Prospect Park | Brooklyn’s Backyard to Relax and Get Away

by NYJ Team

Designed by the celebrated landscape architects who created New York City’s Central Park, Prospect Park is an oasis of greenery in the heart of Brooklyn. It is a favorite destination for tourists and a beloved spot to relax and get away from it all for city dwellers.

Spanning 585 acres, this beautiful park features a zoo, picnic and barbecue areas, several baseball fields, and tons of activities from skating to horseback riding. There is also an outdoor venue for concerts in the summertime as well as event spaces for weddings and parties. And there is plenty of lush green space for just spreading out a blanket and doing absolutely nothing at all!

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Nature in the City

Prospect Park boasts some pretty spectacular attractions for nature lovers. The park’s Long Meadow lives up to its name, stretching almost a mile in length and providing the perfect place to kick back and relax. It’s often referred to as the longest unbroken meadow in any American park.

Park of the beauty of Prospect Park’s design is the abundance of water. Streams, waterfalls and pools wind their way throughout the park, leading to the 60-acre freshwater lake. There are also thousands of tree to admire in this picturesque urban park- over 30,000 in fact. Over half of these trees are woodland trees within the park’s natural areas which includes 250 acres of forest, which is the last remaining forest in Brooklyn.

There are plenty of small animals who call the trees and shrubs of this woodland their home. The Prospect Park Audubon Center houses educational exhibits where kids can learn about the plants and wildlife species in the park.

Activities

Basketball games. Catch-and-release fishing. Tennis lessons at the Prospect Park Tennis Center. Horseback riding in the summer and ice skating in the winter. For sporty types, there is no shortage of things to do at Prospect Park every day, all year round.

There are paved running lanes that are popular with runners, including a 3.35-mile running lane designed specifically for runners along Park Drive which forms a loop within the park. A map of the park with distances for runners can be downloaded from the Prospect Park official website.

Prospect Park is a wonderful spot for dog-owners. There are expansive off-leash areas during specific hours for dogs to run and play, and the dog beach is the perfect spot for your furry friend to cool off in the sticky summer heat!

During the winter months, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside features a rink for ice skating, curling, hockey and more.

The Prospect Park Bandshell

Home to the renowned Celebrate Brooklyn Performing Arts Festival, the park’s bandshell hosts dozens of live outdoor concerts in the summer season and attracts almost a quarter million visitors each year. The concert schedule features a wide variety of performers including edgy up-and-coming talent as well as well-known acts.

The Prospect Park Bandshell is also an outdoor movie theatre, featuring one of the biggest screens in the world at 21-feet high and 50-feet wide.

Cool Things to do for Kids

There are seven children’s playgrounds in Prospect Park to let your little bundles of energy run wild. The wildly popular Imagination Playground features a storytelling grove as well as a dragon that spouts water, and the Garfield Tot Lot was created just for toddlers in mind with lots of safe areas to play on and playground equipment designed just right for little arms and legs to maneuver. The Harmony Playground located near the Prospect Park Bandshell is music-inspired, featuring xylophones kids can get their hands on!

The Prospect Park Carousel is a must-see destination if you have little ones- or even if you don’t! The historic carousel which dates back to 1912 was restored in the 90s and features beautifully carved animals you can take a spin on. It’s a great place to host a kid’s birthday party in Prospect Park.

Other great destinations for kids in the park include the Lefferts Homestead Children’s Historic House Museum and the Prospect Park Zoo, home to over 80 species of animals.

Visiting Prospect Park in Brooklyn

The main entrance to Prospect Park is located at Grand Army Plaza, which is bordered by Prospect Park West, Parkside Avenue and Flatbush Avenue.
Location: Brooklyn
Phone: 718-965-8951
E-mail: info@prospectpark.org

Click to visit Prospect Park official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Strawberry Fields | Pays tribute to the late Beatle, John Lennon

by NYJ Team

There is nothing to get hung about in Strawberry Fields, a must-see destination for Beatles fans in New York City. This peaceful area of Central Park is a tribute to the late musician, songwriter and peace activist John Lennon. It’s directly across from where Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono lived at the Dakota Apartments, and where he was murdered. Before his death Lennon and Ono were often seen strolling in this area of the park.

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Quiet Retreat

Designed in the shape of a teardrop, this 2.5 acre space is named for the Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever.” It was re-landscaped with the help of a $1 million donation from Yoko Ono and was re-opened on the 45th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth, October 9th, 1985. Towering elms shade the serene park with is dotted with flowers and shrubs.

Imagine Circle

The focal point of Strawberry Fields is the Imagine mosaic. Located in the center of Strawberry Fields, this ornate black and white piece of art symbolizes the message of Lennon’s song Imagine: the hope for a world without war and strife.

Each year on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death (as well as on his birthday) visitors from all over the world make their way to the Imagine Circle to reflect on his life in a place that he loved.

Visiting Strawberry Fields in New York City

Strawberry Fields is located near Central Park West between 71st and 74th Streets.

For more information, visit Strawberry Fields official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Socrates Sculpture Park | A Unique Open-Air Gallery

by NYJ Team

Unlike the MET, you are encouraged to touch the art at the Socrates Sculpture Park. Located in Long Island City, this outdoor sculpture gallery features an expanse of green space scattered with large-scale art installations.

The Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned landfill until the late eighties when it was transformed by a group of community members and artists into the unique open-air gallery it is today. The park also offers many free public programs including outdoor movie nights and art classes.

With its spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline across the East River, the Socrates Sculpture Park is also a great place to simply walk your dog or stroll with your family along the waterfront.

Art at the Socrates Sculpture Park

The installations at the Socrates Sculpture Park change frequently so no two visits are alike. Typically the park features a collection of contemporary large-scale art and multi-media exhibits. These one-of-a-kind pieces are often interactive, offering visitors a different way to experience art and creating a more accessible environment than at a traditional art gallery.

The Socrates Sculpture Park features an outdoor studio and resident artists who receive grants to develop and display their work onsite, allowing visitors to see sculptures in different phases of development.

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Special Events and Activities

The Socrates Sculpture Park is known not only for its eclectic collection of artwork but also for the broad range of free events and activities available throughout the summer season.

The park’s popular outdoor cinema series showcases international films throughout the summer. Moviegoers can spread out a blanket on the grass as the sun sets and enjoy a movie from a different country each week.

Socrates Sculpture Park also presents a schedule of free concerts, plays and performances such as Shakespeare in the Park. There are also art workshops for both kids and adults offered free of charge as well as fun activities such as free kayaking excursions and the free “Kite Flight” where kids learn to build their own kite from recycled materials, and then fly it in the park.

Free Fitness Programs

Yoga and Tai Chi lovers will appreciate the free classes offered at the Socrates Sculpture Park, especially as the classes are held by the park’s picturesque waterfront. The beautiful views of Roosevelt Island and Manhattan’s Upper East Side provide a peaceful, Zen-like setting for relaxation and meditation.

In addition to free yoga and Tai Chi classes, you can also take part in free Pilates classes and Capoeira classes, the Afro-Brazilian martial art which integrates self-defense and dance movements. The fitness classes at Socrates Sculpture Park are suitable for all levels of experience.

Markets in the Park

Each summer Socrates Sculpture Park is home to a Greenmarket Farmers Market where local farmers gather to sell their farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. The park also features a Makers Market where artisans offer handmade items including jewelry, furniture and ceramics.

Visiting the Socrates Sculpture Park in New York

The Socrates Sculpture Park is located in Long Island City, Queens, New York at the intersection of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard across from the Noguchi Museum.

The park is open year round and admission is free. For hours of operation or more information on the programs, classes and current exhibition schedule call 718-956-1819 or visit Socrates Sculpture Park official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.