Fort Greene Clinton Hill with Kids: Top 35 Things to Do for NYC Families
Known for their picturesque tree-lined streets and historic architecture, adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have lots of attractions for families. There's the amazing Ft. Greene Park, a 30-acre oasis with two playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, a nature center, a running track, soccer fields and great hills for sledding. Plus the park's hard-working conservancy organizes popular annual events for families like the beloved Halloween Festival and the Music In the Grove kids' concert series during the summer.
The area has lots of excellent culture spots, too, notably the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which launched its BAMfamily series in 2013, and the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, which hosts live Disney extravaganzas, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Brooklyn Nets home games. Plus Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have great kid-friendly restaurants, the Brooklyn Flea's Fort Greene flagship location, easy subway access and a pair of active parent listservs: Fort Greene Kids and Parents Around the Hill.
This month, we'll offer an in-depth look at everything Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have to offer families, including our favorites spots to play, eat and experience. For the purposes of our posts, our geographical boundaries are Flushing Avenue to the north and Atlantic Avenue to the south between Flatbush Avenue and Bedford Avenue. But today we're starting with our top 35 things to do with kids in the neighborhood.
- Find out what's playing at the BAMfamily series, which includes the annual BAMkids Film Festival in February
- Marvel at the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, once the tallest building in the borough; on weekends from November through April, you can even take a peek at the stunning ground floor when it hosts Brooklyn Flea for the winter
- Check out Hank Prussing's awesome murals at the historic Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church
- Learn some new moves at the Mark Morris Dance Center—there are even Mommy & Me classes
- Tour the Brooklyn Navy Yard on a Yard Inspectors Family Tour or sign up for a variety of kids' classes at the ultra eco-friendly BLDG 92
- Speaking of BLDG 92, it's now home to one of our favorite places for kids to build things: ConstructionKids
- Hit the Atlantic Center Mall to shop at the big chains and play at Chuck E. Cheese's
- Stock up on farm-fresh goodies at the weekly Ft. Greene Park Greenmarket
- Romp in Ft. Greene Park's two playgrounds: the north one is larger and has sprinklers in summer
- Hunt for treasure year-round at the Brooklyn Flea, which has an outdoor Fort Greene location in spring, summer and fall, then moves indoors to the nabe's Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower in winter
- Enjoy a picnic on the well-tended lawns of the Pratt Sculpture Park
- But first, stock up on yummy take-out treats from Greene Grape Provisions
- Grab a bite at the super-kid-friendly burger and fries joint 67 Burger
- Although it's mainly thought of as a college, the Pratt Institute offers excellent art and design classes for kids in its Saturday Art School
- Peruse art supplies and books at the 15,000-square-foot Prattstore
- Enjoy kid-lit events at Greenlight Bookstore, including weekend storytimes and a tween book club
- Peruse modern African art at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, which also organizes the outdoor KIDFlix Film Festival every August
- In spring, summer and fall, hit eco-eatery Habana Outpost for Hispanic dishes and cool kids' events like free festivals, crafts and weekly outdoor movie screenings in the backyard
- Sign up your kid for one of the many music and dance programs available at the Brooklyn Music School
- Enjoy coffee and a decadent sweet treat at Beny's Delice
- Try to identify the currency at Mike's Coffee Shop, old-school greasy spoon that has bills from around the world pasted on the wall behind the register
- Go on an art-making adventure at BRIC Arts/Media/Bklyn Family Days; currently located in Brooklyn Heights, the org plans to move into its new Fort Greene studio in the Strand Theater Building in fall 2013
- See what's playing at 651 Arts, an African Diaspora performing arts and culture center
- Be entertained on a grand scale at the Barclays Center where you can see the circus, live Disney shows and more
- Chow down on Brooklyn-style thin crust pizza at the spacious Graziella's
- Let the kids get their ya-yas out at all the local playgrounds, including Oxport (swings, play structures, small sprinkler), Commodore Barry Park (pool next door, sprinklers and lots of play structures) and Albert J. Parham (three-foot-deep pool, grassy lawn, play structures and sprinklers)
- Sign up for family swim at LIU Brooklyn's state-of-the-art 25-yard pool or check out the school's other community programs
- Grab a children's book and read to your kids at the Walt Whitman Library, named for the famed poet who lived in the area
- Develop your tot's sense of rhythm and pitch by joining a Music Together class
- Get your little ones moving with special themed programs at City Kids Dance!
- Shake and shimmy at Ft. Greene Park's summer Music in the Grove: Kids concert series; the green space also hosts a popular annual Halloween Festival and a one-day a Summer Literary Festival in August
- See what's happening at the Ft. Greene Park Nature Center, where Urban Park Rangers host free nature programs for families like birding and wildlife scavenger hunts
- Do your best downward dog at Bija Kids; in addition to yoga, the spot offers art and music classes, and open play
- Shop for eco-friendly little kids' clothes and gear at My Brooklyn Baby, which also hosts family events
- Browse clothing, toys, books and shoes at the local outpost of NYC mini-chain Area Kids
Read all of our posts about things to do with kids in Fort Greene Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.