If you are a culture vulture, there are plenty of free things to do in Park Slope. From 5th Avenue to the Brooklyn Museum, you will find a plethora of activities to savor. Or maybe you’d like to learn how to dance salsa at a local dance studio. Whatever your interests, there is something to appeal to all tastes and ages in the Park Slope neighborhood.
Growing up in Park Slope, Fifth Avenue was a dreary no-man’s land. There was a rundown supermarket, a discount school supply store, and even a decrepit Mandee’s. However, just a few blocks away, I discovered fine dining at Smilings Pizzeria, Grand Canyon Diner, and Santa Fe Grill. This neighborhood is now a hip place to go out for a meal, and I’m not saying that the restaurants are all as good as they used to be.
While the majority of New York residents don’t own cars, most support the concept of open streets in Manhattan. Citywide polling reveals a broad level of support for Open Streets and even higher levels of support for specific Open Streets in the City. While this may sound like a pipe dream, a few Park Slope moms were more than happy to brave the cold to attend the lighting of the 5th Avenue Christmas tree, as did their children. The holiday celebrations also served as a chance for Park Slope moms to get together with their neighbors and reconnect with their kids.
There are several things to do in Park Slope and Brooklyn Museum. Located in a historic warehouse, the Brooklyn Museum is the answer to Manhattan’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum was designed by McKim and Mead and White in 1897 and features the seventh-largest art collection in the US. Its first and fourth floors feature exhibitions of Egyptian and pre-Columbian art, and the fifth floor is home to a museum called the Period Rooms, which exhibits living rooms from New England homes from 1675 to 1830. The Museum’s great hall recently underwent a renovation, so a trip here is not just for art lovers.
The Center for Brooklyn History is another interesting place to visit. Housed in a historical building, this museum displays information about Brooklyn’s history. It is a great place for school workshops. It offers a wide range of historical events, as well as an interactive exhibit. If you are visiting with your family, be sure to take some time to explore the exhibits and see the old-fashioned train cars.
J.J. Byrne Playground
The reopened J.J. Byrne Playground on Eighth Street in Park Slope is a great place for families to take their kids for a day of fun. The playground recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and features a large green turf area and challenging climbing structures. It also includes engaging water features such as spray jets and a stream.
Founded in 1886, the J.J. Byrne Playground was one of the five model playgrounds in the New York City Parks Department. This park’s amenities included two “bo-uijo” courts, handball courts, a wading pool, and the Old Stone House of Gowanus. The playground was named after a local politician who played at the playground when he was mayor.
Salsa Salsa Dance Studio
If you love good food and drink, Park Slope has no shortage of options. You can visit the local barbes café or indulge in some top-notch cocktails at the trendy, but still affordable, Barbes Bar. And for a fun night out with friends, visit the local salsa bar, Palo Santo, and try a new salsa dance style. There’s even an online shop for salsa lessons.
For some culture, you can check out Prospect Park. Home to a beautiful bandshell and many statues of historical monuments and animals, Prospect Park is full of entertainment and fun for all ages. Suzi Shelton, a local singer, and songwriter performs at a variety of local venues, including Barbes. There are also theater workshops for kids at the Brooklyn Acting Lab. In addition, the Buttermilk Bake Shop hosts baking classes and birthday parties for kids.
There are several restaurants in Park Slope, Brooklyn, that cater to both affluent and lower-income diners. For a casual meal, there is Provini Cafe, which serves up delicious house-made pasta. A wine list featuring sustainable organic wines is available for those looking to pair their meal with organic wine. Park Slope also has several Asian-inspired restaurants. Some of these are listed below.
Al di la is one of the most famous restaurants in the area, but the 90-minute wait is not always warranted. This neighborhood restaurant features a seasonal menu and excellent Italian cooking. Authentic Italian dishes are available here, as is a wide variety of wines. Those with food allergies can opt for a gluten-free menu at the restaurant. Other Park Slope restaurants include Talde, Fonda, and Sushi Katsuei.
While you’re in the neighborhood, you should check out the many independent stores and boutiques. Park Slope is a much more serene neighborhood than Manhattan. You can find everything from unique clothing to antiques at shops like A Cheng. The small store sells vintage items and reassembled costume jewelry. The owner, Suzette Sundae, is committed to producing quality clothes that will last. Moreover, she’ll help you find the perfect gift for that special someone.
If you have an unlimited budget, you should consider renting retail space in Park Slope. The area is full of independent stores and boutiques that will reward your shopping needs. Whether you’re looking for vintage or designer items, this neighborhood has plenty to offer. In addition, you’ll find great restaurants and cafes in the neighborhood. Whether you want to go for a gourmet meal or a casual supper, Park Slope has it all.