In its diverse role as a bustling trading route, prominent community site, and innovative transportation center since the early 19th century, the Brooklyn waterfront has played an integral part in New York City’s history. Now, Brooklyn Bridge Park sits on 85 acres of this historic waterfront as a testament to the area’s dynamic background.
True to its roots as serving as a space for every type of New Yorker, the park contains a myriad of activities, events and interesting architectural elements to engage all visitors. Each of the park’s piers has its own unique character, so when you visit, make sure to stop by each one!
Pier 1: This section of the park is home to a luscious green space perfect for relaxing this summer. Bring a picnic blanket and read a book as you soak in the sun. Then, take a stroll down to the waterfront for breathtaking views of the New York City skyline. And make sure to check out one of the park’s regular theatrical performances, set against the beautiful backdrop.
Pier 2: Whether you’re a fitness buff or one-timer visitor to the athletic world, Pier 2 has a great activity for you. Play ball at one of five basketball courts or test your skating skills at the brand new roller rink. Dance the day away with some Zumba right on the waterfront. Or, for something a little more low-key, take advantage of the shuffleboard and bocce courts.
Pier 3 Greenway Terrace: While not open to the public yet, make sure to take a quick stop on the pier’s walkway. Using a revolutionary architectural technique, Pier 3 Greenway Terrace features a nearly noiseless landscape. A sound attenuating hill adjacent to the pathway blocks the sound from the nearby Brooklyn-Queens expressway, creating a peaceful oasis for park-goers.
Pier Four boasts a wide range of native plant species situated in a beach environment. Here, visitors can access tidal pools brimming with marine animals and plant life. The offshore Bird Island, recently planted with shrubs and trees to attract large fishing birds, will also boast a rich ecology.
Pier 5: Pier 5 is the perfect place to work up an appetite, and quickly satisfy your cravings with some delicious food. The pier features a large turf soccer field, ideal for a competitive game or a personal workout. The adjacent Picnic Peninsula gives visitors the chance to relax under large umbrellas while enjoying some tasty treats. Barbeque at one of the free, public grills, or grab a bite at the Ample Hills Creamery, famous for its unique flavors of ice cream. If you’re visiting the park on a Sunday this summer, make sure to visit Smorgasburg. This giant all-food flea market features over 75 vendors with all different types of food.
Pier 6: Pier 6 is the ultimate children’s destination. The area features five playgrounds jam-packed with fun equipment and unique designs, fit for all ages. Get soaked on the play-rocks of the Waterlab, enjoy the swings of Swing Valley, or take a ride down the slides at Slide Mountain. Pier 6 also includes volleyball courts and large lawns for park goers to enjoy. And to complete your day with a New York City classic, stop by Fornino for their renowned wood-fired oven pizza.
Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer is the perfect place for every New Yorker or visitor. Get outside, and GO PARKS!
Carolyn Clendenin is an intern at the NYC Parks Press Office.