Greenpoint, Brooklyn is situated on the northernmost border of the borough and provides a delightful mix of old and new, trendy and vintage, traditional and hipster. While Greenpoint, Brooklyn has a large, established Polish community, newer restaurants, shops, and businesses are popping up and adding to the diverse and lively community. Artists and entrepreneurs have long been drawn to Greenpoint, Brooklyn for its creative vibe and its proximity to Williamsburg and Manhattan. So, you’ll find traditional Polish restaurants next to art galleries, trendy boutiques, and upscale eateries.
Families flock to Greenpoint, Brooklyn for its cheaper rents, impressive green spaces, and lots of kid-friendly businesses and activities. Greenpoint lives up to its name with a number of well-kept green spaces like Monsignor McGolrick park, and the 35-acre McCarren Park, which spills over into Williamsburg and the revitalized East River waterfront. To help you get the most out of Greenpoint, Brooklyn we’ve rounded up the top 37 things to do in Greenpoint with kids. Find more fun neighborhoods to explore in our New York City Kids Neighborhood Guide.
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For our purposes, our geographical boundaries are the East River to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and North14th Street to Newton Creek. You can take the G subway line to Nassau or Greenpoint Avenue, or the NYC Ferry, which docks at India Street.
Top Places to Play in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Monsignor McGolrick Playground is a low-key romping spot with swings, spray showers, and climbing structures for kids and plenty of shade under large trees to relax.
PLAY Kids offers after-school programming and enrichment for school-aged kids. Photo courtesy of PLAY Kids
2. PLAY Kids
Drop the kids off after school for playtime, enrichment activities, and art, science, and language classes at PLAY Kids.
3. Play Lab
Little siblings can head next door to the Play Lab, an eco-friendly, Montessori-inspired play space for kids ages 9 months to 7 years from the same ownership team. Kids can also sign up for music, gym, and language classes.
Kids can play handball and basketball at American Playground, which also has spray showers and play structures.
WNYC Transmitter Park offers stunning East River Views and plenty of greenery. Photo by Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company
Stroll the waterfront at WNYC Transmitter Park where you can also fish, play at the playground, and enjoy the great views.
Run around, shoot hoops, or get wet in the spray showers at this McCarren Park playground.
The Greenpoint Playground is a medium-sized playground perfect for toddlers, with swing sets and climbers, plus great views of Manhattan.
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The spacious McCarren Park Pool draws a crowd during summer’s heat. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
Top Free Things To Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Beat the heat and take a dip in the McCarren Park Pool in the summer months. It’s one of our favorite swimming pools citywide.
Search for the colorful murals throughout the neighborhood, all sponsored by North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition.
Stroll this enchanting trail, which opens up a long-inaccessible industrial shoreline to pedestrians and illustrates how native plants can thrive even in an urban environment.
11. WORD Bookstores
Peruse the stacks at Word Bookstore or catch a family-friendly event.
The Greenpoint Public Library and Environmental Center offers tons of family-friendly programming that goes way beyond your usual library story time. Photo by the author
Check out the Environmental Center at the recently renovated Greenpoint Library and stay for story time.
13. Greenpoint Toys
Peruse aisles of toys for toddlers to teens at this local shop, which has been in business for more than three decades.
Bask in this innovative urban rooftop garden of flowers and plants, which is open during public events and by appointment.
Puppetsburg stages interactive shows at The Wild in the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of the venue
Best Family-Friendly Activities in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Visit a real working urban farm with bees, chickens, rabbits, and an amazing view of Manhattan.
Score fresh veggies, fruits, and baked goods at this weekly Saturday greenmarket in McCarren Park. It operates year-round!
Buy, sell, and trade kids’ clothes at this local shop.
Put on your best costume for the annual children’s Halloween parade and party.
Learn to play pinball at this one-of-a-kind combo arcade and laundromat.
21. Greenpoint YMCA
Enroll in a family fitness class at the Greenpoint YMCA, or take advantage of its other programming and school break camps.
A trip to Brooklyn Bowl offers hours of entertainment for all ages. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bowl
22. Brooklyn Bowl
See the unique art exhibits by emerging artists at the Greenpoint Gallery, which also offers community youth programs.
24. Sit Still Salon
With calming decor, kid-friendly music, games, and toys, kids have a blast getting their hair cut here.
More than just another neighborhood salon, Edamama also has the largest selection of children’s books in the neighborhood and hosts tons of community-minded classes and events.
26. The Wild
This is the go-to shop for baby gear, products, and maternity wear. The store also holds parenting and music classes and events.
27. Town Square
Paulie Gee’s pizza is a neighborhood staple. Photo courtesy of the restaurant
Best Family-Friendly Greenpoint Restaurants
28. Paulie Gee’s
Get pizza at the popular Paulie Gee’s, which even offers vegan options fresh from its wood-fired oven.
Immerse yourself in Polish cuisine and culture at this local restaurant complete with traditional folk music and costumed servers.
Taste unique ice cream flavors, like Marionberry Cheesecake, Earl Gray Tea, or Brown Sugar Cookie Dough at the neighborhood outpost of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.
Choose from a variety of handmade pierogies and traditional Polish dishes at this local gem.
32. Five Leaves
This shabby-chic bistro serves New American fare with an Australian twist. Kids especially love the ricotta pancakes.
Peter Pan Donuts & Pastry Shop sells classic yeast confections. Photo courtesy of the shop
Bite into one of the best doughnuts in NYC at Peter Pan Donuts & Pastry Shop, a neighborhood mainstay for 60 years.
34. Di An Di
My kids really enjoyed the pho at this hot spot, which specializes in modern Vietnamese dishes. The light airy space is filled with plants for a cozy vibe.
This deli is the go-to spot for bagels, Jewish sandwiches, and prepared foods.
36. Syrena Bakery
Stock up on babkas or choose from a selection of Polish pastries, rolls, and other baked goods at Syrena Bakery.
The bento box lunches are perfect for kids to share at this Japanese cafe, shop, and restaurant with spacious indoor and outdoor dining.
A version of this piece was published in 2012.