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Kids Can Play, Learn, and Eat Their Way Through Brooklyn

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Brooklyn has a soft spot for kids. Aside from housing neighbourhoods that are practically overrun by baby strollers, indicating that this could very well be New York's most family-friendly borough, it also offers a host of activities just for them. You can spend a day at Coney Island, explore the rugged nature of Prospect Park, or blend learning with fun at one of Brooklyn's many museums.

Fun in the sun

 

Brooklyn may not be synonymous with beaches, but you and your kids will be thrilled to find a host of activities to do on the Atlantic Ocean. Coney Island is a traditional theme park that offers hours of entertainment with rides, a Ferris wheel (that dates back to 1920), and a honest-to-goodness circus sideshow. You can take a 30-minute stroll east to Brighton Beach where you can soak up the sun, play a few rounds of beach volleyball, or while away the afternoon at Brighton Playground.

 

Luna Park Coney Island

 

Offering thrilling rides that range from mild to extreme, Luna Park is suited to kids of all ages. Work up an appetite, then hit up Nathan's for a hot dog and a cold drink.

 

1000 Surf Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11224Tel: +1 718 373 5862

 

Luna Park Coney Island website

 

New York Aquarium

 

Both you and the little ones will marvel at the array of dazzling marine life on display here, from walruses and penguins to sharks and stingrays. You can also witness animal feedings and take in a 4-D film.

 

Surf Avenue at West 8th St., Brooklyn, NY 11224. Tel: +1 718 265 3474

 

New York Aquarium website

Museums for tots

 

If you're looking to spend a fun and educational afternoon indoors, Brooklyn has you covered with a range of museums that will keep kids engaged and entertained. At the Brooklyn Children's Museum, they'll marvel at programs that explore science and nature, as well as interactive activities like “Touch Tank,” which allows them to touch live sea creatures, and “Animal Yoga,” where they explore animal-based yoga poses. The Toy Museum of New York educates visitors on the importance of dolls and toys in our culture, while the Brooklyn Museum showcases European and African masterpieces.

 

Brooklyn Children's Museum

 

Learning by using your senses is the primary philosophy of this museum. Kids can play in sensory areas that include water, sand, and music, as well as take in exhibits on culture and science.

 

145 Brooklyn Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11213. Tel: +1 718 735 4400

 

Brooklyn Children's Museum website

 

The Toy Museum of New York

 

This nonprofit educational museum teaches kids about the importance of toys in history. It also produces original plays and musicals.

 

180 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY 11201. Tel: +1 718 243 0820

 

The Toy Museum of New York website

 

Prospect Park

 

City life is exciting, but every now and then you crave some natural respite. Prospect Park is exactly that kind of relaxing getaway. Despite its location in the centre of Brooklyn, bordering Park Slope and Crown Heights, this relatively small park (it's a little over 500 acres) is so dense that no matter which way you turn, you won't see any city concrete. Kids will love walking its nature trails, exploring the lakes and wetlands, and getting up close with creepy crawlies at the Audubon centre. For an added thrill, you can take it all in on horseback.

 

Prospect Park Zoo

 

Your kids can spend some time learning conservation practices that they can apply to their own backyard adventures, as well as take in a sea lion training session.

 

450 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225. Tel: +1 718 399 7339

 

Prospect Park Zoo website

 

Kensington Stables

 

Treat your kids to a lasting experience by exploring Prospect Park on horseback. Trail rides will take you along a 3.5-mile path along scenic terrain. All levels and abilities are welcome.

 

51 Caton Pl., Brooklyn, NY 11218. Tel: +1 718 972 4588

 

Kensington Stables website

 

Kid-friendly food

 

Brooklyn offers a plethora of dining options to suit all tastes and palates. Kid-friendly cuisine is a given thing when you consider that pizzerias, burger joints, bakeries, and hot dog outposts can be found on virtually every corner. The best part, however, is the borough's tendency for themed restaurants that offer a variety of spins on one classic dish. Take for example Brooklyn Mac that does countless variations on macaroni and cheese, Roberta's extensive list of pizzas, and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory's craft concoctions.

 

Brooklyn Mac

 

Choose from a list of vegetarian and meat macaroni and cheese dishes, including fancy variations using Brie and caramelized apples, and bacon and smoked Gouda. There are also salads, wraps, and soups.

 

173 Montrose Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11206. Tel: +1 718 963 3646

 

Brooklyn Mac website