Summertime is absolutely magical in New York City, and we like to celebrate that in Brooklyn by being outdoors and in touch with nature. The stunning, 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the perfect place to start doing just that. Year-round, it’s home to standout attractions, exhibits, and events, but the space truly comes alive in spring and summer. Here is your essential guide to visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Visiting Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is conveniently sandwiched between two other favorite Brooklyn attractions: Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum. Knock out all three, and you’ll have yourself as quintessential a Brooklyn day as they come. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has two entrances—one at 455 Flatbush Avenue, and the other at 990 Washington Avenue (NU Hotel guests should opt for the Washington Ave for convenience). Entry costs $15, while seniors and students pay $8 and children are free. Pro tip: Everyone enjoys free access on Fridays before noon.
Once you arrive at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there are myriad areas worth checking out. At the end of the exploration, you can relax at the onsite cafe, or peruse some take-home gems at the gift shop.
The Water Garden
The Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden is a wetland environment with pathways through serene landscapes with interesting plants. The babbling brook and picturesque pond provide guests an oasis to sit back and breathe in.
The garden has an eclectic collection of trees, shrubs, and ferns. Some of the popular and attractive examples include the black tupelo and a wide variety of Hibiscus flowers growing throughout the summer.
Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden
One of the most popular spaces at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, this Japanese-inspired area is downright beautiful. The landscapes feature winding paths going over hills, around a tranquil pond, past a waterfall, and to a small island, each meticulously outfitted with plant life and architecture reminiscent of a Japanese garden.
Guests enjoy sitting and enjoying the stone lanterns, viewing pavilion, and the magnificent Shinto shrine at the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. In the spring months, this is also one of the prime spots in the park to enjoy the brilliant, vibrant cherry blossom trees, which usually bloom in April.
The Shakespeare Garden is home to over 80 different plants—all of which have been mentioned in the works of the space’s famous literary namesake. Since spring, the Shakespeare Garden has been home to a beautiful array of blooming daffodils, squill, dwarf irises, and tulips. The summer season will once again bring lettuces, berries, herbs, poppies, snapdragons, and more.
Outfitted with walkways, a fountain, and some quiet places to sit and think, the Shakespeare Garden is among the more peaceful places at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Come here with a book (maybe a Shakespeare play), or a notebook to let the area’s natural and historical inspiration wash over you.
A New Exhibition: Sonic Succulents
Nu Hotel is proud to be the official hotel partner for a playful new exhibition at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Los Angeles-based artist Adrienne Adar’s Sonic Succulents: Plant Sounds & Vibrations. Adar used handmade sensors allowing visitors to interact with plants through touch and sound. There are installations throughout the garden, deeping guests’ understanding of our connections to the natural world. See it May 21 through October 27, 2019.
Eating at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
After exploring these gardens and the various other ones at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, you’ll certainly have worked up an appetite. You can find contemporary, veggie-centric dishes at the onsite Yellow Magnolia Cafe. A garden mezze with bean falafel and beet hummus is a great option for sharing with friends, the spring vegetable and buckwheat spaetzle will fill you up if you’re real hungry. You can also find seasonal entrees like the world-famous Impossible Burger at the warm, outdoor restaurant Yellow Magnolia Canteen.
DISCOVER MORE OF BROOKLYN
There’s a myriad of activities to experience in Brooklyn. Discover NYC’s Best Borough with NU, and explore more on our Brooklyn blog.