Brooklyn is full of fun experiences for little kids, whether you live here or are just looking for new adventures. From pedal boating in Prospect Park to sharing Key lime pie along the water in Red Hook, we guarantee you’ll want to take your preschooler or toddler on these 30 must-do activities.
And one of the great things about these early years is that your kids may not be in school every day, so you often can avoid the weekends and enjoy some of these Brooklyn places without crowds.
The Prospect Park carousel is the perfect stop after the zoo or just a walk through the green space. Photo by Matt Nighswander
1. Ride the lion, giraffe, or dragon-pulled chariot on the Prospect Park Carousel.
2. Drive a bus and play on real subway trains at the New York Transit Museum.
The slides are steep and fast at Pier 6! Photo by Matt Nighswander
3. Swing on the Tarzan swings and swoosh down the two-story slides at Pier 6 playground.
4. Explore the lush conservatories at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Cool off in the surf after a day on the rides at Coney. Photo by Matt Nighswander
5. Play in the sand, splash in the surf, and go for a spin on the kiddie rides at Coney Island.
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Wander through Grand Army Plaza to check out the Bailey Fountain. Photo by the author
6. Feel the spray from the giant Bailey Fountain at Grand Army Plaza, and if it’s Saturday, meander through the Greenmarket and see a street musician or puppeteer.
7. Learn to swim at these indoor Brooklyn pools, or register for FREE programs hosted by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
8. Float boats and splash on the water table at the Brooklyn Children's Museum's Totally Tots exhibit.
Wander along the piers at BBP then make your way to the beautiful Jane's Carousel. Photo by Matt Nighswander
9. Go for a spin on the glass-enclosed Jane's Carousel at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo.
10. Burn off energy at the nearly two dozen indoor play spaces and kiddie gyms scattered around the borough.
It's not Christmas in Brooklyn until you've been to the Dyker Heights Lights. Photo by Marley White for NYCGo
11. Blow bedtime this holiday season to walk or drive through the over-the-top Christmas lights displays in Dyker Heights.
Head up to the roof deck of Ample Hills in Gowanus to enjoy your ice cream. Photo courtesy of Ample Hills
12. Eat ice cream on the rooftop deck at Ample Hills' “Ice Cream Paradise” in Gowanus.
13. Feed the sheep at the Prospect Park Zoo.
The BAM Kids fest is always a blast. Photo courtesy fo BAM
14. Take them to their first film fest with the annual BAMkids fest in Fort Greene, or the kidsfilmfest in Williamsburg.
15. Or enjoy live theater at some of Brooklyn's best spots for preschoolers, including Spellbound Theatre , BAM, Park Slope's Puppetworks, Jalopy in Carroll Gardens. You'll also find children's shows at On Stage at Kingsborough, The Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts, and Kings Theatre.
16. Share a chocolate-dipped Key lime pie on a stick at Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies in Red Hook while overlooking the harbor and Statue of Liberty.
Take a spin on the ice at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside Ice Rink.
17. Run through the splash pad fountains or learn to skate at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park.
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Pedal a boat or kayak around Prospect Park Lake. Photo courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance
18. Rent a pedal boat as a family to cruise around Prospect Park Lake in the warmer months.
19. Catch the sea lion show, or the awesome shark exhibit at New York Aquarium.
20. Sign up for those preschool tours with these dual-language Brooklyn schools or nature-based programs in Brooklyn parks and gardens.
21. See the world's largest Hanukkah menorah at Grand Army Plaza.
22. Play with a water pump and hop from stump to stump at the nature playground in Prospect Park.
Swing by Books are Magic in Cobble Hill for story times and author events. Photo courtesy of Books are Magic
23. Drop in for one of these Brooklyn storytimes at bookstores like Greenlight, Books Are Magic, and the top public libraries.
24. Visit a Brooklyn maker space for class, camp, or a special birthday party, including Brooklyn Robot Foundry in South Slope and Geek Forest in Williamsburg.
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Show off your Halloween costumes at the Park Slope parade. Photo by Gilly Youner for the Park Slope Civic Council
25. Trick-or-treat through Park Slope for the renowned annual children's Halloween parade.
26. Teach your pre-K kid the game of golf at the brand-new indoor Shipwrecked in Red Hook.
27. Celebrate Caribbean culture with beautiful costumes and music at the children's West Indian American Day Junior Carnival parade.
28. When summer rolls around, flip-flop your way to the local (and FREE) outdoor pool. Brooklyn plays host to some of our favorites, including McCarren and the Douglas & DeGraw pool.
29. Sip coffee and nibble a croissant or slurp soup while the kids play at these Brooklyn cafes with children's toys and activities.
30. Catch a free show by a kids’ band at the Brooklyn Public Library's Dweck Center.
31. Splash around, grab a snack and enjoy the views at beautifully renovated Domino Park in Williamsburg.
If you're in Red Hook don't miss the chance to eat and play Brooklyn Crab.
32. Head to Brooklyn Crab for a snack and some time in their kid-friendly outdoor courtyard.
33. Spend some time at Industry City in Sunset Park. Check the schedule for year-round activities for the whole family (Rock N' Roll Playhouse is a great one for toddlers!).
34. Take a ferry ride to the Rockaways, or check out the water taxi from IKEA for some toddler-friendly seafaring.
35. Visit Little Things in Park Slope or Two Kids and a Dog in DUMBO for some train table time.
36. Indulge in a donut at one of these fantastic locales—some of the best can be found in Brooklyn!
Line up for treats at the counter at Brooklyn Farmacy. Photo by Melissa Spar Pipitone
37. Introduce your toddler to a classic egg cream at Brooklyn Farmacy, and stick around to play a board game.
38. Get crafty at one of the many art studios geared toward kids all across this artistic borough.
39. Take a ride on the trolley at Greenwood Cemetery.
40. A beer garden might not instinctively feel like a great place to bring a toddler, but allow Brooklyn to prove you wrong! Spend an afternoon playing and relaxing with a cold one at one of these family-friendly spots.