Prospect Park Zoo
450 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Park
The Prospect Park Zoo is one of those kid-centric activities that parents really get a kick out of, too. The residents of the beautiful and meticulously cared-for enclosures run the gamut from tamarins and baboons to otters and sea lions—and so many more. Many of the exhibits are interactive, so kids pick up a lot of educational stuff without even realizing it. The week-long summer camps are a dream come true for budding zoologists.
40 Bogart St., Bushwick
Think of Syndicated as a one-stop-shop for the dinner-and-a-movie date. In the front, there's a restaurant and bar area for old-fashioned eating and drinking (with a great seasonal menu to match) with a fun, buzzy atmosphere. In the back, there's a movie theater (also with an excellent food and drink menu) that plays an awesomely curated selection of movies at a $3 ticket price, including everything from old black-and-whites to documentaries to cult classics. The whole operation is undeniably fun.
Designed in the late 1800's by the same duo behind Manhattan's Central Park (Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux), Prospect Park, although not quite as large, is still massive at 580-plus acres, spanning multiple neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and offering plenty of outdoor fun. If you want to picnic and chill, head to Long Meadow near the top of the park (you can enter at the Grand Army Plaza or one of the openings along Prospect Park West)—which is touted as the longest green stretch in any U.S. park, at nearly a mile long. South of Long Meadow is the Ravine, an expansive woodland and waterway landscape. Further east, there's the Prospect Park Zoo and carousel. Water activities (including Prospect Park's Splash Pad) are housed at Le Frak Center at Lakeside near the southeast corner of the park. Also nearby, check out Drummer's Grove.
61 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
This adults-only bowling alley turned concert venue provides an entertainment trifecta, guaranteeing a pretty great night out, especially in a group. You can bowl to great music (Questlove, for one, DJs on Thursdays), dine on Blue Ribbon’s fried chicken and spiked milkshakes, and see the occasional big-name group.
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 N. 6th St., Williamsburg
This gritty Williamsburg concert hall has debuted many an indie and new wave band. It's one of our favorite venues in the city, second only to the Bowery Ballroom (it's from the same family), as the sound is great and it's nice and intimate. You can stand and watch on the ground floor, but there's more low-key, tiered standing areas upstairs for those inclined to claustrophobia. Fall highlights: Julien Baker, Bastille, Shovels & Rope, Bon Iver, and more.
Parkside & Ocean Ave. Entrance, Prospect Park, Lefferts Garden
The Congo Square Drummers started gathering in Prospect Park informally in 1968, and it's been going every since: You can still catch this drum circle every Sunday, from April through October, 2pm to dusk. It's particularly fun for kids.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
990 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights
The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are covered in acres of gorgeous plants and flowers. From the Japanese Tea Garden to the Lily-Pad exhibit, this is a great place to stroll or spend a day with the kids (there are lots of pit-stops for snacks throughout). Hours change seasonally, so check the site just in case.
Baby’s All Right
146 Broadway, Williamsburg
Tucked away in South Williamsburg, this is one of the best places to see up-and-coming indie bands. It's always a fun night out, particularly because there’s food (including lots of vegan and vegetarian options) by way of Bouley and Acme vet, chef Ronald Murray. Much to the joy of locals, they've recently introduced weekend brunch.
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