A kid’s Brooklyn

I’m a teacher and a dad-to-be (!) so I’ve pretty much always got kids on the mind. I just put together a list of activities in Brooklyn that kids will enjoy for part of my “Explore New York” initiative.

These are great spots for field trips, family outings, and birthday parties. Let me know how it goes!
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Free NYC! (Thing to Do and See)

New York is an expensive place to live, but it doesn’t need to be an expensive place to play! There is so much to do in the city for free, so get a piece of paper and start taking notes (or just hit print):

Always free: The National Museum of the American Indian, the New York Public Library, the Hispanic Society of America, Central Park, Riverbank State Park, Prospect Park, the Socrates Sculpture Park, and Castle Clinton National Monument.

Free on Fridays: The American Folk Art Museum has a lot of character and is free on Friday nights from 5:30-7:30. The Guggenheim (talk about character!) is also free (or rather, pay what you wish) on Fridays starting at 5:45. There’s also music. The Museum of Modern Art is free on Fridays from 4:00-8:00, and the Whitney Museum of American Art opens its doors to the unwilling to pay on Fridays from 6:00-9:00. The American Museum of the Moving Image is also free on Friday evenings, from 4:00-8:00 – a great place to catch up on old You Can’t Do That on Television reruns!

Free on Saturdays: The Studio Museum in Harlem is free on the first Saturday of every month, as is the Brooklyn Museum, but only after 5 p.m. The Jewish Museum of New York City is free every Saturday after 5 p.m.

Other free things to do: Brooklyn Botanic Garden are free on Tuesdays and from 10:00-noon on Saturdays. The New York Botanical Garden (in the Bronx) is free on Wednesdays and also from 10:00-noon on Saturdays.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is free for students (and has a pay what you wish policy for everyone else) and if you save your Met ticket, it can be used as your free pass into the Cloisters Museum.

A lot of this info comes from the National Geographic site (found through Blissful Free Things in NY Travel’s informative post – thanks, Erica!). Thought I’d share the wealth with you all.

You’ll definitely be hearing more from me on this, just in looking these few things up I came across so many other great museums in NYC, less well known ones—that’ll be my next post…so stay tuned!


Related Travel Guide Topics:

The Zoos of New York

While some might like to argue that New York City is one big zoo, others might prefer the more traditional understanding of the term and head out to some of New York’s spectacular animal homes. As being one of the greatest cities in the world, it should come as no surprise that it’s zoos are also some of the best.

The Central Park Zoo in Manhattan, is my most favorite place on earth. It’s definitely one of the smaller zoos on my list, but it’s hidden, surprising location, in the middle of the Big Apple, makes it a sort of ironic, quaint, and extremely happy place. Adults on their lunch breaks, kids on field trips, and idle New York wanderers like myself, come to the Central Park Zoo as a sort of Mecca from bustling city life. One second you’re in Times Square, the busiest spot in the country, and the next second, you’re in Africa, or the South Pole, or China! It’s pretty spectacular.

I grew up in Queens, so I have a special affinity towards the Queens Zoo. There’s also the bear habitat there. It the only zoo in New York to host the endangered bears of the Andes Mountains. The Staten Island Zoo is probably the least exciting for me, but does have a petting zoo which I know grabs the attention of the younger crowd. Prospect Park Zoo is the newest of the zoos and you can really tell with its modern (and very humane) naturalistic habitat exhibits.

Last but not least, is the Bronx Zoo, a huge zoo and a fantastic zoo. My favorite exhibit is the indoor acre large rain forest. It’s truly breathtaking!

Ok, so maybe I know a bit too much about zoos. I’ve been a zoo-goer since my own first class trip to the Queen’s Zoo, and now, as a third grade teacher, I bring kids myself to all the zoos in New York City. I have enough stories to fill a book! Maybe I’ll write a book!