The weather is heating up and so is the event line-up at Brooklyn Bridge Park. With a scenic view right on the waterfront, the park is an ideal spot to explore the outdoors.
Coming up is the park’s first annual Family Festival.
“We have a harvest festival in fall. This is its spring counterpart,” said Nancy Webster, executive director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “It is children and family-oriented. There’s a dance party. There’s a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge. Kids can decorate with flowers. We will also host classic lawn games on the new lawns opened in the park underneath the Manhattan Bridge.”
Although this is the first spring festival for the park, Webster says there is plenty of enthusiasm surrounding the event. “We will have a lot of special activities. It’s basically just a special day of fun in the park,” she said. “We expect a great turnout with the new festival. With the Fall Harvest Festival, we had 5,000 people show up. We’re going to get a big number.”
The party will take place on Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the John Street and Main Street sections of the park.
The festival isn’t the only activity on the agenda during the spring season. Starting Thursday, May 5, Big and Little Skills Academy will have dynamic youth basketball clinics on Pier 2 that include either yoga to enhance flexibility or flag football for agility training, for children ages eight to 17.
In addition, “There are lots of volunteer opportunities,” Webster added. “There is clean-up on Saturdays and our green teams are going to relaunch on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m.”
Fitness classes are also held, starting on Monday, May 9, including such options as Broadway Dance with the Dodge YMCA, which was described by Webster as popular with all ages, but specifically with seniors. Other fitness classes include Dodge YMCA’s Hip-Hop Dance Aerobics and Zumba; Outdoor Strength with Brooklyn Strength; Pilates with the Fitness Guru; Sunset Pilates with Body in Balance; and Sunrise: Abhaya Yoga.
In addition to fun, there are also a lot of education opportunities at the park. “We showcase the plants and animals of the park along with the design of the park and its features,” Webster said. “You get to learn more about the plants and animals and the design of park. There’s a variety of interactive exhibits for the kids in the East River Exhibit.”
One of the park’s most popular events is “Movies with a View” where attendees can watch classic films on a giant screen while sitting on the grass. The screenings begin in July.
Although there are many parks that host a variety of activities for attendees of all ages, Webster thinks that Brooklyn Bridge Park has the edge thanks to its views and large space. “I think first and foremost what distinguishes us is that we are a waterfront park,” she said when discussing the area’s Education Center. “We are by the East River with a spectacular view of the Brooklyn Bridge, lower Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty. That’s what makes Brooklyn Bridge Park so special. We try to program activities that take advantage of our location.”
An important aspect of the park’s success is that activities are either free or affordable, said Webster. “The most important thing we do is try to establish deeper connections to the park not only with folks who live close but folks all across Brooklyn and the five boroughs,” Webster said. “We have over 500 free events, with a few lost-cost ones thrown in.”
“With the spring weather finally here, it’s time to come down to the park,” added Regina Myer, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “The conservancy’s lineup of fun-filled activities has something for everyone, and we hope families from all over the city will join us.”
For more information, visit www.brooklynbridgepark.org.