Brooklyn Botanic Garden: The Complete Guide

Shinto Shrine in Spring
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Founded in 1910, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is situated on 52-acres in the heart of Brooklyn. Thirteen gardens, six flower collections, and a conservatory with multiple environments to explore welcome numerous visitors annually.

Permanent Exhibits

You can visit the garden year-round, and each season brings a different delightful nature filled experience. There is no better way to warm up on a winter day than strolling through the Desert Pavilion in the Conservatory. When roses are in bloom, the Cranford Rose Garden, which opened in 1928, is a local favorite. For a zen experience, head to the peaceful Japanese Garden.  According to the garden, "The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is one of the oldest and most visited Japanese-inspired gardens outside Japan." You can spend an entire day strolling through the garden, from the historic Cherry Esplanade to the exhibits at the Conservatory, this beloved Brooklyn garden is not to be missed.

 

Annual Events

The garden hosts various annual events throughout the year. If you want to see cherry blossoms in bloom, make sure you attend the Sakura Matsuri. This weekend long event takes place each spring during the short-lived cherry blossom season (usually April). The festival pays tribute to Japanese culture with Japanese dance performances and other events. For more info, check out our picks to see at this popular festival.

In the fall, folks flock to the garden for the Chili Pepper Festival. The one day festival celebrates the chili pepper with music, food, and festivities. If you have little ones in tow, you don't want to miss the annual Halloween themed fall festival, Ghouls & Gourds. Kids come in costume, as the garden offers families a schedule of fun activities ranging from a costume parade and a puppet show. In addition, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a calendar filled with many events including yoga in the garden, talks, and other events.

Tips For Your Visit

  • Grab a map -- it will help you plan your route and make the most of your visit. They're available free at the entrance.
  • Eating - Aside from water bottles and baby bottles, no outside food may be brought into the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Visitors can purchase and enjoy refreshments at the Terrace Cafe. No picnicking is allowed at BBG.
  • The Cherry Esplanade is the only place in the BBG where visitors are allowed to sit on the lawn.
  • Don't miss the Garden Gift Shop - they have wonderful gifts for people who love to garden.
  • No smoking is allowed in the Garden.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden with Kids

  • Children's Garden: Since 1914, BBG has been home to the Children's Garden, where kids 2-17 years old, learn about and participate in the gardening process.
  • Discovery Garden: Children and their adult caregivers can explore the Discovery Garden where kids are encouraged to explore and interact with the natural world.
  • Classes & Events for Families: Check the schedule for classes (pre-registration required) and drop-in events for children and families.
  • Strollers are allowed inside the Conservatory, but not inside the pavilions. Strollers are not allowed in the shops from April-June.

    How to Visit​

    The garden is open year round and is accessible by public transportation. 

    • Tuesday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. (10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. early Nov - early March)
    • Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (4:30 p.m. early Nov - early March)
    • Closed Mondays (open at 10 a.m. Veteran's Day, MLK Jr. Day, President's Day, Memorial Day & Columbus Day)
    • Closed Labor DayThanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day​
    • Address: 900 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
    • Phone: 718-623-7200
    • Website: www.bbg.org
    • Admission:
      • $15 for adults, $8 for seniors and students; free for children 12 and under
      • Admission is free on Tuesdays, Winter Weekdays (early Nov-early March); and 10 a.m.-noon on Saturdays (except during special events).
      • Admission prices are higher during special events

    How to Get There

    The easiest access to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is via subway.

    • Subway: 2/3 to Eastern Parkway—Brooklyn Museum; B/Q to Prospect Park; 4/5 to Franklin Avenue; S shuttle to Prospect Park.
    • Driving: Parking is available at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden entrance at 900 Washington Avenue for $5-15/car.

    What to Do Nearby

    Here's a list of great Brooklyn destinations near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, listed by distance, from the closest to the furthest. The closest, the Brooklyn Museum, is next door. The furthest, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, is just 1.3 miles or 2.1 kilometers away. Here's the best things to do near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

    1. Brooklyn Museum (next door) This is a must-visit museum and a great place to pair with a trip to the garden. 
    2. Brooklyn Central Library (2 blocks, a short walk) Check the calendar of events before you head to this large library. The library hosts readings, free writing workshops and other activities. 
    3. Prospect Park (.3 miles or .4 km) Lace up your running shoes. You can run the loop in Prospect Park or you can relax on the lawn at this spacious and scenic park. 
    4. Prospect Heights (.3 miles or .4 km) Walk around this hip neighborhood. Stroll down Vanderbilt Avenue, stopping in at the shops, perusing the aisles of a used bookstore or dining at one of the many restaurants on this main street.
    1. Grand Army Plaza (half a mile or .8 km) Be sure to take a picture of the arch at Grand Army Plaza. If you are there on a Saturday, check out the vibrant Farmer's Market.
    2. Prospect Park Zoo (.7 miles or 1.1 km) Watch the sea lions eat their lunch at this zoo located on Flatbush Avenue.
    3. Park Slope (.7 miles or 1.1 km) Walk down brownstone lined streets and explore 7th and 5th Avenues, which are two main streets filled with shops and restaurants. 
    4. Lefferts House (1.1 miles or 1.8 km) This historic house in Prospect Park is a great place to visit if you have children with you. The interactive educational exhibit introduces kids to 18th century farming life in Brooklyn. They will also enjoy a ride on the historic carousel which is next to the house.
    1. Jewish Children's Museum (1.1 miles or 1.8 km) Travel down Eastern Parkway to this museum that teaches kids about Jewish culture. 
    2. Brooklyn Children's Museum (1.3 miles or 2.1 km) This historic children's museum is worth a visit. With interactive exhibits and a section for toddlers, it's a definite gem for young families.

     

    ​Edited by Alison Lowenstein