BK Bridge Park and Jane's Carousel are a Must-Do this Summer

Updated: Jul 6, 2018

Brooklyn Bridge Park is a full day (if not multiple day) endeavor, so we like to break it up and visit a few times throughout the summer. The clouds looked ominous on Wednesday morning, but we had so much fun on our NYC Ferry ride to Long Island City on Monday that we wanted to take another ride over to DUMBO to take a spin on Jane’s Carousel and spend a few hours in the Northern part of the park, known as the Empire Fulton Ferry. We plan to visit the other sections and piers in the park in July.

Jane's Carousel is only $2 per ticket!

The ride from the East 34th Street terminal to the DUMBO terminal took a little over 30 minutes. Since we sat down right next to the snack bar, Curious G immediately started asking for chips and toys, and whatever else she could see from her seat. We settled on a bag of pretzels, and as I was paying I noticed that they also sell Dramamine and have beer, wine, and tequila on tap.

Curious G's Wonder Woman style headband makes her sweaty and never lasts a full day.

Yes, that's Don Julio on tap, in case you want to get your #boozecruise on

The views of the Brooklyn bridge are stunning when you disembark from the ferry. A large group of tourists rode the ferry with us and I heard audible gasps of wonder from some of them as we were exiting the terminal. There is a Lizzmonade stand right off the ferry terminal in case the ferry beverages did not cut it for you. There are also spa scented restrooms nearby in the 1 Hotel. The 1 Hotel’s lobby restaurant, Neighbors, is an excellent spot to grab healthy picnic fare to have a picnic on the nearby Vale lawn. You can read about Neighbors in my Yum and Yummer restaurant guide. We skipped on over towards Jane's Carousel, taking a stroll through The Max Family Garden, where we saw a bird’s nest full of baby birds last year. When we arrived at Jane’s Carousel, Curious G could not contain her excitement. It truly is a sight to behold, and has become an iconic Brooklyn landmark. The tickets are only $2 per rider and children under 42 inches can ride with an accompanying adult free of charge.

The carousel is housed in a Jean Nouvel designed glass case

Brooklyn Bridge in the background

Pure joy

Picnic tables adjacent to the carousel are perfect for a birthday party

View of the Empire Stores Building from the Carousel

Stopping to examine the shrubbery

I made a 1:00 pm reservation at Cecconi’s the night before so we walked over to the Empire Stores building, where Cecconi’s is located. We love riding the glass elevator up to the roof top to admire the garden, run around, and take in the views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. There are a host of stores and places to grab a quick bite like The Feed Shop and Cafe and Smile to Go, as well as the Brooklyn Historical Society; and free public art displays; but we always go straight to the roof.

Empire Stores Building

Beautiful even on a cloudy day

Hey down there!

More shrubbery to examine...

Manhattan Bridge

Still having a blast

Artwork by Layercake currently on display and for sale

In addition to Cecconi’s, Sugarcane Raw Bar and Grill also opened recently; so now there are two trendy yet refined (read: great atmosphere and tasty food) restaurants to bask in the Brooklyn Bridge vibes while enjoying good food. I decided to take Curious G to Cecconi’s because I would rather save Sugarcane for a larger group of friends so that we can share of bunch of dishes. We sat outside and could watch the carousel as we ate our lunch. Our waiter, Marco (Polo, as he joked), was delightful and kept Curious G laughing.

Breadsticks are fun

Mushroom ravioli with a side of meatballs

The mushrooms were a hit and created some very greasy little fingers

Thanks for lunch!

After lunch, we spent about 30 minutes in the nautical-themed Main Street Playground; mostly in the sand box, until we started getting chilly and decided to head back to catch the ferry.

Walking through the garden path to the playground

Ship-shaped jungle gym

It's amazing what a kid can do with an empty water bottle in a sandbox

Strolling back towards the ferry terminal

On the walk back to the ferry terminal, we passed the famous Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizza, Julianna’s, Shake Shack, The River Café, and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. We also saw a sign for Oddfellows coming soon, but it was actually a bit cold out and ice cream did not even sound inviting at the moment. There are a number of different events and activities that would fill up an entire calendar for any kid (or adult), so we will definitely be returning in July when we'll spend time playing on all the different piers where there’s literally something for everyone in terms of sports, recreation, gardens, food, and more. Hopefully we will make it there on a Sunday to catch the Hot Dog bus and get a free hot dog while we’re there!

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