A guide to cultural must-sees for families, art-lovers, and more in one of Manhattan’s trendiest boroughs
New York City is one of the cultural capitals of the world, filled with unbeatable dining, entertainment, shopping, and museums. One of the city’s five boroughs, Brooklyn is quickly becoming one of New York’s most popular areas, offering an eclectic mix of housing and amenities--including a number of the city’s best museums. Dedicated from everything from art and science to nature to children, Brooklyn museums have something for everyone. Here are four you don’t want to miss.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Located adjacent to Brooklyn’s Central Park in Park Slope, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
is a must-visit for locals and visitors alike. Founded over 100 years ago, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden contains over 14,000 plants, including a number of stunning specialty gardens and collections. In the spring, visitors come from all over to see the garden’s cherry blossoms--one of the largest sites to see the iconic pink blooms outside of Japan. Nearby, you’ll find the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the first of its kind created in an American public garden, where you can enjoy hills, a koi pond, a waterfall, an island, and a temple, all surrounded by lush landscaping.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden also has a children’s garden and programming dedicated to educating visitors on conservation, horticulture and plant science. With breathtaking plants and flowers throughout, the garden is one of Brooklyn’s marvels and a must-see for all.
New York Transit Museum
Of the many things New York City is known for, its mass transit system has inspired and served as an example for a number of other bustling cities since its establishment in 1870. Dedicated to celebrating and preserving the history of the extraordinary engineering feats and stories that followed, the New York Transit Museum
is an interactive space where visitors can board vintage cars and experience the city’s past firsthand. The Transit Museum is housed underground in downtown Brooklyn in an authentic 1936 subway station. A set of 20 vintage subway and elevated cars are on rotation, and a number of short- and long-term exhibits are available for visitors to enjoy as well.
The city’s third-largest museum, the Brooklyn Museum
is a majestic Beaux-Arts building. Built in 1895, it was originally designed to be the largest art museum in the world. While the museum is filled with art from cultures around the world, it is known for its rich collection of antiquities from Egypt, Japan, Africa, and Oceania, as well as a range of American art dating from the colonial period to contemporary art. A number of renowned artists are represented on the Brooklyn Museum’s walls, including Georgia O’Keefe, Edgar Degas, and Norman Rockwell. These works draw in art lovers and those looking to soak in a little culture to this stately building year-round.
The Brooklyn Museum also has a great sculpture garden filled with a collection of architectural elements--scrolls and garlands, geometric and foliate patterns, statues--salvaged from city demolition sites. Make a day of it and visit on the first Saturday of every month, when admission is free and street food vendors and cash bars are open late.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
The first children’s museum in the country, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum was built in 1899 in the borough’s charming Crown Heights neighborhood. Designed to engage minds from a young age, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum features a number of exhibits to encourage social, emotional, and physical development, including a color lab, a sensory room, and a cultural artifacts room. The museum also offers ongoing educational programming ranging from after-school programs and summer camps to specialty weekend events.
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