Brooklyn is one of the most dynamic places in New York City. From fantastic food options to great festivals for the family to enjoy, there’s a lot to explore, but there’s one day that we think everyone should be in Brooklyn: Halloween!
Bursting with events to choose from leading up to the holiday and then the day-of, it’s perfect to enjoy with or without little ones. We pulled together a list of the best-of for Halloween in Brooklyn and we are looking forward to seeing you there!
Halloween comes early to Prospect Park this year. On Saturday, October 29th from noon to 5 PM, the Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair will be taking place -- it is a frighteningly good time! A haunted walk, scary stories, a haunted carousel and more await you. Most events are free and it’s appropriate for kids of all ages.
Heroes and horrors convene at Prospect Park for Halloween.
Also on Saturday, October 29th, the Botanical Garden is hosting their Halloween celebration with their Ghouls and Gourds event. Free for kids 12 and under, this 6 hour annual event offers a different program to check out every 20 minutes, along with music and live entertainment to enjoy. There’s a lot to see and do here, so make sure everyone is dressed comfortably -- sneakers are a great idea.
Ghouls and Gourds transforms the Botanical Garden into a spooky adventure.
For October 31st, the three best events to visit are the BAMboo, Halloween 313 and the Park Slope Halloween Parade, and in that order if you can do it! It would be a fast race from event to event, but each one is sure to be a hit.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), is hosting BAMboo, starting at 4 PM. A Halloween outdoor block party, BAMboo will have a costume contest, candy giveaways, a bounce house, games as well as arts & crafts to welcome the spookiest night of the year.
Halloween 313 is a free 30 minute spectacle located at 313 Clinton Avenue (between Dekalb and Lafayette) in Clinton Hill. Halloween 313 has been part of the community since 1994, when it was started to make the neighborhood safer for trick-or-treating. Over time it’s become a Brooklyn tradition that has a new theme every year -- this year is Abra Cadaver and will feature magic, mystery and murder. Appropriate for kids and adults alike, it’s spooky and scary but an utter delight!
For over twenty years, Halloween 313 has been making Brooklyn scary once a year!
In Park Slope, the heart of family-friendly activities, the annual Halloween Parade is a must-see event. This year marks its 30th anniversary in the neighborhood and it is rumored to be the largest children’s parade in the nation. The kids get full reign of the streets as they enjoy the parade route and all of the candy that’s handed out by shop owners along the way. The parade ends in the JJ Byrne Playground at the Old Stone House.
We hope to see you in Brooklyn for Halloween this year and that you have a spook-tacular time!
With July 4th right around the corner, it’s a good time to figure out where the best view for the fireworks displays will be in Brooklyn. The fireworks are taking place on the East River this year before taking a hiatus and moving back to the Hudson River next year. Brooklyn is one of the best boroughs to get a fantastic view of the spectacle. But where to watch them?
Boats fill up quickly so if you’d like to hop aboard to check out the fireworks, maybe while having dinner or enjoying a drink, it’s better to get tickets sooner rather than later.
Setting sail from Sheepshead Bay, the Sheryll Princess is $125 per person. Boarding starts at 4pm and sets sail at 5pm. This is a long cruise, so consider going sans-kiddos, but there is a buffet included and a cash bar available.
Freedom Cruises, also leaving from Sheepshead Bay, offers another option at $159 per person. This package also includes a buffet dinner, the option of a cash bar and sets sail at 5.30pm. After being on board for several hours to enjoy the fireworks, you’ll be returned to Sheepshead Bay around 11.30pm.
If you can’t make it out to Sheepshead Bay, there are also boats available leaving from Manhattan’s Pier 15, like the Hornblower Cruises which offers a buffet and an open bar for $250 per person.
Freedom Cruises’ Pink Lady will sail by the Statue of Liberty on its way to the fireworks.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park, located in Brooklyn Heights, is expected to be open on the 4th of July so you can set up your picnic there to watch the fireworks. It is considered the gold standard of locations in Brooklyn to see the East River fireworks. As a result, this park is expected to get crowded, so if you are planning on going to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, make sure to get there early so that you can get a good spot.
The South Street Seaport will be bustling on the 4th of July, but it’s also a great spot for a view of the fireworks. With plenty of great restaurants and bars to choose from in the area, it will also be the setting for a street festival from 1pm - 8pm. There will be music and a variety of food vendors set up, as it will be the setting for Smorgasburg.
Smorgasburg in Brooklyn is a classic experience that brings a great variety of food vendors together.
The Brooklyn Promenade is another option to see the fireworks this year. Stretching a third of a mile along the East River, it’s one of the most idyllic spots in New York City. Located above the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway, the Promenade was built to muffle the sound of traffic below. The views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan make it a perfect spot to enjoy the 4th of July celebration.
The Brooklyn Promenade overlooks the East River and is the perfect spot to see the fireworks.
If what you want this 4th of July is a bit of peace and quiet, check out Grand Ferry Park in Williamsburg. Tucked away and without perfect views, it should be a calmer scene than the other options listed above, but still provide a peek at the fireworks display.
The 4th of July can be overwhelming, but with all of these options available to see the fireworks displays, it’s worth the effort to meet up with your local neighbors to enjoy the evening. We hope you enjoy the show!
Growing up, Sarah Metz was obsessed with recycling and the environment. Together with her twin sister and a handful of friends, she started an environmental club at her high school in the 1990s. It’s only fitting that she is channeling her passion into launching a package-free grocery store in Brooklyn called The Fillery. The store will be stocked with all kinds of grains, teas, coffees, spices and more...but no plastic.
Metz has drawn inspiration from stores like above, found in Lille, France.
Metz has been thinking about opening up a package-free grocery store in Brooklyn for over five years and has spent the last three years carefully planning it. The Fillery is quite literally filling a space that Metz has seen as lacking throughout the past nine years that she has lived in Brooklyn.
“I saw a bulk store in Michigan and loved the concept...I kept looking for something like it in Brooklyn but haven’t come across anything similar, so I decided to create it,” Metz said.
Metz noted that she has found several stores that offer bulk food options around Brooklyn, yet none of those stores are concerned with the waste that is generated. Over the years, Metz has become more and more aware of the amount of packaging associated with food products and she finally decided to act upon her ideas.
Another package-free store Metz found was in Berlin, Germany.
The Brooklyn Public Library has a business plan competition every year, and Metz entered the idea of The Fillery in the event for the past two years. She won second place last year, and through the process of entering the competition she has met with business advisors and went through a variety of workshops to prepare her for building and launching her business.
She has the backing of an investor for The Fillery, but perhaps even more importantly, she successfully raised $15,000 through a Kickstarter campaign. Raising capital for the project through the online platform has opened additional doors to Metz. It’s also provided fantastic publicity around the project while creating an early buzz for the yet-to-be-opened market.
Metz’s twin sister, an architect who is also taken with the idea of sustainability, is drafting plans for the space which will use repurposed materials.
Rendering of The Fillery by Metz’s twin sister, who is an architect.
The Fillery will partner with farms to provide jams and jellies along with milk in glass bottles, butter and eggs. Metz has The Fillery slated to be a CSA pick-up spot 2-3 times a week, as she is not anticipating that there will be a produce section.
“Space is tight in Brooklyn, so we’re trying to maximize our offerings by partnering with CSAs so people can still get all of their produce with minimum waste,” she said.
Metz is planning on a late summer opening for The Fillery and has the vendors lined up for the space. Autumn is the busiest time of year for stores like The Fillery, so Metz is working to open the store before then so that she can get some experience under her belt before the crush arrives in September.
And if The Fillery becomes the rousing success that it is expected to be? Metz would love to see the concept expand beyond Brooklyn to others parts of the country.
“I see it as a movement; a movement with less waste and towards sustainability,” Metz said.
And indeed, the concept will resonate with Brooklynites who are ecologically concerned as well as those who know that grains look much more aesthetically pleasing in a glass jar than a plastic bag.
The Fillery is coming to Brooklyn soon!
The fresh air of spring inspires many to open their windows to let the fresh breeze in and hopefully clear away the clutter that has accumulated in their home over the past few months. In order to actually see that clutter disappear, one of the most effective ways is to have a stoop-sale.
Jeni Aron, a professional organizer and professionally known as the Clutter Cowgirl, lent us some ideas on how to make sure your stoop-sale is a success.
Some things to consider first before getting into the nitty-gritty of having a stoop-sale:
Aron warns that sometimes people don’t consider how they would feel when their neighbors see them with their wares on sale. Make sure that you’re okay with this before you proceed.
With stoop-sales comes lots of strangers; Aron recommends that you become comfortable with the idea of others handling and going through your things.
Although you might consider something valuable, that doesn’t mean that everyone else will -- so prepare yourself for low-bidders or people not wanting to buy what you have to sell.
If you have something valuable that you would like to sell, go through more traditional channels like Ebay.com or Craigslist.org to sell them, rather than anticipating that you will find just the right buyer who happens to be walking by.
With those considerations addressed, Aron has a few tips on ensuring a successful stoop-sale.
Although it might be tempting to put anything you have out for sale, Aron suggests really curating the items that you offer. Putting junk in either a “free” bin or not out at all, Aron thinks that the best strategy is to offer items that have a true value to others.
Look to get 25% of the price that you paid for an item, though Aron reminds us that getting stuff out of the house is better than getting the full price that you are asking.
Which leads us to: don’t be afraid to haggle! People who stop by may be inclined to ask for a discount. This is your chance to shine and offer a 2 for 1 deal, moving more items out of your apartment and still making some cash.
Try to keep all items at eye-level, so bring out some tables and chairs to prop items on, rather than putting them on the ground.
What are some items that sell well at a stoop-sale? Aron suggests that the following are always big winners:
Price these items low, at $1 each and you’ll see them float away to new, happy homes.
As far as items that should never be included in a stoop-sale, Aron has some ideas on that as well. Avoid putting out for sale:
Any used cosmetics
Opened food of any sort
While you may think, “But this eyeshadow has only been used once!” -- and that might be true, the sanitary considerations outweigh anything that you might earn from selling it. Besides, lumping used cosmetics with some other great stuff that you might have to sell casts an unsavory pallor on the other items.
Finally, put out old-school, handwritten signs to advertise for the big day. Attract customers to your stoop-sale by using chalk on the sidewalk of your nearest major avenue to advertise the location, and go ahead, put arrows leading the way! Be friendly and chatty with your guests -- you never know who will buy what and it’s best to treat the entire day like an adventure, which is exactly what it is.