Are you thinking about visiting Brooklyn with kids? We think Brooklyn is a great place to base yourself out of for your NYC family itinerary. In this guide we will tell you how to get around Brooklyn with kids, where to stay and the best things to do in Brooklyn with toddlers.
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Why Stay in Brooklyn with Kids
We are fortunate to have visited NYC with toddlers and kids numerous times and we usually either base ourselves out of Midtown for short trips and Brooklyn for longer visits.
So why should you consider staying in Brooklyn with kids?
- It’s Kid Friendly
- It’s Budget Friendly
- It’s Well Connected
Is Brooklyn Kid Friendly?
When we started looking at some of the things that our kids wanted to do we found that a surprising number of attractions where in Brooklyn rather than Manhattan.
Some of the great Brooklyn children’s attractions include the NYC Transit Museum, the Brooklyn Bridge PArk, and Coney Island to name but a few – we will go into the best things to do in Brooklyn with kids in greater detail in a later section.
On our recent visit to New York we saved over $500 by staying in Brooklyn instead of Midtown where most tourists stay.
For instance we were quoted $1250 for a 3* hotel in Midtown but for a 4* hotel in Brooklyn we paid a little over $700. This was a huge saving and one that we thought was worth staying outside of Manhattan for.
We stayed at Sheraton Brooklyn on our most recent visit and had easy access to Subway lines to take us on express trains into Manhattan and further out in Brooklyn to Coney Island.
Although you can’t walk to central Manhattan attractions when you are based in Brooklyn, it is only a short subway ride away.
Where to stay in Brooklyn?
How to get around Brooklyn with kids
When you are first looking at visiting Brooklyn with kids, you need to think about the how to get around the area and into Manhattan.
Here are our favorite ways to travel around Brooklyn
Brooklyn is a very walkable neighborhood and while we were in Central Brooklyn we tended to walk everywhere.
Attractions such as the Brooklyn bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park and NYC Transit Museum are easy to get to on foot.
We were traveling to NYC with a toddler and so had a stroller with us. We found Brooklyn to actually be a really stroller friendly place however it is worth noting that even stations on the Subway that are marked as accessible may not be fully. Also if you want to walk Brooklyn Bridge, then you need to go to a stroller accessible entrance.
The entrance at Tillary Street and Adams Street in Brooklyn is the one we used.
However if you want to get into central Manhattan from Brooklyn then we recommend:
NYC Subway with Kids
The New York Subway has a bad reputation however it is a cheap and convenient way to get around the city especially for those traveling in and out from Brooklyn.
We used the subway a lot on our recent visit however there were some challenges. Not all New York Subway stops are stroller accessible so if you are traveling to New York with a baby or toddler it is worth taking a carrier and planning for this.
Before we went to NYC we had heard a lot of bad press about the subway. Now there are some colorful characters on the NYC Subway but I didn’t feel unsafe on the Subway.
However I would say I wouldn’t use the Subway late in the evening with or without kids.
A top tip if you do plan on using the subway from Brooklyn with kids is to try and stick to Express Trains as this will speed up your journey considerably.
Ubers are readily available in NYC and Brooklyn. However they are more expense than the Subway and can take longer due to time of day and traffic.
However what I do like about Ubers is that you can book cars with car seats which is safer than regular taxis.
I tended to take Ubers with my kids in the evenings and used the subway only in the day.
New York Taxis
Many people want to take a yellow cab when in New York however I prefer Ubers as you can hail on your phone and request a car seats.
Where to Stay in Brooklyn with kids
Now you know why you should consider staying in Brooklyn – where in Brooklyn should you stay with kids?
Last time we were in Brooklyn we stayed at the Sheraton. We loved our time at this hotel and it has great amentities such as which a pool.
It was also close to several subway entrances and was conveniently located close to a number of large stores. You can check out prices for your dates of travel here.
Best Things to do in Brooklyn with kids
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
No visit to Brooklyn is complete without walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
It is not only the best way to walk across to Manhattan from Brooklyn but it is also one of the best places in Brooklyn for a family photoshoot.
The Suspension Bridge is one of the oldest and longest in the US and you can expect it to take around 30 minutes to walk across.
However if you are letting your toddler walk across the bridge with and plan to take some photos then you can expect this to take around 45 minutes to an hour. without photography stops.
Note: if you plan on using a stroller to get across the bridge you need to find a stroller friendly entrance. The entrance at Tillary Street and Adams Street in Brooklyn is the one we used.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of my favorite New York parks to visit with or without kids.
Brooklyn Bridge Park actually consists of 6 piers all of which that have been converted into a different park amenity. For instance at Pier 1 there is a playground, while others have wild flowers and basketball courts etc.
Brooklyn Bridge Park also offers some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline and can be combined in your itinerary with walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Ride Jane’s Carousel
Jane’s Carousel is located in the Dumbo area of NYC . DUMBO Stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
This Carousel dates from 1922 but has been completed restored and is simply breathtaking.
The carousel is indoors with breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge. It is an absolute must for any stay in Brooklyn.
And if you are traveling with children under 3 years pf age or 42 inches the good news is that they can ride for free.
After Brooklyn Bridge Park my favorite park in Brooklyn with kids is Prospect Park. It is a great place to let children have a run around and blow off steam but there are also other attractions such as:
- ice rinks
- Prospect Park Zoo
- Harmony Playground and
- Vanderbilt Playground
to name some of the most kid friendly attractiosn in the park.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
If you are visiting with children 10 or under and especially if you are visiting Brooklyn with toddlers then you should definitely head to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
It is filled with interactive and hands on exhibits that kids will simply adore as well as a large imagination play area.
The Brooklyn Museum is an art museum that has art from across the world and some expressive touring and temporary exhibition programs.
While I recommend the above for under 10s, if you are traveling with teenagers and others over 10 years of age we instead recommend visiting the Brooklyn Museum.
However if you want to visit with younger children we recommend looking for days with special events and tours aimed at younger audiences.
New York Transit Museum
The New York Transit Museum is a must visit for train obsessed kids and is actually located in Brooklyn rather than Manhattan.
The museum is actually located in a disused subway station off Boerum Place.
The museum contains trains, buses and model trains.
New York Transit Museum is open between 10 AM to 4 PM, Thursday through Sunday and it is always best to buy your tickets in advance.
Note: if you want to visit the museum with a stroller you need to contact the museum 24 hours in advance. However we would recommend taking a carrier instead of a stroller for this attraction if you are visiting with a baby or toddler.
Coney Island is an absolute must do for any NYC family itinerary. If you are visiting in peak season i.e. April to October, then kids will love a trip to the amusement parks – Luna Park and Deno’s – home of the famed Wonder Wheel.
But if you are visiting off-peak or in the Winter then you can still visit Coney Island and hit the beach and boardwalk, or take a trip to the aquarium on a rainy day.
And no trip to Coney Island is complete without eating at the original Famous Nathan’s Hot Dog restaurant.
For a complete guide to visiting Coney Island with kids check out this post.
Brooklyn Academy of Arts
Brooklyn Academy of Arts or BAM as it is known locally is a performing arts venue. While they do lots of shows that will appeal to adult audiences they also offer a variety of shows at younger audiences. Be sure to check the schedule before you travel to see if there is anything appeals.
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is near to one of teh best parks in Brooklyn – Prospect Park and it is a great place to go no matter the season. However for me the best time to visit is spring and summer when most of the flowers are out in bloom.
Puppetworks is a classic marionette theatre that will really appeal to children under 10 years of age. It is actually a relatively budget friendly thing to do in Brooklyn but performances are commonly at the weekend. We recommend checking shows titles and timings before travel so you can decide how best to fit this into your itinerary.
Have you visited Brooklyn with kids? What was your favorite thing to do? We’d love to hear in the comments below!