Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Gardens in Brooklyn: Prospect Heights, Crown Heights & Flatbush

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One of Brooklyn’s most picturesque attractions, this 52-acre garden is home to thousands of plants and trees, as well as a Japanese garden where river turtles swim alongside a Shinto shrine. The best time to visit is late April or early May, when the blooming cherry trees (a gift from Japan) are celebrated in Sakura Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival.

A network of trails connects the Japanese garden to other popular sections devoted to native flora, bonsai trees, a wood covered in bluebells and a rose garden. The Discovery Garden is a hands-on, immersive space for kids, with regular family activities. There's also a good cafe on-site (with outdoor seating, of course).

There are three entrances; the most direct one to get to is immediately west of the Brooklyn Museum. The Washington Ave entrance around the corner (at President St) leads to a striking and eco-designed visitors center with a 'living roof' covered in 40,000 plants.