Brooklyn Hikes to Fall For

Time to take a hike! It’s a new season, and the perfect temperature to get out and about. There are some wonderfall places to hike and leaf-peep, right in your very own Brooklyn backyard! Here are some hikes you’re sure to like.

 

57e43ecc90fb2Marsh March
Fantastic fauna features in Marine Park’s Salt Marsh Nature Trail, also known as the Gerritsen Creek Nature Trail. Considered an easy to moderate hike, the path is about a mile long and follows the shore of Gerritsen Creek, which empties into Jamaica Bay. The trail takes hikers through a prairie of tall grass and a restoration project was recently completed in the area, clearing it of invasive plant species, and allowing native flora to flourish. The boardwalk trail with viewing platform is a great spot to spy on fish and crabs, and is a haven for bird-watchers with egrets, herons, ducks and geese often frequenting the landscape. NYC’s Urban Park Rangers run free, guided hikes of the marsh throughout the year, with one coming up on Sunday, November 20.
Avenue U and East 33rd Street, Marine Park.

 

57e554d400b2eA Pleasurable Prospect
Boasting lovely lawns and a sixty acre lake, hiking in Prospect Park is so much more than a walk in the park. Numerous hiking trails wind throughout the park, including Prospect Park Trail which is an easy 3.25 mile hike that takes about 2 hours to complete, and is dog friendly (be sure to take your pup to the dog beach before it gets too chilly!). NYC Parks run several free organized hikes throughout the park, such as the Fall Foliage Walk on Saturday, October 22 . On this hike, Urban Park Ranger naturalists explain why leaves change colors, and introduce hikers to the diversity of trees found in our urban Brooklyn forests. On Black Friday, November 25, hikers of The Midwood Trail will be taken on a journey back in time, with a 30-minute walk through Brooklyn’s oldest remaining forest, filled with birds and other animals. Home to some of Prospect Park’s largest trees, The Midwood is a relic of Brooklyn’s history and was preserved and incorporated into the park during its original construction. Also worth checking out are the Lullwater, Peninsula and Waterfall trails.
101 East Drive, Prospect Park.

 

newtown_creek_nature_walk_4220-8l50pz3dtxwc4o0k0wg0wkk8s-c4xtg9uu3r404wggo4ss0ss8s-thTalk a Walk on the Waste Side
You’re not likely to see beautiful birds or wondrous woods on this walk, but it is closer to what one might imagine when they think of a New York City hike. Newtown Creek Nature Walk is a quarter-mile long public walkway along Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. Designed by environmental sculpture artist George Trakas and completed in 2007, the walk offers a taste of nature and beauty, next door to a sewage treatment plant, and amongst what some might describe as an industrial wasteland with a heavily polluted waterway. The trail affords visitors a truly unique view of Brooklyn’s settling tanks and digesters and educates them on wastewater treatment, the harbor’s water quality and the history of New York City. Open from dawn to dusk, the trail is a secret point of relaxation in the far north of Brooklyn, and features young trees, shrubbery, flowers and a Scavenger Hunt. Dotted with stone resting areas, tiled patios and drinking fountains, it is an unexpected place of beauty, tranquility and learning, amidst a history of environmental damage.
Paidge Ave & Provost St, Greenpoint.

 

Brilliant Botany21083897873_f84fdb2c78_b
A kaleidoscope of colors will greet Brooklyn Botanical Garden-goers this fall. Begin your exploration at the Native Flora Garden, a small forest of some of the oldest plants in the Garden, such as the 100-foot-tall, century-old sweet gum tree with deep crimson foliage. Be sure to visit the meadow in this Garden, and observe the colorful grasses, wildflowers and butterfly milkweed. Next, head to the Cranford Rose Garden and catch the second and final flush of blooms, which last into October and often, early November. Also in the Rose Garden keep an eye out for squirrels and mockingbirds – these little guys drop by to snack on the rose hips. Following this, walk over to the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, which offers sweeping views of a landscape filled with maple trees in stunning shades of orange, red, yellow, and purple. The gorgeous Garden is open in October from 8am-6pm on Tuesday to Friday, and 10am-6pm on weekends. Kids under 12 get in for free and entry for adults is $12.
1000 Washington Avenue, Prospect Park.

Summer Screensations

Lining up for movie tickets and popcorn then sitting in a super chilly movie theater this Summer? You’re doing it wrong! It is the season to get outside and this year’s outdoor film screenings are already in full swing. Grab a blanket and some buddies, and watch a film under the stars in Brooklyn at the following locations.

 

industry cityScreen it from the Rooftops
Bars, BBQs, restaurants, parties, tanning, watching movies… There are just some things that were made for rooftops! This outdoor summer series is now in its 10th year and has expanded to four (mostly rooftop) locations across Brooklyn on various nights throughout June, July and August. Rooftop Films brings the underground outdoors, and has grown to become known internationally as one of the most dynamic film festivals in the world. In Sunset Park, with Brooklyn’s waterfront as the backdrop, films will be screened from two of Industry City’s amazing rooftops. Enjoy breathtaking views of lower Manhattan’s skyscape, the Statue of Liberty and South Brooklyn while watching a mix of documentaries, short films and animations including Sundance Short Films and documentaries about New York, including Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death by Audio. There is a live music performance at every screening and many host dance parties after the film.
Industry City, 220 36th St, Sunset Park. $15.
Bushwick Generator, 195 Moore St, Bushwick. $15.
MetroTech Commons, 5 MetroTech Center, Downtown. Free.
The Old American Can Factory, 232 Third St at 3rd Ave, Gowanus. $15.

 

Williamsburg Watchingswburg
There’s seeing it on the big screen, then seeing it on the BIG outdoor Brooklyn screen. The borough’s longest running film and music series launched in 2006 with a screening of Do The Right Thing and 11 years later, SummerScreen is still going strong. At McCarren Park in Williamsburg every Wednesday from July 6 to August 10, spectators will be treated to cult classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and The Royal Tenebaums in the open-air, and best of all, it’s free! Bring chairs, blankets and pack a picnic, or take advantage of food and drinks from local vendors. Every show features live music, which kicks off at 6pm, followed by the movie at 8:30pm. McCarren Park, North 12th St, Williamsburg. Free.


movies with viewA View from the Bridge
On a warm summer night, spread your blanket on the luscious grass of Harbor View Lawn in Brooklyn Bridge Park, take in the spectacular sight of the Manhattan skyline and enjoy the breeze off the East River. You’re at Movies With A View. Since 2000, Movies With A View has earned a large and loyal following. One of New York City’s favorite summer film series, the line-up of films promises to wow, entertain, thrill and pull at the heartstrings of movie goers. The screenings take place every Thursday evening in July and August and include classics such as Purple Rain and American Graffiti. For the final screening of the series, the public can vote between The SandlotMilk or La Bamba. The eight-week series expects to draw an average of 7,000 film fans at each screening. The lawn opens at 6pm, with the film beginning at sunset.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, 334 Furman Street, Dumbo. Free.


Habana Good TimeHabana-Outpost

Mexican food and movies have to be two of our favorite things. Habana Outpost read our minds and combined the two. The Fort Greene restaurant projects movies on their outside wall every Sunday from May through to the end of October. Enjoy their award-winning Cuban sandwich, indulge in their bold-tasting Mexican-style corn, and order all the tacos and burritos your heart desires, because the movie is free! Films screen at 8pm and this year’s roster includes West Side StoryFlashdanceRocky,Saturday Night FeverGhostbusters and, for Halloween, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
757 Fulton St, Fort Greene. Free.

Other venues worth checking out include:
Movie Nights at Narrows Botanical Gardens in Bay Ridge
Midweek Movie Escapes in Downtown Brooklyn
Flicks on the Beach in Coney Island
Red Hook Flicks in Red Hook
Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park
NYC Parks Classic Film Series at various Brooklyn locations

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).

 

 

Easter in the Brooklyn Burrow

Looking for some local fun family activities this Easter weekend? Leave the hunting up to us, and then your kids!

 

BKB-Easter-Egg-Hunt-2Eggstreme Egg Hunting

Do your little ones race like rabbits through the usual egg hunt and need more of a challenge? Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus is hosting a vertical egg hunt for 4 to 12 year olds. Climbing cottontails will search high and low for eggs and can look forward to a bunch of raffles and prizes.
Saturday March 26, 10am – 12pm. $20 per child.

 

A Hop in the Parkimage

If you’re worried too much of the sweet stuff will result in hyperactive youngsters, then pack a picnic and head to the park. Prospect Park’s Audubon Center is running nature exploration activities where kids of all ages will learn about park animal winter survival tactics, how to identify birds and how to make their own tube of lip balm. Later Lefferts Historic House will host potato sack races, stilts, spoon races and more ($3 suggested donation).
Friday March 25 – Sunday March 27, 12 pm – 4 pm. Free.

 

mcgolrickPut All Your Eggs in this Basket

For a traditional egg hunt in Greenpoint, your chicks will love McGolrick! Kids up to 10 years old can bring a basket and participate in the finding frenzy or meet the Easter bunny and take part in arts and crafts activities. Babies and toddlers will roam in their own eggsclusive area, while older kids search for special eggs with prizes and raffle tickets inside.
Saturday March 26, 12pm. $15 per child, $20 at the door.

 

The Meadow is Always Greenergreen-meadow-farms-easter-bunny

A good time is in the basket this Easter weekend, at Green Meadow Farms at Aviator Sports and Events Center, located within Floyd Bennett Field on Jamaica Bay. The urban farm will host egg hunts, hay rides and pony rides. There will also be a giant hay wagon slide, a petting zoo and the opportunity to meet Whiskers the Bunny.
Thursday March 24 – Sunday March 27, $8 per child.

Wedded Brooklyn Bliss

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Whether you’re marrying your high school sweetheart or you recently found love in a hopeless place (aka Tinder), we’ve located some vibrant vow venues in which to spread your love (it’s the Brooklyn way).

 

greenbuilding

A Nice Day for a Green Wedding

The gorgeous Green Building in Gowanus is a raw space with original brick walls and exposed beam ceilings. The perfect blank canvas to design your special soiree, you can take a look at the venue and discover dozens of vendors at Wedding Crashers this Sunday March 13 from 11:30am-3pm.

 

Finery at the Winerywinery

With warm barn wood walls, sophisticated zinc-topped wine bar and hand-selected vintage adornments, the Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg radiates rustic romance. Ideal for 100-160 guests, the ceremony takes place in an airy space with glass roof and succulent wall garden. Guests will be merry mingling among wine barrel cocktail tables, in view of floor-to-ceiling barrels of aging wine.

 

boathouse

Secure a Spouse at the Boathouse

For nuptials in a natural setting with a breathtaking backdrop, The Boathouse at Prospect Park takes the cake. Built in 1905 and one of NYC’s first historic landmarks, the beautiful Beaux Arts style building overlooks the scenic Lullwater and Lullwater Bridge. This is a superb setting for a seated dinner and dancing for up to 150 guests.

 

Delight and Devotion in Dumbodumbo loft

A former coffee factory and manufacturer of smoking pipes built in 1891, the Dumbo Loft has been transformed into an attractive and adaptable space of 3,200 square-feet. Say “I do” to hardwood floors, high ceilings, exposed brick, wooden beams and pillars, tall windows and wonderful views of the Manhattan Bridge.

Brooklyn Parks: Our Fall Favorites

You’re in for a tree-t! Each year we hear that as the leaves drop, so do rental prices. To celebrate the great news for budding Brooklyn renters, we’ve put together a list of the parks that have left a mark on our borough memories.

Prospect Park
150929 - Prospect ParkThe biggest framers market in Brooklyn. The longest, uninterrupted lawn in the United States. World class free fitness and music events. A historic century-old carousel. Need we say more? Some feel it’s a no-brainer why Prospect Park is the greatest park in the entire city.

As the weather changes, explore the Ravine, Brooklyn’s only forest.

Owl’s head

150929 - Owls HeadAs New Yorkers, we want all of our things to be the best, first or greatest. While you skate back in time at Brooklyn’s first skate park, bask in the historical knowledge that one of the founding fathers of the Dutch Village of Breuckelen lived on the land as well; as did Senator Henry Cruise Murphy who drafted the Brooklyn Bridge construction bill and was a proud founder of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle – which predates the New York Times by ten years. Just saying…

Civic Brooklynite and wealthy manufacturer, Eliphalet Bliss, bought the estate and on his deathbed and turned the land from private property to public land by offering it to the City of New York (at a discount) with the stipulation that it be used as parkland.

Nowadays locals benefit from a dog run, grassy hills and a no-filter postcard view of New York Harbor.

Yelp users call it “another lesser known gem in Brooklyn” and the huge trees and wide pathways make it “perfect for almost anything … to enjoy a picnic, watch the sunset, sit on a bench enjoy your coffee and the waterfront view, or just people watch.”

Brooklyn Bridge Park

150929 - BK BridgeWithin the last decade or so, the 1.3 miles of luscious parkland along the East River has come to be known as Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s somewhat of a sports central, offering visitors kayaking, floating pathways, fishing piers, waterside handball and basketball courts

Yelp users recommend Grimaldi’s for a packed picnic to-go and the nearby Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
Marine Park

150929 - Marine ParkIt’s a great place to nestle amongst nature. Marine Park has 530 acres of wide salt marsh, meadows and sand dunes filled with shrubs, vines and beach plants. Park Rangers are on hand to point out the 325 different kinds of birds, 50 species of butterfly and the occasional rabbit or hawk.

The Wall Street Journal has called Madison “as old school as it gets” when it comes to New York City neighborhoods. In a recent archaeological dig, excavators discovered food preparation pits in Marine Park dating back to the 9th century! Being worlds and perhaps years away from the kitsch Manhattan spectacle makes Marine Park quite the escape.
We recommend Joe’s of Avenue U for a lean mean Italian Marine hero.