Spring is in the air – finally! And if you’re like us, you’re beyond ready to trade those cold days of being trapped indoors for sunny outdoor fun. What better way to spend a crisp day than exploring the new additions (including a new playground!) and old favorites in Brooklyn Bridge Park? It’s just a hop, skip and ferry (or subway) ride away so keep reading to learn out favorite things about this unique park.
What’s new: The 650-foot long Pier 5 opened up over winter and it’s Brooklyn Bridge Park’s first space dedicated to active recreation featuring a 200,000 square foot sporting field. that can be used to play sports like soccer, lacrosse, rugby, cricket, flag football and ultimate frisbee. League play will begin in spring 2013 – we hear that the soccer league for kids has already filled up for the season, so be sure to sign up for email alerts about new league openings. Not part of a sporting league? Not to worry, your kids can still turn up for free, open play in the park. Coming soon are volleyball leagues, swim and kayak clinics, and the intriguingly named “oasis camp“.
We especially love the shiny new interactive play areas for toddlers and slightly older kids complete with slides built for the littlest playgrounders, a spider web to climb and pint-sized cars and houses to play on.
If all that playing makes you hungry, you can head to the Pier 5 picnic peninsula with tables, grills and umbrellas for some much needed shade come summer. Speaking of shade, when designing the pier, thankfully someone took the brutal summer into account, so there are 26 sails lining the northern and southern sides of the pier to give much-needed refuge from the sun.
Still great: Need more play space for your kids? Check out the amazing playgrounds at Pier 6 (including Slide Mountain, Sandbox Village and The Water Lab in summer) and the Pier 1 toddler playground and large grassed areas. We’re also happy to report that the nautically-themed Main Street playground that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy is due to open again this month.
What’s new: Check out the wood-fired pizza from Fornino, the Williamsburg-based pizzaria who are moving into Pier 6, and serving delicious food on the rooftop all summer long. A slice with a view of Manhattan? Yes, please!
Plus, the new Pier 5 is getting more than just a playground. After running around like maniacs, kiddos will love trying a sweet, cool treat from Prospect Heights’ Ample Hills Creamery. They’ll start serving crazy flavours like Maple Baon and Ooey Goey Butter Cake from Memorial Day weekend.
Still great: Smorgasburg returns to the park on Sunday April 7 in the historic Tobacco Warehouse on the waterfront. You and your kids will love grabbing food from over 75 vendors like Dough donuts, and eating on the lawn, enjoying the amazing harbour view. Tip – bring a ball for the kids to kick around and a blanket to sit on for the perfect lazy afternoon.
More Brooklyn Bridge Park To-Dos
Ride A Pony
The newly-restored Jane’s Carousel survived Hurricane Sandy last year, despite water lapping at the horses’ feet. Take your kids for a ride for $2 per person – make sure to take a whirl around the carousel yourself and bring back your own childhood fairground memories. Spring and summer opening hours are 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. The carousel is open six days a week (closed Tuesdays).
Surf The Web
While you’re in the park, take advantage of the free wifi at Pier 1, Pier 6, Empire Fulton Ferry and Main Street. Logging your iPad onto the internet and handing it over to the kids may just buy you a few more minutes of peace to enjoy the sunshine and serenity.
What is your favorite new activity at Brooklyn Bridge Park?
Photos courtesy of Christine Knight