Here are some of our favorite things to do in Brooklyn with preschool-age kids. Photo by Matt Nighswander
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Brooklyn with preschool-age kids. Photo by Matt Nighswander

Brooklyn Preschoolers: 40 Awesome Things To Do in the Borough

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 Brooklyn preschoolers and toddlers out exploring with these 40 must-do activities.

One of the great things about these early years is your kid may not be in school every day, so you often can avoid the weekends and enjoy some of these Brooklyn gems without the crowds.

The Prospect Park carousel is the perfect stop after the zoo or a walk through the green space. Photo by Matt Nighswander

Fun Outdoor Places to Play With Brooklyn Preschoolers

1. Ride the lion, giraffe, or dragon-pulled chariot on the Prospect Park Carousel

Take a spin on the ice at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside. Photo by Sara M.

2. Run through the splash pad fountains or learn to skate at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park.

3. When summer rolls around, flip-flop your way to a local (and FREE) outdoor pool. Brooklyn plays host to some of our favorites, including McCarren and the Douglas & DeGraw pool.

Wander through Grand Army Plaza to check out the Bailey Fountain. Photo by the author

4. 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.

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.

6. Take a ferry ride to the Rockaways, or check out the water taxi from IKEA for some toddler-friendly seafaring.

Pedal a boat or kayak around Prospect Park Lake. Photo courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance

7. Rent a pedal boat as a family to cruise around Prospect Park Lake in the warmer months.

8. Take a ride on the trolley at Greenwood Cemetery.

RELATED: 50 Things To Do in Park Slope with Kids

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.

The slides are steep and fast at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6. Photo by Matt Nighswander

Fun Playgrounds for Brooklyn Preschoolers

10. Swing like Tarzan and swoosh down the two-story slides at the Pier 6 playground.

11. Play with a water pump and hop from stump to stump at the nature playground in Prospect Park.

12. Splash around, grab a snack, and enjoy the views at the beautifully renovated Domino Park in Williamsburg.

The BAM Kids fest is always a blast. Photo courtesy of BAM

Indoor Places to Play With Brooklyn Preschoolers

13. Take them to their first film fest with the annual BAMkids fest in Fort Greene.

14. Explore the lush conservatories at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

15. Get crafty at one of the many art studios geared toward kids all across this artistic borough. 

16. Take the plunge and swim at an indoor Brooklyn pool, or register for FREE programs hosted by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

17. 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 the Kings Theatre.

18. Teach your pre-K kid the game of golf at the indoor Shipwrecked in Red Hook.

RELATED: 25 Things To Do With Your NYC Preschooler Before Kindergarten

Check out the radio other and other cool interactive areas at CAMP's newest location at City Point. Photo by Ros Muggeridge

19. Head to interactive toy store CAMP's location at City Point to play, shop, or craft a keepsake to take home.

20. Catch a free show by a kids' band at the Brooklyn Public Library's Dweck Center.

21. 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!).

Swing by Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill for storytimes and author events. Photo courtesy of Books are Magic

22. Drop-in for storytime at bookstores like Greenlight, Books Are Magic, and the top public libraries.

23. Visit Little Things in Park Slope or Two Kids and a Dog in Dumbo for some train table time.

Cultural Institutions to Explore With Brooklyn Preschoolers

24. Drive a bus and play on real subway trains at the New York Transit Museum.

25. Burn off energy at the nearly two dozen indoor play spaces and kiddie gyms scattered around the borough.

26. Float boats and splash on the water table at the Brooklyn Children's Museum's Totally Tots exhibit.

27. Visit a Brooklyn maker space for a class, camp, or a special birthday party, including the Brooklyn Robot Foundry in South Slope and Geek Forest in Williamsburg.

Head up to the roof deck of Ample Hills in Gowanus to enjoy your ice cream. Photo courtesy of Ample Hills

Preschool-Friendly Eats in Brooklyn

28. Eat ice cream on the rooftop deck at Ample Hills Ice Cream Paradise in Gowanus.

29. 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.

30. 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

31. Introduce your toddler to a classic egg cream at the Brooklyn Farmacy, and stick around to play a board game.

32. Sip coffee and nibble a croissant or slurp soup while the kids play at these Brooklyn cafes with children's toys and activities.

If you're in Red Hook, don't miss the chance to eat and play at Brooklyn Crab. Photo by Janet Bloom

33. Head to Brooklyn Crab for a snack and some time in its kid-friendly outdoor courtyard.

34. 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.

Awesome Animal Encounters for Brooklyn Preschoolers

35. Catch the sea lion show or the awesome shark exhibit at the New York Aquarium.

RELATED: 50 Things To Do in Williamsburg With NYC Kids

Get up close to the animals at the petting zoo area in the Prospect Park Zoo. Photo by Louise Trapasso

36. Feed the animals at the Prospect Park Zoo.

It's not Christmas in Brooklyn until you've been to the Dyker Heights Lights. Photo by Marley White for NYCGo

Cool Holiday Celebrations for Brooklyn Preschoolers

37. Blow bedtime this holiday season to walk or drive through the over-the-top Christmas light displays in Dyker Heights.

38. See the world's largest Hanukkah menorah at Grand Army Plaza.

39. Trick-or-treat through Park Slope for and march in the renowned annual children's Halloween parade.

40. Celebrate Caribbean culture with beautiful costumes and music at the children's West Indian American Day Junior Carnival parade.

This post, originally published in October 2016, has since been updated.

Prospect Park Carousel
95 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, 11225

NY Transit Museum
99 Schermerhorn St.
Brooklyn , 11201

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6
, 11201

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
990 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, 11225

Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
3059 Denos. D Vourderis Place
Brooklyn, 11224

Bailey Fountain
Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, 11238

Ample Hills
305 Nevins St
Brooklyn, 11215

Prospect Park Zoo
450 Flatbush Ave
, 11225

Nellie's Lawn
, 11238

Brooklyn Public Library Dweck Center
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, 11238

Brooklyn Children's Museum
145 Brooklyn Ave
Brooklyn, 11213

LeFrak Center at Lakeside
171 East Dr.
Brooklyn, 11225

Prospect Park Lake
Brooklyn, 11238

Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies
185 Van Dyke St.
Brooklyn, 11231

Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, 11238

Jane's Carousel
Dock St.
Brooklyn, 11201

Dyker Heights
Brooklyn, 11228

Park Slope Halloween Parade
336 3rd Street
Brooklyn, 11215

New York Aquarium
602 Surf Ave
Brooklyn, 11224

30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Geek Forest
329 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Brooklyn Robot Foundry
586 5th Ave
Brooklyn , NY 11215

621 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

One Beard St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Brooklyn Crab
24 Reed Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
513 Henry Street
New York, NY

Industry City
220 36th Street
Brooklyn, NY

Little Things Toy Store
145 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Two Kids and a Dog
61 Pearl Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Right to Vote
Children's Museum of Manattan - 10:00 AM Pick
The Little Orchestra Society: The Other Side
Brooklyn Children's Museum - various times Pick
Monuments Now
Socrates Sculpture Park - 9:00 AM
Origami Holiday Tree 2020
American Museum of Natural History - 10:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides