After Olmsted and Vaux unveiled Central Park in 1859, they turned their attention south to create this bucolic Brooklyn destination. There’s plenty of room in Long Meadow and the Nethermead to have a family picnic on a patch of grass, while the Ravine, a towering indigenous forest, offers a woodland respite unparalleled in the borough. Wander the woodsy trails and it's easy to imagine you're back in primordial Brooklyn. Nearby Lefferts Historic House, built circa 1783, uses activities like candle making, butter churning and needlework as more peaceful reminders of the past.
In the park’s children’s corner, kids can ride a super-fast (100-year-old!) carousel, visit with animals at the zoo and search behind it for stone memorials marking Battle Pass, the exact location of the Revolutionary War's largest battle in 1776. At the zoo’s Discovery Center, families can read nature books together and explore wildlife using a magnifying glass before saying hello to red pandas, sea lions and monkeys. Now that construction has been completed on Lakeside, kids can frolic in the fountain or take a spin around a roller rink, and in winter, bundle up for outdoor skating on two connected ice rinks. All year round, Prospect Park hosts family-friendly events, many of which are even free, including the summer-long Celebrate Brooklyn, the New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, a Halloween carnival, food truck rallies, nature and birding walks, and much, much more.