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 playgrounds, top 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!
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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.
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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 Greenmarket, Park 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.