Fun, Funny, Mostly Free Brooklyn
Looking for a great, romantic, unusual, place to propose marriage to your honey in New York City? Take a gander at what Brooklyn has to offer.
Don't waste a romantic moment on just any old setting, whatever your relationship, age or gender orientation.
Here are five memorable, romantic places in Brooklyn. Fun and funny, they range from Coney Island to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. These romantic destinations are suitable for anything for a marriage proposal with a zillion dollar diamond ring, to a date on twenty-fifth birthdays, fiftieth anniversaries, Valentine's Day, or any day, when, as they say, love is in the air.
Most of the following recommendations are either totally free or cheap (excluding restaurant and hotel arrangements).
All are quintessentially Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Romance at NY Aquarium and Prospect Park Zoo
Let's get down to basics: mating is the most natural thing in the world. So, Darwinian-minded lovers might just find romance and learn or thing or two at Brooklyn's zoo and aquarium.
The NY Aquarium and Prospect Park Zoo charge a modest admission fee.
Tropical Zone at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Is yours a hot romance? Meet your date in the Tropical Zone of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens’ Steinhart Conservatory. There you can pop the question next to a waterfall surrounded by huge vines, sexy flowers, and exotic African rain forest vegetation. No man-eating plants are likely to be in the vicinity.
Oh, and cooler couples might head toward the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens' Temperate Zone.
Perfect for Valentine's Day Proposals
The Steinhart Conservatory at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is gorgeous in February when their showy South African bulbs are in full bloom. It's a perfect Valentine's Day outing (and a relaxed daytime alternative to Valentine's Day dinner at a crowded, busy restaurant).
Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges
Surprise your lover where he or she can scream with sheer excitement: stand under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in post-industrial DUMBO. You can both holler with joy to your heart's content while the trains rumble above on the Manhattan Bridge. Nobody will hear, let alone call the NYPD.
(Being under the Manhattan Bridge isn't quite as breathtaking as standing next to, say, the pyramids in Giza. But the monumental effect is similar: the bridge pilings do strike visitors as just enormous.)
Assuming you'll both be walking on air afterward, you can float over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan. Or stay local and celebrate at the classy, if pricey, River Cafe or one of DUMBO's more affordable, hip restaurants or bars. (Practical Tip: If you're planning on Valentine's Day, New Year's or any other major holiday, book well in advance at local restaurants.)
Romance in Coney Island, Brooklyn
Propose at the Cyclone. Better, pop the question while you're both riding the Cyclone.
If ever there were a metaphor for two people surviving fate's highs and lows, while holding onto each other for dear life, it’s Coney Island's 1927 Cyclone roller coaster.
Practical Tip for a New Year's Day proposal of marriage (or whatever): First take the plunge, literally, alongside the Coney Island Polar Bears. Every January first, hundreds of otherwise sane people take a dip in the icy Atlantic Ocean. That event's already a party, and you can certainly join in.
Coney Island's rough-and-tumble is romantic in its own gritty way. If Coney seems a little funky or down-market for your taste, hire a stretch limo to transport you there and back. Feel like a Brooklyn celeb.
Note for Valentines Day
Sorry! Coney Island's amusement park is closed for the season. For a sweet but far tamer ride, try Jane's Carousel in DUMBO. It might not be open on Valentine's Day but it is open on the weekend, Thursday – Sunday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
Brooklyn Bridge Romance
Saving the best for last, the Brooklyn Bridge, with its expansive arches and panoramic vistas, is a memorable backdrop for a romantic moment in Brooklyn. If you're proposing something momentous, like marriage, what better, corny, wonderful place to offer to permanently "bridge two worlds" than the bridge that connects the disparate worlds of Brooklyn and Manhattan? Just think, you can tell your grandkids about it.
But timing is all: the Brooklyn Bridge is packed midday in good weather on weekends, so if privacy matters (and you don't want to get mowed down by bike racers), go early.
Thinking of proposing marriage, suggesting moving to Paris together, or making some other romantic overture to your significant other, in Brooklyn? The above list is just for starters. There are many more romantic spots in Brooklyn, of course. And many, like the best things in life, are free. Well, almost.