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Known as New York City’s most populous borough, Brooklyn is filled with people, places, and plenty of attractions. Whether you’re the type of traveler who enjoys immersing yourself in greenery and nature or venturing to the hippest cocktail bar, Brooklyn is home to it all.
If you’re heading to New York, we’ve put together a list of things to do in Brooklyn for an exciting and fun-filled visit.
From the artistic haven known as Pioneer Works to the eat-in cinema, there’s something in this list for all kinds of Brooklyn visitors. Bring your bucket-list-in-the-making and let’s take a closer look at all the best things to do in Brooklyn.
Located in the heart of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden sprawls across 52-acres and holds more than 14,000 types of plants. The botanical garden offers educational activities, gardening resources, and plenty of blooms to see. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can catch a glimpse of the delicate pale pink and white cherry blossoms. “Cherrywatch” on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website will show you what areas are in pre-bloom, first bloom, peak bloom, and post-peak bloom. A beautiful way to experience Brooklyn botanical garden is to go early to participate in a tour. If you’re searching for nature-inspired things to do in Brooklyn, make sure to put this magical New York gem at the top of your list.
Known as the flagship park of downtown Brooklyn, Prospect Park can be found between the neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, and Windsor Terrace. This 585-acre urban oasis opened over 150 years ago and, whatever season you visit, it’s one of the best things to do in Brooklyn. Whether you’re looking to take a morning jog, an afternoon stroll, or simply sit and bask in the beauty of it all, Prospect Park offers tranquility among the hustle and bustle of city life.
Located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Pioneer Works is a non-profit cultural center that serves to build community through arts and science. With a desire to create an open and inspired world, Pioneer Works makes our list of top things to do in Brooklyn, NY for the artistic crowd. They offer group tours as well as educational tours for K-12 students which can be customized in the areas of visual arts, science, technology, and music. For those who are in the mood to explore, experiment, and get inspired during your visit to Brooklyn, Pioneer Works is the perfect place to do so.
A well-known waterfront community in Greenpoint, the Brooklyn Barge is a seasonal floating bar and restaurant. One of the top fun things to do in Brooklyn for culinary enthusiasts, welcome aboard to this uniquely (and tasty) experience. Choose between shared plates like dockside guacamole and house-made tortilla chips or go for one of their delicious sandwiches, which are served with house-made chips or kale slaw. This vibrant community also partners with leading educational organizations to offer experiential learning and environmental study of the East River. In offering scientific and historic programs, they’ve dedicated themselves to building an innovative community center in Greenpoint—that just so happens to have excellent food and drinks, too.
A residential Brooklyn neighborhood across 442 acres, Coney Island transforms into a bustling destination in the summertime. The Coney Island pier lets tourists walk out onto the water for beautiful views. Tourists set up on the beach and fill the amusement park, which features attractions like the famous Cyclone roller coaster and the Wonder Wheel. Coney Island also hosts eccentric events like the Mermaid Parade in June and an annual 4th of July hot-dog eating contest. You can take your own walking tour and enjoy live music. Enjoy ice cream and other favorite foods as you walk around. The beach and boardwalk are open all year round, so whenever you visit, add this to your bucket list of best things to do in Brooklyn.
Located in what once was the Court Street subway station (decommissioned in 1936), the New York Transit Museum can be found in Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights. Whether you’re a vintage enthusiast or a historic buff, the museum offers a fun and educational way to spend the afternoon. There are several programs, like “Nostalgia Rides” and programs for teens and seniors. You can also opt for the museum highlights tour or gallery talk. However you choose to spend your time at the museum, you’ll emerge from your deep dive into history knowing more about mass transit and the rich culture of New York City.
Founded in 1899, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is the first children’s museum in the United States (some say, it’s the first in the world). It’s located in the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn and offers educational programs for kids of all ages. If you’re on the hunt for fun things to do in Brooklyn for the whole family, the museum boasts plenty to do and see. Current exhibits include a Totally Tots area, a Science Inquiry Center, and World Brooklyn, where children can play in kid-sized shops based on the real ones you find across Brooklyn. Watch your little ones take on the roles of shopkeeper, designer, performer, or builder. Overall, the exhibit is meant to foster an understanding of the wonderfully different cultures that make up the fabric of the neighborhood.
If you prefer your movies with a craft cocktail in hand, Nitehawk Cinema is the place to be. With a casual atmosphere, global fare, and all the best new flicks, the cinema allows visitors to get a taste of the NYC film community. If you’ve never been to a dine-in movie theater, you’re in for a true treat, especially if you’re searching for fun things to do in Brooklyn when you have a night off. A favorite among locals and visitors alike, Nitehawk Cinema is known to be the original cinema eatery with a selective (and excellent) approach to food, film, and drinks.
An 85-acre waterfront park along the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is rich with ecology and expansive piers—6 of them, to be exact. Walk along Main Street or the Greenway, visit the gardens, or stop by the Ferry landing. Whether you visit during morning, afternoon, or evening, any time of day offers incredible views of the city. For the night owls in the group, the park is open until 1 am, except for a few spots like the volleyball courts, playgrounds, and a couple of piers that close earlier. As you most likely already know, finding out where to park in New York City is tough, and Brooklyn Bridge Park is no exception. Parking is extremely limited, so they recommend taking public transportation, walking, or biking. The park is accessible by subway, bus, and ferry. After visiting the park, stop by the iconic Brooklyn Bridge for a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline.
Open every Saturday and Sunday, the Brooklyn Flea market is the area’s largest flea market for vintage design, antiques, collectibles, and food. Ranked one of the best markets in the U.S. and the world, Brooklyn Flea market starts the first weekend in April and lasts through October. To support the artistic community, or to simply spend the afternoon getting inspired for your own art, the market is one of the best things to do in Brooklyn, NY for creatives. Stop at one of the many coffee shops in New York, then head to the flea marke t to spend the day hunting for new found treasures and trinkets.
Brooklyn Grange is a 5.6-acre organic urban farm located on three rooftops in Brooklyn and Queens. It’s the world’s leading soil rooftop farming company and sustainability center. If you’re visiting the city in the summer, the farm offers a free tour every week on Wednesdays at the Brooklyn Navy Yard at 10 AM. You can also take part in farm dinners, Monday evening yoga, or youth programming. The navy yard is a hidden gem in the neighborhood. In addition to plenty of produce, Brooklyn Grange also produces hundreds of pounds of honey each year from their naturally-managed beehives.
From flea markets to rooftop farms, Brooklyn is filled with endless things to do, see, eat, drink, and experience. Your only tough decision will be: which activities to choose. Luckily, once you get out and start exploring, you’ll quickly find it’s hard to go wrong in the vibrant, cultural hub of Brooklyn.
Whether you’re wondering where to stay in New York City with family—or where to stay in New York City for your next business trip—Zeus Living offers the perfect New York City rentals. Our smartly furnished rentals are close to all the excitement of the city and conveniently located near all the top things to do in Brooklyn. Or, you want a quiet place that’s located a bit on the outskirts, we have that, too.
Wherever you choose to stay, we look forward to welcoming you to one of our favorite cities in the world sometime soon! From the iconic Brooklyn bridge and children's amusement park to art gallery viewings and the Brooklyn navy yard, there is truly something for everyone. With Zeus, all you have to do is plan your Brooklyn bucket list and pack your bag. We’ll take care of the rest.