Dr. Raf and Dr. Rupin aren’t just Williamsburg pediatric dentists, they live in the area too. Dr. Raf calls Williamsburg home while Dr. Rupin resides in Greenpoint. As residents who spend their days chatting with their young Brooklyn dental patients, they have a line on all of the cool summer activities for kids in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. At Bitesize Pediatric Dentistry, we believe in sharing, so we’ll let you in on the fun with our guide to Brooklyn kids’ activities in our two favorite neighborhoods.
1. Eagle Street Rooftop Farm – On the Roof of 44 Eagle Street, Greenpoint – Perched on top of a three-story warehouse owned by Broadway Stages, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is an internationally-acclaimed, 6,000 square-foot green roof, organic vegetable farm set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. It’s one the most unique activities for kids in Greenpoint and your offspring will absolutely love to see the rows of colorful veggies while experiencing a working farm. Sundays are volunteer days and the farm is open to the public. Visit between 1 and 4 p.m. to buy produce at the on-site farm market or to roll up your sleeves and help out. You can even learn a thing or two at the free public workshops at 2 p.m. Eagle Street also offers farm-based education workshops for children (second grade and up) where students learn about urban farming and green roofs, composting, seasonal planting and harvesting. They’ll get to see the chickens, rabbits and bees too. Schedule your visit by emailing [email protected].
2. Take a Dip at the McCarren Park Pool – 776 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg/Greenpoint – Renovated and reopened in 2012, the McCarren Park Pool offers year-round fun for residents. It’s enormous, clean and caters to all ages. The outdoor pool is completely free and opens June 29th. You’ll need to be a Recreation Center member to take advantage of the indoor pools ($150 per year for adults, $25 for seniors and free for kids and teens under 18-years-old). For younger kids, a major bonus of McCarren Park Pool is that it boasts a shallow wading pool. Pro tip: Bring a combination lock since you’ll need to store your stuff and be aware that you can’t enter the pool area unless you’re wearing a swimsuit.
To get your little ones ready to take on the big pool next summer, enter the lottery for free swimming lessons in Brooklyn in winter and spring. The lottery is open to Recreation Center members in New York City. Check out the details here.
3. After School Stories – Greenpoint Library, 107 Norman Avenue at Leonard Street, Greenpoint – This is one the best free activities for kids in Greenpoint, Brooklyn when you want to beat the heat. Held on select Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., the inclusive program is open to children ages five through 12 with and without disabilities as well as their family and friends. Kids will listen to stories, do crafts and socialize. Don’t miss the next session on June 7.
4. SummerScreen – McCarren Park, North 12th Street (Between Bedford and Berry Avenues), Williamsburg – Okay, so this free Brooklyn movie and concert series isn’t necessarily considered one of the best Williamsburg activities for kids, or at least young kids, since the movies are rated PG-13 and R with the exception of Selena (July 26), which gets the good old G rating. However, families will want to take advantage of the pre-movie festivities. On Wednesdays in July and August, the doors open at 6 p.m. and the free concerts kick off at 7 p.m. Dance under the stars in McCarren Park while chowing down on food from local vendors. The movies don’t begin until dusk giving you plenty of time to enjoy a summer evening before heading home or if you have older teens, bring a blanket and stay for the film. The line-up includes: Mean Girls (July 5), Office Space (July 12), Donnie Darko (July 19), Selena (July 26), I Know What You Did Last Summer (August 2) and audience choice (August 9).
5. Go Fishing at Transmitter Park – West Street (Between Kent Street and Greenpoint Avenue), Greenpoint – WNYC Transmitter Park is a favorite waterfront spot for both Williamsburg and Greenpoint families. It features a large lawn to enjoy a picnic or play sports, a children’s play area complete with a nautical theme, nature gardens and a spray shower to cool off in. Grab your tackle box and poles and head to the end of Kent Street to the recreational pier for some family fishing with a view of the East River and the Manhattan skyline. Previously the site of the WNYC radio transmission towers, this Greenpoint park is now a great place to spend a summer day.
6. Spray Showers at the Jaime Campiz Playground – Marcy Avenue (Between Hope Street and Metropolitan Avenue), Williamsburg – As you can see, there are so many free activities for kids in Brooklyn and it’s always nice to let the kiddos expend some energy and engage in a little summer fun without opening your wallet. They’ll have a blast getting soaked in the spray showers at the Jaime Campiz Playground. Once they’re done with the water, they can dry off in the sunshine while taking on the mini rock climbing wall or playing on the swings. Bonus: This playground has bathrooms.
7. Expand Their Palates at Smorgasburg – East River State Park, 90 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg – Oh, Smorgasburg, how we love you. Every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the open-air food market takes up residence on the waterfront in Williamsburg in East River State Park. Children will be amazed by the sights, sounds and smells and you can take the evening off from cooking. With over 100 vendors from New York City and across the region offering prepared and packaged foods, the family can enjoy pretty much any type of cuisine. Bring a blanket and have a picnic while sampling all of the delights.
8. Newtown Creek Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt – Paidge Avenue and Provost Street, Greenpoint – The idea of a quarter-mile stretch of walkway along a polluted creek with views of the sewage treatment plant and sanitation building might not sound like it should make a list of Greenpoint activities for kids but it’s surprisingly cool and endearing. The creative waterfront park was designed by environmental artist George Trakas and gives visitors a glimpse into New York City history and is really a study on how humans interact with the environment. To make the most out of the experience, download the free scavenger hunt from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The scavenger hunt was designed with kids in grades second through sixth in mind but even teens will enjoy it. The two-hour activity will let children uncover the hidden gems of the park while learning about where Native Americans hunted and fished, the processes of the wastewater treatment plant, how the tides affect the Creek’s flow and more.
9. Family Movie – Leonard Library – 81 Devoe Street at Leonard Street, Williamsburg – If you’re in the market for free activities for kids in Williamsburg to pass rainy or sweltering afternoons, check out the recurring family movie series on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The Leonard Library screens family-friendly flicks each week for kids of all ages.
10. Arts, Culture & Fun Series – McCarren Park Pool Deck, 776 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg/Greenpoint – The Arts, Culture & Fun Series is all about making the arts accessible and capturing the diversity of the city. The series features a variety of events in New York City parks across all five boroughs that are free and open to the public. Two fun shindigs will be held at the McCarren Park Pool Deck. On Friday, June 2, break out your dancing shoes and enjoy live swing music by the Stephanie Jeannot Band at Dance Away the Night with a Spring Swing. Make Music New York will be up next on Wednesday, June 21 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The rock concert hosted by Odd Gift Records, a Brooklyn- and Boston-based music collective, will include an exciting line-up and appeal to kids, teens and adults alike.