You might not think that a hipster carnival for foodies, vintage lovers, live music enthusiasts, and yes, craft beer aficionados in Williamsburg would be a primo spot to hang with your children. And for the most part, you’d probably be right. However, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, if done right, can actually be a really good time for the whole family — especially if you are OK with staying out past bedtime. Here’s what you’ll find there, as well our tips for getting the most out of this unique evening outing with little ones in tow.
Brooklyn Bazaar photo: via Brooklyn Bazaar on Yelp
Held in an industrial area in North Williamsburg every Friday and Saturday night, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar is a festive and sprawling emporium of food and trendy goods, fun games — both old school and electronic — and live music.
Got kids who like to be stimulated? There’s a lot for the senses here: indie merchandise for sale (jewelry, sunglasses, vintage goods), arcade games, and lots of food options to consider.
Food vendor photo via Brooklyn Night Bazaar Facebook page
A little bit like Smorgasburg at night, Brooklyn Night Bazaar gathers together quality foodie-friendly vendors to serve up small batch goodness. Offerings from the rotating crop of businesses include sliders from Bolivian Llama Party, tacos from Oaxaca’s, deep dish pizza from Sunday Gravy and barbecue from Crafty ‘Cue. Sweet stuff in all forms abounds as well, from crazy flavored cotton candy (pineapple, chocolate, sour cherry) from Brooklyn Floss, to ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery and Ice & Vice (buttered popcorn-flavored ice cream, anyone?) to pastry from BooQoo Beignets.
Vendor photo: via Brooklyn Night Bazaar Facebook page
The vendors who sell their wares at Brooklyn Night Bazaar are heavy on the jewelry and light on other sartorial goods (there are one or two booths with vintage t-shirts and dresses). Other street fair style booths include sunglasses, handmade soaps, artisan-made cutting boards, and more. (Note: if you’ve been wanting to jump on the itty bitty geometric jewelry trend, this is ground zero.)
Skeeball photo: via Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Facebook
An old school arcade offers SkeeBall, one of those maddening grab-a-toy-with-a-claw games, Asteroids, Street Fighter, and some (admittedly, kind of violent) zombie and Terminator games. Older ones will delight in air hockey or table tennis.
There’s also Black Light Mini-Golf to be played. The first (glow in the dark) hole features a life-sized cardboard cutout of Fabio… need we say more? Some of the cultural references will be lost on wee ones, but they do make it more fun for the grown ups.
Pin-pong photo: via Brooklyn Night Bazaar Facebook page
How to Do Brooklyn Night Bazaar With Kids
Rule number one: Get there early. The festivities carry on until 1 a.m., but doors open at 7 p.m. The live music starts at 9 p.m., which means there’s a lot more breathing room and shorter lines for food, drink (and everything else ) from 7 to 9 p.m. (Note: no live music doesn’t mean no music — so expect some booming tunes even at 7 p.m.) Around 9 p.m., the vibe is starts to transition from family-friendly to happening neighborhood date night.
How Much Is It to Hang with the Hipsters?
Entering the Bazaar is actually free! Of course, once you cross the threshold there are plenty of ways to separate you from your money. Table tennis and Mini Golf run $5 per person, per hour, and the video games range from .50 cents to $1.00. (Still — a bargain compared to going to the movies.)
Because you’re probably at an age when you’re willing to pay for convenience, consider the two advance ticket options, which allow you to skip any line at the door and offer some extras. The Superpass is good for two drink passes and entry for two to black light mini-golf or table tennis; a TastePass good for a sampling of treats from five food vendors and one drink.
Brooklyn Night Bazaar
Saturdays and Sundays, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.
165 Banker St.
Have you been to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below!
— Rachel Aydt