Every year, people from around the world flock to New York to experience the sights and sounds of the big city. In fact, New York City welcomed over 66 million tourists in 2019 alone.
New York City is made up of five boroughs, each of them more exciting and interesting than the last, but at the top of many visitors’ lists is Brooklyn. It’s the most populated of the five and overflowing with fun and interesting things to do and see.
Because of this, it’s important to have a list of things to do in Brooklyn if you’re planning a trip to The Big Apple. There are so many options that it’s easy to become overwhelmed and miss out on some must-see attractions if you don’t have a plan.
If you’re interested in learning about a few can’t miss activities in Brooklyn to add to your list, just keep reading!
1. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
New York City boasts a long list of iconic landmarks, but the Brooklyn Bridge is one that should be on everyone’s vacation itinerary. If you’re staying in one of Manhattan’s gorgeous hotels for your trip, such as the Westgate NYC – Midtown East, you’ll have to cross anyway. But trust us, it’s worth it to make an experience of it.
You can drive, walk, or bike across this historic bridge while you take in the breathtaking view of the world-famous NYC skyline. If you take the pedestrian walkway rather than drive, be sure to stop at the various vantage points for photos.
It’s worth noting that, because this is such a popular attraction, it’s a good idea to time your visit right if your trip to Brooklyn falls within the peak season. Taking a stroll across the bridge in the early morning or late evening is best if you want to avoid traffic jams on the walkway.
2. Visit Brooklyn Bridge Park
After you cross the bridge, stop by Brooklyn Bridge Park before leaving the area. One of many parks in Brooklyn, this 85-acre green space allows you to lay out a blanket for a relaxing picnic and enjoy the views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and the New York harbor.
When you’re finished with your picnic, stroll over to the restored 1920s carousel for a ride or take a ferry to Governers Island. There are also a variety of outdoor events to take advantage of in the park, such as movies, concerts, kayak tours, and fitness classes.
3. Wander the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Is there anything more relaxing than wandering through a botanic garden? The sprawling 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden is split into sections, each well worth a visit.
There’s a fragrance garden and an herb garden, as well as rose and woodland gardens, and that’s just to name a few. You could spend a full day walking among the flowers!
If you visit Brooklyn in the winter months, there might not be quite as much to see outdoors, but there are still many greenhouses full of tropical and desert flora to enjoy.
4. Have Fun at Coney Island
Located at the southernmost tip of Brooklyn, Coney Island is synonymous with summer fun in New York City. With carnival rides, fair foods, and, of course, the beach, Coney Island is one of the best summer activities in Brooklyn.
If Coney Island makes it to your itinerary, it’s best to block out an entire day for the excursion. You’ll need a full day’s worth of time to see and do it all. After all, on top of the carnival rides and roller coasters, there’s also an aquarium, an amphitheater, and a minor league baseball park!
5. Catch a Show at the BAM Harvey Theater
Speaking of theaters, if you’re interested in plays, operas, or classic films, put the BAM Harvey Theater on your list. This stunning theater was built in 1904 and has hosted musicals, plays, and movies within its walls ever since. There are multiple shows per day, so you’ll be able to choose one that best suits your interests.
After the show, pay a visit to the BAMCafe, a restaurant where you can take in live music or poetry readings while you eat. Those looking for things to do in Brooklyn indoors shouldn’t pass this up.
6. Shop the Brooklyn Flea
Whether your favorite pastime is shopping or you have an interest in antiques and vintage items, you can’t miss the Brooklyn Flea. It’s one of the greatest flea markets in the world and houses hundreds of vendors selling everything from vintage clothing to jewelry to furniture.
There are a few different locations for the Flea, depending on the day. Keep in mind that each of these locations is outdoor only, so you’ll need to protect your skin if you plan to take your time browsing – which we highly recommend!
7. Explore the Brooklyn Museum
Last but not least is the Brooklyn Museum, which can easily be fit into the day after a visit to the Botanic Garden, as it’s nearby. History buffs and art aficionados alike will love this museum, which is home to both Egyptian antiquities and art from all over the world.
Despite only being the third largest museum in the city, there are over 1 million pieces of art and other works inside the building. You can even spend a Saturday afternoon taking an art, music, or dance class if you feel so inclined.
Add These Things to Do in Brooklyn to Your Vacation Plans
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to do in Brooklyn. And this list doesn’t even scratch the surface of everything there is to do in The Big Apple.
There’s something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to art lovers to shopaholics. As long as you plan your trip with your personal interests in mind, you can’t go wrong.
Looking for more tips and ideas for planning your dream vacation? Be sure to check out our blog!