Home Things to do Top-Rated Attractions & Things To Do In Brooklyn

Top-Rated Attractions & Things To Do In Brooklyn

by Pankaj Upreti
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THINGS TO DO IN BROOKLYN

Brooklyn, The most populous borough
Brooklyn | Photo Credit – Fredrik Rubensson

One of the five boroughs of the city of New York, Brooklyn is the most populous borough. According to New Yorkers, it has the most diverse attractions. From food, theatre, live music, to street art and beach, Brooklyn comes under the top rated lists of all these sections. 

Brooklyn has a lot of pop culture significance because of the famous Netflix show called Brooklyn 99.

DOWNTOWN

Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn | Photo Credit – ajay_suresh

In NY, Brooklyn Downtown has majestic buildings, the famous Brooklyn Bridge with unparalleled view of the New York skyline. It is the central shopping district and business area, anchored by Fulton St west of Flatbush Ave. Just like the downtown of almost any other major American city, Downtown is dotted with department stores, clothes and electronic shops, a Borough Hall.

It also has two universities, a major railroad station, the Brooklyn Academy of Music concert hall, many office buildings, and municipal, state and federal buildings and courthouses. Many subway and bus lines go to or through Downtown.

Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY which is famous for its bookstores, shops, and restaurant. It is an old time Italian neighborhood with great pizza places. Court St and Smith St. Fort Greene has some great restaurants and bars.

Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights is a residential neighborhood. It has beautiful Victorian style buildings and historic churches. It is an expensive neighborhood to live in. The brownstones in this area have a quaint vibe to it. This is the richest neighborhood in Brooklyn and has some properties costlier even from Manhattan.

THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge | Photo Credit – John Cunniff

All the cult-classic movies that are shot in New York City have at least one shot here. The Brooklyn Bridge became a well known symbol of New York. At the time of its opening in 1883, it was titled as the longest suspension bridge in the world over the East River of New York. The bridge connects Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights and is the most famous tourist spot in New York.

People like to drive across the bridge or take a stroll along its pedestrian walkway. It is advised by the locals to visit the bridge either early in the morning or late in the evening to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the famous New York skyline.

Visitors mostly like to visit this bridge first to start their day in Brooklyn. They also like to walk under the Brooklyn Bridge in the DUMBO neighborhood as it offers amazing views of Manhattan coupled with the  stunning East River.

THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park | Photo Credit – Marco

Brooklyn Bridge Park spans around 1.3 miles on the East River waterfront. The park is a famous spot for recreational activities among New Yorkers. It offers a beautiful photo worthy view of New York harbor, Brooklyn bridge, Manhattan bridge and Manhattan skyline, and the famous Statue of Liberty.

The park has 11 sections including 6 piers. It is home to the historic Jane’s Carousel, big playgrounds and lawns. Various events keep taking place here from time to time. Try to look out for a few Two spotted Lady Beetle, of which the park is a natural habitat.

There’s a bar on a vintage sailing ship called Pilot on Pier 6 that serves seafood like oysters and other alcohols. Make sure to make a reservation here before visiting this place

CONEY ISLAND

Brooklyn original Nathan's famous hot dog! Coney Island
Brooklyn original Nathan’s famous hot dog! Coney Island | Photo Credit – drpavloff

The famous residential neighborhood, Coney Island is a favorite destination for people visiting NYC in the summers. It is also famous among locals as this is a major hub of four lines of the subway, Coney Island-Stillwell Ave subway station. This Island is easily reachable from Manhattan by subway. 

It is home to various amusement parks. The beach gets crowded by both locals and visitors. The island is also famous for its large Ferris wheel called Wonder Wheel, that provides a great view of Manhattan, and the famed Cyclone, a 1927 roller coaster.

The streets here keep bustling with various eccentric street performances like the Circus Sideshow, Street Theatre and the Mermaid Parade in June. Nathan’s Famous is known for its hot dog and July 4th hot-dog eating contest. Without a doubt, Coney island is most popular among the kids.

The best way to enjoy your visit to the Island is by going to the beach during the day and visiting the Astroland Amusement Park at night. Cycling from Coney Island to the neighborhood of Park Slope is also one of the less talked best things to do in Brooklyn, NYC. Locals also suggest watching a game at the Brooklyn Cyclone baseball field.

NEW YORK AQUARIUM

New York Aquarium | Photo Credit – Kai Brinker

In NYC, Brooklyn is the home to its only aquarium. New York Aquarium is the oldest aquarium in the country. Situated in Coney Islands, it has almost 350 aquatic species like sea lions, zebra sharks, striped pajama squids, turtles, etc.

After it was reopened in July 2020 post Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, a new exhibit called Spineless, dedicated to invertebrate marine species, was opened. This is a must place for all the marine life enthusiasts out there.

PROSPECT PARK

Prospect Park | Photo Credit – spurekar

This Park is a large, beautiful and green park. The park is surrounded by the posh neighborhoods of Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, and Windsor Terrace, and is adjacent to the Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The gateway to Prospect Park is a famous plaza which has The Soldiers and Sailors Arch.

It was designed by the same people who designed Manhattan’s Central Park. Therefore, it includes similar attractions such as a boathouse, a 90-acre Long meadow, the Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn’s only lake, the Picnic House, the Litchfield Villa, Concert Grove, the Prospect Park Bandshell that hosts free outdoor concerts in the summertime, sporting fields, ice rink, carousel, and an array of playing fields and recreational activities.

The park also offers various sports facilities, including the Prospect Park Tennis Center, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, and the New York Pétanque Club in the Parade Ground. Check out their website to know about various programs and memberships.

Enjoy ice skating here in winters, fly kites and enjoy free weekend concerts in the summer; and have a picnic here in any season. On Sundays near the Breeze Hill entrance, a Smorgasburg Prospect Park food festival serves a range of cuisines from local restaurants from April to October.

BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens | Photo Credit – Alison Day

Right next to Prospect Park, in central Brooklyn, you’ll find a 52-acre garden called the Brooklyn Botanic Garden which has various gardens within the garden. It is home to more than 10,000 varieties of plants. The garden is divided into various sections like Cherry Esplanade, Fragrance Garden, Herb Garden, Magnolia Plaza, Cranford Rose Garden, Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, Shakespeare Garden, and the new Woodland Garden. Each section is dedicated to the thing after which it is named.

In winters, the Cherry Esplanade section hosts the Sakura Matsuri Festival to celebrate the spring arrival by viewing cherry blossoms. It also has a bonsai collection museum, three climate-themed plant pavilions, a white cast-iron-and-glass aquatic plant house, and an art gallery.  Thanks to the garden, it is another favorite location of people who like flora in Brooklyn, NY.

BROOKLYN FLEA MARKET

Brooklyn flea market
Brooklyn flea market | Photo Credit – Jason Lam

This is your local shopping destination. Every weekend of the year, from early April until late November, at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Fort Greene on Saturdays and at the Williamsburg waterfront and Pearl Plaza on Sundays, operates a flea market that attracts attention of people in the whole New York City.

During the winter months, the Flea moves indoors to a 50,000 sq. ft. space in Industry City. The Brooklyn Flea is a curated market that has a series of shops where you can shop antiques, vintage clothing and jewelry, collectables, furniture, and food. Check out their website for various guidelines and instructions about the admission.

BROOKLYN MUSEUM

Brooklyn Museum of Art
Brooklyn Museum of Art | Photo Credit – Alison Day

In Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn Museum is an art museum that has almost 1.5 million pieces. No ticket fees is Charged in Brooklyn Museum on Thursdays. It is the third largest museum of the city. If you’re an art and history fanatic, you’re in for cookies. From ancient Egyptian, Oceanic, European, Japanese to African and American, you’ll get to see all of these art forms here.

The building of the museum has a Parisian style and is easily reachable by subway. It also has free WIFI. Enjoy the works of artists like Monet, Rothko, etc. The museum is also a home to the famous The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago.

Facilities like gallery tours, workshops etc. are provided here. Guide yourself through the extensive library of the museum that has as much as 300,000 works and archives of various books, documents, prints, textiles and other items.

Check out their official website to get to know about more programs and exhibits that might be happening there at the time of your visit. You can also get email contacts of the curators and guides here. You can also sign up for their e-newsletter that centers around art, history and culture.

BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC

Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn Academy of Music | Photo Credit – Jeffrey Bary

Another Parisian styled building located in Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is the site of all the performing arts activities like films, plays, opera, and theatre happening here. It is popular for hosting progressive and avant-garde performances.

It was built in 1904 as Majestic Theater that hosted brilliant plays. One can spend hours here in this academy by watching some performance. Check out their website here to know about the performances happening there at the time of your visit.

DEKALB MARKET HALL

DeKALB Market Hall | Photo Credit – Shinya Suzuki

This bustling location is a food market scene in Brooklyn that has a list of almost 40 new and old vendors who sell diverse foods like the classic retro Taste of Katz’s legendary pastrami sandwiches, Schaller’s Stube sausages, and Pierogi Boys polish dumplings, and newcomers like Cream line, Pulkies BBQ, Adelita’s Tacos, and Miznon.

Don’t leave without dessert. The market is located in the lower level of City Point, near Fort Greene Park. Dekalb Market Place has also started delivering food. Check out their website if you want to relish in this foodie paradise.

BROOKLYN GRANGE

Brooklyn Grange
Brooklyn Grange | Photo Credit – Ed

You may be surprised but recently in Brooklyn, a 5.6 acre organic urban rooftop farm for growing vegetables and honey for local restaurants, markets was opened. It’s called Brooklyn Grange. It is open to community-supported agriculture.

Located at Brooklyn Navy Yard, it is open to visitors and gives them an opportunity to have a learning tour about organic farming, beekeeping, floral design, mushroom cultivation etc. This Grange is situated at two more locations in New York.

FEW OTHER NEIGHBOURHOODS TO EXPLORE IN BROOKLYN

Bushwick | Photo Credit – Ed

One of the other fun things to do in Brooklyn, NY is to go on a stroll in the neighborhoods of the city and explore the hidden and unusual gems of this place. Neighborhoods like Bushwick, Greenpoint, Redhook, Gowanus etc. are worth exploring.

Greenpoint neighborhood is a residential area. It has Polish American population with hippie vibes. Various polish shops and restaurants, bars and live music venues are lined up here. Check out the places to eat in Greenpoint here.

Similarly, Bushwick is a developing area with great street art and graffiti. Red Hook also has edgy art galleries and boutiques along Van Brunt Street. Several indie distilleries and a winery offer tastings and tours here.

COOL THINGS TO DO IN BROOKLYN

Brooklyn is a paradise for all the quirky people out there. There are so many cool things to do here that people don’t talk about. Go to The Old Stone House, the Brooklyn’s Children Museum, BRIC house, Owl’s Head Park, Inference archive etc. Go to Bargemusic to enjoy classical music performances.

Brooklyn Book Festival takes place every year in september and hosts more than 30000 visitors. Gowanus’ Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club is your typical location where millennials migles over drinks, food and games. The Bell House hosts various eighties themed parties.

Brooklyn Barge and Brooklyn Brewery is also a bustling hotspot of the city. House of Wax, Robotic Church, House of Yes, Gowanus’ Batcave, Green Wood cemetery, Vinegar Hill etc. are few unusual but super cool and popular things to visit in Brooklyn. 8th avenue and Park Slope 7th/5th avenue is famous among foodies.

THINGS TO DO IN BROOKLYN TODAY

Because of the ongoing pandemic, it is advised that one should check out the official websites of any place they want to visit beforehand to get the guidelines about the trip.

Please also read about things to do in New York City.


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