Neighborhood Watch

Columbia Daily Spectator

Spring has got me sprung. There must something in the pollinated air that makes it so easy to drop all responsibility and savor the moment. Napping on the lawn or hanging with friends on Low Steps, you’re not in Butler, and that’s what counts. This Saturday is opening day at Prospect Park. So go see what the area has to offer. Take Mom’s advice (or passive aggression) and go play outside.

Prospect Park


Prospect Park Zoo

Normally, if you want to look at a bunch of animals, you don’t need to go much further than the 1020 line on a Thursday night. But for creatures of a different species, the Prospect Park Zoo has a great set of outdoor and indoor exhibits seamlessly integrated into the park, with lush greenery and walking paths. There’s even an interactive playground where children and the younger at heart can navigate large-scale burrows like prairie dogs and poke their heads up to view some real ones.

450 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

The Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum doesn’t really fit into any traditional art-museum category. Yeah, there’s great modern art, but there’s also ancient Egyptian sarcophagi, the occasional interactive music exhibit, post-modern works of sculpture, and colonial American portraits. At any given time, the mix of current exhibitions and permanent collections provides a dynamic art experience. This weekend, the work of feminist artist Judy Chicago comes to the Brooklyn Museum. 

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Fifty-two acres of green and idyllic space may be the perfect remedy for the zombie-like state you’ve been in since that all-nighter. Within the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there are a plethora of smaller gardens, each with its own spirit, from herb gardens to steamy greenhouses to the formal Osborne Garden. The garden’s most notable attractions are the cherry blossoms, which are predicted to bloom some time this week. 

1000 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

LeFrak Center at Lakeside

This past December, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside opened to replace Prospect Park’s Wollman Rink, which shut down in 2010. The space was only reserved for seasonal ice-skating—many great childhood memories of holding onto the railing for dear life were made there—but the ice is thawing. This spring, the center will be repurposing the rink for roller-skating. Go with a date and say you “need” them to hold you up, or go with a bunch of friends and pretend you’re in a Jessica Simpson music video. 

171 East Drive
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Prospect Park Bandshell

No respectable New York park would be complete without a killer outdoor music space, and for Prospect Park, that’s the Bandshell. As the home of the Celebrate Brooklyn! festival, the Bandshell hosts a number of big names in music each summer. Janelle Monáe, Jack Johnson, and Neutral Milk Hotel are among those scheduled to perform this year. Until then, it’s a great place to catch a local group perform.

62 West Drive
Brooklyn, NY 11238