Where to grill
There are more than a dozen designated BBQ areas within the park, which you can find on this map. Crowds are pretty much guaranteed on weekends, especially at spots like the upper Long Meadow or the Picnic House, so head out early if you want to fire up a grill during the summer.
Where to play sports
On sunny days, you’ll find clumps of people playing Frisbee or catch in areas like the Long Meadow and the Nethermead, but there are loads of other spots where you can participate in organized sports. The Prospect Park Tennis Center is open daily from 7am to 11pm, and can be reserved ahead of time or for night play (visit the Prospect Park Alliance’s Web page for more information on rates and permits). There are also more than a dozen baseball fields, two basketball courts and even a 3.5-mile path where you can go horseback riding (through nearby Kensington Stables).
How to volunteer
Good Samaritans can donate their time in numerous ways. For an overview of the available volunteer opportunities, sign up for one of the Prospect Park Alliance’s information sessions, which provide a quick intro on duties, time commitments and more; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find out when the next one will be held. There are also a number of projects—such as beautifying the Audubon Center and the Lefferts Historic House Museum, or maintaining the park’s wooded areas—that are staffed weekly by volunteers.
How to learn about the park
As much fun as it is to explore the park on your own, a guided tour is the way to go for a more thorough lesson on Prospect Park’s history and wildlife. Learn about areas such as the Ravine and the Lullwater—as well as the hundreds of birds that call the green space home—on a tour led by guides from the Audubon Center. There are three regularly scheduled jaunts: Introduction to Birdwatching (Sat at noon), Discovery Tours (Sat, Sun at 3pm) and Early Bird Walks (first Sun of the month at 8am). All outings meet at the Boathouse and are free.
Where to ride your bike
The 3.35-mile Park Drive, which loops around the interior of the green space, is open to cyclists during park hours (daily 5am–1am), but you’ll find the biggest crowds on weekends, when the road becomes a car-free space. But it’s not a two-wheeler free-for-all: Pedestrians also use the roadway, so be sure to follow the biking rules outlined on the Prospect Park Alliance’s website. Cyclists can also ride along the Prospect Park West bike lane, which runs parallel to the western edge of the park. (The path isn’t without controversy: Opponents of the project have filed numerous lawsuits and appeals against the lane’s installment since it opened in 2010.)
The Kings Beer Hall
Suds lovers will want to swing by this international beer hall in Park Slope. Whether you live in the neighborhood or stop by after a Brooklyn Nets game at the nearby Barclay Center, you’ll surely find something you like on the menu of nearly 30 different beers. Old standbys like Krombacher Pilsner are listed alongside more unusual, seasonal finds like Harpoon Camp Wannamango. You can order several small beers to create your own tasting, or go all in with a larger size ($5 for 0.2 liter, $8 for a 0.5 liter, $15 for one liter, $20 for a boot and $65 for a five-liter stein). Some snacks might be nice—the jalapeno hush puppies ($7) or a beer-braised bratwurst ($6) ought to do the trick. If you need a full meal, order up some buffalo wings ($8) or a grass-fed burger ($12). Beer, bar snacks, jenga, pool tables—what more do you need?
Venue says: “CINCO DE MAYO AT THE KBH IN BROOKLYN! Tacos, Tequila & Beer Deals. Kick off your Fiesta with our Live Bands & a “Cerveza!"”