It may sound silly to long time Brooklyn residents, but newcomers may wonder: Where can you take the kids (or the significant other) for the simple wintertime pleasure of building a snowman? Are there certain areas where artists gather and make snow sculptures? And if you're stuck in an apartment with no back yard, getting urban cabin fever, where can you take the kids on a snow day?
What follows is just a smattering of places where you might build a snowman in Brooklyn. For a complete listing of the borough's parks, check the NYC Parks Department website. And, here's information on cross-country skiing in Brooklyn, and where to go sledding in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn's most famous park, Prospect Park is usually decorated after a good snowstorm with the snow sculptures. Of course, Park Slope has a reputation for political correctness, so if you're so inclined, it would be perfectly appropriate to build snow women and mixed families of all kinds.
- Where it is: Prospect Park is large, and there's lots of flat terrain that makes for excellent snowman-building. It's bounded by Prospect Park West, Flatbush Avenue, Parkside Avenue and Ocean Avenue.
- Bathrooms: The several year-round bathrooms in Prospect Park are near the Lincoln Road and Ocean Avenue entrances, and Third Street playground. But the toilets at the bottom of the Picnic House are the warmest of all.
If it's artful snow sculpture you're looking for, one of your best bets is McCarren Park. Why? Because this park is located in the epicenter of playful hipster-dom, between the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. Its not a huge park, but after all, a snowman (or snow-Sphynx, as the case may be) doesn't need that much space. As for the DIY, what could be more DIY than a snowman?
Where it is: It's bounded by Nassau Avenue, Bayard, Leonard and North 12 Streets
Bathrooms: There are year-round public bathrooms in this park.
After playing in the snow, head down Bedford Avenue for a snack; this strip is dotted with interesting eateries.
DUMBO is a snazzy neighborhood, having first lured artists, and subsequently attracted wealthy folks who love this area's spectacular Manhattan views and now-arty, edgy, post-industrial vibe.
The evolving project that's known as the Brooklyn Bridge Park stretches along the Manhattan-facing waterfront, with views of barges, boats, ferries, trains and of course the South Street Seaport.
What better place to build a snazzy snowman? Word to the wise, however: on a blustery winter day, it can be especially cold here.
To warm up after, vistit one of the many little restaurants on Front Street, or grab a chocolate at the inimitable Jacques Torres chocolate kingdom.
Fort Greene Park is extremely family friendly, and it's not vast, either. You can enter at Willoughby Avenue or DeKalb Avenue, and you don't have to walk far to find a little patch of snow to make your very own snowman, snow woman, or domesticized snow animal.
Where it is: Fort Greene Park is bounded by Myrtle Avenue, Cumberland Street and DeKalb Avenue.
Bathrooms: The bathrooms (open year-round) in this park are located in the center of the park, and also in Fort Greene Playground at Myrtle Avenue & St. Edwards Plaza.
Brooklyn's Hillside Park is a tiny little park. It's a favorite in nice weather, but as it's facing the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, beware stiff breezes. Little kids are likely to find others to play with.
Where it is: The park is bounded by Columbia Heights and south of Vine Street.
Bathrooms: There are no bathrooms here.
Henry Street is nearby, handy for a rejuvenating post-snowman snack.
A popular park for kids is McKinley Park. It's just seven acres big, so you don't have to walk far to get into the play area.
- Where it is: The park is bounded by Fort Hamilton Parkway, 73rd to 78th Streets, and 7th Avenue.
- Bathrooms: There is one year-round bathroom in this park.
- Park size: 7-plus acres
As for snacks after playtime, Bensonhurst is a mecca for pizza—and Chinese food.
The neighborhood of Sunset Park is a demographic melting pot largely comprised of Latino and Asian immigrants. (But there's nothing about the place that will make a snowman melt!) More to the point, you can actually see the Statue of Liberty from the top of this sizeable, 25-acre park. It ought to be a Brooklyn challenge: build a snowman resembling Lady Liberty.
- Where it is:The park is bounded by 41st to 44th streets, Fifth to Seventh Avenues
- Bathrooms: Inside the Sunset Park Recreation Center, also outside.
Need a nibble afterward? Check out 5th Avenue for Latino food. Or, head to 8th Avenue for Chinese dumplings.
Brooklyn's fun after a snowfall, especially when the snow is still fresh and clean. Happy snow-sculpting.
Bay Ridge feels like the suburbs, with so many free-standing homes. But if you're living somewhere without your own patch of back or front yard, or are visiting Bay Ridge— or just want to be with other people— you can build a snowman in either of these two parks:
Owl’s Head Park
- Where it is: The park is at Colonial Road and 68 Street.
- Bathrooms: There are no bathrooms in this park.
Shore Park Road
- Where it is: The park is at the intersection of Shore Road and 97th Street.
- Bathrooms: There are three year-round bathroom areas dotted through the park.
After your outing, head to Bay Ridge's Third Avenue, which is chock-a-block with restaurants, for a snack.