7 Affordable & Free Kids Activities in Brooklyn for Summer 2021: Our 6th Annual Guide
The Fresh Orthodontics team is back with our 6th annual guide to fun, affordable and/or free kids’ activities. When we’re not perfecting smiles with Brooklyn Invisalign® and braces treatment, you’ll find many of us spending time with our own children, including Dr. Ankush Khanna himself.
To help give our fellow parents a leg up on finding kids activities in Brooklyn for summer 2021, we’re sharing a round-up of family-friendly activities, most of which are free! Just be sure to check the event websites ahead of time to ensure activities are still going on, and to find out about mask and social distancing requirements.
Summer Reading Storytime at Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy and Brooklyn Public Library will be hosting free storytimes for kids at Brooklyn Bridge Park every other Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:15am through July 28 . Librarians from the Brooklyn Heights and Annex branches will read stories and lead kids in songs and activities against the backdrop of those Brooklyn Bridge views. The events are recommended for little ones ages 2 to 7 and their caregivers. Advance registration is required and storytime will switch off between the Pier 3 Greenway Terrace and John Street Lawn locations in the park, so check the calendar for the week’s location. Up next: Wednesday, July 14 at Pier 3 Greenway Terrace.
Go Kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Kayaking is another of the awesome free things to do with kids in Brooklyn this summer. That’s right, the Brooklyn Bridge Boathouse offers kayaking at no cost (donations are accepted)! Enjoy general kayaking every Wednesday from 5 to 7pm, Thursday from 5 to 7pm, and Saturday from 10am to 3pm through the end of August. Or, take advantage of the family program specifically for kids and their guardians on Sundays from 12n to 2:30pm. Kids age 7 or older can paddle alone as long as a guardian is present thanks to on-water safety boaters from The Kayak Foundation. These experts are trained to work with children.
Reservations are required. Book a free reservation up to two weeks in advance here. The kayaking program takes place in the protected embayment between Piers 1 & 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Look for the floating dock near the roller-skating rink.
Take a Foraging Tour With “Wildman” Steve Brill in Prospect Park
When it comes to Brooklyn kids’ activities for summer 2021, it doesn’t get much more educational or unique than foraging! ’“Wildman” Steve Brill teaches kids and adults about common, renewable, and, often, overlooked wild, edible, and medicinal plants and mushrooms that are mistakenly destroyed as “weeds.” He leads hands-on tours, many times along with his teenage daughter, who is also a foraging expert, to help families get in touch with nature. Groups meet at 11:45am in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park at the Grand Army Plaza entrance. Up next:
- Saturday, July 10
- Saturday, July 24
- Sunday, August 15
- Saturday, August 28
Reserve your family’s spot at least 24 hours in advance and check out the guidelines here. There is a suggested donation, accepted on a sliding scale, of $10 for children under 12 and $20 for those 12 and up. However, no one is turned away for an inability to pay, so if you’re having financial difficulties, you’re welcome to join a tour free of charge.
Visit the Brooklyn Children’s Museum During “Pay What You Wish” Hours
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is open once again. The museum boasts three floors of hands-on cultural and science programs and interactive exhibits for little ones ages six months to 10 years. On Thursdays from 2 to 5pm, the museum has “Pay What You Wish” hours sponsored by Investors Bank. While you can pay whatever you’d like, reservations are required. Read through the museum’s COVID guidelines before you visit.
Borrow a Pop-Up Audubon or Pop-Up Lefferts Play + Go Kit
Prospect Park Alliance will be at pop-up locations around Prospect Park throughout the summer with easy-to-borrow Play + Go Kits, which are a collection of free activities from the Prospect Park Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House. Pick up to five items, and mix and match nature games and activities, a birdwatching checklist with binoculars, and historic games and toys. Then, enjoy the kits as you frolic around the park. Take a look at the calendar to find out where the pop-up fun will be next.
Participate in Nature’s Helpers and a Family Discovery Walk at Prospect Park
Prospect Park is a destination for things to do with kids in Brooklyn all year round, but during the summer, the options are seemingly endless. On certain weekend dates at 2pm (see the full schedule here), children and caregivers can lend a hand in the new Nature’s Helpers program. The program features stewardship activities, such as litter patrol, mulching, and raking. Nature’s Helpers is followed by a fun Family Discovery Walk at 3pm where you can explore the natural and historic elements of the park. The next event will be held on Saturday, July 10 at the Peninsula.
Rock Out at a Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Family Show
The Bric Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is back for summer 2021, running from Saturday, July 31 through Saturday, September 18. For the past 44 years, the festival has been one of the city’s biggest cultural attractions. This year’s festival will include free, kid-friendly, family shows at the Prospect Park Bandshell. First on the schedule is an afternoon of music from all around the world featuring LADAMA, Tiga Jean-Baptiste, and DJ Ali Coleman on Saturday, August 7. Doors open at 2:30pm and the show starts at 4pm.
BRIC is currently planning for reduced capacity within socially distanced pods. Though the Festival is still free, RSVPs will be required. RSVPs will officially open on July 1 on the BRIC website for opening night and then every two weeks after that for subsequent performances.
Now that you have plenty of affordable and free kids’ activities in Brooklyn to entertain your family for the rest of the summer, do you want to add getting a healthy, beautiful smile to your to-do list? Schedule a complimentary consultation for yourself or your child with our Brooklyn orthodontist today!