These runs and dog parks in Brooklyn offer pups a place to socialize with other pups and feel something non-concrete beneath their paws. This is a city with dog-friendly restaurants, pet-friendly hotels, and every adorable pet store you can imagine. But New Yorkers also give their dogs what they really need, which is to be outdoors getting some exercise. If you don’t have a dog yet, visit the pet adoption and foster centers in NYC now, then get them outside living their best doggy life at one of Brooklyn’s top dog parks.
Best dog parks in Brooklyn
The Dumbo doggie area at this expansive fenced-in green space boasts small hills covered in wood chips and grass that pup pals can roll, jump and play fetch on all day. Rover can splash around in the baby pool, too, before hanging out with his owner under the ample shade at a nearby picnic table.
This is the ultimate option for a dog with lots of energy who really needs to run. It’s one of the biggest NYC parks, with off-leash hours from opening until 9am and from 9pm until closing, so your dog can feel the wind in his fur as he races around the grassy hills with all his dog friends. There’s also a water fountain so you don’t need to carry a bottle with you. Puppies and puppy parents are known here to be friendly, and it attracts a large crowd without ever getting crowded. Humans can enjoy roaming the park or a nearby farmers’ market on weekends.
If you live in the DUMBO area and you want a quick and easy (read: clean) little dog park for your pup to let out some pent-up energy, this is the perfect spot. The ground is rubber, so there’s no mulch or dirt to muck up your puppy’s paws. As far as dog park culture, the regulars here tend to be very responsible and friendly. The run is down under the Brooklyn Bridge, so if your dog is very sensitive to loud train noises, it’s best to steer clear of this one.
The Prospect Park Dog Run is the stuff of doggy dreams. It’s a beautiful, wide-open space with off-leash hours from 5am to 9am and from 9pm to 1pm. Oh, and there’s also a dog beach! A segment of sand is roped off just for dogs to run into the lake water and swim around on hot days. It also has bathrooms and water fountains, plus the grass keeps paws cleaner than dirt or wood chips would.
Greenpoint is home to this lovely midsize dog park where owners are really vigilant about looking after their pups. Perhaps this is due to the numerous signs guiding owner behavior with directions such as “If your dog digs a hole, fill it before you leave” and “If your dog has a party, they must invite all other dogs at the park.” There are separate runs for small and large dogs, and a conveniently located pet supply shop called District Dog just outside the park. McGolrick also offers plentiful seating for owners and shade from the sun.
This Bed-Stuy park is divided into two areas, but they’re not segregated by dog size. The main area is larger and a bit dustier from the wear and tear of puppy paws. The smaller area is great if your dog has social anxiety or if you just want to play a bit of one-on-one catch. Lots of shade keeps this park cool in the summer heat, and it recently received a brand-new entrance fence. There are bowls for pups to have a drink but no water source, so be sure to bring along a bottle!
This Dyker Heights park attracts a substantive crowd because, well, the park itself is huge. It’s split into two sections, one for big dogs and one for little dogs, so pup-squeaks don’t have to worry about getting tackled. There are also water fountains for doggos to stay hydrated, a grassy portion for a little terrain diversity and even a super convenient doggy-bag dispenser. Ever since the park’s recent renovation, it’s become a clean, enjoyable space for your dog to get together with her squad.
This little annex to McCarren Park is almost entirely shaded and offers park benches for humans to sit and watch the puppies at play. It offers separate runs for big and little dogs, and the ground is soft dirt with wood chips. Large jugs and bottles of water are on offer, as are tennis balls. The dogs here come from a range of training backgrounds, which can stir up a bit of drama, but the run is small enough that your pooch will always be in sight.
Looking for more parks?
La Fonda del Sol
In food, there’s something to be said for specialization. Josh DeChellis, the ultimate culinary generalist, has made a career out of hopping from one cuisine to the next—veering from Japan (Sumile, BarFry) to Italy (Jovia) and now over to Spain, as top man at La Fonda del Sol. The chef, who has had a rough time of it lately—his last two restaurants barely survived the first round of reviews—is like an unfocused undergrad, dabbling in a dozen majors but settling on none. Which makes the choice by the Patina Restaurant Group (Brasserie 8) to have him helm the redux of this once fabled institution—the original La Fonda del Sol, serving Latin American food, was a stylish icon in the age of Mad Men—a significant gamble. Though it pains me to say it, it’s one that mostly doesn’t pay off. Version 2.0, which occupies two sprawling rooms of the MetLife Building, takes a solid stab at recapturing the glitter of its forebear. The retro front lounge—with its portraits of matadors, bright orange chairs, and black-and-white tiled floors—could’ve been a set piece in Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can (only the stewardesses are missing). The restaurant’s prime locale next to Grand Central Terminal ensures there’s a solid stream of commuter suits funneling toward the bar after work (“What time is your train?” is a frequently overheard snippet). Though there’s a full tapas menu, cocktails, not food, appear to be the draw in the front lounge. Probably a good thing, given how unsatisfying I foun
Venue says: “Stop by for Happy Hour, M-F from 4-6pm for $5 Drafts, $6 Sangrias, and $7 Margaritas!”
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