Upsilon Ventures

Summer Fun Checklist: Kids Edition

May 14, 2018

Warm weather has arrived, and with so many fun activities for kids and families to enjoy in Prospect Park, you can spend all summer enjoying Brooklyn’s Backyard. Here is our checklist for must-do activities this summer:

  1. Visit the LeFrak Center at Lakeside: You’ll need to plan more than one visit to enjoy all the fun activities that Lakeside has to offer. Try roller skating, biking and boating for all ages, or it it’s too hot, run around in the jets on the Splash Pad, the park’s largest water play area, opening Memorial Day weekend.  
  2. Explore Nature with Pop-Up Audubon: From May through September, enjoy nature programs while exploring the Park with the Alliance’s Pop-Up Audubon program, made possible through the generous support of ConEdison and the Brooke Astor Fund for New York City, which takes place in different natural areas throughout the Park. Featured topics this summer include Radical Raptors, Climate Clues, Incredible Invertebrates and the Macy’s Fishing Clinic.
  3. Attend a Concert: The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is back in Prospect Park. In 2018, the festival celebrates its 40th season with 31 performances, running from June 5–August 11, including a free family concert featuring Los Lobos on June 10.
  4. Visit All the Playgrounds: Believe it or not, Prospect Park is home to seven playgrounds! Located throughout the Park, they offer children engaging opportunities for safe and imaginative play. Don’t miss the Zucker Natural Exploration Area, named the Best of New York by New York Magazine.
  5. Ride the Carousel: Located in the Park’s Children’s Corner, the Carousel is one of the Park’s most popular attractions for visitors of all ages. Its 53 magnificent horses ride alongside a lion, a giraffe, a deer and two dragon-pulled chariots. And you can book a birthday party at the Carousel to boot!
  6. See a Summer Movie: Pack a picnic and head to Prospect Park, because summer movies are returning to Prospect Park’s Long Meadow for four Wednesdays in July and August! A Summer Movie Under the Stars series, presented by Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Prospect Park Alliance in partnership with Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema, brings free family-friendly movies to Brooklyn’s Backyard. Enjoy screenings of Alice and Wonderland, Space Jam and more.
  7. Travel Back in Time: See how Brooklynites lived way back when! Built by a Dutch family in the 18th-century, the Lefferts Historic House features a working garden, historic artifacts, period rooms and exhibits. Kids can play with traditional tools, toys and games and engage in historic activities.
  8. Bite into a Breakfast Taco: Everybody loves a taco, and you can pick up an authentic, Austin-style breakfast taco seven days a week at King David Tacos, located at Grand Army Plaza.
c. Noel Hefele @noelhefele

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

December 20, 2017

Join Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Prospect Park Alliance for Brooklyn’s most spectacular New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration at Prospect Park’s iconic Grand Army Plaza. This free event includes live entertainment by Brooklyn’s own Quintessential Playlist starting at 10:30 pm, followed by fireworks at the stroke of midnight. The event, now in its 38th year, attracts tens of thousands of revelers to Prospect Park, making it one of the city’s most popular celebrations.

This event is free and open to the public.

RSVP to let us know you are coming!

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Elizabeth Keegin Colley

7 Springtime Favorites

March 15, 2016

For Brooklynites, the hub of spring is Prospect Park – where the flora blooms brightest, the grass grows greenest, and sunshine is most inviting! Check out this list of our top seven spring pastimes.

Opening Day: On Saturday, April 2, the Prospect Park Alliance rings in the arrival of spring and with it the return of some of our most popular programs and activities. First, join the Alliance and the Prospect Park Baseball Association on Saturday morning, when thousands of youth players parade through Park Slope and celebrate the opening pitch at a newly restored field on the Long Meadow. Then join us for a variety of family-friendly fun as the Alliance kicks off its seasonal programming at the Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House. 

Smorgasburg: What could possibly make a lazy Sunday morning in Prospect Park better? A delicious picnic provided by highly touted food purveyors. Beginning Sunday, April 3, Smorgasburg returns to Breeze Hill for a full season of showcasing the borough’s finest food in Brooklyn’s most beautiful outdoor setting. So saunter over to the Park’s southeast side, grab a bite from one of the nearly 100 vendors, and then enjoy a sunny Sunday stroll through nature.

Party for the Park: On Thursday, May 12, join the Prospect Park Alliance at the Boathouse for a one-of-a-kind celebration of the Park and the return of warmer weather. If drinks and savory bites from locally renowned establishments, live music, and dancing under the stars constitute your idea of a good time, you just might want to attend. Plus, all proceeds benefit the Alliance, and support the work we do to keep Prospect Park beautiful. Get your tickets today!

Pop-Up Audubon: Pop-Up Audubon makes its triumphant return to the Park on Saturday, April 7, and continues to pop up in various locations across the Park through October, providing fun and informative nature education programming to youth of all ages. Come check out Pop-Up Audubon and learn a bit more about Prospect Park’s flora and fauna! Want to explore the Park further on your own? Later this spring, stay tuned for news about the Alliance’s first app, which will not only help you better explore the Park, but include fun challenges and games that increase your knowledge of Park nature and history.

Spring Blooms: As April turns to May, and May to June, the entire Park will gradually blossom into a floral display of vibrant colors. Check out our bloom guide to make the most of this season, and if you enjoy photography, do not forget to post to Instagram with #ProspectPark to be in the running for our Photo of the Week.

LeFrak Center at Lakeside: On April 9, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside officially kicks off its roller skating season. Stay tuned for some of the most popular seasonal events, including roller derbies and Lola’s Dreamland Disco. If biking is more your speed, enjoy a loop around the lower end of the Park on one of the Center’s surreys, coupes and choppers!

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival: Celebrate Brooklyn!, one of the city’s premier performing arts festivals, which draws crowds to the Bandshell to enjoy an eclectic lineup of world-class performers, kicks off June 8 with a free performance by Sharon and the Dap-Kings. The full line up of this not-to-miss celebration will be announced later this spring, but you can already get tickets for its benefit concerts, which include Tame Impala (June 14, 15), Beirut (August 2), and more. Check out our Celebrate Brooklyn! page for the latest news.

 

c. Elizabeth Keegin Colley

Top Sledding Spots in Prospect Park

January 22, 2016

Both through nature and by design, Prospect Park’s landscape is dotted with rolling hills, which makes it prime territory for winter sledding. Here are just a few of the top sledding destinations in Brooklyn’s Backyard, recommended by Christian Zimmerman, Prospect Park Alliance’s Chief Landscape Architect.

Long Meadow 

The Long Meadow is the longest stretch of uninterrupted meadow in any urban park in the nation, and was designed by Park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux with a number of rolling hills. Add in the long incline sloping down from Tennis House (enter at 9th Street then cross West Drive), and you’ve got the perfect recipe for long-run sledding.

Lookout Hill

Lookout Hill is the highest point in the Park. A grassy, treeless swatch on the hill’s southwest side is steep enough to satisfy any sledder’s need for speed. From the Vanderbilt Street entrance head northeast toward Wellhouse Drive.

Drummer’s Grove

On snowy days there tends to be fewer drummers in the aptly named Drummer’s Grove (near the Parkside and Ocean entrance), but the sounds of sledding on the small hill across the East Drive near the LeFrak Center at Lakeside fill the sonic void.

Endale Arch

Enter the Park at Grand Army Plaza and head toward the Long Meadow via Endale Arch, then look to your left to scope out the short steep slope from the Park Drive to the meadow, a perfect place for first-time sledders.

 

Hidden Winter Gems

January 20, 2016

Winter is a magical time in Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Backyard. While thousands like to flock to the Park for sled riding and snowball fights, we encourage you to tap into the Park’s natural beauty and explore a path less traveled. Below, Prospect Park Alliance staff share how they would spend their perfect winter day in the Park. For best results, mix with lots of hot chocolate.

The Rose Garden:  Though no longer home to many roses, this picturesque landscape in the northeast corner of the Park is one of its less frequented areas. “After a snowfall, odds are yours can be the first set of footprints,” said Alliance Arborist Ryan Gellis. While exploring the area, keep an eye and ear out for songbirds perched in the snow-covered evergreen yews.

Lookout Hill: Aptly named for its spectacular vistas of Brooklyn and beyond, it is well worth the short hike to the summit, the Park’s highest point. “In the winter when all of the leaves are off the trees, you can see all the way to Coney Island,” notes Maria Carrasco, Vice President of Public Programs. “You can even make out the historic Parachute Jump.”

The Lullwater: This landscape takes its name from the calm branch of the Prospect Park Lake it encompasses. Tucked away amidst woodlands, and buffered from outside noise, a walk across its spectacular bridge “is about as peaceful and quiet as it gets,” recommends Jessica Jamhoury, Director of the Volunteer Program.

The Long Meadow: Director of Individual Giving Kate Davis loves “the experience of walking or running through untouched snow.” As one of the Park’s most popular destinations, the Long Meadow is hardly a secret; but start your morning with the sunrise following a snowstorm, and you might just leave the first footprints on this longest stretch of unbroken meadow in any urban park.

Boulder Bridge: A favorite spot of John Jordan, Director of Landscape Management, Boulder Bridge spans the bridle path, and offers great views of the surrounding woodlands. Tucked between the Ravine and Midwood, the bridge itself is also beautiful, especially following snowfall, when the boulders that make up the bridge become encased in snow.

Celebrate Spring at the Prospect Park Fair

April 1, 2014

On Saturday, April 26, join the Prospect Park Alliance in welcoming spring at the second annual Prospect Park Fair. Located at the Bandshell, the Fair is a free, fun-filled day of games, food and entertainment.

This year’s Fair features a performance from Brooklyn’s own Uncle Majic “the Hip Hop Magician,” and music and games presented by DJ Steve Papa. Children can also enjoy face painting and a special guest appearance by the Brooklyn Cyclones’ Sandy the Seagull.

The Alliance presents some of its most popular activities, including Pop-Up Audubon nature programs, 19th-century lawn games from Lefferts Historic House, and a mini-net for tennis play with the Prospect Park Tennis Center. Make certain to stop by the Alliance booth for information on the latest news and upcoming events in the Park.

The Fair also showcases the goods and services of Alliance business members, whose annual contribution helps to support the Park. Business members will provide games, contests, live demonstrations and prizes. This also includes a sampling of cuisines from food trucks presented by the New York Food Truck Association, which also runs the Food Truck Rally with the Alliance.

c. Elizabeth Keegin Colley

Five Things to Look Forward to this Spring

March 3, 2014

Spring is just around the corner, and after record snowfall and a polar vortex, many of us are ready for the new season. Whether its roller skating at the new LeFrak Center at Lakeside or enjoying lunch at the Food Truck Rally, Prospect Park offers a range of activities this spring the entire family will enjoy. We’ve selected a few of our favorites.

Prospect Park Opening Day
The Prospect Park Alliance welcomes spring to the Park on April 5 with a range of events the entire family will enjoy. Join Brooklyn Little Leaguers as they parade through Park Slope and throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the season at the Bandshell. Also that day, Alliance volunteers will take part in a spring cleaning of the Park, raking leaves, edging pathways and removing litter from natural areas. The Alliance will also celebrate another great season of family programming at Lefferts Historic House, the Audubon Center at the Boathouse and Pop-Up Audubon with games, activities and exhibits. End the day with a ride on the Prospect Park Carousel, which opens March 27.

LeFrak Center at Lakeside
If you’ve enjoyed ice skating at the new LeFrak Center at Lakeside this winter, you will love roller skating and water play this spring and summer. Enjoy the sweeping views from the green roof, lunch at the café or a spin around the Lake when pedal boats return to the water. The LeFrak Center at Lakeside is the ultimate destination for warm weather fun in Prospect Park.

Pop-Up Audubon
Pop-Up Audubon, the Alliance’s new environmental education program now in its second season, features a range of new exhibits, tours and activities this spring. Nature on the Go! takes families through Brooklyn’s last remaining forest, while Nature’s Helpers enables families to volunteer in the Park to keep it looking its best. In the Family Birth Watching program, discover some of the 200 species of birds that pass through Prospect Park.

Food Truck Rally
Starting April 6, join us for another round of Food Truck Rallies on the first and third Sundays of every month. The Alliance will present a wide range of food trucks at Grand Army Plaza, from grilled cheese to lobster rolls to dumplings and more. Grab a blanket for a great spring afternoon of outdoor dining.

Prospect Park Fair
On April 26, the Prospect Park Alliance presents the second annual Prospect Park Fair. Enjoy food, entertainment, family activities and specialty items from a wide array of local Brooklyn businesses.

Tell us your favorite spring activities in the Park. Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!