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June 2010 / Brooklyn Family

Brooklyn’s ‘front yard’ open for fun

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A fun new place to take the family this summer is Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, which opened its walkways, playground and greenspace on March 22.

Pier 1 has plenty to offer to families with kids of all ages, all for free.

Take a stroll along the promenade. The 30-foot stretch has ample room for pushing a stroller without slowing down joggers or running into dog walkers.

Kids will enjoy walking along the water, not to mention the views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

Take advantage of the long rows of benches lining the promenade and facing the water. Rest your feet and let the kids sit and watch the boats zipping by in the harbor and the assortment of dogs of all sizes padding by.

Looking for an activity to do with the whole family? Pack sandwiches, snacks, drinks and a blanket and have a picnic on the lush grassy knoll.

Three acres of grass provide plenty of space to set up your feast. Or, let your kids kick around a ball while you sit and enjoy some summer reading. Unfortunately, the family pooch isn’t welcome on the lawn.

Kids will want to head straight to the pier’s playground.

The playground is best suited for young tikes, older kids won’t be very impressed with a few small swings, a couple of climbing structures and some spinning apparatuses.

The play area’s rubbery platform and fencing makes this enclosed area a safe place to rest and let the kids burn off some energy, get exercise and enjoy playing with other little ones.

Cloth canopies cover the climbing structures, but be warned, in the hot sun the metal disks do heat up. Before your tot crawls all over the disks, take a minute to test if it’s too hot for their bare knees and elbows.

The children might also enjoy sitting by the small pond that is the beginning of a series of water gardens that will run along the entirety of Pier 1’s edge. But sorry, no swimming!

After a day at the park treat the family to a tasty ice cream cone to cool down.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory stands just adjacent to the pier and has a wide array of flavors for an after-park dessert.

Boerum Hill resident Anders Thompsen brought his smiling son into the ice cream shop for an after-stroll cone.

“It’s a great place to have a walk and a snack in the same outing,” he said, his son Sebastian gobbling a scoop of strawberry ice cream. “I can’t wait until more recreations open up.”

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 [Old Fulton Street at Furman Street in DUMBO, (718) 802-0603 or (212) 803-3822]. To get there, take the A/C train to High Street or the B25 bus to the end. Less-convenient options include the F train to York Street, the M/R to Court Street or the 2/3 train to Clark Street. New York Water Taxi service will resume on June 30.

Updated 4:12 pm, July 13, 2010
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