50 Best Things to Do in Park Slope with Kids
It's hard to beat Park Slope for a day of family fun. With its tree- and brownstone-lined streets, high-performing public schools, destination playgrounds, family-friendly restaurants, and host of cultural and kids' activities—not to mention the natural beauty and kid-friendly things to do in Prospect Park—Park Slope is one of the best family neighborhoods in NYC.
The Slope is a true community: Local shopkeepers know their regulars by name, neighbors sit and chat on their front stoops, and parents share info and swap baby items on the massive online board Park Slope Parents. For our purposes, we're defining Park Slope as stretching from Fourth Avenue to the eastern side of Prospect Park, and from Flatbush Avenue south to Prospect Avenue. Here are our top 50 things to do with kids in Park Slope, from culture to eating, shopping, and playing.
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1. Play Indoors
2. Or Outside in the Park
Hit one of the three playgrounds along Prospect Park West: Run through the harp-shaped sprinkler in Harmony Playground, bring your toddler to slide and climb at the Garfield Tot Lot, or dig in the sandbox at the Third Street Playground.
The Zucker Natural Play Area is full of sticks, stumps, and other natural elements to inspire play. Photo by Mommy Poppins
3. Play with Nature
Venture a little further into Prospect Park and set the kids free to roam and play at the Zucker Natural Exploration Area in Prospect Park, a unique playground made from reclaimed natural materials.
4. Visit the Animals
Visit the wonderful (and compact) Prospect Park Zoo.
5. Ride a Carousel
Ride the park's vintage carousel
6. Get Active at LeFrak
Skate, boat, and splash at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park.
7. Exercise at the Y
Hootenanny Art House opens its doors to art and music classes. Photo courtesy of the art house
8. Enjoy Music
Take music and art classes and enjoy kids' concerts at the Hootenanny Art House.
9. Burn off Kid Energy
Run around in the sprinklers at JJ Byrne Playground, hit the swings, or kick a ball around in the generously-sized artificial turf areas.
10. Engage in STEM
Head to the Brooklyn Robot Foundry for hands-on, STEM-fueled projects and activities, including family robot-building sessions on weekends.
11. Conduct Science Experiments
Try the experiments and projects offered at The Tiny Scientist, which hosts workshops, classes, and after-school programs designed to foster a love of science.
12. Support Your Budding Performer
Do some superhero research at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. Photo courtesy of the store
13. Learn about Superheros
14. Shop for Plants
Browse the beautiful plant selection at The Sill's new retail location, and grab a cup of coffee from the Blank Street Coffee Shop on-site.
15. Get Creative with Your Hands
Spark your creativity with pottery-making and painting at The Painted Pot.
16. Take Music Lessons
It's never too early to learn music! Park Slope Music Lessons is a great spot to introduce even the youngest kids to the fundamentals of music and piano.
Brooklyn Game Lab's programming goes well beyond board games. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Game Lab
17. Play Games
Hone your critical and reasoning skills at the Brooklyn Game Lab, where kids (and adults) play creative board games.
18. Get Kids Groovin'
Sing, dance, and make-believe at Spoke the Hub.
19. Drop-in On Story Time
Get the wiggles out with your toddler at a drop-in music class or story time at Ume Ume.
20. Or an Outdoor Concert
All summer long, catch FREE outdoor performances at the Prospect Park bandshell courtesy of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!
21. Expose Kids to Classical Music
Catch classical and kids' music concerts at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, or sign up for music lessons.
From the playground to outdoor festivals and theater, the Old Stone House is a community gathering spot. Photo by Bob Levine/courtesy of OSH.
22. Visit the Old Stone House
Attend a family concert, explore the garden, or check out community art exhibits at the historic Old Stone House.
23. Listen to a Story
Go for story hour in the garden or curl up with a book in the lovely children's section of the Park Slope Library.
24. Peruse Sculptures
Check out the giant, student-made insect sculptures clinging to the courtyard wall of P.S. 107.
25. Support Local Theater
Catch the family improv show Theatresports! (currently virtual) and check out the musicals and performances at The Gallery Players theater.
26. Dress Up and Parade
March in the annual Park Slope Civic Council Children’s Halloween Parade, the oldest children's Halloween parade in NYC. (Park Slope loves a good parade: You can also catch the St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, the Brooklyn Pride Parade in June, and the adorable Little League Opening Day parade in April.)
Fairy tales come to life in marionette form at Puppetworks. Photo by TA Smith/courtesy of the theater.
27. Attend a Puppet Show
See puppet shows and hang with the custom-made marionettes at local kid-theater institution Puppetworks.
28. Start a Scavenger Hunt
Hunt for animal statues, such as bronze panthers, or historical monuments, like the statue of Marquis de Lafayette, in Prospect Park.
29. Check Out Local Musicians
Attend a family concert by local mom and celebrity musician Suzi Shelton at various venues in the neighborhood.
30. Relax with Live Music
Catch a weekend afternoon music performance at the one-of-a-kind Barbes—from jazz to tango, there's something new every time.
31. Experience Student Theater
See a student production from the Brooklyn Acting Lab, which offers theater workshops for kids year-round.
Buttermilk Bake Shop serves some spectacular treats. Photo courtesy of @travelingtable
32. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
Indulge in sweet cakes, cupcakes, macaroons, and cookies at Buttermilk Bake Shop, where you can also take baking classes and throw parties.
33. Enjoy Ice Cream
Indulge in delicious ice cream at Teo's Ice Cream Shop, right around the corner from Hungry Ghost.
34. Grab a Slice
Down a slice or two at Pizza Plus, which also has vegan and gluten-free options.
35. Have a Picnic
Barbecue with your family at a designated spot in Prospect Park, or pack a basket and head to the tables outside Prospect Park's Picnic House.
36. Try Mexican for Dinner
Try some delectable and authentic Oaxacan cuisine at Casa Azul.
Nosh while you catch a flick on the big screen at Nitehawk Cinema. Photo courtesy of the cinema
37. Enjoy Dinner and a Movie
Catch a movie and dinner at the same time at NiteHawk Cinema. Food is very family-friendly with a kids' menu, and the theater often plays kids' movies.
38. Cool Off With Frozen Yogurt
Cool off with fresh frozen yogurt made on-site with a variety of fresh and sweet toppings at Culture.
39. Or Artisanal Gelato
Stop by the nearby L'Albero dei Gelati, where you'll find housemade gelato crafted from locally sourced ingredients.
40. Try a New Bakery
Grab some monkey bread or vegetarian banh mi sandwiches from Park Slope's newest bakery, Winner. The owners recently opened up a sister restaurant, Runner Up, right next door, serving both small appetizers or full-course meals.
41. Or Restaurant
Polish off some empanadas, tacos, and arepas at lively, supremely family-friendly Latin American bistro Bogota.
Powerhouse Books has a well-stocked children's section. Photo by Diana Kim
42. Explore Powerhouse
Browse the kids' section and enjoy storytime at the Eighth Avenue outpost of Powerhouse Bookstore.
43. Shop for Toys
Play with the train set and critter playhouse at Little Things Toy Store.
44. Let the Kids Browse For Themselves
Settle into a comfy chair and read a book in the children's section at one of Park Slope's oldest independent bookstores, The Community Bookstore.
45. Socialize With Friends
Head downstairs to the giant children's section at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble to read and socialize.
46. Don a New Hairdo
Get junior's hair cut at LuLu's Cuts and Toys, and leave with a balloon, lollipop, and new 'do.
47. Practice Farm-to-Table
48. Curate Your Own Goodie Bags
Find cool crafts, unique toys, and great goodie bag trinkets at Toy Space.
49. Train Like a Ninja
Channel your inner American Ninja Warrior and enroll in a class, camp, or host your next birthday party at the brand new Brooklyn Ninja Gym.
50. Shop for Vintage
This article was first published in January 2012 but has since been updated.