Brooklyn Botanic Garden "is a 52-acre living museum where beauty, romance, and fun blossom among world-class plant collections and specialty gardens. Admired as an urban horticultural and botanical resource, BBG inspires visitors to discover that plants are essential to life."
Tip: Tuesdays, Saturdays 10–12, Weekdays (November 20 – February 29) : Free
Prospect Park "is a 585-acre urban oasis located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York City’s most populous borough. The masterpiece of famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park, Prospect Park features the 90-acre Long Meadow, the 60-acre Lake and Brooklyn’s only forest. The nation’s first urban Audubon Center, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival are just a few of the cultural attractions that make their home here at the Park." See also,
Historic Places in Prospect Park
· Boathouse, In 1905, this first Boathouse was replaced with the current Beaux Arts style building, designed by Frank J. Helmle and Ulrich Huberty. Its design was inspired by the lower story of Sansovino’s Library of St. Mark, built in 16th-century Venice. The white matte-glazed terra cotta facade is adorned with Tuscan columns capped with a balustrade. The building was relocated to the Lullwater’s eastern edge to provide a vantage point for lovely sunset views over the water. The nation’s first urban Audubon Center opened here in 2002.
· Carousel, Of the 6,000 carousels constructed in the United States during the golden age of carnivals in the early part of the 20th century, only 200 remain intact. The Prospect Park Carousel is one of them. The artfully crafted animals were carved in 1912 by Charles Carmel, who trained in Coney Island under the most renowned carousel artists of the time.
· Concert Grove, typifies formal European gardens of the 19th century, with a pedestrian promenade and a collection of bust sculptures representing great composers, such as Beethoven, Mozart and Grieg. The Concert Grove and the Oriental Pavilion, nicknamed for its Chinese and Moorish inspired architecture, were designed by architects Thomas Wisedell and Calvert Vaux in 1874.
· Playgrounds, including the Lincoln Road Playground just inside the Lincoln Rd./Ocean Ave. entrance, featuring chess/checkers tables and large bronze frog sculptures that spout water, near the Children’s Corner, home of the Zoo and Carousel, and the Audubon Center. Imagination Playground, Ocean Avenue between Parkside Avenue and Lincoln Road, Readers of Time Out New York Kids crowned this New York's best in the magazine's annual NYC Parents Awards reader poll.
· Wollman Rink, where visitros delight in winter ice skating and summer pedal boating
· Zoo, home to nearly 400 animals of more than 80 species. Kids will be amazed by close-up views of some of the wild’s most unusual animals. The Zoo is operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, known throughout the world for its innovative ways of caring for animals while increasing visitor interaction. The exhibits feature animals in environments mirroring their natural habitats.
Brooklyn Museum "housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. Only a 30-minute subway ride from midtown Manhattan, with its own newly renovated subway station, the Museum is part of a complex of nineteenth-century parks and gardens that also includes Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Prospect Park Zoo."
TIP: 1. Buy the Brooklyn Art & Garden Ticket and present your receipt for same-day admission to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 2. Visit the Target First Saturdays, when thousands of visitors come to enjoy free programs of art and entertainment each month from 5–11 p.m. All evening long, the Museum Café serves a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and beverages, and a cash bar offers wine and beer.
Brooklyn Public Library--Central Branch "Opened on February 1, 1941, the Central Library is the major reference center for BPL's 60-location system. The library's notable architecture was created to resemble an open book, with the spine on Grand Army Plaza and the building's two wings opening like pages onto Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue."
Lefferts Homestead "The Lefferts family was among the earliest European settlers in Brooklyn. They trace their roots to Dutch colonist Pieter Janse Hagewout (1621-1661), a farmer and cobbler who emigrated from Holland with his family aboard De Bonte Koe (The Spotted Cow) in 1660, and settled in the farming village of Vlacke Bos (meaning "wooded plain"), or Flatbush as it came to be known. In 1687, Hagewout’s son Leffert Pietersen bought 58 acres of land in the area now known as Prospect Lefferts Gardens. He built the original Lefferts Homestead...Members of the Lefferts family continued to live in the house until 1918, when they donated it to the City. At that time Lefferts Homestead was moved several blocks from its location near Flatbush Avenue and Maple Street to its present location in Prospect Park....The Lefferts Historic House has now been thoroughly re-imagined as a family-oriented environmental history museum, interpreting Brooklyn’s changing environment through the eyes of its Dutch-, African-, and Native-American inhabitants." Admission Free
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