Park Slope

Best Brooklyn Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds for Summer Fun

When the sticky NYC summer heat sets in, kids need fun things to do to keep cool (bonus points if the kiddos also get a chance to burn off some energy). There’s no better solution than water playgrounds—get cool in the water, dry off to hit the other playground equipment, rinse and repeat. All afternoon.

And best of all, hitting a water playground is a FREE summer activity you can do every day. We’ve rounded up the best water features and playgrounds around Brooklyn so that you and the little ones can try a new place to spray and play every day of the week. 

It's a long summer! Find more ways to keep cool with our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide, which includes splash pads in other boroughs too!

5 Brooklyn Adventures Perfect for Preschoolers

A New York City day with a preschooler is likely to be full of adventure and excitement, but those short attention spans can be downright exhausting. Thankfully, the borough of Brooklyn is filled with non-stop kid fun, even for the most rambunctious little ones.

Of course, there's no shortage of fantastic zoos and gardens, museums, and playgrounds for spending a day out and about in the city, but we've developed five parent-tested, Brooklyn-based itineraries that are perfectly tailored to the younger crowd. 

Nature Programs for NYC Toddlers and Preschoolers

When your city kid has exhausted every museumshow, and playground option in town, it’s nice to be able to get a dose of nature thanks to NYC’s array of zoos, gardens, and parks. And for nature-loving, dirt-loving, mud-loving, bug-loving city kids, the good news is there's no shortage of programming for toddlers and preschoolers in each borough. 

We've rounded up our top places in New York City where your toddler or preschooler can marvel at, learn about, and connect with nature. See our guides for even more camps and classes aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.

Mommy and Me Swim Classes in New York City for Babies and Tots

Mommy and me swim classes (or daddy and me) are a wonderful way to spend time with your baby or toddler. Ideally, these lessons should be enjoyable, stress-free, educational, and a good source of exercise for kids and parents.

During the summer, swim lessons offer overheated families the chance to cool off while young kids become comfortable in the water, a skill they'll certainly use a lot in the coming years, what with all the great swimming pools and beaches in NYC. Parent-child swim classes are also offered around the city throughout the fall, winter, and spring, both on weekends and after school.

Most classes for wee ones and their caretakers take place in indoor pools. Except for the free swim lessons offered via lottery by the New York City Parks Department, mommy and me classes invariably cost something. We've rounded up the top parent-child swim programs across the city (and for more options, see our roundups of swimming classes for all ages in Brooklyn and Queens).

The Best Boat Rides for Families in NYC

Going out on the water in New York lets you see the city from a whole new perspective. Whether you're sailing down one of the rivers, taking a FREE kayak out for a spin, or cruising on the ocean looking for whales, it's relaxing, refreshing, and a great way to stay cool on a summer day with the kids.

While there are all kinds of boat tours on offer around NYC, from the Circle Line to the citywide ferry service, the question for parents is, which ones are truly family-friendly? After all, once you're on the water you're committed to the ride regardless of tantrums, seasickness, or boredom.

To help you figure out which NYC boat rides will work best for your family, we've highlighted some personal favorites, and broken down the best options by type, including the best boat rides for wildlife watching, best for would-be pirates, best for your budget, and more. Discover even more family-friendly things to do this summer in our Summer Fun Guide

One Medical's Doctors Share How to Find the Best Pediatricians in NYC

You may have heard of One Medical — the super convenient membership-based primary care group that's been winning over New Yorkers for years — but did you know that select locations can treat you and your kiddos? We caught up with the group's Manhattan- and Brooklyn-based doctors to get tips on how to find a pediatrician who's right for your crew.

Not familiar with One Medical? The NYC medical practice seeks to provide exceptional patient-focused healthcare and service. With an annual membership fee, you get loads of parent-approved perks, including same- or next-day appointments, online scheduling, secure messaging with providers, and 24/7 virtual care, so you can get help whenever you need it (yup, even in the middle of the night).

Dedicated to meeting families' needs, the Tribeca and Park Slope offices feature kid-friendly waiting areas with books and toys (despite short wait times), diaper changing tables in well-stocked restrooms, space for breastfeeding and newborn care, and plenty of stroller parking. Plus, your whole gang can see the same doc, or at least doctors at the same practice, giving you a more convenient and cohesive healthcare experience.

To learn more about One Medical and meet the pediatricians, join Dr. Peggy Chapman, MD, MS, FA in Tribeca on Tuesday, June 25 from 6:00 to 7:00pm or join Dr. Penelope Hsu, MD in Park Slope on Tuesday, June 18 from 6:00 to 7:00pm. And to help prepare you, they've shared the top questions you should ask on a pediatrician interview (plus a preview of their answers.)

Brooklyn Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Backyards and Patios

Brooklyn boasts its share of restaurants with sidewalk tables, but those of us with kids enjoy those eateries with more spacious outdoor dining. A backyard, picnic tables, roof decks, or sometimes even a bit of grass? We're sold!

Just in time for summer, we've rounded up of our favorite spots from across Brooklyn that feature ample outdoor space, serve delicious food, and welcome families with children. If you're in the mood for variety, we've included a mix of cuisines: Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Southern comfort and, of course, pizza, BBQ, and New American.

Headed to Brooklyn from a surrounding area? Browse our Brooklyn Kids Guide to take full advantage of the borough while you're there, or peruse our NYC Restaurant Guide for more family-friendly eats.

Destination Playground: Zucker Natural Area in Prospect Park

Most New York City kids may not have backyards, but they do have no shortage of entertaining and engaging playgrounds and parks, including some playgrounds that are truly special. The Donald and Barbara Zucker Natural Exploration Area in Prospect Park definitely ranks high on our list of destination playgrounds worth a subway ride.

Located on Nellie’s Lawn in the northeastern section of the park, the Zucker Natural Area isn’t your traditional playground, so no swings, slides, or brightly colored plastic. The nature-based play space, opened in 2013, features romping spots made from some of the 500 trees that were downed during storms like Hurricane Sandy, along with other recycled natural materials that have been collected throughout the park.

Destination Playground: J.J. Byrne Playground in Park Slope Is Action-Packed for All Ages

It’s no surprise that one of the city’s most family-friendly neighborhoods is home to a top destination playground. J.J. Byrne Playground, a Park Slope hotspot, underwent a year-long, multi-million dollar renovation in 2012 to bring in challenging climbing structures for older kids and an action-packed play area for younger kids, plus engaging water features that include a stream and spray jets.

Read on for more features that solidify this spot as one of our favorite playgrounds.

NYC's Best Playgrounds: 18 Parks Worthy of a Subway Schlep

Playgrounds may be as much a part of childhood as potty training and the tooth fairy, but to city families, having a go-to playground is a real sanity saver. When you live in a tiny apartment, the neighborhood park is like your backyard.

While New Yorkers are lucky to have many awesome local play spots, some NYC playgrounds are a cut above the rest. These spots offer plenty of space to romp and enough outdoor entertainment to make them worth a schlep on the subway. Without further ado, read on for 18 of the city's best playgrounds—our NYC playground hall of fame.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Park Slope