Events for Independence Play

The Fourth of July is fast upon us. On Monday we will celebrate the birth of US independence – you could say it was our very own Brookxit! If you’re celebrating in our brilliant borough, here are our recommendations.


brooklyn-bridge-park-fireworks-nycFire Up

For the 40th year, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks will light up the sky over the East River. Bigger and better than ever, the annual sky spectacular will wow spectators across downtown Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. From around 9:20pm over 56,000 fireworks will burst forth at a rate of 2,200 per minute. For a good viewing spot you will have to get there early – so pack a picnic and make a day of it. Be prepared to stand or sit on the ground – no chairs or large items are allowed into viewing areas. Brooklyn Bridge Park will be the prime spot, followed by Brooklyn Heights Promenade, or you could head further north to Grand Ferry Park or East River State Park in Williamsburg, or Greenpoint’s WNYC Transmitter Park. Of course if you have any friends with rooftops in the area, now is the time to give them a call! As the highest point in Brooklyn, Sunset Park is also a great option.


Cone ZoneCapture

If battling the crowds to see the fireworks isn’t how you’d like to celebrate freedom then there will be plenty of festive-fun on the boardwalk down south at Coney Island. Ride the roller-coaster, play carnival games, enjoy some fried-fare, go swimming or relax on the beach. The now in its 100th year, the famous Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Competition will chomp-off at 10am. Will anyone beat Joey Chestnut’s world record of 69 franks and buns in 10 minutes? The Coney Island Fireworks kick-off at 9:30pm and while the pyrotechnics are much more low-key than Macy’s, the beach view more than makes up for it!


parkPark It

Can’t decide who gets your vote for best Independence Day activity? Well our presumptive nominee is Prospect Park! The Prospect Park Alliance has organized a day of free or inexpensive family-friendly activities. Celebrate the holiday with a ride on the Park’s beloved 1912 carousel, from 12-6pm ($2 per ride, $9 for a book of 5 tickets, free with Alliance Family Plus membership). From 1-4pm Lefferts Historic House will celebrate America’s birthday with reproductions of one of the greatest documents ever written, the Declaration of Independence. Make yourself a plumed hat to wear while signing your own “John Hancock” ($3 suggested donation). The Audubon Center will host a free day of nature exploration from 12-4pm with Discovery Packs, bird games and a Citizen Science project.


Cultural CelebrationCapture 2
It is important to remember that when the Declaration of Independence was signed, African-Americans were still slaves. The 45th Annual International African Arts Festival (IAFF) is a great opportunity to celebrate traditional and contemporary expression of various African cultural art forms. The four-day grassroots cultural festival is a fave of local African-American and Caribbean American Brooklynites. From 10am-9pm, Friday to Monday, Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene will be transformed into an outdoor African cultural oasis with a Food Court, music and dance performances, a kids play zone, poetry show and more. What started in 1971 as a small vendor market has grown into an African Marketplace with over a hundred vendors offering one-of-a-kind, handcrafted original designs of merchandise ranging from jewelry, fashion, body products imported African fabric, artifacts, furniture, paintings and more. Entry is by suggested donation ($5).

Make it to Market

One of our favorite things about Spring is the super fresh and delicious, seasonal produce, and luckily for us there are dozens of farmers markets in Brooklyn to choose from. The below are open right now, so do some research on the seasonal specialties, grab a tote and head to market!

 

greenpoint 2

A Green Point
Greenpoint never disappoints, with farmers markets held on Saturdays year-round in McCarren Park. These much-loved markets are enjoyed by the vibrant, growing Williamsburg community and the longtime Greenpoint Polish community. Shoppers mingle with friends and neighbors, bring their dogs to run around at McCarren Park and enjoy live music by local artists and cooking demonstrations by local chefs. Since 1997 this market has stayed true to its loyal customers who are encouraged to learn about featured produce and take home recipes.
North 12th St & Union Ave, Brooklyn. Saturdays, 8am-3pm (Year-Round).

 

PSL_CenterLaneSunny_May2014From the Earth, Down to Earth
On Sundays the Down to Earth Farmers Markets land in Park Slope. This is how we to like to start our Sunday mornings! Founded in 2004 the markets include dozens of vendors who sell plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, honey, baked goods, meat, poultry and more. In the market for the freshest of fresh produce? Check the website to see what’s in season. Right now we’re sea’ing seafood and ciders! This weekend (5/15) there will be a textile recycling program from 10am-5pm. The Market is now also open on Wednesdays if you’re planning a mid-week grocery shop!
5th Ave between 3rd and 4th St, Park Slope. Sundays, 10am-5pm (4/24 – 12/18); Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm (5/11 – 11/16).

 

grand army plazaArmed and Delicious
Founded in 1989, the Grand Army Plaza market is appropriately named, and is the grandest and largest Brooklyn market in the Greenmarket program. On Saturdays year-round these markets treat market-goers to a huge array of farm-fresh produce. A mix of shoppers, runners, dog walkers, families, foodies and more from Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and beyond come together to enjoy the numerous stalls. If you’re checking these markets out, why not make a day of it and explore the nearby beautiful Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Brooklyn Public Library or Brooklyn Museum.
Prospect Park West & Flatbush Avenue, Northwest corner of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Saturdays, 8am-4pm (Year-Round).

 

courtelyouCourt-Sell-You
We’re sold on the Cortelyou Greenmarket, located on lively Courtelyou Road in Flatbush on Sundays. Since 2003 market-goers have filled their bags and baskets with specialty Mexican produce and herbs, eggs, chicken, fresh pasta, orchard fruit and juices, seafood, mushrooms, grass-fed beef, goat cheese and locally-grown vegetables. Is your mouth watering yet? Cooking demonstrations, seasonal celebrations, family-friendly activities like singalongs and the open adjacent schoolyard ensures a festive atmosphere, located among a thriving shopping strip in the heart of South Brooklyn.
Cortelyou Road between Argyle & Rugby, Flatbush. Sundays, 8am-3pm (Year-Round).

 

 

Make Mom’s Day

One of the most important days of the year… this Sunday is Mother’s Day! Take this opportunity to spoil mom and thank her for her eternal, unwavering love and support. Spend a memorable day together at one of these events taking place in Brooklyn.


BIANCO_Sigrid-Spinnox-29Bianco Under the Bridge
Marvel with mom in the magic of human balance and counter balance, delivered by the sophisticated circus troupe NoFit State. Performing arts institution St. Ann’s Warehouse welcomes the international circus and their spaceship-shaped tent to Brooklyn Bridge Park, as they make their North American debut this month with their show Bianco. Accompanied by a live band, NoFit State will perform exquisite displays of prowess and dare right above spectators’ heads, in a series of gorgeous aerial spectacles.
2pm-8:30pm, Sunday, May 8. Tickets from $35.

 

Mother of all Brunchesmeadowsweet
You’ll show mom your aplomb by taking her to a Michelin Star restaurant in Williamsburg for an unbeatable brunch. Meadowsweet serves Mediterranean-influenced New American dishes and craft cocktails in a casually cool, bright and airy setting with a bar. For $45 you will enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, baked goods and a 2-course brunch choosing from mains like huevos rancheros, duck pastrami hash, three egg omelet, French toast and more. Reservations required.
11am-3pm, Sunday, May 8. $45 for adults.

 

BRIDGETake a Walk on the Brooklyn Side
Demonstrate the caring and supportive qualities mom instilled in you by participating in the 5th Annual Mother’s Day Walk across Brooklyn Bridge. The Mother’s Day Walk is a NYC tradition held by Milagros Day Worldwide, a nonprofit organization that empowers survivors of domestic violence. It is a fun family day that honors and celebrates motherhood while raising awareness and funds. The day starts with an hour of Zumba and opening ceremony in Manhattan, progresses across the Bridge and ends with a multicultural family festival at Cadman Plaza Park between Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn.
9am-3pm, Sunday, May 8. $10 + Booking Fee.

 

bklyndesignFine Design
Unfortunately it looks like Mother Nature might rain on mom’s parade this weekend, so here is a fantastic indoor option that beats the trip to IKEA backup plan. BKLYN DESIGNS is Brooklyn’s premier design event, showcasing emerging designers and established brands across furniture, lighting, tableware, art, textiles and jewelry. Founded by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in 2003, BKLYN DESIGNS will celebrate the borough’s creative community at Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint with collective exhibits, pop-up lounges, installations and hands-on demos. Check out the screen printing workshop (make mom a tote!) and get mom a gift at BKLYN BUYS, the show’s curated marketplace.
9am-6pm, Friday, May 6 – Sunday, May 8. $15.