Prospect Park Audubon Center and the Children’s Corner
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:Lincoln Road and Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Hours:Prospect Park: 6 A.M. to 1 A.M. daily; boathouse hours vary throughout the year
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: Lincoln Road Playground; Audubon Center at Boathouse; Prospect Park Zoo
Water/Snacks: Concessions at Boathouse and at Prospect Park Zoo

The Children’s Corner in Prospect Park is a destination unto itself. On weekends, the Audubon Center at the Boathouse runs free drop-in educational programs geared toward nature.

Several easy hikes offer stunning views of the nation's first urban-area Audubon Center.
Photo by: iStock

A good swath of eastern Prospect Park is devoted to children. From the Willink Entrance on Flatbush Avenue, follow the pedestrian path east, over East Drive, to the Audubon Center at the Boathouse—the National Audubon Society’s first urban location. It is a great first stop to learn about nature, ecology, and preservation before heading off on the nearby trails to see nature in situ. The Boathouse also has trail maps, and all trails are well marked throughout the area.

Waterfall and Midwood trails both begin and end at the Audubon Center, taking day-hikers on an easy excursion along paved paths. Waterfall Trail is a 45-minute walk that showcases streams and, as the name suggests, waterfalls within the park’s network of artificially designed waterways. Midwood Trail, which takes about a half hour, circles and winds through the oldest indigenous forest in Brooklyn.

Half-hour boat tours of Lullwater Lake (which fronts the Boathouse) are available for a fee. An easy path around the lake’s perimeter features viewing platforms and bridges that enable walkers to adjust the length of their trip.

Heading back over East Drive is the Children’s Corner, home to the Lefferts Historic House, which dates to the eighteenth century, when the area was farmland. The grounds have replica gardening tools and sturdy wooden stilts that children and adults can use to experience how people more than 200 years ago worked the land when it was particularly waterlogged. On the right side of the house is an American Indian wigwam that children can enter to get an idea of how the area’s original residents lived.

The Prospect Park Zoo, which has an entrance fee, is also located in the Children’s Corner, as is a stunning antique carousel that was relocated from Coney Island in 1952. Remember: If you are interested in guided tours and nature programs, contact the Audubon Center at the Boathouse in advance to hear about the options.

Plan B:

Prospect Park at large (Trip 32) and Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Trip 34), both located on the same great tract of land, are within walking distance of the Children’s Corner.


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