Do your kids know Manhattan like the back of their little hands? Time to explore the borough of Brooklyn and one of the prettiest neighborhoods, Brooklyn Heights. It’s a picturesque, quaint ‘suburb’ of Manhattan (and home to one of the coolest girls on TV, Lena Dunham).
One block from the High Street stop on the A train is Cranberry’s on Henry Street. They have a good selection of baked muffins. They even make a healthy sugarless applesauce muffin that you can feed your kiddo guilt free. Stop at Vineapple two blocks away for a caffeine fix. Read the paper while the kids use the brick wall as a chalkboard or play Connect Four on the couch.
There are two diners nearby if you’re looking to sit for awhile, Clark’s Restaurant on the corner of Clark and Henry is small and friendly and if you’re in the mood for a chat about Brooklyn Heights history ask your waiter about one of the many old photos on the wall. Park Plaza on Cadman Plaza West is a great place for your double stroller and your twins that haven’t napped. This restaurant has plenty of space for the whole family (we’re talking you, the kids, Aunt Marcy and the Grandparents), they’ve got plenty of crayons and coloring books at the front.
Taking a stroll is the thing to do in this neighborhood. The sleepy sidewalks of Brooklyn Heights are perfect for scooters, tricycles and family walks. Stop and gawk at the beautiful townhomes and brownstones that are everywhere here. You’ll find mansions on Pierrepont Street and Greek revival homes on Cranberry Street. Cher famously walked down this street in a moody scene from the movie, Moonstruck.
If you’re into music, stop into the Harry Chapin playground with your kids on Columbia Street. It was named for the singer, songwriter who used to play here and if you look closely around the play structures you’ll see pictures that illustrate his song, Cats in the Cradle. Then walk down the promenade. This might be the most beautiful view in all of New York City. You can see all of downtown Manhattan and the homes overlooking the water are gorgeous too.
Where the Kids Go
On a nice day most Brooklyn Heights kids go to the playground on Pierrepont Street right off the promenade or Cadman Plaza Park on Old Fulton Street. There is a big green space where big kids can practice kickball and there is room for babies and toddlers to crawl around.
Across the street from Cadman Plaza is Heights Kids. There is a train set and doll house at the front of the store and if you want to treat your kids to some stickers or puzzles it’s a nice stop. If you’re looking for pretty play dresses or running sneakers, Area Kids on Montague Street, will not disappoint you. You’ll leave with some colorful clothes and shoes.
You’ll find neighborhood kids playing with the toy kitchen in the back of Willowtown Store at Columbia Place and Joralemon while their parents order espresso from the barista behind the bar. Then they head out to the Adam Yauch, named for the former Beastie Boy, playground on Columbia Place and Atlantic or Brooklyn Bridge Park down by the water.
Some Brooklyn Heights parents frequent the kid-friendly restaurants at the end of the day; Dellarocco’s is super kid friendly and has fantastic pizza. The Heights Café, Custom House and Le Pain Quotidien, all on Montague Street, are fine places to bring the kids. Most of the locals with little ones go to Moxie Spot. This place is like a dive bar for your children. They will love the toys, crayons and play area. The food is healthy and the whole restaurant is super relaxed. It is the perfect way to end your day and your tour of Brooklyn Heights.