Park Slope with Kids: 50 Things to Do for NYC Families

Prospect Park, Places to Play, Family Restaurants, Book Stores, Theaters

It's hard to beat Park Slope when it comes to picking a NYC neighborhood for a day of family fun. As we've posted in the past, Park Slope is a haven for families. With tree- and brownstone-lined streets, high-performing public schools, destination playgroundstop restaurants and a host of cultural and kids' activities, it's no wonder families have flocked to and stayed in the neighborhood. 

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 Prospect Park West to Fourth Avenue and Flatbush Avenue to 15th Street. Here are our top 50 things to do with kids in Park Slope, from culture to eating, shopping and playing.

Check out our Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide for more great places to explore.

1. Dig in the sandbox or run through the harp-shaped sprinkler in Prospect Park's Harmony Playground.

2. Browse the kids' section and enjoy story time at the Eighth Avenue outpost of Powerhouse Bookstore.

3. Catch free outdoor performances at the Prospect Park band shell courtesy of Celebrate Brooklyn!

RELATED: Park Slope Restaurants: Where to Eat with Kids

Alice and the white rabbit look for the stolen tarts at Puppetworks. Photo by TA Smith/courtesy the theater.

4. See puppet shows and hang with the custom-made marionettes at Puppetworks.

5. Check out the handcrafted toys at Norman and Jules Toy Shop and stop by the meticulously landscaped backyard for free play or a kids concert.

6. Play with the train set and critter playhouse outside Little Things Toy Store.

7. Swim at the Prospect Park YMCA or take a class and run the indoor track at the Park Slope Armory Y.

8. Sell and buy gently used kids' clothes and gear while checking out the play space at LuLu's Then and Now.

9. Help toddlers slide and socialize at the Garfield Tot Lot.

10. Check out Brooklyn Design Lab, where kids learn to draw, make collages with bubble wrap, sculpt with wood, build monsters out of everyday objects and construct other fantastic creatures with Legos.

RELATED: Where to Find Swim Lessons in Brooklyn for Kids and Babies

From the playground to outdoor festivals to theater, the Old Stone House is a community gathering spot. Photo by Bob Levine/courtesy of OSH.

11. Attend family events at the historic Old Stone House on Third Street, smack in the middle of Washington Park, home to No. 12's playground.

12. Run around in the sprinklers at JJ Byrne Playground, hit the swings or kick a ball around in the generous artificial turf areas.

13. Barbecue with your family at a designated spot in Prospect Park.

14. Sit in one of the comfy chairs and read a book in the children's sections at one of Park Slope's oldest independent bookstores, The Community Bookstore.

15. Take music lessons at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music or attend classical and kids music concerts. 

16. Dance and act at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, which has classes for every age level.

17. Buy fresh, locally sourced produce at the Grand Army Plaza GreenmarketPark Slope Farmers' Market or join the Park Slope Food Coop.

18. Kids use their imagination and engage in unstructured free play with woods and trees damaged from storms at the Zucker Natural Exploration Area in Prospect Park.

19. Take music and art classes and enjoy kids' concerts at the Hootenanny Art House.

RELATED: 15 Reasons Prospect Park Is Better Than Your Friend's Country House

Pick up a cape at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. Photo by Tara Hunt via Flickr.

20. Hone your writing and crime-fighting abilities at Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., where you'll find the writing program 826NYC behind a secret door.

21. Go for story hour or check out other kid events at the Park Slope Library.

22. Pack a basket and head to the tables outside Prospect Park's Picnic House.

23. Down a slice or two at Pizza Plus, which also has vegan options.

24. Get junior's hair cut at LuLu's Cuts and Toys, and leave with a balloon, lollipop and new 'do.

RELATED: 21 Brooklyn Drop-In Play Spaces for Kids

Sit down for a cup of hot chocolate or grab a slice to go at The Chocolate Room. Photo by Stephen Gross/courtesy the venue.

25. Indulge your sweet tooth at The Chocolate Room.

26. Find cool goodie bag trinkets at Toy Space.

27. Check out giant steel student-made insect sculptures at P.S. 107.

28. Sit on the small stage at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble to read and socialize.

29. Let your toddlers run amok at the play space at Congregation Beth Elohim.

30. Pick up maternity and baby gear or try a class at Wild Was Mama.

31. Learn the ancient art of origami at Taro's Origami Studio.

32. Hunt for animal statues, such as bronze panthers, or historical monuments like the statue of Marquis de Lafayette in Prospect Park.

RELATED: 10 Park Slope Summer Camps for NYC Kids

Tuck into some roti at Talde's family-friendly brunch. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

33. Enjoy an Asian-fusion brunch at Talde.

34. March in the Park Slope Civic Council Children’s Halloween Parade.

35. Sing, dance and make believe at Spoke the Hub.

36. Catch the family improv show, TheatreSports!, and check out the musicals at The Gallery Players.

37. Go sledding in Prospect Park near the Ninth Street entrance.

38. Indulge in sweet cakes, cupcakes, macaroons and cookies at Buttermilk Bake Shop, where you can also take baking classes and throw parties. 

Giocare Play Spot in South Slope hosts drop-in play and various classes. Photo by Diana Kim.

39. Although it's technically a couple blocks south of our Park Slope borders, the new Giocare Play Spot is great for rainy day drop-in play and art-making.

40. Visit the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park, where you can ice skate, roller skate and play in the splash zone. 

41. Rain or shine, play tennis at the Prospect Park Tennis Center,  where kids can take lessons. 

42. Outfit your kid with new shoes at A Shoe Grows in Brooklyn while attending activities and readings for kids.

43. Hone your critical and reasoning skills at the Brooklyn Game Lab, where kids (and adults) play creative board games.

44. Take an art, music, dance or theater class or enjoy the play space at Kidville.

45. Spark your creativity and enjoy making pottery, painting pottery or canvas painting at The Painted Pot.

46. Attend a family concert by local mom, celebrity and musician Suzi Shelton at various venues in the neighborhood.

47. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Prospect Park on horseback or take riding lessons and classes. 

48. Cool off with fresh frozen yogurt made on site with a variety of fresh and sweet toppings at Culture.

49. Take your tween or teen to Beacon's Closet for stylish and trendy thrift shopping.

50. With two locations in Park Slope, Dizzy's is the quintessential diner when taking kids out for a casual meal. 

Top photo: Join a group art-making session at Hootenanny Art House. Photo courtesy the venue.

This article was first published in January 2012 but has since been updated.

Harmony Playground
Prospect Park West and 9th Street
11215 Brooklyn , NY 40° 39' 52.5852" N, 73° 58' 36.6456" W
New York
338 Sixth Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-965-3391
40° 40' 15.672" N, 73° 58' 53.5944" W
New York
Little Things Toy Store
145 7th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-783-4733
40° 40' 21.5472" N, 73° 58' 35.7312" W
New York
Prospect Park YMCA
357 Ninth Street
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-768-7100
40° 40' 6.5784" N, 73° 59' 4.1604" W
New York
Park Slope Armory YMCA
361 15th Street
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 212-912-2580
40° 39' 46.8396" N, 73° 59' 2.3676" W
New York
LuLu's Then and Now
187 Fourth Avenue
11217 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-398-5858
40° 40' 41.4984" N, 73° 58' 56.6724" W
New York
Garfield Tot Lot
Garfield Place and Prospect Park West
11215 Brooklyn , NY 40° 40' 12.0828" N, 73° 58' 20.298" W
New York
Brooklyn Design Lab
413A 7th Ave
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 917-657-7441
40° 39' 51.1092" N, 73° 59' 1.248" W
New York
The Old Stone House
336 3rd Street
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-768-3195
40° 40' 22.9548" N, 73° 59' 1.788" W
New York
The Community Bookstore
143 Seventh Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-783-3075
40° 40' 21.7812" N, 73° 58' 35.5224" W
New York
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 Seventh Avenue
11217 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-622-3300
40° 40' 33.4524" N, 73° 58' 29.1864" W
New York
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
421 5th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-832-0018
40° 40' 11.3016" N, 73° 59' 8.718" W
New York
Park Slope Farmers Market
337 5th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY 40° 40' 19.7868" N, 73° 59' 0.9312" W
New York
Third Street Playground
3rd Street and Prospect Park West
11215 Brooklyn , NY 40° 40' 5.6028" N, 73° 58' 25.7736" W
New York
Hootenanny Art House
426 15th Street
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-369-0528
40° 39' 43.3368" N, 73° 58' 55.3944" W
New York
Park Slope Library
431 6th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-832-1853
40° 40' 5.8188" N, 73° 59' 0.8952" W
New York
Picnic House
95 Prospect Park West
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 646-393-9031
40° 40' 1.434" N, 73° 58' 29.0064" W
New York
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company
372 5th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-499-9884
40° 40' 16.9392" N, 73° 59' 4.7112" W
New York
Pizza Plus
359 7th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-768-5327
40° 39' 57.0492" N, 73° 58' 55.6068" W
New York
LuLu's Cuts and Toys
48 5th Avenue
11217 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-832-3732
40° 40' 54.102" N, 73° 58' 37.794" W
New York
The Chocolate Room
86 5th Avenue
11217 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-783-2900
40° 40' 49.8864" N, 73° 58' 40.0188" W
New York
Toy Space
426 7th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-369-9096
40° 39' 49.4676" N, 73° 59' 3.264" W
New York
P.S. 107
1301 8th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-499-2054
40° 39' 46.5804" N, 73° 58' 52.3236" W
New York
Area Kids
99 7th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-636-6144
40° 40' 27.1056" N, 73° 58' 31.8504" W
New York
Barnes & Noble
267 7th Avenue
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-832-9066
40° 40' 7.4136" N, 73° 58' 48.0828" W
New York
Congregation Beth Elohim
274 Garfield Pl
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-768-3814
40° 40' 15.132" N, 73° 58' 28.0488" W
New York
Spoke the Hub
748 Union Street
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-408-3234
40° 40' 31.2276" N, 73° 58' 42.168" W
New York
The Gallery Players
199 14th Street
11215 Brooklyn , NY
Phone: 718-832-0617
40° 40' 1.6752" N, 73° 59' 26.124" W
New York