If you find yourself in Brooklyn this weekend, you're in luck, because there are tons of venues open to families, couples, and anyone with an appetite for any kind of music, as well as fabulous parks, zoos, art galleries, comedy clubs, and museums.
Among the educational activities in Brooklyn, you'll find a slew of art, history, and kids' museums.
- Brooklyn Children's Museum was created in 1899 as the first museum expressly for children aged 6 months to 19 years. Its permanent exhibits include a kid-sized Brooklyn; a Collections Central, where kids can create their own designs; and the Sensory Room, designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Open Tuesdays through Sundays.
- The Brooklyn Museum, open Wednesdays through Sundays, holds art classes for people aged six through adults and has five floors dedicated to a wide variety of art from around the world
- NY Transit Museum, in Brooklyn's Downtown Cultural District, has exhibits on the transit history of the city's subways, trolleys, and buses, as well as regular weekend events such as workshops and walking tours.
- The historic Brooklyn Navy Yard was a working naval shipyard up until 1979. A museum dedicated to its history is open on weekends, with public tours, educational programs, and archives.
Zoos and Parks
Maybe you and your kids need some fresh air? There are loads of great parks and zoos where you can commune with nature year-round.
- The Lakeside Prospect Park has 26 acres and offers year-round activities and special events including roller and ice skating, boating, and biking.
- The Brooklyn Bird Club features walks and talks about birding, including an introduction to bird watching held throughout the year.
- The Prospect Park Zoo is open year-round, includes a petting zoo and several exhibit areas
- The amazing tree house at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is not to be missed, built by architect Roderick Romero out of trees felled by Hurricane Sandy.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park holds frequent special events, music festivals, tours, and an educational center
- In addition to its famous boardwalk, Coney Island has a museum commemorating the island's vaudeville and amusement park history, concerts, a beach, rides, and a seaside aquarium with a shark tank, penguins, and otters
Concerts and Performances
You can't come to New York without seeing a great movie, live show, comedy act, or dance program: in Brooklyn, you'll find lots of opportunities.
- Downtown Brooklyn TKTS sells tickets to Broadway Saturday night and Sunday matinees for up to half-price.
- The Brooklyn Academy of Music has a huge calendar packed with film, theater, dance, and music performances, as well as talks, visual art exhibitions, and programs designed specifically for children
- Movies at Nighthawk, Williamsburg's dine-in theatre, features a wide range of cinematic treats, from rarely seen 35 mm films to new independent features
- At Music Hall of Williamsburg, you can find concerts playing nearly nightly and with a blindingly varied program
- The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg is a nightclub with everything from poetry readings, standup comics, and experimental music
- BAMCafe: Free live jazz show, no cover at the Brooklyn Art Museum
- The Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts at Brooklyn College features performances and arts education programs
- The Bargemusic Family Concert features classical music concerts on a barge floating in the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge
Bowling, Flea Markets, Art Galleries
Finally, there are a lot of activities that are out of the ordinary...
- Brooklyn Flea. Ranked by the top travel magazines as the best markets in the U.S. and the world, Brooklyn Flea operates outdoor markets in the DUMBO neighborhood on Sundays from April through October.
- Brooklyn Bowl's Family Bowl, bowling for families with no cover charge, from noon-9 PM.
- Plot your strategy for looking for a new apartment in Brooklyn.
- DIY art gallery tour: WagMag has an event calendar of open hours for galleries throughout the region.
- Royal Palms Shuffleboard: Be your grandparents and try the hot new shuffleboard/bar venue.(Gowanus).
- The Bell House in Gowanus) is a comedy/music venue where the NPR Program Ask Me Another is recorded