Brooklyn is blessed with a number of historic, view-laden and well used green spaces, but its emerald is Prospect Park. The designers of the 585-acre park – Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux – considered it an improvement on their other New York project, Central Park, and between rambling its tree-fringed walkways and sighing at ornamental bridges, you might agree.
Opened in 1867, Brooklyn's lovely, faux-natural green space has a long meadow to the west (filled with dog-walkers, sportspeople or barbecuers, depending on the season), hilly woodlands, and a boathouse on the east side, by its expansive lake. The neoclassical arches, sculptures and columns at the major entrances were later additions.
Many visitors come to bike, run, stroll, walk their dogs or just lounge around. The park has a zoo, an ice-skating rink (which becomes a water-play area for kids in the warm months, when boats are also available for hire). There are also free concerts at the Prospect Park Bandshell (near the entrance at 9th St and Prospect Park W) and a year-round farmers market is held on Saturdays at the Grand Army Plaza entrance.