The Brooklyn Museum is located in central Brooklyn, at the heart of a culturally rich neighborhood. Originally called Institute Park, the area was envisioned by its nineteenth-century creators as Brooklyn's cultural, entertainment, and recreational hub.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden, right next to the Museum, is a world-renowned horticultural treasure. Highlights include the serene Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the Cherry Esplanade’s dazzling seasonal display of blossoms, the Lily Pool Terrace, featuring nearly one hundred varieties of water lilies, the Discovery Garden for families, the Steinhardt Conservatory’s lush exotic plants, and the famous C. V. Starr Bonsai Museum. No matter what the season, something is always in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Brooklyn Public Library
One block from the Museum is the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. Housed in a 1941 Art Moderne building, the Library features a broad range of multimedia materials for adults and children. Among its outstanding departments are the Multilingual Center, the Youth Wing, and the Brooklyn Collection, an invaluable resource that contains over 35,000 photographs from the late nineteenth century to the present, the “morgue” of the old Brooklyn Eagle newspaper, maps, drawings, and other ephemera.
Prospect Park and Prospect Park Zoo
Steps away from the Library is the entrance to Prospect Park, a 526-acre urban oasis that is the masterpiece of the famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The park includes a complex water system, rolling meadows, and shaded hillsides. It is also home to a remarkable antique carousel that boasts 51 carved horses, a lion, a giraffe, a deer, and two chariots pulled by dragons. These artful figures were carved by Charles Carmel, one of the foremost carousel designers of his time. Prospect Park also includes the 90-acre Long Meadow, Brooklyn’s only forest, and a 60-acre lake. The nation’s first urban Audubon Center is located in the historic Beaux-Arts Boathouse, which is surrounded by a system of scenic nature trails. The Park offers many adventurous opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Seasonal pedal boating, electric boat tours, guided nature walks, and horseback riding afford visitors up-close views of the Park’s thriving ecosystem. The Prospect Park Zoo, operating under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society, houses nearly four hundred animals—representing eighty species—living in environments that mirror their natural habitats.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brower Park, a few blocks east of the Brooklyn Museum, is home to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the world’s first museum especially for children. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum invites families to explore hands-on exhibits about world cultures and natural science. It also presents multicultural concerts, theater performances, and special programs for children under five. The museum is located in a unique 35,000-square-foot underground structure that houses a permanent collection of 27,000 cultural objects and natural history specimens and presents a wide range of special exhibits and public programs.
Heart of Brooklyn
Along with the Brooklyn Museum, these organizations form the cultural partnership Heart of Brooklyn, which encourages tourism and learning by making its world-class collections and historic treasures more visible and accessible. As an integral part of Brooklyn's renaissance, Heart of Brooklyn is committed to strengthening the future of its neighborhoods. A free Heart of Brooklyn trolley, funded by the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, operates on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The trolley departs from Prospect Park’s Wollman Center and Rink every hour on the hour from noon until 6 p.m. and makes stops throughout the Park, near the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.