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9 Tips on Taking Kids to New York's Barclays Center, in Brooklyn

All About Food, Safety, and Transportation to Barclays Family-Friendly Shows

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From the Harlem Globetrotters and Disney on Ice, popular bands, and sporting events, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, opened in 2012, offers an appealing menu of mega-watt entertainment for families and kids.

 

Whether you live in Brooklyn and want to splurge on a Nets game, or you live in the 'burbs and are bringing the kids into New York City for a holiday music or entertainment show, here are some smart parenting tips for having the most fun (without breaking the bank) at family shows at the Barclays Center.

1. What Kinds of Family Friendly Entertainment Does Barclays Center Offer?

Courtesy of Feld Entertainment and Disney on Ice
Barclays has a lot of family friendly programs, but not everything will appeal to everyone in the family. Find out about family friendly shows at Barclays Center. Tickets aren't cheap, so the first tip is to make sure that the show appeals to the whole family.

3. Drinking at Barclays Center

A Note on Smaller Sized Soft Drinks:You can not purchase a soft drink larger than the 16 ounce size from a stand at Barclays, though at sports events, 20 oz diet sodas are sold.

 

Coca-Cola is the “official” soft-drink brand of Barclays Center.

Plus, the venue has multiple bars serving alcohol.

4. Shop Till You Drop: Buying Souvenirs & STUFF at Barclays

There's shopping at the ground level of the Barclays Center, inside the Barclays Center, and a nearby mall.

 

The Shops at Barclays

Outside, at the street level of the Barclays Center, a spiffy Brooklyn Nets store sells hip gear with the logos and look reportedly dictated by style-setting Brooklyn rap star Jay Z. The Nets Shop by adidas is part of The Shops at Barclays Center street accessible retail stores that also include Rocawear, MetroPCS, and Elbow Room.

 

 

Stalls inside the Stadium

Inside the stadium, you will not suffer from a lack of shopping opportunities, either. Depending on the show you go to see, you may be able to purchase Disney trinkets, Brooklyn Nets paraphernalia, and Brooklyn t-shirts — or all of the above. There are three novelty merchandise outlets in the arena (two on the main concourse and another on the upper concourse).

 

 

Atlantic Center Mall Across from the Barclays Stadium

For practical, everyday shopping, the Barclays Center is very close to the Atlantic Center Mall.

5. Use Convenient Public Transportation; Parking's Impossible

Let us whisper three little words of advice: USE MASS TRANSIT.

 

You could get there from Mongolia, just about: Barclays Center is accessible by 11 subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road, and also 11 bus lines. Barclays Center is located at 620 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn.

Don't plan on driving to the stadium, and then dropping the family off; you might spend a long time searching for a parking spot. Barclays Center does not have on-site parking. So save yourself the hassle, and bring the family by public transportation. It's cheap, fast and reliable. And the Atlantic Avenue subway stop, now known as Barclays, lets you out right in front of the stadium. Arriving by subway, you don't even have to cross a street to get to the main entrance.

If you are coming from afar, say from Westchester, Long Island or New Jersey, or elsewhere, consider parking your car somewhere else entirely and then taking the subway to Barclays. It sounds ridiculous, but is isn't.

How to get to Barclays Center by public transit.

Note: There is free bike parking for up to 400 bikes on the site, first-come, first-served.

6. Practical & Safety Tips for Parents at Barclays Center

Of course, it's common sense to keep your eyes on children in a huge stadium.
  • Be prepared to go with your child to the bathroom and back (or send an older child or trusted adult along). Family restrooms are available.
  • If they want to wander around or go get a snack, give older kids their ticket stub or a landmark for finding the seats, and make sure everyone's cell phone is charged and working.
  • Note that once you leave the venue, you can't re-enter.
  • Laptops are not allowed.
  • Barclays Center does not have a coat check. So if you bring five shopping bags stuffed with Christmas presents, you'll have to hold it. Or worse, buy a ticket for it.
  • Food is sold at Barclays, and some of it is very good, but if you are trying to cut costs, give the kids a good breakfast or lunch before the show.

There is ample security presence at Barclays Center.

7. Prepare the Kids, Set Expectations

Unless you are a zillionaire, disabuse children of any expectation that they'll be siting in the front row or shaking Mickey Mouse's hand at Disney on Ice. Barclays Center seats 18,000 people, after all, so they won't catch that out of bounds basketball during a Nets game, either.

 

And a word on money: When bringing the kids to a Barclays Center show, consider planning in advance how much of their allowance money they might want to spend on drinks and trinkets. You can get a lot of great food at Barclays Center, but it's not cheap.

 

8. Are There Intermissions?

Shows and sporting events usually have lengthy intermissions. This break enables the crowd to use the facilities, get some food, stretch a leg, roam around and meet friends, and buy souvenirs, too.

9. What to Wear to a Family Event at Barclays

Brooklyn is a very informal slice of the Big Apple. Some people dress to the nines, others don't bother. And rest assured, you'll see all kinds. But it's not Lincoln Center and the kids don't have to dress up; jeans and sneakers are fine.

 

It's a big stadium, so ladies might consider wearing comfortable shoes.

 

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