It’s freezing outside and I know how hard it can be to find things to do in Brooklyn with kids when most days, the playgrounds and parks are out of the question. In addition to being a Park Slope orthodontist, I’m a dad myself so I definitely understand the struggle. After the popularity of some of our previous guides to NYC kids’ activities, the team here at Fresh Orthodontics has decided to compile a guide to winter activities for kids and teens in Brooklyn. The best part? Everything is affordable or free!
- Visit During Pay-as-You-Wish Hours at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum – 145 Brooklyn Avenue – The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is one of the best places to go for Brooklyn kids’ activities. You’ll find amazing exhibits and hands-on fun meant to inspire curiosity, creativity and a love of learning in families. While general admission is usually $11 per person, on Thursdays from 2 to 6pm and Sundays from 4 to 7pm, the museum has pay-as-you-wish hours sponsored by Investors Bank, Astoria Savings Bank and Carver Bank.
- Try a Free Class at the Park Slope Gymboree Play & Music – 365 4th Avenue – Indoor play places can be a lifesaver in winter and Gymboree offers learning experiences, socialization and tons of fun through their Park Slope classes for babies and toddlers birth through age five. The first class is free but, warning, you may get hooked! Sign-up here.
- Have a Blast at the Park Slope Library – 431 6th Avenue – The Park Slope Library offers a host of free activities for kids in Brooklyn (and grown-ups too but we’ll save those for another day). Take your baby, toddler or preschooler to a Storytime like Babies & Books, Toddler Time or Saturday Storytime. Or, enjoy one of the other programs geared towards kids and teens, including:
- Build With LEGO and DUPLO – Tuesdays from 4 to 4:45pm – At this weekly LEGO club, kids can build awesome LEGO structures, make friends and get creative.
- Build With Imagination Blocks – Tuesday, February 26 from 4 to 4:45pm – All ages are welcome to explore cooperative building with the library’s Imagination Playground blocks. Registration isn’t required.
- Presidents’ Week in Prospect Park – Various Locations – The Prospect Park Alliance will hold a number of free Brooklyn activities for kids and teens during Presidents’ Week from February 18 through February 22 at the Lefferts Historic House (452 Flatbush Ave) and the Prospect Park Audubon Center (101 East Drive). Up first on Monday, February 18, check out “Wild in Winter” from 12 to 4pm at the Audubon Center with programs, including suet making, a bird count and an animal encounter. Or, head to Lefferts Historic House for “Getting in from the Cold “from 1 to 3pm where families can play with traditional toys and games and make their own board game to take home (suggested donation is $3).
- Explore the New York Transit Museum – 99 Schermerhorn Street – The New York Transit Museum is located in a decommissioned subway station and tells the stories of mass transportation. You can sit on vintage subway cars, explore the changing exhibits, take the wheel of a city bus and more. Admission is relatively affordable at $10 per adult and $5 per child ages two through 17. For the cost of admission, the museum has regular activities for kids in Brooklyn, including:
- Train Operators Workshop – On Saturdays and Sundays, from 11:30am to 12:30pm, kids ages ten and up, teens and families can stop in the museum’s computer lab and control a NYC subway car. You’ll be able to operate the train over virtual tracks with the extremely realistic software.
- Transit Tots – Toddlers and preschoolers ages two to five and their guardians are invited to engage in fun, educational hands-on activities, games and stories during Transit Tots on Thursdays from 10:15 to 11:15am.
- Discovery Room – On Saturdays and Sundays from 3:30 to 4:30pm littles aged two to five and their parents and guardians can head to the Education Center for the Discovery Room. The theme in February is “All Over the Map” and will feature transit-themed puzzles, maps, books, toys and building materials.
- Lunar New Year at Prospect Park Zoo – 450 Flatbush Avenue – Every weekend in February, celebrate the festival of the new moon and the Year of the Pig at the zoo. Say hi to the three little pigs, do special activities in Conservation Station in the Hall of Animals, go on a scavenger hunt to find the Lunar New Year’s zodiac animals and score a special fortune cookie as a reward. Admission is $9.95 for adults, $6.95 for kids, $7.95 for seniors and free for little ones two and under.
- Free Winter Weekdays at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden – 990 Washington Ave – Every Tuesday through Friday all the way through February admission to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is free for adults and teens. Children under 12 are always free, making the Botanic Garden one of our favorite things to do with kids in Brooklyn. In the garden, you can see nature in all its glory, year-round both indoors and outdoors. The newly expanded Discovery Garden was designed especially for young visitors. Don’t miss the February Break Discovery Days Monday, February 18 through Thursday, February 21 from 11am to 1pm, which are free for kids of all ages. Attendees can explore habitats from around the globe and engage in hands-on science fun. The event will feature discovery stations inside Steinhardt Conservatory, scavenger hunts, stories and you’ll get to pot a plant to take home.
There you have it, our guide to the best affordable and free activities for kids and teens in Brooklyn. If getting an amazing smile is also on your child’s agenda this winter, schedule a free consultation at Fresh Orthodontics in Park Slope!