There is a new way to have fun in Prospect Park this summer! Join Prospect Park Alliance at locations around the park and surrounding neighborhoods as we bring our favorite activities from the Prospect Park Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House on the road in easy-to-borrow play and go kits.
ThePop-Up Lefferts Play and Go Kitincludes historic games and toys, including a DIY kits to make a nine-man morris game board and Mamantuhwin, a Native American (Lenape) dice game, which you can take home with you. There is also a wooden egg and spoon and potato sacks for races with your friends and family. A small library of children’s books can also be borrowed along with your kit on a first-come first-served basis. Learn more about dates and locations.
Kits can be borrowed for up to 45 minutes, and will be sanitized between sessions.
Pop-Up Audubon is made possible through the generous support of Con Edison.
Pop-Up Lefferts is supported NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Caribpolitan, Andrea Pippins for I AM CARIBBEING
Pop-Up Lefferts Launches with caribBEING Partnership
June 10, 2020
Prospect Park Alliance has announced the launch of Pop-Up Lefferts, which brings free family programs focused on Brooklyn’s rich culture and history, starting virtually this June with its second annual partnership with caribBEING, a Flatbush-based cultural organization that builds awareness and fosters Caribbean heritage, as part of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
In June, virtual programming will feature Caribbean-centered cooking, fitness, maker workshops and storytelling. Pop-Up Lefferts will then continue at locations around Prospect Park and surrounding neighborhoods while Lefferts Historic House undergoes a $2.5 million restoration funded by the New York City Council.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: caribBEING Cooks
Sunday, June 21, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Join Prospect Park Alliance and caribBEING to explore culinary traditions of Brooklyn. First, take a virtual tour of the Labay Market in Flatbush’s Little Caribbean to learn about the spices of the Caribbean, and then join us for a cooking demonstration with Nuyorican local makers Breukelen Rub, followed by a moderated conversation on Caribbean culinary traditions.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: Caribbean Fitness in de Park
Sunday June 28, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Learn how to utilize the park to improve your fitness, strength and endurance in this workshop led by Trinidadian-American, Flatbush-based performance coach, Marlon Jude, and then join him for a moderated conversation where he can answer your questions about getting fit and healthy in the park.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: Caribbean Candle Making
Sunday July 5, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Relax and enjoy a guided candle-making class with local maker Perry Boyce (Guyanese-American). Participants will try their hand at every step of the candle making process and create a custom candle of their very own, and then join Boyce for a moderated conversation about growing up in Flatbush, her art and practice.
Virtual Pop-Up Lefferts: Stories from the Caribbean
Sunday July 12, 2 pm
All ages, Free
Hear a selection of wise and witty Caribbean stories, as told by beloved storyteller Tammy Hall, then join us for a moderated conversation with Hall about the inspiration for these stories.
Lefferts Historic House is an 18th-century farmhouse that features a working garden, historic artifacts, period rooms and exhibits. The museum focuses on the lives of the people that lived and worked on the land including the Lenape, Dutch settlers and enslaved Africans. The museum is jointly operated by Prospect Park Alliance and the Historic House Trust of New York City. Starting in 2020, Prospect Park Alliance will undertake the restoration of the house, which will include capital improvements—replacing the roof, restoring the exterior of the building, and repairing paths and drainage surrounding the house—as well as re-envisioning the public programming to provide a living history of Brooklyn from the 18th century to present day.
Founded in 2012, caribBEING builds cultural awareness and fosters Caribbean heritage through Film + Art + Culture. This creative hub is a fully-integrated, award-winning group that has partnered with Brooklyn Museum, the James Beard Foundation and other cultural partners. Learn more at caribbeing.com.
About Prospect Park Alliance
Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s Backyard, in partnership with the City of New York. The Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. Learn more at prospectpark.org.
About NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital has been providing outstanding medical care to the surrounding communities for over 130 years. Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the 591-bed teaching hospital is affiliated with Weill Cornell Medicine and provides specialized services in advanced and minimally invasive surgery, neurosciences, orthopedics, digestive and liver disorders, and cancer and cardiac care. Learn more at nyp.org/brooklyn.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Prospect Park
January 3, 2020
As we enter a new decade, Prospect Park Alliance invites you to join us for special Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities in Prospect Park. This holiday is a great opportunity to take stock of the world we live in and reflect on what we can do to make it a better place for all. It’s also an ideal time to fit in those special winter activities you didn’t quite get to in December.
Freedom Songs and Stories with Tammy Hall
2 + 3 pm
Lefferts Historic House, $3 suggested donation, Registration Required
While Martin Luther King Jr. Day is specific to the United States, the struggle for freedom and self-determination is a universal experience across the world. This holiday, join Prospect Park Alliance at Lefferts Historic House for Freedom Songs and Stories with Tammy Hall. A masterful storyteller, Tammy Hall weaves together diverse tales from around the world to create a rich experience for all. Space at this event is limited, so please make sure to register for the event and bring your ticket confirmation on the day of the event.
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free
We hear you: it’s hard to get outside in the dead of winter! If you need a reason to get out there, consider joining Prospect Park Alliance at the Audubon Center. Designed to encourage children’s curiosity while teaching them about the plants and animals native to Brooklyn, these activities are fun for kids and caretakers alike.
Discovery Pack, 12–3 pm: Want to create your own Prospect Park adventure? Stop by the Audubon Center to pick up a Discovery Pack, a ready-to-go kit filled with nature activities for families, and explore the diverse habitats of Brooklyn’s backyard in whichever way you please!
Animal Encounter, 2–3 pm: Watch and ask questions as Alliance Naturalists tell you about the animals that live inside the Audubon Center. Found near and far, learn the animals’ favorite foods and the habitats they call home. This program starts promptly at 3 pm. Animal Encounters is made possible with generous support from Macy’s, Inc.
Winter Wilderness Walk, 3-4 pm: Curious about animal tracks in the snow, how trees survive without leaves, or how bugs stay warm? Join an Alliance Naturalist for a tour of Prospect Park to learn how plants and animals survive the winter. This program leaves from the Audubon Center promptly at 3 pm.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tennis Program
Monday, January 20, 1–4 pm
Prospect Park Tennis Center, $80, Registration Required
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a longtime tennis player or just learning the basics of the game. Geared toward both adults and juniors, the Martin Luther King Day tennis clinic features fast-paced drill stations that focus on specific skills, including serve & volley, ground strokes, approach shots and offense/defense strategies. Advance registration required.
Ice Skating at Lakeside
Monday, January 20, 9 am–5 pm
LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Admission: $11 on holidays, Skate rental: $8
An extra day to skate at LeFrak Center at Lakeside? Yes, please! Make sure to stop by on MLK Jr. Day for gliding, swirling and dancing on the ice to great tunes. When it comes time to refuel and warm up, grab a seat at Bluestone Café for lunch, snacks, and warm drinks. And for those that would like to brush up on their skating skills, make sure to check out Lakeside’s Skate School with instructors and Olympians (yes, Olympians!) Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. See you on the ice!
c. Andrew Gardner
2020 Winter Checklist
December 17, 2019
As we approach 2020, Prospect Park Alliance encourages you to look ahead to the fun that the new year has in store! From fireworks to sledding, winter walks and curling, we’ve put together 7 perfectly-park activities for you to check off your list in the new year. Take a look and we’ll see you in the park.
Kick of the New Year with Fireworks!
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 followed by fireworks at the stroke of midnight. This family-friendly fireworks display, now in its 40th 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, and will take place rain or shine. RSVP to let us know that you are coming!
Get Out on the Ice
Enjoy a beloved winter tradition in Prospect Park—head down to the rinks at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside for hours of fun. There’s room for all ages and abilities, and make sure to warm up and refuel with hot chocolate at the Bluestone Café. Plus, the rinks aren’t just for ice skating—sign up for a curling lesson, hockey league, and even plan a birthday party at this popular recreational destination. Lakeside is open everyday in-season, including New Years day!
Try a Winter Walk or Run
Looking forward to enjoying Prospect Park’s natural spaces during this beautiful time of year? We can help with that! We’ve put together a suggested Winter Walk in Prospect Park to help you explore Lookout Hill. If running is your preferred speed, don’t miss our Cold Weather Running Tips that will help you make the most of a workout at this time of year.
Get Ready to Sled!
Both through nature and by design, Prospect Park’s landscape is dotted with rolling hills, which makes it prime territory for winter sledding. When conditions are right, make sure to stop by the top sledding destinations in Brooklyn’s Backyard. Get there early, you’ll be competing with all of Brooklyn for a spot on the slopes!
Game, Set, Match
Planning on making a New Year’s resolution to get in shape? The Prospect Park Tennis Center is the perfect place to meet your goals while enjoying this fun activity. Play under the bubble on the facility’s indoor courts all winter long and improve your tennis—whether you’re a beginner or just hoping to take your game to the next level.
Winter Recess Festivities at Prospect Park
November 19, 2019
Prospect Park Alliance interrupts your regular device-filled schedule for some hands-on holiday activities at Prospect Park! Getting outside during short winter days is a great mood booster and a welcome break from the winter grind. And what better time to shake it up than the holiday season? During Winter Recess, December 26-30, Prospect Park has something for everyone, whether you’re hoping to spend quality time with your kids, commune with nature, or spend a day at the tennis courts. Whatever it is, grab a loved one, bundle up and head over to Prospect Park to make lasting memories during the most wonderful time of the year.
Gilded Frame Making
December 26–29, 1–3 pm
Lefferts Historic House, $3 suggested donation
Looking to get crafty this winter recess? Join Prospect Park Alliance at Lefferts Historic House for “gilded frame” making! Gilding refers to the practice of applying a thin layer of gold leaf over a given object. In days past, wealthy citizens often had a collection of gilded items, from candle holders and mirrors to frames for works of art. The gilded frames made at Lefferts Historic House are perfect for holding holiday photos and pictures of other special memories.
December 26–29, 12–4 pm
Prospect Park Audubon Center, Free
When’s the last time you watched a snake eat dinner? Have you ever held a hissing cockroach? Or spotted an Indian walking stick hiding among leaves and branches? Join Prospect Park Alliance at Prospect Park Audubon Center for Winter Recess, where you can do all that and more during Nature Exploration.
Discovery Pack, 12–3 pm: The Prospect Park Alliance invites you to get inspired by nature with our Discovery Packs, ready-to-go kits filled with nature activities for families.
Bird Nerd Game Hour, 1–2 pm: Learn about birds and nature in this fun, mildly competitive hour of trivia, bingo, card games, and more! Prizes will be available for all participants.
Animal Encounter, 2–3 pm: Join Alliance Naturalists in learning more about the animals in the Audubon Center’s collection. This program starts promptly at 2 pm.
Winter Wilderness Walk, 3–4 pm: Curious about animal tracks in the snow, how trees survive without leaves, or how bugs stay warm? Join an Alliance Naturalist for a tour of how plants and animals live in the winter months. This program leaves from the Audubon Center promptly at 3 pm.
Tennis Holiday Adult & Junior Programming
December 26, 27 + 30, 1–4 pm
Prospect Park Tennis Center, $80/day, Registration Required
If you’ve been looking forward to a few days off so you can improve your tennis game, we have just the thing for you! On December 26, 27 and 30, Prospect Park Tennis Center will offer intensive, 3-hour group classes for adults and children of all levels of experience. Our accomplished staff of tennis professionals will give players personal attention while they acquire game fundamentals and increase their skill level. Don’t worry about snow, rain or sleet, because all Tennis Holiday Programming will take place inside the Tennis Center’s seasonal bubble.
This past spring, the community helped plant an inaugural “Stew Garden” at Lefferts Historic House, a historic house operated by Prospect Park Alliance in partnership with the Historic House Trust. Among the crops were onions, potatoes and carrots. “We sowed seeds of hardy root vegetables,” says Rafe Shaffer, the Prospect Park Alliance Supervising Educator at Lefferts, “the types of produce the Lefferts family would have grown as part of their winter stores so they could have fresh vegetables even in the coldest months.”
The house was built by Pieter Lefferts in 1783, four generations after his Dutch ancestors arrived in the New World. Today, the historic house is a museum of life in Brooklyn over the centuries. It features period rooms furnished to reflect daily life, hands-on American craft activities help visitors understand the changes in Brooklyn’s landscape since the 18th century, and now a stew garden!
Throughout the year, local families have helped water and care for the crops, and now all are invited to help gather the bounty. At Fall Feast, kids will be able to harvest, wash and weigh produce from the garden before bringing it to the outdoor hearth to be added to a stew that will be cooked by our costumed interpreter. “We’ve chosen to cook the vegetables together in a stew so their flavors really shine, and so the dish is familiar and accessible to our diverse audiences,” says Shaffer.
NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, a sponsor of Fall Feast, will be making a seasonal salad and teaching kids to husk corn, which they can season and take with them to cook at home. The day will also feature lawn games such as croquet and corn hole, and a 2 pm story time with beloved storyteller Tammy Hall.
What to do when the days become shorter and fall turns to winter? For the members of the Lefferts family, this season was an opportunity to gather together indoors for crafts and games. Quilting, candle making and board games were all a part of traditional life in 19th century Brooklyn, and this year the Prospect Park Alliance is bringing these activities to the modern day with a variety of programming at the Lefferts Historic House.
Starting in late November, with programs such as Winter on a Flatbush Farm, visitors to the house can learn about the cold-weather pursuits of a Brooklyn family in the mid-1800s.
We asked Rafe Shaffer, the Alliance’s Supervising Educator at Lefferts Historic House, for details about some of these activities.
“Young women would have grown up learning to sew and quilt as part of their domestic responsibilities and many children would help in the making of thread and yarn,” said Rafe. “We are currently displaying a silk ‘crazy quilt’ made here in Brooklyn in the late 19th century, as well as contemporary work by the Brooklyn Quilters Guild as part of our exhibition.”
“Cards, dice and board games were very popular pastimes before the introduction of electricity. Here at the Lefferts house we love the board game ‘9-Man Morris’. Visitors in December will get to make a game board to take home. Additionally, on display is a set of 19th-century playing cards thought to have been used by the Lefferts family.”
“Candle making was a traditional indoor task in the 18th and 19th century, and is very popular with modern visitors. We make candles exclusively as part of Winter on a Flatbush Farm which focuses on tasks that would be done to prepare the homestead for winter. Candle making as well as olycooks a traditional Dutch fried bread were often made in the winter months
Turns out, there is a lot to be done during a Brooklyn winter aside from binge-watching your favorite show! And what is Rafe’s favorite winter activity at Lefferts?
“Helping feed St. Nicholas’ horse carrots when he comes to hand out chocolates and oranges to our guests at Winter on a Flatbush Farm,” said Rafe. “However, the thrill of a close game of 9-Man Morris or having a game with replica playing cards is hard to beat!”
NYC Parks, together with the Prospect Park Alliance and Historic House Trust, is pleased to welcome Nina Katchadourian’s Monument to the Unelected to Prospect Park’s Lefferts Historic House. This temporary installation, consisting of 58 signs bearing the names of the losing candidates from every presidential election in American history, will be on view from November 5 through 13, 2016, on the house’s lawn facing Flatbush Avenue. The installation coincides with this year’s presidential election, and once the results are official, it will eventually include a sign with the name of the loser of the 2016 Presidential Election. The Alliance will present a mock election and programming for youth at the house on Election Day.
Katchadourian was originally commissioned by the Scottsdale Museum of Art to create a new work around the time of the 2008 presidential election and became interested in the plastic election signs sprouting up on front lawns, in vacant lots, and at busy intersections around Scottsdale, Arizona. She points out that “these markers tend to crop up in the weeks leading up to an election, after which they disappear, with some of the names going on to take office and others being largely forgotten.” The signs also struck her as an American tradition of sorts and with an aesthetic all their own.
Working with designer Evan Gaffney, Katchadourian created a series of signs bearing the names of every person who ever ran for president and lost. Each sign was made in a contemporary design vernacular, even if it advertised a candidate from a previous century. None of the signs are designs that were used in the candidates’ actual election campaigns. Many of the signs borrow directly from the designs of signs that she documented in Scottsdale; others were modeled on signs seen in other parts of the country. All the signs are printed on corrugated plastic using similar commercial production methods as common election signage.
This project is supported by the Historic House Trust’s Contemporary Art Partnerships program and the New York State Council on the Arts.
PPA Profiles: Tammy Hall, Storyteller
September 19, 2016
Veteran storyteller Tammy Hall began her career 20 years ago with the Prospect Park Alliance at Lefferts Historic House, and since that time has grown into one of the Brooklyn’s favorite teller of tales. In Prosect Park, she brings to life stories from around the world, as well as those told to the Lefferts grandchildren by matriarch Femmetie in the 18th century. In addition, she celebrates the work of Brooklyn’s own Ezra Jack Keats as part of the Alliance’s summer storytelling series at Imagination Playground. On September 25, the Prospect Park Alliance will celebrate this important milestone with a Storytelling Festival at Lefferts Historic House.
Tammy was born in Tennessee, where she grew up listening to Southern tales told by her father, and in the past 20 years as a storyteller has expanded her repertoire to hundreds of stories. In addition to her work with the Prospect Park Alliance, she teaches Folk Arts at the Dr. Betty Shabazz School in Brooklyn (PS 298) and has performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Apollo Theater and Symphony Space.
But Prospect Park is where it all began, according to Tammy. “I was in Prospect Park taking my daughter to the Carousel when I noticed Lefferts Historic House and spied a man telling tales under a large tree. The sight of him with his arms in the air engaging the audience was intoxicating and I thought this is something I have to do.”
Tammy was introduced to former Lefferts director Vivienne Shaffer, and began to volunteer during events, which turned into a professional appointment for Scary Stories of the Past at Halloween, and Summer Songs and Stories, which she performs to this date.
Maria Carrasco, Vice President for Public Programs at the Alliance, describes her work: “When Tammy tells her tales, stories come to life, imaginations soar and we are encouraged to expand our thinking and move beyond just being an observer. Tammy is amazing to work with and we are proud to be able to help her celebrate this wonderful milestone.”
Tucked in amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City exists a thriving quilting community. For the third consecutive year, the Alliance is teaming up with the Brooklyn Quilters’ Guild to bring the outstanding work of its talented local artists to the Park.
“Lefferts has played a steady role in Brooklyn quilting for the past two decades,” says Maria Carrasco, Vice President of Public Programs with the Prospect Park Alliance. Quilting exhibits from various organizations have long called Lefferts Historic House home.
Longtime fans of the medium as well as curious first-timers will enjoy the craftsmanship and storytelling present in all 18 quilts in the exhibit, Celebration, whose quilters represent a diversity of cultures and backgrounds. Through November 29, join the Alliance at Lefferts Historic House to admire these original creations, which range from traditional to mixed media fiber art.
After exploring Celebration, elementary-school-aged quilting connoisseurs are encouraged to contribute to the community patchwork paper quilt, which highlights the creativity and talents of younger local artists.
Celebration caps off with a celebration of its own. November 29 marks the Lefferts Historic House annual celebration, Winter on a Flatbush Farm, and features an appearance by St. Nicholas, as well as traditional homemade Dutch treats to eat, made over an open fire.
Prospect Park Alliance sustains, restores and advances Prospect Park to benefit the diverse communities we serve, in partnership with the City of New York. Read More
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