c. Martin Seck

Water, Water Everywhere!

July 1, 2014

Summer is heating up in Prospect Park, and with plenty of water-filled fun, it is the perfect place to cool off. At the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, enjoy a serene afternoon exploring Brooklyn’s only lake and take in scenic views of the White Levy Esplanade and Chaim Baier Music Island. 

Is water play more your family’s speed? In addition to the great water features located in the Park’s playgrounds, there’s a new place for children to soak up the summer fun. Open seven days a week, the new Splash Pad at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside has more than 40 sprays to cool down on a hot day. Before cooling off, work up a sweat roller skating around the covered rink, with new programs this summer including Toddler Tuesdays. Afterwards, enjoy some frozen treats from the LeFrak Center’s Bluestone Café and take in the park views and lake breeze.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, families can also enjoy the Pop-Up Audubon Macy’s Fishing Clinics at the White Levy Esplanade at Lakeside and across the Lake at Wellhouse Drive. This family-friendly clinic will teach children how to tie a fishing knot, cast a line, and even collect their own bait.

With boating, water play and catch-and-fishing to enjoy, this might be the best Prospect Park summer yet. Share the fun on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at #prospectparksummer. We’ll select the best summer images for our Photo of the Week.

c. Martin Seck

Summer Checklist

June 2, 2014

On your mark, set, go! Summer is here and there has never been a better time to take advantage of all that Prospect Park has to offer. Here is a list of some of our favorite activities. How many will you check off?

Share your Prospect Park adventures this summer with us on Facebook or tag us at #prospectparksummer.

Pop-Up Audubon: The Prospect Park Alliance’s free outdoor nature programs are a huge hit. This summer, Pop-Up Audubon is twice as fun with a second location in the Park. Families can enjoy catch-and-release fishing and even make their own bait. Be sure to check out the schedule to find the tent locations.

Summers at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside: If you thought ice skating at the Park’s newest destination was not to be missed, then return this summer for roller skating and water play.

Ezra Jack Keats Storytelling Hour: Who doesn’t love a good story? Take part in a cherished Prospect Park tradition at Imagination Playground, where master storyteller Tammy Hall transports children to a world of wonder. Saturdays at 2 p.m., starting July 6.

New York Philharmonic in the Park: It is difficult to enhance the pastoral beauty of Prospect Park. If one were to try, it would probably include the New York Philharmonic and a gorgeous sunset on the Long Meadow. This free event is a must for any music lover, and takes place on Wednesday, July 9.

Bat Tours: These members-only events are one of the most popular walking tours in Prospect Park. Take a stroll with nature expert Paul Kaim as he leads you through the Long Meadow in search of the Park’s nightlife. Not a member yet? Join today and take the tour.

Food Truck Rally: On the first and third Sunday of every month, come to Grand Army Plaza to enjoy treats from some of the best food trucks in the city. From gourmet ice cream sandwiches, to lobster rolls and kimchi tacos, there is something for everyone, and something different each time at the Food Truck Rally.

Celebrate Brooklyn!: Besides picnics and barbecues, this performing arts festival is one of the ultimate summertime activities in the Park. This year, we challenge you to try something new, whether a silent film screening, salsa music or electronica. And don’t forget the popular Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert, this year taking place on Saturday, June 14 and featuring Ozomatli’s Ozokidz. 

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!

PPA Profiles: Eve Schwartz

January 2, 2014

Anyone who has attended nature programs at the Prospect Park Audubon Center has likely met Eve Schwartz, an educator with the Prospect Park Alliance. A Philadelphia native, Eve has worked at the Alliance since June of last year, and is part of the team that designs all of the educational programs and exhibits about the Park’s natural habitats. She is extremely fond of the center’s collection of live animals, particularly a Albino Black Rat Snake named Chester.

You obviously enjoy working at the Prospect Park Audubon Center. What is your favorite part of your job?
I grew up next to a nature center in Philadelphia. I love sharing my love of nature with new people, so the Alliance’s educational programs are very special to me. Every day I get to connect people with a world they rarely see.

What are some of the questions that people ask at the Audubon Center?
About 60 percent of the people ask about birding. It’s very big in Prospect Park. During the summer, a lot of people ask us about fishing, too.

Why do you think that Prospect Park is such a popular place for birding, especially in the winter?
People don’t think of New York City as being a warm place in the winter, but compared to Canada, where many of these birds originate, the Park is actually a very hospitable environment. Among the species that make the Park their home during the winter months are Juncos, Chipping Sparrows, American Pipits and, occasionally, a Pine Siskin.

Where is your favorite spot to birdwatch in Prospect Park?
To see a variety of species, I like the Lullwater Trail, which goes from the Boathouse up to Breeze Hill, and it is very scenic. I’m a big fan of waterfowl, and it’s the best place to see them. I also like to go to the Vale of Cashmere at the northeast corner of the Park to see the warblers.

What goes into creating educational programs and exhibits?
I consider the season and animals we’d like to highlight. The goal is to make people into human field guides. When people understand nature, they are more likely to protect it and share their knowledge.

Join Eve and the rest of the education team on January 20 at the Audubon Center for Martin Luther King Jr. Day programs.