Prospect Park: Brooklyn’s Green Oasis

Long Meadow, Prospect Park, NYC

Prospect Park’s aptly-named Long Meadow Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Prospect Park is a stunning 585-acre green retreat in the heart of Brooklyn. Bordered by the diverse neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Windsor Terrace, and East Flatbush, the park attracts over ten million visits a year.  Park-goers enjoy running, hiking, skating, team sports, picnics, fishing, barbeques, birding, sledding, and horse back riding.  In addition to the park’s natural beauty, it contains restaurants and food vendors, historic buildings and sites, playgrounds, performance venues, a learning center, and a zoo.

Visit Prospect Park –

The park is open daily 5am – 1am.  Playgrounds and wooded areas close at sunset.

Subway: 2 & 3 trains to Grand Army Plaza or Eastern Parkway stations.  B & Q trains to 7th Ave or Prospect Park stations.  F & G trains to 15th St/Prospect Park station.

Bus: B41 or B71 along Flatbush Ave. to Grand Army Plaza or Ocean Ave. See the MTA website for detailed subway and bus information.

Click on map to view

Click on map to view

The Movable Feast Café serves snacks and beverages at the Picnic House (midwest edge of the Long Meadow) Thurs – Sun 11am – 5pm from May to October.

Pony Express offers treats at the Carousel (check the Carousel schedule)

The Parade Ground Snack Bar serves food and snacks daily April  – mid November.

April – October a Food Truck Rally rolls into Grand Army Plaza every 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month. For a list of the delicious and diverse offerings, check here.

Free Wifi is available at the Picnic House and 350 ft. surrounding.

Prospect Park features seven children’s playgrounds around its perimeter.

Grand Army Plaza, NYC

Grand Army Plaza Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Prospect Park Highlights –

  • Grand Army Plaza, an oval-shaped plaza that is the park’s grand northern entrance. The plaza includes a monumental arch adorned with wonderful bronze sculptures, eagle-topped columns, large urns, and Greek temples.
  • Long Meadow – At nearly one mile in length, the Long Meadow is the longest stretch of unbroken meadow in a U.S. park.  In pleasant weather the Meadow’s grassy slopes are dotted with people strolling, picnicking, flying kites, and playing sports. Nethermead, another large rolling meadow, is found in the center in the park.
  • Ravine, Prospect Park, NYC

    Waterfall in Brooklyn’s only forest: The Ravine Photo: Jeff Dobbins

    The Ravine, Brooklyn’s only forest, includes rugged terrain, dense trees and foliage, rustic bridges, a stream, pond, and two waterfalls.

  • The Lake – the 60-acre lake features cast-iron bridges, rustic shelters, a variety of fish, turtles, frogs, and waterfowl.
  • LeFrak Center at Lakeside which includes a skating pavilion with two rinks for seasonal ice skating, roller skating, and a summertime water feature. The Center also hosts public programs, seasonal sports and classes.
  • The 1905 Beaux Arts Boathouse houses the first urban Audubon Center, with hands-on exhibits and innovative programming.  The second floor is home to various live animals, seasonal exhibits, and a balcony overlooking the Lullwater. Downstairs one can explore changing exhibits.  Free educational programs allow park-goers of all ages to explore the diverse natural habitats in Prospect Park through fun activities.
  • Children’s Corner includes a 1912 Carousel, the world-class Zoo housing nearly 400 animals exhibited in their natural habitats, and Lefferts Historic House, an 18th century Dutch farmhouse that serves as an interactive museum of Brooklyn history.
  • The Parade Ground is the park’s primary sports area, featuring basketball and volleyball courts, four baseball, two softball, a football, a soccer, and three multi-purpose fields, and a tennis center.

Hours for the park’s attractions vary by season.  See the park’s website for details.

Boathouse, Prospect Park, NYC

Historic Boathouse, home to the Audubon Center Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Prospect Park Tours –

Urban Park Rangers lead tours in Prospect Park throughout the warm-weather months.

The Prospect Park Audubon Center offers free guided Bird-watching tours through the Ravine April – June, Saturdays, 12 p.m.

The Audubon Center also provides guides and maps for the Prospect Park Nature Trails.

Lefferts Farmhouse, Prospect Park, NYC

Historic Lefferts Farmhouse Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Prospect Park hosts a multitude of events, including art & nature programs, free fitness classes, performance festivals, volunteer opportunities, and Green markets.  Some of the park’s great annual events include:

See the park’s online calendar for complete details.

Have you been to Prospect Park? What your favorite spot the park?

Long Meadow, Prospect Park, NYC

Game on the Long Meadow Photo: Jeff Dobbins

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