Brooklyn Botanic Garden: The Complete Guide

Shinto Shrine in Spring
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Address
990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225, USA
Phone
+1 718-623-7200
4.7

Founded in 1910, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is situated on 52-acres in the heart of Brooklyn. It has 16 gardens (and another one opening up in late 2019) along with a conservatory that can accommodate various plant environments.

Permanent Exhibits

You can visit the garden year-round. In fact, each season brights different delights and experiences.

  • On a winter day stroll through the Desert Pavilion in the Conservatory. It displays plants native to dry, desert regions around the world.
  • In the summer (usually June) when flowers are in bloom, the Cranford Rose Garden, which opened in 1928, is a local favorite. Tens of thousands of flowers are in bloom at once, a feast for the eyes.
  • For a zen experience head to the peaceful Japanese Garden, which is especially popular from April to May. 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 (where cherry blossoms bloom in the spring) 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. They are very popular so expect crowds.

  • 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 late September folks flock to the garden for the Chile 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.
  • Throughout the year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosts events weekly including yoga in the garden, lectures, gardening classes, and other events. Find out what's happening during your visit here.
Photo © Ellen Freudenheim

Tips For Your Visit

  • Check for construction updates before you leave to plan what you'll be able to see.
  • Grab a map -- it will help you plan your route and make the most of your visit. They're available for free at the entrance.
  • Aside from water bottles and baby bottles, no outside food may be brought into the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. No picnicking is allowed at BBG. You can pick up a sandwich or salad at the casual coffee bar. For a more formal meal head to Yellow Magnolia Cafe that specializes in vegetable-centric cuisine.
  • 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: Here children of all ages can learn about the gardening process and even participate in building their own creations.
  • 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 on the grounds and in the Visitor Center, but not in the Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery or Garden Shop.

How to Visit

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

  • Tuesday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; there's also extended hours for Twilight Tuesdays (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Nov.; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. early Dec - early March)
  • Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (4:30 p.m. early Nov - early March)
  • Closed Mondays (Except Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents' Day)
  • Closed Labor DayThanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day
  • Address: 990 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 Tuesday to Friday from December through February. Admission is free on Fridays before noon year-round.
  • Admission prices are higher during special events.
Four-segment panorama of Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York City.
 

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.
  • The Metro-North Railroad also stops right outside the entrance. The stop is named Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
  • Driving: Parking is available at 900 Washington Avenue for $6-30/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.

  • Brooklyn Museum (next door) This is a must-visit museum and a great place to pair with a trip to the garden. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Prospect Heights (.3 miles or .4 km) Walk around this hip neighborhood. The main activity is on Vanderbilt Avenue, though there's also plenty to do on Washington Avenue. Peruse used bookstores and boutiques and dine at one of the many restaurants on the main street.
  • 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.
  • Prospect Park Zoo (.7 miles or 1.1 km) Watch the sea lions eat their lunch at this zoo located on Flatbush Avenue.
  • Park Slope (.7 miles or 1.1 km) Walk down streets lined with brownstones and explore 7th and 5th Avenues. There are two main streets filled with shops and restaurants. 
  • Lefferts Historic House (1.1 miles or 1.8 km) This historic house in Prospect Park is a great place for children. The interactive 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.
  • Jewish Children's Museum (1.1 miles or 1.8 km) Travel down Eastern Parkway to this museum that teaches kids about Jewish culture. 
  • 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.
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden: The Complete Guide