Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Brooklyn, New York

Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Brooklyn, New York

A Perfect Family Day in DUMBO

We have been trying to stay indoors as much as possible during the heat waves of summer. But being parents to a toddler means that at some point, we will be dragged outside lest we want our apartment to resemble the inside of a frat house. Here are some of our favorite outside activities to do in nearby DUMBO to help beat the heat. (You can get to DUMBO from the city by simply taking the East River Ferry from either Wall Street or East 34th Street.)

Gran Electrica

Nothing starts my weekend afternoon off right quite like a margarita. We went last weekend and sat in the very shady back garden. On the menu for that day: Tostada Jaiba (peekytoe crab tostada. Spicy!, $13), an order of chips and Guacamole ($8), Carnitas Tacos ($8), Rajas Tacos (potatoes, onion, crema, $8), and a side of Refried Beans for Little J. The restaurant has high chairs, and they’ll make special requests for kids, like a plain cheese quesadilla.

Gran Electrica in DUMBO
5 Front Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-852-2700
Look online for hours as they vary.

Jane’s Carousel

My son is obsessed with this carousel, which he calls the “neigh”. Jane’s Carousel is a fully-restored carousel from the 1920s, housed in a glass enclosure that, when witnessed from afar, appears to be floating on the water.

Last weekend my husband came up with the genius idea to make a video of the horses going ’round and ’round so that during moments when our son asks us to go to the “neigh” and we are nowhere near it (say, on the beach in Rockaway, or at Fairway in Red Hook), we can show him this video and he can be quiet.

This is as close as he actually gets to the carousel these days:

Here is what I love most about Jane’s Carousel: The cross-breeze from the fans and the water when you sit inside. On the hottest days, I can come in here and feel a small amount of the sweat from my brow disappear. What I love second best? I can get about twenty minutes of email done as Little J happily sits and observes all the other “babies” (as he calls any child his age or older) riding the carousel.

You can read all about the history and making of the carousel here. Really cool stuff.

Jane’s Carousel
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Dock St, New York, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 222-2502
Hours: 11am-7pm, CLOSED TUESDAYS

Iced Tea and a Treat at One Girl Cookies

The walk from the carousel to Front Street is enough to make me feel like a wandering Jew in the desert. So I like to head on over to One Girl Cookies for a very refreshing Lemongrass Iced Tea.

One Girl Cookie - kid-friendly cafes, Brooklyn, New York

One Girl Cookies
33 Main St (corner of Water)
Brooklyn NY 11201
Phone: (347) 338-1268
Hours: Mon-Thurs 8am-7pm; Fri 8am-9pm; Sat: 9am-9pm; Sun 9am-8pm.

Jacques Torres Ice Cream Shop

When a cold beverage alone doesn’t cut it (um, which for me is often), I just have to have some ice cream. And if I am craving something chocolate, Jacques Torres is the place I go. The salty caramel flavor ice cream is so good, and pretty darn salty (in a good way). And the mint chip is made with spearmint. Interesting, refreshing, and also delicious.

Jacques Torres Ice Cream Shop
62 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 875-1269
Hours: Mon-Sun 12:30pm-8pm

Powerhouse Bookstore

The children’s book selection here is amazing. They have a wonderfully curated array of books of all formats and age groups, but are especially strong in the picture book department. Stop in for some air-con, and to thumb through their wares. Also, look for my book, Who Are We? An Animal Guessing Game, in the board book section!

Powerhouse Books
37 Main St. (near Water St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (212) 604-9074

The Pirate Ship Park

This park (located at Pier 1) is perfect for older toddlers and kids who love to climb and slide and run up and down ramps. There is a huge pirate ship structure to explore, a little sunken ship sand box, sprinklers, and a tire swing. It is located right behind where Bubby’s Restaurant used to be (R.I.P.), just down the street from One Girl Cookies.

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