NYC Family Day Trips: Visiting Brooklyn with the Kids

Whether you’re a lifetime New Yorker or your family is visiting the city for a week, it’s impossible to keep up with the shifting sands of the ever-eclectic borough of Brooklyn. Take a day out and explore New York’s trend-setting hipster enclaves, family-style green parks, and theme parks, ethnic heritage, and believe-it-or-not beaches.

No matter the season, there’s always something new to see and do here. Check out seasonal events in Prospect Park and the city’s arts center, BAM, if you’re ever at a loss. But for now, just follow the program to give your kids one action-packed day out.

The iconic Brooklyn Bridge – tourists galore!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Start your day with an iconic weekend walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Ride the subway to the Brooklyn Bridge, Chambers Street, or City Hall stops in Manhattan for easy access. Bundle up the kiddos for the walk – it can get cold up there along the one-mile span.

The pedestrian walkway is easy to navigate and quite safe, thanks to the persistent presence of tourists. Don’t forget to take some photos!

Once you cross to Brooklyn, you can find a million things to do at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the waterfront reprieve with sweeping skyline views. Walk through the public art installations to give your kids an appreciation for the deconstructionist tendencies of ultra-cool Brooklyn.

For a little fitness, join an early-morning yoga or Pilates class or stop off at Pier 6 for playgrounds with swings, slides, sandboxes, and water features. Check out the nautically-themed Main Street Playground to feel like you’re right in the water.

Join the non-stop brunch crowd at Buttermilk Channel, a fair trade, farm-to-table restaurant

Brooklyn’s Favorite Meal

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, join the non-stop brunch crowd in Carroll Gardens at Buttermilk Channel, a fair trade, farm-to-table restaurant with kid-friendly flapjacks, and breakfast options as well as a kids-only menu with Southern favorites like chicken and waffles.

Looking for something even more diner-ish? Check out Park Slope’s favorite family “fine diner,” Dizzy’s, for some customizable omelettes, flapjacks, or corned beef hash. Comfort food is the perfect way to jump-start your day. There’ll be plenty of time to walk it off later!

Coney Island – the biggest playground in the Big Apple

And On to Amusements!

You can’t spend a day in Brooklyn without visiting the biggest kiddie playground in the Big Apple. Coney Island still provides thrills, chills, and a seaside escape for families between Easter and Halloween.

Most rides begin operation around noon and stay open late into the night, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore. The Cyclone at Luna Park is the must-ride coaster, so you’ll want to make your way there first (or work up to it and go at the end). Some coasters and rides are independently owned and have their own schedules, so you can cobble together your own plan.

Save time for the New York Aquarium and see a show at the Aquatheater, or just visit the fish, sharks, and other sea life at your kids’ own pace. Feed the penguins, sea otters, or walrus before you shove out to sea.

Walk down the boardwalk to see the crazies and ride the ferris wheel, a “must” during any visit. If it’s a hot day, stake out a spot on the sand and go for a little swim on Brighton Beach.

If you’re taking a wintertime day out, the Brooklyn Museum is a great place to camp out inside. Have an art adventure among the diverse collection, explore different cultures, or teach your kids to paint at the museum’s studio classes.

Afternoon Delight


When your kids’ energy starts to fade, rev them up back to Carroll Gardens, where the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain takes you back in time. Originally an apothecary and reopened in 2010 as a 1950’s-style soda pop shop, these jerks know how to throw a milkshake, float, or sundae with the best of ‘em. Parents will love the old-school egg creams. Feeling peckish? A small brunch menu is served until 6pm.

Stop in at the coolest toy store in Brooklyn Heights, Mini Max Toys and Cuts, where kids can pick out eco-friendly toys and oddball novelties, listen to stories in English and French, and even get a haircut in a red wagon. World’s most patient stylists and discounts for siblings and twins will delight parents, too!

Check out Park Slope’s Prospect Park to see Summer Movies Under the Stars, a family-friendly series


Finish Strong

Catch Family Movie Night at the Brooklyn Community Center for free indoor screenings of popular family movies all fall and winter. Screenings start at 7pm. In the summer, you can stay outside in Park Slope’s Prospect Park to see Summer Movies Under the Stars, a family-friendly series. Coney Island also has a summer film series on the boardwalk, if you’re still busy riding coasters and trolling for seashells.

Don’t forget to stop at beloved Brooklyn pizza joint Franny’s to stock up on a massive pepperoni pie or (or more exciting calzones?) before the screening. You can call ahead to order on the weekends, but delivery service runs weekdays only.

Been to the city before (or live there)? What are some of your kid’s best-loved destinations in Brooklyn?

Brooklyn Bridge by Venturelli Luca / Shutterstock. 

Tags : travel   Brooklyn   New York   

Kira Smirnova
Will definitely check out Buttermilk Channel & Brooklyn Farmacy. I plan my trips around food. X-)