawundu and Nona Faustine
Sunday, June 30, 2–3:30
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/conversation

Join Prospect Park Alliance for a conversation between Adama Delphine Fawundu and Nona Faustine about history, art, and placemaking moderated by New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, producer and organizer, Niama Safia Sandy. Both Fawundu and Faustine use photography to engage with the legacies of enslavement and resilience in Brooklyn, including at Lefferts Historic House.

 Nature Exploration: Pollinator Month
Saturdays and Sundays in June, 10 am–1 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon

Join the Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, as we explore the question, “What is a pollinator?” Learn about butterflies and their life cycle at 10 am, and how they help plants thrive. Plus, enjoy animal encounters to learn about the Audubon Center’s collection at 11am and join “nature on the go” activities to explore the park at 12 pm.

 Nature Exploration: Pollinator Month
Thursdays and Fridays in June, 12–4 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon 

Join the Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, as we explore the question, “What is a pollinator?” Learn about butterflies and their life cycle at 12 pm, and how they help plants thrive. Plus, enjoy animal encounters to learn about the Audubon Center’s collection at 2 pm and join “nature on the go” activities to explore the park at 3 pm.

 Pop-Up Audubon I
Saturday and Sundays in June, 12–4 pm
Nellie’s Lawn, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon 

Join Prospect Park Alliance at Nellie’s Lawn to explore the wonders of nature with our naturalists. We will discuss the role of pollinators and their importance to our ecosystem through fun nature activities, games, puzzles, drawing exercises, find-me cards, take-home crafts a nature walk and more. Pop-Up Audubon is made possible through the generous support of Con Edison.

 Pop-Up Audubon II
Saturday and Sundays in June, 12–4 pm
Ocean Ave. Entrance, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon

Join Prospect Park Alliance near the Ocean Avenue Entrance to explore the wonders of nature with our naturalists. We will discuss the role of pollinators and their importance to our ecosystem through fun nature activities, games, puzzles, drawing exercises, find-me cards, take-home crafts a nature walk and more. Pop-Up Audubon is made possible through the generous support of Con Edison.

 Caribites
Sunday, June 30, 1:30–4:30
Boathouse, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/caribbean 

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Braata Productions for Caribites — a Caribbean culinary paradise! Enjoy a flavorful journey of food, music, and summer bliss. Close your eyes and transport yourself to the idyllic shores of your favorite Caribbean island. Can you smell it? Can you taste it?

July:

Park Pitch In: Lake Appreciation Month
Select Saturdays + Sundays in July, 11–2 pm
Locations Vary, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/volunteer 

Help Prospect Park Alliance care for its 60 acre lake during our special clean-up series Park Pitch In: Lake Appreciation Month. During the month of July, Prospect Park will host clean up projects on select Saturdays and Sundays to show Brooklyn’s only lake some love. Appropriate for supervised youth ages 9-13, teens and adults and groups.

Paramount+ Movie Nights: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Thurs, July 3, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/movies
Enjoy outdoor movies presented by Paramount+, BSE Global and Brooklyn Magazine, in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Prospect Park Alliance.

 Fourth of July Holiday in Prospect Park
Thursday, July 4, 12–5 pm
Audubon Center + Carousel, Free: prospectpark.org/events

Join Prospect Park Alliance for family-friendly programming on Fourth of July at the Prospect Park Audubon Center and the Carousel. Enjoy nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center and take a ride on Prospect Park’s beloved 1912 Carousel.

DJ on the Porch: Beats, Rhythm & Lyrics
Sunday, July 14, 2–9 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance, DJ Vic Black of the Gangstarr Foundation and founder of Beats Rhythm & Lyrics for a day of great music and community in the yard of Lefferts Historic House.

Paramount+ Movie Nights: Clueless
Thurs, July 17, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/movies

Enjoy outdoor movies presented by Paramount+, BSE Global and Brooklyn Magazine, in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Prospect Park Alliance.

*77* at Lefferts Historic House
Wednesday, July 17, 7–8 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance and *77* District 40 for an evening of community and culture building. The event will feature seven seven-minute presentations.

NYC Poetry Family Reunion
Saturday, July 20, 3–9 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance, Empress Poetry & Essence Lamonde for performances and an open mic at the Lefferts Historic House. This event will bring together griots, poets and wordsmiths from across the diaspora to honor important members of the Poetry community in NYC. We will also honor important members of the poetry community in NYC.

Outdoor Afro Community Birding Tour
Saturday, July 27, 9:30 am–11:30 am
Flatbush Avenue Entrances, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/birdwatching

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Outdoor Afro, an organization that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature for a community birding tour.

DJ on the Porch: Songs of Resistance and Joy!
Sunday, July 28, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Shawne’ Lee for a musical tribute to the courage of her mother, Mama Joy Chatel, the activist and preservationist who saved 227 Abolitionist Place in downtown Brooklyn from destruction. Enjoy music on the Lefferts Historic House porch and hear Sister Shawne’ spin the songs that gave Chatel strength, happiness, peace of mind and soulful comfort.

 Nature Exploration: Lake Appreciation
Saturdays and Sundays in July, 10 am–1 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon

Join Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon to learn about Prospect Park’s aquatic environment using magnifying glasses. Get a closer view of an entire community of living insects, plants, and animals who make the Lullwater their home with one of our Alliance Naturalists at 10 am. At 11 am learn about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. At 12 pm, enjoy a nature walk along Brooklyn’s only Lake and help lend a hand to your park by removing litter along the way.

Paramount+ Movie Nights: School of Rock
Thurs, July 10, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/movies
Enjoy outdoor movies presented by Paramount+, BSE Global and Brooklyn Magazine, in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Prospect Park Alliance.

 Nature Exploration: Lake Appreciation
Thursdays and Fridays in July, 12–4 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon

Join Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs at the Prospect Park Audubon to learn about Prospect Park’s aquatic environment using magnifying glasses. Get a closer view of an entire community of living insects, plants, and animals who make the Lullwater their home with one of our Alliance Naturalists at 12 pm. At 2 pm learn about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. At 3 pm, enjoy a nature walk along Brooklyn’s only Lake and help lend a hand to your park by removing litter along the way.

 Pop-Up Audubon I
Saturdays and Sundays in July, 12–4 pm
Peninsula, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon 

Join Prospect Park Alliance by the Peninsula to learn about Prospect Park’s Aquatic environment by examining our underwater visitors with magnifying glasses, participating in a range of fun nature activities, learning more about the living creatures that call out Lullwater home, and enjoyiing a nature walk. Pop-Up Audubon is made possible through the generous support of Con Edison.

 Pop-Up Audubon II
Saturdays and Sundays in July, 12–4 pm
Dog Beach, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon 

Join Prospect Park Alliance by Dog Beach as we learn about Prospect Park’s Aquatic environment by examining our underwater visitors with magnifying glasses, participating in a range of fun nature activities, learning more about the living creatures that call out Lullwater home, and enjoyiing a nature walk. Pop-Up Audubon is made possible through the generous support of Con Edison.

August:

 Members’ Carousel Picnic
Thursday, August 15, 6–8 pm
Prospect Park Carousel, Alliance Members: prospectpark.org/join 

Prospect Park Alliance invites members at the Family Supporter level and above to join us for an evening of family fun at the Prospect Park Carousel. Join or renew your membership today to receive an invitation!

 Community Health Awareness and Family Reunion Day of Fun
August 18, 10:30 am–8 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts

Join Prospect Park Alliance, James Frasier, DJ T-Groove, Mehala Isadora Miller Foundation, and the Bonello Foundation for a Community Health Awareness event and Family Reunion Day of Fun at Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park with DJs, fitness and nutritions workshops, health screenings, kids acitivites and much more.

DJ on the Porch: Lefferts Libations, Homage of Music and History
Saturday, August 24, 2–7 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Juwandi House Riddems for a family friendly afternoon of house rhythms in the yard of Lefferts Historic House.

*77* at Lefferts Historic House
Tuesday, August 27 7–8pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free: prospectpark.org/lefferts 

Join Prospect Park Alliance and *77* District 40 for an evening of community and culture building. The event will feature seven seven-minute presentations and/or performances beginning at 7pm.

 Nature Exploration: Wildlife Appreciation
Saturdays and Sundays in August, 10 am–1 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon 

Join Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs on Saturdays and Sundays at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, the first urban Audubon Center in the nation. Enjoy different seasonal discovery stations and nature themed activities at 10 am. Then, at 11 am learn more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. At 12 pm, join us a search for amazing creatures and other nature around the park on a nature walk.

 Nature Exploration: Wildlife Appreciation
Thursdays and Fridays in August, 12–4 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free: prospectpark.org/audubon

Join Prospect Park Alliance for nature education programs on Thursdays and Fridays at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, the first urban Audubon Center in the nation. Enjoy different seasonal discovery stations and nature themed activities at 12 pm. Then, at 2 pm learn more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. At 3 pm, join us a search for amazing creatures and other nature around the park on a nature walk.

Ongoing

It’s My Park Day
Select Mondays, June–August, 10 am–12 pm
Locations Vary, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/volunteer 

Looking to get involved in a park clean-up effort? Join Prospect Park Alliance for It’s My Park Day to care for the park after busy weekends. All necessary tools will be provided for your volunteer experience. Appropriate for teens, adults and groups with disabilities.

AMP’d Interval Training with Chelsea Piers Fitness
Tuesdays, June 11–July 30, 6–7 pm
Long Meadow, Free, RSVP: prospectpark.org/wellness

Join Prospect Park Alliance and Chelsea Piers Fitness for fitness in the park! Hit the grass and push your body to new limits in this high intensity interval training class that combines bodyweight strength and cardio. All levels are welcome to participate.

Wednesday Greenmarket at Bartel-Pritchard Square
Wednesdays, Year-round, 8 am–2 pm
Bartel-Pritchard Square, Free: prospectpark.org/greenmarket 

Nestled inside Prospect Park’s tree-shaded southwest corner, this much-loved market is where South Slope and Windsor Terrace residents stock up on locally grown staples. The offerings range from a selection of vegetables, fruits, baked goods, plants and flowers to fresh-caught fish and organic baked goods.

Prospect Park Yoga with Brooklyn Flow
Thursdays, May 30- August 29, 7–8 pm
Long Meadow North, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/yoga

Brooklyn Flow, Prospect Park Alliance and NewYork-Presbyterian present free, outdoor yoga on the Long Meadow. Brooklyn’s finest yoga teachers from different studios around the park lead free, outdoor group yoga classes in a low-pressure, beautiful environment. Join hundreds of Brooklynites each week to celebrate yoga and wellness in our treasured Prospect Park.

Summer Spruce Up 
Select Thursdays, June–August, 10 am–1 pm
Locations Vary, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/volunteer 

Join Prospect Park Alliance to help care for the park while exploring Brooklyn’s Backyard at the Summer Spruce Up series. Volunteers will assist in removing invasive plants, trail maintenance, litter pick-up, and other landscaping needs to help Prospect Park thrive. Appropriate for teens ages 14-17 and adults.

 Carousel Rides
Thursdays–Sundays, March–November, 12–5 pm: prospectpark.org/carousel
Children’s Corner, $3 per ride, $13 for a book of 5 tickets, Free with Prospect Park Alliance Family Supporter membership or higher.

Enjoy a ride on Prospect Park’s beloved 1912 Carousel. Open Thursdays–Sundays and Holidays, this treasured historic attraction features magnificent carved horses, lions, giraffes and deer.

 ReImagine Lefferts Open Hours
Thursdays–Sundays, June–November, 12–5 pm
Saturdays + Sundays, September–December, 12-4 pm
Lefferts Historic House: prospectpark.org/lefferts

Visit the Lefferts Historic House for family friendly outdoor and indoor exhibits, activities, workshops, and special programs that explore the legacies of resistance and resilience of the Indigenous peoples of Lenapehoking, whose unceded lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family.

Prospect Park Tours
Saturdays, 10:30 am–12:30 pm + Select Sundays, 2–4 pm
Prospect Park, Prices Vary, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/tours 

Discover Prospect Park’s hidden treasures, natural wonders and little-known history on guided tours of the park, presented by Turnstile Tours in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance. Explore everything about Prospect Park: its flora and geology, the architectural movements that shaped the park and the evolution of recreation and play.

FIDO Coffee Bark
First Saturday of the Month, 7:30–8:30 am
Picnic House, Free: prospectpark.org/events

Held the first Saturday of every month, Coffee Bark is an opportunity for Brooklyn dog owners to chat over coffee and pastries while their dogs romp and play over dog biscuits. With dozens of dogs and people, Coffee Bark is an amazing sight. Look for coffee, pastries, dog biscuits and information about off-leash activities just south of the Picnic House. Hosted by FIDO of Brooklyn, this event is always free!

Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza
Saturdays, 8 am–3 pm Year-round
Grand Army Plaza, Free: prospectpark.org/greenmarket 

Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s flagship Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza, which operates year round. A program of GrowNYC, this farmer’s markets feature regional farmers specializing in organic, unprocessed and free-range products.

Park Pitch In: Green and Go
Select Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am–2 pm
Locations Vary, Free, Registration Required: prospectpark.org/volunteer 

Help Prospect Park Alliance keep our park green and vibrant! Explore the park while tackling litter and helping with other greening opportunities. Supplies can be checked out at various locations around the park and include all necessary tools for your volunteer experience. Appropriate for groups, supervised youth ages 9-13, teens and adults.

Smorgasburg
Sundays April 7–October 27: 11 am–6 pm
Breeze Hill, Free: prospectpark.org/smorgasburg 

Smorgasburg, presented in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance, is considered the “Woodstock of Eating.” The celebrated open-air food fair is back in Prospect Park for the 2024 season! Over 60 local businesses will gather on Breeze Hill, near the Lincoln Road entrance, to offer a range of food and drink every Sunday from April 7–October 27.

Sunday Greenmarket at Bartel-Pritchard Square
Sundays, 9 am–2 pm, May–December
Bartel-Pritchard Square: prospectpark.org/greenmarket 

Nestled inside Prospect Park’s tree-shaded southwest corner, this much-loved market is where South Slope and Windsor Terrace residents stock up on locally grown staples.

CJ Hendry: Pink Chairs
On View Daily through October
Southeast Corner of Prospect Park Near Prospect Park Lake: prospectpark.org/events 

Prospect Park Alliance, NYC Parks and CJ Hendry Studio present “Pink Chairs” on view in Prospect Park! As part of her “Inflatable” series, artist CJ Hendry set out to reconceptualize public art through the lens of public space and its utilitarian components, like seating.

 Roller Skating, Splash Pad, Bumper Cars, Bike + Boat Rentals
Daily, Prices + Hours Vary: prospectpark.org/lakeside

Let the good times roll! Make the most of summer with a visit to the LeFrak Center at Lakeside and enjoy hours of warm weather fun with roller skating, bumper cars, bikes and boat rentals. Plus, stay tuned for the Splash Pad to open in late May. Visit prospectpark.org/lakeside for up to date information on hours and admission details for each fun-filled activity.

 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!
Dates + Times Vary
Lena Horne Bandshell, Free: prospectpark.org/celebratebrooklyn 

Join BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! and Prospect Park Alliance for New York’s longest-running, free outdoor performing arts festival. Enjoy family shows, music, performances and talent from around the world in the heart of Brooklyn’s Backyard.

Energy Healing and Meditation Workshop Presented by T.E.A.L.®
In Partnership with Prospect Park Alliance, Moderated by Jane Weedon Integrated Physical Therapy and Healing Arts

Mondays June 10, 17, 24, July 15, 22 and Tuesday July 23, 8:30–9 am
10th Avenue Lawn: prospectpark.org/wellness

Join Tell Every Amazing Lady® and Prospect Park Alliance for a free 30-minute guided meditation moderated by Jane Weedon MSPT, MFA to help you relax and focus on your wellness before kicking off your day!

Caribpolitan, Andrea Pippins for I AM CARIBBEING

Celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month in Prospect Park

May 13, 2024

This June, Celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month in Prospect Park! Join Prospect Park Alliance with I AM caribBEING, JOUVAYFEST COLLECTIVE, BUSH WO/MAN Conversations Project, Braata Productions, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales and more to kick off a month of celebration in Brooklyn’s Backyard. Enjoy Caribbean music, dance, cuisine and much more during this cultural celebration for Brooklynites of all ages.

Caribbean American Hertiage Month Celebration
Wednesday, June 5, 6 pm–9 pm
Prospect Park Boathouse, Free, RSVP Today!
Join Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales and Prospect Park Alliance for a Caribbean American Heritage Month celebration! Enjoy music, food and community at this celebration.

One Love Little Caribbean Day
Sunday, June 23, 11 am–7 pm
Prospect Park Boathouse, Free, RSVP Today!
Spread Love, the Brooklyn Way with I AM CARIBBEING and Prospect Park Alliance Pull up with your friends, family and neighbors for a day filled with Caribbean Culture + Community + Commerce. From a Carnival workshop led by Fiona Compton of Know Your Caribbean, to a dance class by Soca & Sweat to authentic Caribbean cuisine, music and more, One Love Fest is a unique way to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Little Caribbean NYC.

Arrive early to shop at I AM CARIBBEING’s curated marketplace presented in partnership with Black Wall Street. Explore unique crafts + goods from artisan vendors while vibing to DJ sets & delicious West Indian cuisine.  

The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie!
Sunday, June 23, 2–5 pm
Lefferts Historic House, Free, RSVP Today!
Join Prospect Park Alliance, JouvayFest Collective, BUSH WO/MAN Conversations Project and 2J & Friends for The Legacy of the Chicaba a.k.a. Moko Jumbie! Traditional Character’s workshop at Lefferts Historic House. Learn about the significance of these legendary African masquerade characters and how they have circulated through the diaspora across the Caribbean and other Carnival cultures around the world.

Caribites
Sunday, June 30, 1:30–4:30
Boathouse, Free, RSVP Today!
Join Prospect Park Alliance and Braata Productions for Caribites — a Caribbean culinary paradise! Enjoy a flavorful journey of food, music, and summer bliss. Close your eyes and transport yourself to the idyllic shores of your favorite Caribbean island. Can you smell it? Can you taste it?  Immerse yourself in Caribbean culinary delights and entertainment that will make this summer truly unforgettable with the finest selection of Caribbean eats from Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Haiti & Dominican Republic and exciting activities for kids. Plus, dance to the pulsating beats spun by talented DJs from those very islands, and be captivated by live performances that showcase the richness of Caribbean culture. Join us reveling in a day filled with joy, laughter and delicious food.

 

c. Virginia Freire

Spring Break in Prospect Park

April 3, 2024

Enjoy your Spring Break with Prospect Park Alliance! Visit Prospect Park for family-friendly activities at Prospect Park Audubon Center, Carousel and LeFrak Center at Lakeside.

Nature Exploration Activities
Prospect Park Audubon Center 
April 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

The ingredients needed to produce the next generation of trees are found within nuts, cones and fruit. Join a naturalist and learn about seeds and the birds who eat them through hands-on crafts and activities. Continue your learning outside the park by potting your own take home plant.

  • Savvy Seeds 12 – 1 pm: Get hands-on with a few of Prospect Park’s Savvy seeds. Learn how different plants produce offspring by persuading pollinators and how they protect and disperse their seeds. 
  • Sow a Seed 1 – 2 pm: Learn about the survival needs of seeds and have the opportunity to plant a seed in your own custom planter made out of recycled paper.
  • Animal Encounter 2 – 3 pm: Join Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s Collection. 
  • Nature on the Go! 3 – 4 pm: An Alliance Naturalist will lead children and families to areas near the Audubon Center, where you can learn about the nature that is all around us.

Roller Skating in Prospect Park
LeFrak Center at Lakeside
Daily beginning Thursday, April 18

Mark your calendars, it’s almost time to kick-off the roller skating season in Prospect Park! Roll into spring starting Thursday, April 18 for daily roller skating sessions in the heart of Brooklyn’s Backyard. Visit prospectpark.org/lakeside for more details.

Carousel Rides
Children’s Corner, $3 per ride, $13 for a book of 5 tickets 
Monday, April 22 – Tuesday, April 30, 12-5pm

Celebrate the start of spring with a ride on Prospect Park’s beloved 1912 Carousel. Free with Prospect Park Alliance Family Supporter membership or higher. Join the Alliance at the Family Supporter level or above and enjoy unlimited free rides!

Tennis Center April Adult + Junior Holiday Programs

April 22-26, 2024 1–4 pm, $85 per day
Players must register in advance.

The Prospect Park Tennis Center offers intensive group instruction for adults and children of all levels of experience. Our accomplished staff of tennis professionals gives players personal attention while they acquire game fundamentals and increase their skill level.

c. Shaun Walsh

Interfaith Celebration

On March 28, Prospect Park Alliance joined the 67th Precinct Clergy Council, Council of People’s Organization (COPO), the Jewish Community Relations Council, P.A.T.H. Forward, the Mayor’s Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, the Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships for a night of interfaith celebration. The evening was a celebration of community fellowship and discussion in observance of the traditions of Ramadan, Easter, and Passover. 

“Celebrations like this are essential for bringing our communities together to appreciate the richness and diversity of our religious faiths, beliefs, customs and cuisines while enjoying each other’s company. Breaking bread together fosters unity and understanding, allowing us to share our cultures and care for one another. Despite our differences, we all call New York City home, and events like this demonstrate the strength of our unity.” shared Prospect Park Alliance President, Morgan Monaco. Attendees explored the diversity of religious faiths through visual displays and an array of cuisines. Below, civic leaders share how these holiday traditions are observed in Brooklyn and beyond.

Community members enjoying the Interfaith Celebration in March at the Prospect Park Boathouse. c. Shaun Walsh

Eid Al-Fitr, or Eid ul-Fitr (Eid), celebrated this year on Wednesday, April 10, marks the end of the holy fasting period of Ramadan. Eid is celebrated in the Islamic faith with community events and traditions of togetherness throughout the world. Mohammad Razvi, Chief Executive Officer of COPO, shares that “Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the most significant Islamic festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide. We regard the month of Ramadan as a time of communion, with Eid as a celebration for everyone! Islamic culture is so diverse, and traditions on Eid come from all over the world, making the day even more festive.” 

“The morning of Eid always starts with prayers, after which we turn towards each other and greet our brother/sister by saying Eid Mubarak,” says Razvi. “There is so much in our cultures that encourage community bonding, and Ramadan and Eid always remind us of this.” For those looking to get involved in the celebration, the annual Chaand Raat event is one of the biggest community events in Brooklyn, featuring a variety of stalls with bangles, henna, desi clothing, jewelry, and culturally specific items. For those looking to try Eid feast staples, Razvi shares, “COPO is in the heart of Kensington’s Little Pakistan visit Gourmet Sweets and Restaurant, which serves a variety of dishes tandoori specialties, kebabs and traditional curries, and Pakeeza, which offers a diverse menu of biryanis, kebabs, curries and traditional desserts.

Passover, or Pesach, is an eight day Jewish holiday, which begins on Monday, April 22, and commemorates the exodus of Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. “We read in the Torah about the bitterness of the people’s life as slaves, and the miracles with which God liberated them, including the ten plagues and the splitting of the sea,” shares Daniela Kogan, Program Associate, Center for Shared Society at the Jewish Council for Community Relations. The central Passover ritual is the seder, a meal that tells the history of the holiday through symbols, actions and songs.“The most famous of these steps involves eating matzah, unleavened bread that reminds us of how we left Egypt so quickly that we didn’t even have time for the dough to rise. Traditionally, Jews do not eat and get rid of all their chametz, which is any food that even potentially contains leavened wheat, rye, barley, oats, or spelt during the holiday.” Jewish custom on Passover is to drink four cups of wine throughout the course of the seder, symbolizing various facets of redemption from Egypt, and to leave an additional cup out for the prophet Elijah who will arrive to announce the coming of the messiah. Passover is also called the holiday of spring and, while it follows the lunar calendar, steps are taken to make sure that it will always fall within the season. 

“One of the beautiful parts of living in New York City is the diversity of the Jewish community,” shares Kogan. “Even though the food we eat and the songs we perform may vary, hundreds of thousands of Jews within Brooklyn will be taking time to be grateful for our freedom. While the celebration can take on different forms, the central text of Passover, the haggadah, has been used for centuries, and it provides a strong tie to Jewish ancestors.” 

Easter, which was celebrated on Sunday, March 31, is considered “the most important, solemn and victorious celebration for many in the Christian church,” shares Pastor Everette B. Samuel, Clergy Engagement Director of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council. “The belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a symbol of hope and salvation. For the church, it gives another opportunity to proselytize and serve the community with love and compassion. These sentiments spill over into the entire community. There are secular traditions having to do with bunnies, eggs and the spring season. However, the spiritual implications for this season are beyond the frivolities of tradition. This celebration is the very foundation of Christianity. It is certainly today’s evidence of our future hope. On Easter’s origins, Samuel shares that like the Jews, Christians celebrated “a sacred feast, at which they distributed a paschal lamb in memory of the holy supper.” 

Learn more about the 67th Precinct Clergy Council.

c. Prospect Park Alliance

Get to Know the New Carousel Manager

April 2, 2024

Have you met the friendly new face at Prospect Park’s beloved Carousel? Longtime Brooklynite, David Rabig, is Prospect Park Alliance’s new Carousel Manager. The Carousel season has kicked off and park goers can stop by the historic park destination from 12 – 5 pm on Thursdays – Sundays to take a spin and say hello to David. As the season kicks off, get to know David and hear about his passion for the power of imagination and excitement for the season ahead.

With a lifelong passion for hospitality, imagination and working with kids, David has lived near Prospect Park for many years and wondered if there was a place for him in the park and what that might look like. “When I saw the Carousel Manager job description–it hit so many points that I felt were really well suited for me and merged my experiences working with kids, maintenance handiwork and hospitality. I’m just so thrilled to be a part of it.” 

Previously, David worked at a theater education company called Child’s Play New York which hosts afterschool programs for elementary school aged kids. In his search for this role, David shares, “It’s important to me to be in a role where I can be around kids and embrace imaginative play, laughter and joy.” 

David shares his awe in the craftsmanship behind the carousel “It’s remarkable just how unbelievably solid it is. It reminds me a lot of The Cyclone on Coney Island, which works incredibly well and is really cool since it’s been around for more than 100 years.” The Carousel’s unique and storied carving style is also a highlight, “I feel like the horses may look a little scary at first and then you start looking at more details and they become more beautiful the more you look at them. The Coney Island style that the Carousel’s artist, Charles Carmel, used shows the horses in-action huffing and puffing and bearing their teeth in a really unique way.” 

In the season ahead, David most looks forward to crafting an environment where kids are smiling and laughing. “Kids show up waiting at the gate for the Carousel to open and the wonder that you see in their eyes is just fantastic.” David says his main goal in the role is simple: to make everyone feel like they belong at the Carousel; that they are welcome there and that it’s a place for kids to be themselves. For the few minutes that the ride is on, David hopes that kids can feel like that’s their horse, and can experience the feeling of excitement and specialness that comes with that.

Stop by and see the beloved Carousel horses and say hello to David this season from from 12 – 5 pm on Thursday – Sunday and holidays.

c. Martin Seck

What’s Blooming in Prospect Park?

April is National Native Plant Month and spring is in full bloom here in Prospect Park! You may have already spotted some early-blooming flowers like native ephemerals and ornamental perennial bulbs peeking through, and the change in season means even more flowers, vines, shrubs and trees will make our green oasis a spring wonderland in the coming weeks. Prospect Park Alliance’s Landscape Management team has been diligently preparing the park’s landscapes and natural areas for the season ahead and caring for the park’s countless plant species to make Brooklyn’s Backyard haven for wildlife such as pollinators and people alike during this vibrant season.

Take a look at where to find Prospect Park Alliance’s top spots for Spring blooms, from little-known park destinations to classic landscapes. While you explore the park’s blossoming meadows, forests, and more, remember to help your park thrive by admiring blooms from afar and leaving leaves, petals and berries on trees for the wildlife who depend on them to thrive. These plants help contribute to our healthy park ecosystem, ensuring that our beloved green space can flourish for generations to come for our community of people, plants and animals to enjoy.

Pink cherry blossoms above Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch c. Martin Seck + Cherry Plum flowers in Grand Army Plaza c. Bianca Nelson

Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza is Prospect Park’s formal entrance, and features some of the park’s most ornamental flowers and trees. Among them, early-blooming cherry trees and daffodils are the first to arrive. April welcomes Eastern redbud and pink-flowering cherry trees that give way to the white Silverbells in May. As summer approaches, watch for the clustered bottlebrush buckeye flowers.

Imagination Playground Flower Field

Near Prospect Park’s Imagination Playground, a park destination beloved by kids and families for inspiring wonder and whimsy, you’ll find a native flower field complete with complimentary vibrant sights. Budding yellow Ovate Golden Ragwort is a must-stop for the park’s many pollinators. Eastern Red Columbine’s red and yellow tubular petals can be spotted. Plus, purple wood violets will be sprouting in mid-April along with the cheery bundles of Golden Alexander.

LeFrak Center at Lakeside

At Lakeside, the spring blooms attract park visitors and wildlife alike! Park goers who visit the greenroof at Lakeside in early spring will be able to catch the vibrant yellows, oranges and reds of Witch Hazel. As April advances, Lakeside receives a fresh coating of delicate white blossoms from the many Serviceberry, Chokeberry, Cherry laurels, and Foxglove Beardtongue that are buzzing with activity, as well as blooms of yellow from the Fragrant Sumac and Spicebush. Late spring brings with it a crescendo of flowering dogwoods and dewberries, and those with a keen eye might just spot a few of the subtle, deep purple blossoms of Lakeside’s paw paw trees!

Eastern Redbud tree c. Martin Seck (left) + a bed of perennial ornamental bulb flowers in full bloom in Carmen’s Garden. c. Prospect Park Alliance (right)

Litchfield Villa

The historic Litchfield Villa is a well-known destination for flower lovers. In April, tulips and Juneberries electrify Carmen’s Garden, located directly in front of the pre-Civil War-era mansion, heralding the arrival of warm weather. In May, blossoming crabapple and hawthorn trees paint the landscape in pinks and whites, while native perennials like Joe-pye-weed replace the fading ornamental tulips. Plus, don’t forget to head around to the back of the Litchfield Villa to spot the cream-colored flowering dogwood trees.

Light purple Creeping Phlox blooms in Prospect Park c. John Suhar + Magnolia blossoms by the Long Meadow c. Martin Seck

Long Meadow

Passing through the Meadowport or Endale Arch in mid-April, visitors are welcomed by the peach and white bouquet of magnolia and dogwood trees that line the Long Meadow’s north end. The warmer weather brings out lilacs, as well as the hanging flowers of the yellowwood tree. Later in the season, enjoy the view under the shade of a flowering linden tree, and take in the sweet scent of the oakleaf hydrangea near the Picnic House.

Spring Pollination Beauty Shot-Close Up

Pollinators making the most of spring in Brooklyn’s Backyard. c. Jabari Taylor

Ravine

Prospect Park’s bustling natural areas provide a plentiful stop on any bloom-focused tour of the park. Head across Binnen Bridge, past the Nethermead and into the forest to find spicebush with its clusters of yellow flowers and small red fruits that are rich in nutrients for small birds that depend on this native plant. Pond edges are home to chokeberry, and American elderberry – which are native shrubs that will later feature berries that attract a variety of wildlife, making them instrumental in the health and diversity of Prospect Park’s thriving natural habitats. 

Plus, keep your eyes peeled for the native bulbs of White baneberry, also known as “doll’s eyes,” and the airy flowers of False Solomon’s Seal in the lower midwood area of Prospect Park’s forest, along with flowering raspberry plants, and the rare and lively Pinxter azalea which will add a vibrant pop of color to the evergreening woodland areas. As you admire the forest blooms, remember to stay on mulched paths at all times to Be a Park Champion and help your park thrive with every visit. 

Bartel-Pritchard Square

Prospect Park is home to a few dedicated pollinator habitat gardens. In addition to Grand Army Plaza and Carmen’s Garden, Bartel-Pritchard Square features a variety of springtime blooms beloved by the birds, bees and butterflies that can be seen this time of year. Admire these buzzing beings from afar as they pollinate and take a look at the arching Carolina allspice – complete with unique maroon flowers that smell of strawberry anchor the native pollinator friendly beds. Plus, don’t miss the old-fashioned weigela, an ornamental shrub with beautiful trumpet-shaped lavender flowers.

Want to see these blooms and more in Brooklyn’s Backyard? Make the most of the season and plan your visit to Prospect Park.

c. Grace Jeon / Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg Announces New 2024 Vendors

March 28, 2024

Everyone’s favorite outdoor food market is back in Prospect Park! Kicking off its 14th season on Sunday April 7, Smorgasburg Prospect Park is back on Breeze Hill every Sunday through October. Presented in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance, this year’s Smorgasburg Prospect Park features over 60 new and returning vendors ranging from first-generation, immigrant-owned businesses and family-operated eateries to market debuts and long-time NYC-established and loved spots.

We hope you have worked up an appetite this winter because highlights include fragrant Ethiopian stews with fresh 100% teff-flour injera from Emeye Ethiopian cuisine, Hawaii-style street comforts like octopus poke tacos and garlic soy chicken sandos by Mama Guava at Kalihi, Jamaican favorites from Tosh’s Patties complete with top ingredients, Lisbonata’s Portuguese custard tarts, pastéis de nata, and so much more. This year’s Smorgasburg season opens with a remarkable breadth and depth of new vendors. The full, mouth-watering lineup of new vendors coming to Prospect Park is below:

Double(s) or Nothin’ Flatbush born-and-raised registered nurse turned chef Renee Davis emphasizes the iconic street food’s “importance within the Trinidadian cuisine panel.” Doubles, or curried chickpeas between barra, gets dressed up with curry goat, shrimp curry, callaloo and more. The business name not only plays on this iconic food, but nods to Davis’s mother’s resilience and commitment making a way for her family in New York as a first-generation immigrant.

Emeye Ethiopian Cuisine Meaning “mother” in Amharic, Emeye serves traditional dishes like meser wet (red lentils with the spice blend berbere) and sega wet (slow cooked beef with berbere and caramelized onions), all served with fresh, 100% teff–flour injera, the fermented flatbread that chef Ferehiwot Sheffield describes as “the backbone of Ethiopian food.” After years of working in other Ethiopian spots, she launched Emeye to introduce a wider audience to the beauty of Ethiopian food and culture—and of perfect injera.

Je T’aime Patisserie French pastry with self-described “Black girl spin,” Jatee Kearsley’s Je T’aime Patisserie is “made from love, made in love, and made to extend love to our community” in Bed Stuy. A self-taught baker known for her neighborhood bake sales as a teenager in Queens, Kearsley brings classic viennoiserie to the people plus weekend specials like a churro-inspired croissant filled with spicy chocolate or a matcha croissant, each layer laminated with matcha butter, stuffed with pineapple cream.

Kalihi Monique Cadavona aka Mama Guava aims to share “real Hawaii food” with New York: food influenced by a range of Asian, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian ingredients and techniques, interpreted through her private events and catering business, Guava Story, and now her new street food offshoot, Kalihi. Flavors of Cadavona’s Hawaii are showcased at Kalihi through dishes like octopus poke tacos and garlic soy chicken sandos piled with cucumber kimchi and mac salad.

Perro Slang Food Upending the New York street dog conventions, Perro Slang Food’s Colombian-style hot dogs feature melted cheese on each one plus lots of fixings and homemade sauces “that give our ‘perros’ a tasty and comfy touch.” Come for the perros, stay for the corn skillet: corn kernels, chicken, bacon and mushrooms, smothered in cheese and served with garlic bread.

Lisbonata Founded by George Kaya, a trained pastry chef with roots in Turkey most recently living in Poland, Lisbonata launched last year centered on a single item, pastéis de nata: Portugal’s signature sweet, flaky pastry with a custardy middle and leopard-spotted top. Lisbonata’s modern take emphasizes its all-butter crust and unorthodox flavors like pistachio cream and raspberry.

Poutine Dauphine A new concept from Antony Nassif, the shawarma mastermind behind Smorg-stand-turned-brick-and-mortar East Village runaway hit Hen House; inspired by the chef’s Montreal roots, this “fun and playful” poutine concept lays potato puffs (pomme dauphine) as the poutine foundation instead of fries.Toppings include classic cheese curds and gravy, Montreal smoked meat, even truffle and foie.

Twig’m Husband-and-wife duo draw on the Korean street food niche of “gangjung”. Try plump bites of chicken in spicy-sweet and soy-garlic glazes, mixed with chewy rice cakes; a glossy green pumpkin seed brittle; and yakgwa, a honeyed flower-shaped cookie recently repopularized in Korean pop culture. After years of working in the New York restaurant industry, this is chef Sean Lee’s first independent venture, alongside his life and business partner Jenny Yeo.

Tosh’s Patties Julian Tosh Chareton’s “high-quality hand-crafted Jamaican patties” are not your ordinary bodega patties. Seeing a gap in the market for a well-made option with good ingredients—as well as the general love of flaky, juicy, stuffed-dough foods among eaters—Chareton turned to his Jamaican heritage and lifelong “obsession with Jamaican foods, especially patties” as a response.

Virginia Smashburginia A passion project from restaurant chef turned recipe developer Tyler Thrift, Virginia Smashburginia—say that three times fast—is “inspired by the comfort of back porch gatherings and family cookouts,” drawing from Thrift’s Virginia upbringing and coast-to-coast smashburger research. Burgers on the menu reference everything from his hometown joint, Ettrick Deli, to more recent favorites from LA travels, all built around his custom beef blend, available as singles, doubles and even triples, with thinly sliced grilled onions pressed right into the meat, and a tangy “Thrifty” special sauce.

Wings by Chef Picky Osei “Chef Picky” Blackett is known for many things: Traveling the world espousing his “Everything Oxtail” platform (a hit Smorgasburg stand out the gate last season with oxtail empanadas, tacos and more); co-organizing community-centered events like the diasporic celebration Come For Curry; running his Flatbush Trinbagonian restaurant and rum shop, Ariapita. Wings by Chef Picky offers an array of turkey legs and duck and chicken wings featuring sauces inspired by the history of Asian influence in the Caribbean.

Learn more about Smorgasburg and plan your visit.

Black Cultural Sites in Prospect Park

February 9, 2024

February is Black History Month! Prospect Park Alliance is celebrating this important heritage month by celebrating Black cultural sites in Brooklyn’s Backyard and Black trailblazers in Brooklyn’s history.

The Drummer’s Grove—A Prospect Park Tradition

In the 1960s, an Afro-Caribbean community emerged just east of Prospect Park in the neighborhoods of Flatbush, East Flatbush and Crown Heights, now known as “Little Caribbean.” In 1968, some members of the community began to meet weekly at the southeastern corner of Prospect Park for a drum circle. Calling themselves the Congo Square Drummers, they came together in Prospect Park “to rehearse, and just to play and rejoice,” says Abiodun McCray, one of the group’s founders. Recalling African ancestors who brought their musical traditions to the Caribbean in the 17th century, this was a way for the Congo Square Drummers to celebrate community and remember home in the midst of the African Diaspora.

Over the years, the drum circle grew, and in 1997 Prospect Park Alliance added seating to the area and gave it the name of Drummer’s Grove, and the area was restored by the Alliance in 2021 as part of its ReNew Prospect Park initiative. Today the beat goes on in Drummer’s Grove, pictured above, and it continues to be a place where anyone can stop by on a Sunday during the warmer months to play, dance, or simply enjoy the music.

See a video of the Prospect Park Drummer’s Circle in full swing on YouTube, courtesy of Humberto Middleton.

Kids Sitting In Front of Face Structures

Archival image depicting two children sitting by the Bazile sculpted tree surrounded by drums and other Haitian artifacts. c. Prospect Park Alliance Archives

The Sacred History of Gran Bwa

Did you know that Gran Bwa, a sacred Haitian gathering spot, is located next to Prospect Park’s Lake?

As a part of the 20th-century wave of Caribbean immigrants to Brooklyn, many Haitians settled in Little Caribbean, one of whom was Deenps Bazile. In the 1980’s, Bazile was walking through Prospect Park when he felt spirits instructing him to carve a tree trunk next to the Lake. Bazile sculpted a large human head, two small human faces, a lion and a legba (a Haitian Vodou spirit) in the tree stump. This sculpture sparked the use of the area by the Haitian community, and it came to be named after Gran Bwa, the Haitian Vodou spirit associated with trees, plants and herbs. Although the sculpture is no longer in the park, its site continues to be an important gathering spot for the Haitian community.

The largest celebration at Gran Bwa, called Bwa Kayiman, happens annually in August. At this ceremony, participants memorialize the Haitian revolution—which propelled it to become the first black nation to attain independence from their enslavers—and nourish Haitian Vodou spirits. Says Makini Armand, “Gran Bwa is a place to experience the healing power of nature and community, for us to restore ourselves through experiences that bond us with one another and with the natural community around us… it’s an important part of our cultural background to keep families together, and preserve the Haitian heritage and keep the culture alive.”

See a video of the annual celebration in Prospect Park, courtesy of CityLore on YouTube.

Photo of Shirley Chisolm Monument

Virtual rendering of Shirley Chisholm monument design at Parkside entrance. c. O. Jeyifous + A. Williams

Shirley Chisholm, Brooklyn Trailblazer

A local hero, Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn to Barbadian parents. She spent her childhood in Barbados but returned to Brooklyn at age ten and lived much of her life in Bed Stuy, to the northeast of Prospect Park. Chisholm was the first Black Congresswoman in U.S. history, and both a leader and an advocate for residents of Brooklyn and the country at large. Her notable achievements in Congress included working to expand access to food stamps, helping to pass Title IX and extending minimum wage requirements to domestic workers. In 1972, Representative Chisholm became the first Black major-party candidate to run for President of the United States. True to her famous slogan, “unbought and unbossed,” Chisholm refused to abandon the interests of her constituents, no matter what establishment politicians did to intimidate her or mitigate her efforts.

Two tributes to Chisholm and her legacy are coming to Brooklyn’s Backyard! The design of the Shirley Chisholm monument at the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance to Prospect Park will pay homage to Chisholm. Additionally, the Shirley Chisholm Welcome Center, made possible by NYC Council funding, will transform a former maintenance building at the Parkside and Ocean Ave Entrance of the park into a space that complements the new Shirley Chisholm monument at this entrance to the park. Celebrate Shirley Chisholm’s impact this Black History Month and share your feedback on ways the new Welcome Center’s design can honor Chisholm’s legacy. Take Prospect Park Alliance’s online survey to help shape the design of the Welcome Center.

The newly restored Lefferts Historic House. c. Obed Obwoge

Lefferts Historic House

Prospect Park Alliance has launched the ReImagine Lefferts Initiative to re-envision the mission and programming of the Lefferts Historic House museum to focus its interpretation and programming on exploring the lives, resistance and resilience of the Indigenous people of Lenapehoking, whose unceded ancestral lands the park and house rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. The re-imagining of the museum has been accompanied by the restoration of the Lefferts Historic House itself, which can be seen in completion in the above image.

The Alliance seeks to engage the public in thoughtful dialogue about the legacy of enslavement and the exploitation of marginalized communities in Brooklyn and beyond. To accomplish this work, the Alliance has been collaborating with descendant and neighboring communities, culture bearers, scholars, artists, civic leaders and museum professionals to create content that will support the museum’s new focus and deepen our relationships with these communities through active conversation and collaboration.

By centering the narratives at the museum on these legacies of dispossession, enslavement and oppression in Brooklyn, while also highlighting stories of resistance, resilience and joy, we seek to create a safe space for engaging with our collective past as well as contemporary issues affecting our community today. Learn more and see upcoming programming at Lefferts Historic House: prospectpark.org/lefferts