The Guide to Visiting Brooklyn Botanic Garden
If you live in Brooklyn, NY, chances are you have heard of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This urban oasis is located in Central Brooklyn near Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum. It is a sprawling 52-acre garden filled with lush greenery and plants galore. The botanic garden is a must see for every New Yorker and a staple of Brooklyn culture. This article covers the complete guide to visiting the museum. We will take you through getting there, paying less, and exactly what to look for depending on when you plan to visit.
What is the best entrance to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden? This depends where you are coming from. There are three ways to enter the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: 150 Eastern Parkway, 455 Flatbush Avenue, and 990 Washington Avenue. If you plan on taking the subway, the nearest subway stops are Prospect Park Station (B, Q, S lines), Franklin Ave. / Botanic Garden Station (4,5 lines), Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum Station (2,3 lines) and Grand Army Plaza Station (2,3 lines).
If the weather is nice you can also bike there using Citibike. There are three Citibike stations near Grand Army Plaza and along Washington Avenue so you will only have to walk a few minutes to reach Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
If you drive into the city and you are looking for a place to park, there is parking (for a fee) at 900 Washington Avenue. More transportation details can be found on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website.
Why pay when you can visit for free? You have three basic options when it comes to visiting the gardens for free. You can 1) become a member, 2) be under 12 years of age or 3) visit during a weekday from December through February and pay what you wish! There are also community tickets where a portion of each day’s tickets are available free of charge to those who need them. There are also a few other ways to gain free entry that you can read about in more detail on the Botanic Gardens’ website.
Leave Your Pets at Home
It is against the rules to bring pets to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden so be sure to leave your critters at home! Consistent with the American with Disabilities Act and NYC Human Rights Laws, service animals are allowed. There are a few guidelines about service animals that can be found in detail here.
What to See
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers year round admission and indoor and outdoor exhibits so there is something to see during every season of the year.
Warm up from the winter frost in the glass-enclosed Aquatic House where it is warm and moist even in the coldest winter months. Here, tropical plants abound. There are hundreds of tropical orchids growing on tree trunks and hanging from wooden pots or racks. Be sure to look for the giant lily pads in the bog. After making your way through the glass-enclosed greenhouse, head to the tropical fruits and flowers in The Steinhardt Conservatory. Aromatic olive blossoms grow freely as do colorful flowers in the blooming Desert Pavilion. In just a few minutes, you’re sure to forget about those snowy New York winters.
As you make your way outside, look for the Japanese garden. Japanese gardens are manicured to highlight seasonal change. Plants are carefully selected so viewers can appreciate it during every season. Spot the unique evergreens and snow viewing lantern in Turtle Island: It’s a must-see in the Japanese Garden. Cardinals and other wildlife (a pair of eagles) can be spotted in the garden—even in the winter!
As night falls the garden’s after-dark Winter Cathedral lights up the garden pathways with a 98-foot-long cathedral made of tens of thousands of LED light globes. This after-dark light show is truly spectacular!
As spring comes, so do the cherry blossoms. Arguably the most loved floral of early spring, you can see several different types of cherry blossoms in o the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Weeping higan cherry blossoms are the first to bloom and then the famous Yoshino ornamental cherry. There are also early blooming azaleas in magenta and white. Bulbs also abound in the early spring so be sure to check out their amazing display in the Annual Border on Lily Pool Terrace. Each year’s design is unique so you can visit every year and still be wowed!
Check out the tree peony collection that blooms in early- to mid-May. There are more than 300 plants in this collection and they are so fragrant! Late spring also brings beautiful blooms like wisteria, bluebells, lilacs, crabapples, Spanish bluebells, and more cherry blossoms! Be sure to check out the Osborne Garden, an Italianate garden with a sprawling lush lawn and pathways lined with spring flowers.
Summer is a great time to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.Your first stop should be The Water Garden that features a stream and pond lined with wetland plants. Keep an eye out for the ducks, herons, frogs, and dragonflies who live on the pond and stream in the summer months! Summer also means roses so make your way to the historic Cranford Rose Garden. June presents a spectacular show of roses with a second flush in late August. The original roses were planted in 1927 and are still growing today.
Autumn is all about finding that beautiful orange and red foliage and there is no shortage of that at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Starting in October, the gardens start to change color. Look for rows of deep red scarlet oaks and yellow-leaved ginkgos. There are also many colorful maples and sumacs in the Discovery Garden. In the Japanese garden, you will find vibrant Japanese maples that stand 20 feet tall. Before you leave, be sure to check out the Herb Garden for pumpkins, squash, apples and ornamental corn!
No matter what season you visit Brooklyn Botanic Garden, we hope our guide allows you to fully embrace all it has to offer. If you find yourself inspired to go green by its beauty and you need a place to store your belongings, contact the eco-friendly self storage expert in Brooklyn, NY for a safe and affordable space to store your stuff!