Prospect Park — AKA “Brooklyn’s Backyard” is celebrating a major milestone this year. The 585-acre, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux multi-faceted greenspace is celebrating its 150th anniversary and it’s kicking things off with a weekend full of special events and activities. The schedule includes an Opening Day Parade and Fair, an exhibition 1860s ballgame, the first Smorgasburg of the season and more! (Pssst! A lot of it’s free!)
LeFrak Center at Lakeside
Saturday, April 1
Opening Day Parade, 10–11 am
Join the Alliance and the Prospect Park Baseball Association for a baseball youth league parade to Prospect Park, where a ceremonial first pitch will be thrown to start the season.
7th Avenue + 2nd Street to Long Meadow Ballfields
photo: Brian Sullivan
Brooklyn Atlantics Exhibition Game, 11 am–2 pm
To celebrate Prospect Park’s 150th Anniversary and the start of the spring baseball season, the Brooklyn Atlantics, a historic baseball team, will play an exhibition game following 1860 rules.
Long Meadow Ballfields
Prospect Park Alliance Opening Day Fair, 11 am–3 pm
Following the Opening Day Parade, join Prospect Park Alliance and community partners for family-friendly fun and refreshments.
Prospect Park, Bartel-Pritchard Entrance
photo: Martin Seck
Coffee Bark 150th Celebration, 7–9 am
Bring your pup to the Park for treats and great company at FIDO in Prospect Park’s first Coffee Bark of the spring, with free goodies for dogs and their owners, and a special 150th cake!
Long Meadow near Upper Pool
photo: Virginia Freire
150th Anniversary Bird Watching Walk, 8–11 am
Join Brooklyn Bird Club to welcome the earliest migrants of the year and celebrate the 150th with special prizes. (Note: this tour leaves promptly at 8 a.m., and participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars. Rain or shine.)
Prospect Park Running History Tour, 11 am–12 pm
Join New York Road Runners and Prospect Park Alliance to experience the Park’s history at a comfortable pace (10 min/mile) that will allow for plenty of photo ops and questions along the way.
Prospect Park Grill Out at Greenmarket, 10 am–1 pm
Join GrowNYC and Prospect Park Alliance in celebrating the 150th anniversary of Prospect Park, with a grill out of meats and veggies sourced from Greenmarket farmers.
Grand Army Plaza
Weekend Volunteer Corps, 10 am–1 pm
Celebrate the 150th by giving back to the Park! Help spruce up gardens, paint fences and benches, weed, spread mulch, and clean and maintain pathways.
Register online or call 718-287-3400
Campfire Conversations: Stewardship, 7–8 pm
Prospect Park Alliance and Brooklyn Public Library present a community conversation on the topic of stewardship and public space around an outdoor campfire, with refreshments, music and mulled wine.
Lefferts Historic House
Sunday, April 2
150th Anniversary Run, 9–10 am
Join Prospect Park Alliance and the Prospect Park Track Club for a commemorative run through Park Slope! The route will spell out 150, in honor of the Park’s sesquicentennial.
photo: Bianca Nelson
Smorgasburg, 11 am–6 pm
Celebrate the 150th with the first Smorgasburg of the season, with more than 100 local food and drink purveyors offering a range of cuisines from around the world.
(Members perk: Prospect Park Alliance members receive $1 off beer.)
Our Streets, Our Stories: Prospect Park 150, 1–3 pm
In celebration of Prospect Park’s 150th Anniversary, Brooklyn Public Library and Prospect Park Alliance invite you to share your Prospect Park story, to be archived in the Brooklyn Collection.
Central Library Info Commons
Prospect Park Walking Tour, 3–5 pm
Celebrate 150 year of Prospect Park on this guided walking tour that examines the Park’s many layers of history led by Turnstile Tours.
Tickets: $20/adults; $18/65 and older; $10/ages 5 – 11; kids five and under/free
Register online: turnstiletours.com
Nature Exploration, 10 am–1 pm
Join Prospect Park Alliance for fun nature activities to welcome the start of spring, and also participate in our 150th anniversary species count for special prizes.
Prospect Park Audubon Center
photo: Paul Martinka
Spring Sprouts, 2–4 pm
It’s time for spring planting! Join Prospect Park Alliance to help plant our crop of flax and make a small pot out of newspaper, fill it with soil and plant vegetable seeds to take home.
Lefferts Historic House
Tickets: $3 suggested donation
Ice Skating Fun
Celebrate the Park’s 150th, and the last days of ice skating for the season. All ages can enjoy a weekend of ice skating, including a complimentary pass to return for roller skating this spring. (Major member perk: Prospect Park Alliance members skate free all weekend.)
Friday (disco) 7 pm–10 pm; Saturday, 10 am–9 pm, Sunday, 10 am–5:15 pm
LeFrak Center at Lakeside
Carousel Rides, 12–5 pm
Celebrate with a first ride of the year on the Park’s beloved 1912 carousel.
Prospect Park Carousel
Tickets: $2 per ride; $9 for a book of 5 tickets
Prospect Park Zoo, 11 am–4 pm
Prospect Park Zoo is sharing in the Park’s celebration with free admission for children, and special Park-centric fun.
Free for children with paid adult admission
Tickets: $8/adults; $6/seniors 65 and older
What’s your favorite thing to do as a family in Prospect Park? Tell us in the comments below!
— Mimi O’Connor