Sitting on nearly 40-acres originally set aside in 1897, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens have a long history of cultivating beauty in the sprawling urban plains of Brooklyn. Initially planned by the landscape design firm of the Olmstead Brothers (of Central and Prospect Park fame), over the decades the garden has evolved into one of the most beautiful natural locations in all of New York City. The annual Cherry Blossom festival is a huge draw, but it is worth visiting throughout the entire year.
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.
What You Will See
The gardens are organized into fourteen themed outdoor plots and five indoor conservatories. The gardens are currently concluding a ten-year improvement plan and some sections will remain closed through summer of 2019, but it is still easy to lose yourself in the meandering paths, pleasant shade, and gorgeous greenhouses, never noticing the cranes and bulldozers. Flowers are in bloom, herons and ducks still call it home, and there is plenty to see and do. Regardless of when you visit, there is something is in bloom. Check the website for tips on what is particularly beautiful, or just wander and find your own favorite.
Why You Should Go
There is much more to see here than the springtime Cherry Blossoms (though it is certainly worth braving the crowds to see those in April). When paired with a visit to the Prospect Park Zoo across the street it is a perfect tour of the natural world rivaled only by a similar combination in the Bronx. With the park and the museum close by, there are many competing options, both indoor and out, but put this high on the list.