Eating Out: Where to Picnic in Park Slope
One of Brooklyn’s nicest traditions is picnicking on a brownstone stoop or park bench.
Explore the following wonderful picnic places in Park Slope.
Seventh and Fifth Avenues in Park Slope are chockablock with delis, cafes, and ethnic restaurants that offer a variety of take-out foods for an easy outing on a nice day.
Prospect Park, one of New York's largest green spaces, is laced with pathways and inviting benches that make the perfect place for a picnic. Entering Prospect Park from any direction, visitors can easily find a tranquil location.
Eat out! Have a picnic!
Great Places to Picnic in Brooklyn's Prospect Park
Special picnic spots in Prospect Park include:
Prospect Park Lake: Feed the ducks and watch the geese while picnicking on a bench just feet from a large, lovely lake.
Getting there by subway: 15th Street-Prospect Park station (F, G) is closest; otherwise, go to Grand Army Plaza station (#2,3 trains) and walk about one mile along the Park roadway.
Prospect Park Picnic House: For over a century, visitors have enjoyed the many wooden picnic tables on a shady hillside outside a building called the Picnic House. (Note that indoors, the Picnic House facility is for special events only.) The Picnic House’s downstairs bathrooms are open to the public.
Getting there by subway: Ninth Street station (F) is closest; otherwise, walk the half-mile from Grand Army Plaza station (#2,3 trains).
Long Meadow in Prospect Park: Long Meadow is an inviting swath of grass, stretching about a mile across Prospect Park. It's a wonderful place to sunbathe, fly a kite—or, of course, have a picnic. Bring a blanket and spread out in the sunshine, or under a 100-year-old tree. (One word to the wise, however: dozens of dog owners bring their off-leash dogs to this area every morning, and while most are responsible about cleaning up, watch where you settle down.)
Getting there by subway: Grand Army Plaza station (#2,3 trains), Seventh Avenue station (Q, B trains), or Ninth Street (F train)
Prospect Park Playgrounds: For family fun, enjoy a picnic at one of the Park’s seven well-tended playgrounds. Some, but not all, have full bathroom facilities.
Getting there by subway: There are several different playgrounds in Prospect Park.
Note: Bring your own food. Food vendors are few and far between in Prospect Park. You can pick up some goodies along Seventh Avenue, a major shopping street with lots of small pizza and sandwich shops.
A Park Slope Playground Picnic on Fifth Avenue
Tidy Washington Park in the heart of Park Slope offers leafy urban relaxation. You'll find playgrounds, open space, and picnic-perfect benches, as well as a green playing field.
Popular with family picnickers, the kids can enjoy the J.J. Byrne Playground between bites.
Adults and grandparents will enjoy the view, too: the park's benches overlook the picturesque Old Stone House Museum and interesting shops along Park Slope's trendy Fifth Avenue.
There’s a small farmers market year-round in Washington Park on Sundays, as well as otudoor concerts and free films during the summer.
Where it is: Third to Fifth Streets, between Fourth and Fifth Avenues
Getting to Washington Park by subway: Go to Union Street station (N, R trains), walk about 8 blocks
A Park Slope Picnic Near Seventh Avenue
It's fun to picnic in the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music's tiny oasis backyard. Although it's located off of Park Slope's shop-filled Seventh Avenue, the Conservatory's small garden and pond feel light years away from Big Apple hustle and bustle. It’s tucked behind a 19th-century Victorian mansion that today houses a private music school.
If you're lucky, you might catch snippets of jazz or classical piano wafting through the windows at lunchtime.
Where: 58 Seventh Avenue in the heart of Park Slope
Getting to the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music by subway: 5 blocks from Grand Army Plaza station (#2, 3 trains) and 4 blocks from Seventh Avenue station (Q, B trains)
A Park Slope Picnic on a Stoop
Stoop picnics are a way of life in brownstone Brooklyn, particularly at lunchtime in fine weather. Newcomers to Brooklyn might be surprised by this, but it is not uncommon for strangers to enjoy a quick picnic while sitting on the stoop of someone else's home. It's part of Brooklyn's community-minded mentality.
So it's generally fine to settle in for a short picnic on one of the hundreds of buildings that give Park Slope its turn-of-the-19th-century character.
However, there are certain unwritten rules of etiquette, beyond the obvious one of not leaving a mess. Generally, it's appreciated if uninvited guests keep to one side of the stoop (to allow room for the mailman or anyone else using the steps). Don't smoke or drink alcohol on someone else's stoop. Sit closer to the sidewalk, not up near the front door. Finally, it's smart to move around; home owners might not mind the occasional lunchtime squatter, but they won't appreciate having their home's stoop used on a daily basis.
And, of course, if an owner or resident asks you to move, remember, it's their property.
Where: Any street from Fifth Avenue to Prospect Park or St. John’s Avenue to 15th Street.
Getting to Park Slope by subway: Grand Army Plaza station (2,3 trains); Seventh Avenue station (Q, B trains); Ninth Street Station (F train), or Union Street or Ninth Street stations (N, R trains.