Prospect Park

Address: 1 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, New York

Latitude: 40.6616140

Longitude: -73.9622460

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

Categories: Attraction

Tags: Outdoors, Family


A masterpiece by the Father of Landscape Architecture, Frederick Law Olmstead. Though smaller than Olmstead's Central Park in Manhattan, it has a more compact shape and no reservoirs or transverse roads to interrupt its design. As a result, the individual elements are larger than comparable parts of Central Park. The Long Meadow is almost as large as the Sheep Meadow and Great Lawn combined; Prospect Lake and its watercourse are larger than any comparable feature in Central Park.

And unlike Central Park, Prospect Park includes preserved wild lands, forests undisturbed by human development, at least since the arrival of European settlers. There are hiking paths that make you feel like you're lost in the wilderness. Special features include the Vale of Kashmir, with its romantic waterfall; Battle Pass, where a crucial Revolutionary War encounter occurred; Grand Army Plaza, with its engaging ceremonial approach to the park; the Bandshell, home to a wildly eclectic summer music festival; the Parade Grounds, across Parkside Avenue, whose baseball diamonds have seen many future major leaguers -- Sandy Koufax, Joe Torre, and WIllie Randolph among them -- honing their skills.

You're also likely to run into ad hoc soccer or cricket matches (Yes, cricket: Brooklyn's West Indian and South Asian immigrants love the game.), imaginative play groups from Park Slope's creative schools, Afro-Caribbean grillmasters (near Park Circle), pedal-boats on the lake, ice skating in winter, and a nature center run by the Audubon Society at the Boat House. Check out the schedule of bord walks this week!

A major park with something for everyone.

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