Date night? 3 evening childcare services in Brooklyn

So you’re planning a romantic date night with your other half? Unfortunately, when you’ve got children, date night isn’t just about the two of you anymore, is it? Every great date night requires peace of mind knowing you’ve secured safe, reliable evening care for your little ones at an affordable price. And as a quick Google search will tell you, that’s no easy feet!

That’s why we’ve shortlisted 3 evening drop-off childcare services in Brooklyn, so you don’t have to miss out on your next date night.

brooklyn-childcare-map

#1 The Parent-Free Pajama Party

Brooklyn Explorers Academy – Brooklyn Heights

brooklyn-explorers-academyEvery Friday evening, 6-9pm (excluding holidays), Brooklyn Explorers Academy host their parent-free pajama party, with dinner in the main room followed by a child-friendly film showing in the library upstairs. Caring for children ages 2+, Brooklyn Explorers Academy recommends advance registration to secure a spot.

$20 per child

$10 per additional sibling

 

#2 Kidville Park Slope Drop Off Pajama Party

Project Play Date – Park Slope

pj_party_product_7_1024x1024Similar to BEA’s parent-free pajama party, Project Play Date offers a three-hour kids-only party, every third Friday of the month. From 6.30pm-9.30pm they’ll enjoy an evening of activities including dinner, arts and crafts, story time, dance time and movie time!

While the extra activities do come with a slightly higher price tag, you can RSVP via the website for a $20 trial deal.

$60 per child

$40 per sibling

 

#3 Kid’s Night Out (a.k.a. Parent’s Night Out)

Ms. J’s Gymnastics and Dance – Williamsburg

ms-jsSaturday evenings never sounded more fun! Kid’s Night Out at Ms. J’s, for children ages 3+, includes pizza dinner, play time on the big trampoline, learning tumbles across the floor and a range of balance, flexibility and social exercises. It’s safe to say the kids will probably be ready for bed time by the time you come back to collect them!

$40 per child (members)

$5 discount for siblings

Brooklyn Comfort Foods

Sometimes when the temperature drops, your spirits do too. While you might want to stay inside and hibernate all winter, we’ve found some delicious foods throughout Brooklyn that will entice you to leave your apartment and warm you right up.

 

peter-sHearty Home-Cooking
You could’ve fooled us, we think Peter has been doing chicken way before 1969, if not before the egg. Peter’s Since 1969 is back to basics, comfort food in a casual, family style setting. Named after the former Williamsburg tenant, Peter Kuper of B & B Meat Market, who ran the neighborhood butcher shop with his wife Lucy since 1969, the new Rotisserie Chicken concept was born in the location in 2007. The herb-marinated chicken roasts and self-bastes over an open flame, resulting in the perfect crispness on the outside and soft, juicy tenderness within. Humble, filing sides like mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, stewed okra and green beans are served out of Le Creuset cast iron pots. Chicken and two sides will set you back between $10-$15.
168 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg.

 

Soothing Slicesdifarapizza_t700
We have to be honest, there won’t be anything comforting about the wait, but the reward will certainly be worth it. For over 50 years, Di Fara has been plating up perfect pies in Midwood. With a no-frills reputation, Anthony Bourdain once proclaimed this spot to be “the best of the best”, which is why you can expect to be waiting in line a while for your iconic, thin-crust slice. For almost five decades owner Dom DeMarco insisted on making every single legendary and delicious pie by himself, slowly, but methodically. He now shares the responsibility with his sons. At $5 a slice, you can bet that this pizza, made from scratch with the best, imported ingredients will be exceptional.
424 Avenue J, Midwood.

 

starMeat an Unbeatable Burger
When a pizza place is known for having a burger on the menu, you know it is going to be something special. Emily in Clinton Hill is an intimate pizza restaurant serving up an overwhelming selection of creative pies, however, the real standout is the critically-acclaimed Emmy Burger. The Emmy Burger features a dry-aged patty which is quickly seared in clarified butter then showered in black pepper before being topped with rich melted Vermont cheddar, sweet caramelized onions and a house-made aioli sauce inside of a sturdy pretzel bun. A limited amount of burgers are served every night so head here on a Sunday for lunch when the burgers are plentiful and unforgettable.
919 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill.

 

Superstar Startermac
Mac and cheese might just be the ultimate comfort food. Creamy, crunchy and carbolicious. The Brooklyn Star serves New American cuisine with a nod to the traditions and style of the South and Southwest. Quintessential to a Southern-style menu is of course, mac and cheese. An all-time favorite at the Star, served in a cozy cast iron skillet, this mac is superior to many macs, with its game-changing ingredient, bacon. This mac and cheese is meaty from the bacon bits, rich from the generous cheese and crispy from the buttery breadcrumbs. Served at brunch or dinner for $9, you will be thinking about the taste and texture of this meal long after the weather is warm again.
593 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg.

PumpKings County

It’s the time of the year when pumpkin is king, and you will find loads of pumpkin foods, drinks, products and events sprouting all over Brooklyn. Here are some of the ripest pumpkin picks in the borough!

 

luna-park-halloween-festival-coney-island-amusement

Coney Crop
You can get your pick of the patch for the next few weekends at Luna Park’s Halloween Harvest. From 12pm-6pm this family-friendly event offers activities and entertainment, like spooky crafts, dance contests, a dog costume parade plus all of Luna Park’s rides and games. Entry to The Pumpkin Patch is $5, which pays for you to pick the perfect pumpkin and then paint it! Visit Jack, the festival’s resident giant pumpkin and guess his weight, for a chance to win prizes worth over $1,000. The Harvest comes to an end on October 30.
Luna Park, 1000 Surf Avenue, Coney Island

 

Pumpkin Pintbrooklynbrewery_jackrose_9
You’ll find plenty of festive cheer in this beer! Post Road Pumpkin Ale made by our fave local brewery, The Brooklyn Brewery, is described as “colonial style”. Early American colonists, seeking natural ingredients for brewing ales, turned to pumpkins, which were plentiful, flavorful and nutritious. Blended with barley malt, this versatile vegetable became a commonly used beer ingredient. The tasty tradition lives on, with hundreds of pounds of pumpkins blended into the mash of each batch, creating a beer with an orange amber color, warm pumpkin aroma, biscuity malt center, and crisp finish. Perfectly paired with Holiday dishes such as roasted ham and turkey, root vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mascarpone and Thanksgiving dinner. Available from August to November. The Brewery is open daily.
The Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th Street, Williamsburg

 

mg_7116Fall Fires
It’s the sweet smell of Fall and Thanksgiving, brought to you by Brooklyn Candle Studio. The Pumpkin Harvest candle is full of pumpkin, spice and everything nice, and infused with natural cinnamon, clove and ginger essential oils. Choose from an Amber Glass or Mason Jar candle and carve out a spot for your wonderful wax pumpkin pot on your mantle. Hand-poured and made in Brooklyn, these 100% soy candles are derived from American-grown soybeans for an eco-friendly, clean burn. The cotton wick is lead-free and primed with vegetable-based wax and premium grade fragrance oil. No added dyes or chemicals. From $14 to $34.
Brooklyn Candle Studio, 67 35th St, Greenwood

 

PIEce de Resistancebrown_butter_pumpkin
Oh my gourd, get ready for some game-changing pie. Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus have cooked up a pumpkin pie to squash all others. Sisters Melissa and Emily Elsen founded the bakery in 2009. They learned to appreciate the art of pie-making from their Grandma Liz and created a local Brooklyn enterprising boasting scrumptious, old-fashioned, butter-crust pies. Their Fall pie menu includes the Brown Butter Pumpkin pie, approximately 10 inches in size, serving 8-10 people and available for $40. The sisters have kindly shared the pie recipe here, for expierienced chefs! The pie shop is open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 10am-7pm.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds, 439 3rd Avenue, Gowanus

 

In the Brooklyn Swim

We’ve just made it through the first heatwave of the year and the warm weather is set to continue! How are you going to beat the summer heat? Free outdoor pools of course!

 

red hookHook, Lane and Swimmer
80 years old and still going strong! The Red Hook Pool was a Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) project that opened in 1939, deep in the Great Depression during a summer that broke local heat records. The opening of the immense outdoor pool was attended by 40,000 people. Today, the pool is popular but thankfully a lot less people are in attendance. The pool is open daily from 11am-7pm, with weekday lap hours for keen swimmers, 18 years and over, from 7-8:30am and 7pm-dusk. For lap-swimmers, on-site aquatic specialists are available to record your lengths and those with the most laps at the end of summer win prizes. Entry is free but you’ll need to register online or poolside prior to your session.
155 Bay Street.

 

Pop by the Pop-Upcarousel-large
It’s true what they say, good things don’t last forever. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pop-Up Pool is set to close at the end of next summer, after its fifth season and a highly successful run. The 30’ x 50’ Pop-Up Pool maxes out at an easy 3.5’ deep – making it just right for families with smaller kids. Entry is free and the pool also offers affordable swimming lessons. The area around the pool includes a 2,500-square-foot sandy beach, deck concessions, showers and restrooms. Open from June 29 til Labor Day, 10am to 6pm daily, for 45-minute sessions. The pool capacity is 60 and wristbands are required for each session, distributed first-come, first-served.
334 Furman Street.

 

mccarrenMega McCarren
Mini-pools are great for splashing around but if you’re serious about your swimming, you’ll want to go big or go home (hopefully to air conditioning). On the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, McCarren Park Pool is an Olympic-sized 329’ x 151’ x 4.6’ – that’s a generous 37,571 square foot swim area. Since 1939 (also a WPA project) the pool has been a cool haven and popular exercise venue for North Brooklyn dwellers, with plenty of poolside space for beach chairs and towel lounging post-swim. The pool is open daily from 11am-3pm, and 4pm-7pm, closing for an hour for pool cleaning. The pool usually draws major crowds so get in early.
776 Lorimer Street.

 

Double Fun at Double Dimage
Dip, dive and dog-paddle at the Douglass and DeGraw Pool in Gowanus, also known as the Double D. There are two separate pools here – an intermediate pool at 75’ x 60’ x 3’ and a wading pool perfect for the kiddies at 24’ x 24’ x 1’. The large concrete deck has a covered area and benches and is surprisingly uncrowded. The pool is also right next to the Thomas Greene Playground so if your little ones aren’t worn out after a splish and splash, take them to climb the monkey bars and scale mid-size towers. The pools are monitored by several lifeguards and open daily from 11am-7pm with a break for cleaning between 3-4pm, from July til Labor Day.
230 Douglass Street.

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).

Father-Friendly Festivities

This Sunday is all about dad! You don’t have to go far this Father’s Day to treat dad to a special day or night out. Dad deserves the best and you’ll find it in Brooklyn.


13391409_10153811598516925_7416719120440159209_oA Jazzy Hook
Does your dad think he’s a musical maestro? This weekend the Annual Red Hook Jazz Festival takes place for the second consecutive Sunday at Urban Meadow and will feature the rich and diverse sounds of sax, trumpet, trombone and more in a community garden setting. Now in its ninth year, the concert will feature some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world – dad is guaranteed to be impressed! The incredible lineup of cutting-edge music features Jeff Davis Authorities Trio + 1, Matt Pavolka Horns Band, Ari Hoenig Group, James Brandon Lewis Trio, Bobby Previte & the Visitors. Bring dad’s grand-kids because all kids attend for free!
19 President Street. 1-6pm. $10 per person suggested donation.

 

Markets with your Makerwallet
Haven’t got dad a gift yet? Brooklyn Makers Market has you covered. The biggest bazaar of Brooklyn-made goods, you’ll find crafts, furniture, knits and more, plus enticing eats to fuel your shopping endeavors. The showcase of creations coming straight outta Brooklyn takes place at the beautiful, historic Williamsburg Savings Bank this Saturday and Sunday. Built in 1875 this architectural landmark is the perfect setting to celebrate creativity and entrepreneurship in the borough. Once you’ve shopped the best of Brooklyn, head across the street to our next pick.
175 Broadway. From 11am. Free.

 

ph_008Steak Out
Does dad love a good steak? What about a GREAT steak? Adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge, the famous Peter Luger steakhouse has been serving superb steak since 1887. Rated the top steakhouse in New York for 28 years and running, the restaurant has earned a Michelin Star and joined the ranks of American classics. The steakhouse serves only USDA Prime, which often represents less than 2% of graded beef cattle. To ensure the highest quality of meat and in keeping with tradition, the meat selection process is performed by members of the family-owned establishment. Dad will love the charm of the beer-hall style eatery, with well-worn wooden floors and tables and waiters in waist coats and bow ties. Call 718-387-7400 to make a reservation.
178 Broadway. From 12:45-9:45pm (Sundays). $99.95 for steak for two.

 

Bowl So Hardbowl
Is dad competitive? This one will be right up his alley! Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg is hosting Father’s Day Family Bowl on Sunday. Book a lane, buy dad a beer, and get your bowl on. Just remember to go easy on the old man – it is his day after all! Art and music activities will be presented by The Rock and Roll Playhouse. The event is all ages, all day and night, so bring the whole family. Acclaimed food will be available by NYC’s Blue Ribbon, as well as local brews and more! When you need a break from striking those pins, kick back in large leather sofas upstairs in the Bowlers Lounge. Game on!
61 Wythe Avenue. 12-3pm. $25 per lane per half hour, $4.95 shoe rental.