With its tree-lined streets full of towering brownstones and proximity to the rambling green oasis of Prospect Park, Park Slope’s family appeal is undeniable. Restaurants, coffee shops and a diverse array of shops and boutiques crowd both 7th and 5th Avenues, where Bugaboo strollers are far more prevalent than taxicabs. Hop on the 2/3 or the F train, and join us on a tour of one of NYC’s most family-friendly neighborhoods.
Mom, I’m Starving!
Morning, noon, or night, Café Dada (57 7th Ave.) serves up family-friendly eats with a French-Hungarian slant. Le Menu Enfant includes approachable options like ABC Soup and a Happy Face Sandwich (all under $7) and the staff is above and beyond accommodating to tables with tots.
Combine your own appreciation for all things organic and your kids’ appetites for good old-fashioned burgers and fries at the always bustling Bareburger (170 7th Ave.). If you’re able, save room for one of the mini-chain’s signature Bare Shakes in peanut butter or banana. You won’t regret it!
The quintessential neighborhood pub, Sheep Station’s (149 4th Ave.) owners are Aussie transplants who landed in just the right locale to turn their vision into a reality. A cozy back room features exposed brick walls and a fireplace, and the menu merges Australian influences with goods from local purveyors.
Start Your Shopping Engines
No trip to Park Slope is complete without a stop by Norman & Jules (158 7th Ave.), the winner of this year’s Totally Awesome Award in the Toy & Book Store category. With a focus on high-quality, handcrafted toys designed to ignite kids’ imaginations, it’s almost impossible to leave this toy store empty-handed.
Pick up something for Mom and Dad as well as the kids at The Community Bookstore (143 7th Ave.). A Park Slope establishment for more than 40 years, it’s the kind of independent bookstore that literary types thrive on, with an impressive kids selection and cozy courtyard to boot.
If your tot’s in need of a trim, Lulu’s Cuts & Toys (48 5th Ave.) makes it easy to entice them inside. The shelves are stocked with toys, and little customers can pick from a library of DVDs to watch during their cuts (which take place in planes or fire trucks, natch). Other destinations in the Lulu’s mini-empire (all of which are conveniently located just steps from one another) include Lulu’s Then & Now (75A 5th Ave.), a baby and kids consignment boutique, and Lulu’s For Baby (44 5th Ave.), where new parents can score everything from expert advice on stroller shopping to a wide selection of sippy cups and sleep sacks.
Ready, Set, Play!
Our city’s parks are full of awesome playgrounds, but you’ll be hard pressed to find another like Prospect Park’s newly opened Donald and Barbara Zucker Natural Exploration Area in any of the five boroughs. Constructed from trees and other materials left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the imaginative play space features water and sand elements, natural climbing and crawling apparatus and more. Got toddlers? Cross the park and swing by the Garfield Tot Lot, the park’s only play destination that’s designed just for them found just inside the Garfield Place and Prospect Park West entrance..
Another favorite Slope spot for kid-centric fun is the recently renovated J.J. Byrne Playground (344 5th Ave.). Located directly behind the Old Stone House, a restored Dutch farmhouse that dates back to 1699, J.J. Byrne reflects its location’s colonial ties. Visit any Sunday from May through December, and you can also pick up farm fresh provisions at the Down to Earth farmers market, adjacent to the playground.
What’s your family’s favorite Park Slope destination?