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Party in Brooklyn's Streets: Mega-Block Parties & Weekend Walks for Family Fun

With City's Blessing, on Weekend "Walks," Pedestrians Take over Local Streets


Party in Brooklyn's Streets: Mega-Block Parties & Weekend Walks for Family Fun

Brooklyn's Weekend Walks, also known as Summer Walks: Streets are closed, pedestrians can sit, play, walk on the streets. Here, Pitkin Ave.

If you love Brooklyn, probably one of the things you love is the borough's sense of community. And while we've got plenty of community spirit, a newish annual event is helping foster that even more. Like a block party that goes on for a lot of blocks, on "summer walks" or "weekend walks" the kids can bike on the streets. Pedestrians can listen to live music. You can do arts and crafts, or take on the spot classes — and there is special youth programming. Restaurants and cafes even have relaxed requirements, so those who never have outdoor seating can do so, for that day. It's not a crowded street fair, lined with vendors wanting your dollars. And, it's bigger than a one block party organized by your neighbor. And, it's very cool.

What are Weekend Walks ?

Like the popular Summer Streets program, which closes the roads in NYC to traffic along certain routes, turning the streets into huge pedestrian and cyclist lanes, this is a program to return the city streets back to non-automobile traffic and the local community. Started in 2008 as part of a city wide quality of life improvement project, every year there are now about two dozen Weekend Walks sites in all five boroughs, from May through October.

Each Weekend Walk opens up an area as small as a block or as long quarter mile or so of main retail streets in a neighborhood —for instance, Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy or Brooklyn Heights. These "Weekend Walks" — which each neighborhood calls by a different name — are a major component of NYC Department of Transportation's "World Class Streets"initiative, which seeks to develop and care for the public realm – the space between buildings.

When are Weekend Walks in Brooklyn?

Where are these Mega-Block Parties?

The 2013 Schedule is as follows:

Brooklyn Weekend Walks
Kingston Avenue between Bergen and Pacific Streets
May 18 (Saturday)
noon–5:00 pm
Hosted by the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center.

Williamsburg Walks
Bedford Avenue between Metropolitan Avenue and North 12th Street
June 8, June 15, June 22 (Saturdays)
3:00 pm–8:00 pm
Hosted by Neighbors Allied for Good Growth.

Pitkin Avenue Summer Plaza
Pitkin Avenue between Strauss and Amboy Streets
June 16, June 23 (Sundays)
11:00 am–5:00 pm
Hosted by Pitkin Avenue District Management Association (Pitkin Avenue BID).

Grand Street Weekend Walks
Grand Street between Bushwick and Manhattan Avenues
July 13, July 20 (Saturdays)
2:00 pm–8:00 pm
Hosted by Grand Street BID.

South Slope Weekend Walks
Fifth Avenue between 12th and 18th Streets
July 19, July 26 (Fridays)
5:00 pm–9:00 pm
Hosted by the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID.

Summer Stroll
Third Avenue (This event’s location has not been finalized—details to come)
July 19, July 26, August 9, August 16 (Fridays)
6:00 pm–10:00 pm
Hosted by Merchants of Third Avenue.

TAMA Summer Fest Weekend Walks
Tompkins Avenue between Hancock Street and Putnam Avenue
July 27, August 3 (Saturdays)
2:30 pm–5:30 pm
Hosted by Bridge Street Development Corporation.

Southside Weekend Walks
Havemeyer Street between South 4th and Grand Streets
September 21, September 28 (Saturdays)
noon–5:00 pm
Hosted by El Puente.

Summer Space
Montague Street between Clinton and Hicks Streets
September 15, September 22 (Sundays)
noon–5:00 pm
Hosted by Montague Street BID.

Children's Halloween Spectacular
St. Marks/Sixth and Flatbush Avenues
October 20, October 27 (Sundays)
noon–4:00 pm
Hosted by the North Flatbush Avenue BID.

What Happens on Weekend Walks in in Brooklyn?

People come out to party in the street!

Plus, restaurants abutting Weekend Walks are allowed to offer outdoor café service, without any additional permits or fees, in zones demarcated with barriers. Restaurants can expand to the curbline in front of their establishments.

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