The Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights has been popular with families residing in and visiting Brooklyn for years, 117 to be exact. Last October, the organization opened up an annex in the trendy DUMBO neighborhood. Called Spark, the new Children’s Museum outpost is a pleasant 20-minute walk or short cab ride from NU Hotel Brooklyn. If you’ll be visiting New York’s second borough with children and want to know whether a visit to Spark will be worth your while, here’s an overview of what your kids can see, do, and experience at the museum.
The Spark annex, an 1,850-square-foot, single-room space, was donated to Brooklyn Bridge Park by Brooklyn developers Alloy and Monadnock, the joint forces behind 1 John Street. As a result, the museum is able to operate rent-free. This keeps the cost of admission down and allows the museum to focus on maintaining the space and improving its offerings. The museum is intended primarily to serve youngsters aged six months to six years.
One of the most popular exhibits at the Crown Heights Museum, Brooklyn Block Lab is an indoor/outdoor play area that fosters the development of critical thinking and cognitive skills. The annex’s Block Lab also contains a soft crawl space, an art studio, and a “Discovery Den.” The Discovery Den is a science-focused space with educational exhibits, daily morning classes, and open-play sessions. If you have meetings while in town or want to do some shopping without your kids, you can drop them off for a class or open-play session.
In addition to the science-oriented classes in the Block Lab, Spark offers a range of enrichment classes for children, as well as children and parents. Subjects include basic design, music, and environment and biology classes in which your kids can learn about animals and plants.
Brooklyn Bridge Park at Large
Spark packs a punch for a one-room space of its size. But it’s still just one of several family-friendly attractions located along or in Brooklyn Bridge Park. State-of-the-art playgrounds, a sandbox, a climbing wall, and historic carousel are other reasons to visit the park with your kids.
In the words of Brooklyn Children’s Museum president Stephanie Wilchfort, the institution is “forever committed to serving the families of Brooklyn.” With the introduction of the Spark annex, the museum estimates it will be able to serve another 50,000 children each year. As a visitor to Brooklyn, you and your children can enjoy these services as well.