In New York, central hotels and high-rise restaurants offer expansive views over this stunning cityscape. But what’s often overlooked is that the vista also provides incredible green spaces.
If you live in the metro area or are spending a few days here and want to get away from the sights of vertical steel, concrete, and glass, you might want to stretch your legs a bit and discover some of New York’s best-displayed trees and plants at the idyllic Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Attractions
Sometimes affectionately known simply as “BBG,” this 52-acre site is a world center of excellence for studying and appreciating urban horticulture, and a simply fun day out.
Easily reachable from New York central hotels, the Garden offers some truly fascinating views and individual gardens.
Well worth visiting is the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden (a little piece of Japan in the heart of New York).
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Equally worthy is The Cranford Rose Garden – where you can see more than 1,400 varieties of roses.
The Shakespeare Garden is also a huge draw for lovers of William Shakespeare’s works. This English cottage-style garden is home to more than 80 kinds of plants mentioned in the works of this literary icon.
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Another highlight of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the Overlook.
This is an ascending walkway with intimate, winding paths that offer scenic views of the grand Rose Garden and Cherry Esplanade.
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The Children’s Garden and Discovery Gardens offer children of all ages the opportunity to explore and learn about nature through exciting hands-on experiences.
Besides that, BBG has a unique fragrance garden that allows visitors to “see with their nose” (literally!).
Although specifically designed for the visually impaired, this aromatic foliage attracts all types of visitors, particularly couples on a romantic getaway.
Trust me; nothing is more satisfying and sensual than walking through a garden where fragrant plants remind us that all of our senses are filled with nature. BBG’s Fragrance Garden is where you can experience all this and more.
The Native Garden is another enthralling sight in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This section is dedicated to plants and garden wildlife native to the New York Metro area. It is a 3-acre piece that comprises a small forest, a beautiful meadow, bog, and cultivated Pine Barrens.
The Garden not only serves as a public display of local plants and habitats but is also a center for research and conservation.
Equally impressive is the Visitor Center, an ecological portal filled with the ephemeral beauty of more than 50,000 plants. In fact, this is where you should start your itinerary!
Other main attractions include the Water House, Orchid Collection, Desert Pavilion, Water Garden, Lily Pool Terrace, Magnolia Plaza, Bonsai Museum, and the swoon-worthy Aquatic House.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden also includes a library (on the 2nd floor of the Administration Building) and an art collection consisting of historical images, botanical art paintings, a florilegium, and a photo and video collection.
Visitors can also take advantage of the year-round events and exhibits held at the Garden, such as For the Birds celebrations, Annual Border, and Chile Pepper Festival.
As well, you can buy herbs, flowers, trees, and more at the BBG Garden Store.
There is also a café, canteen and coffee bar for food, snacks, and refreshments.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Cherry Blossom
If you want to witness one of the city’s most breathtaking spectacles, visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Prospect Heights during spring.
Each April through May, BBG is the site of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri), when the Garden’s over two dozen varieties of cherry blossom trees reach their peak bloom.
Every weekend of the festival, BBG displays its finest cherry blossoms with a rich program of events heavily influenced by Japanese culture. Events include folk music and dance performances, educational programs, art exhibitions, etc.
Visitors can also take photos against the beautiful pink and white backdrop and enjoy lunch and snacks in the Garden during the cherry bloom season.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Tickets
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a paid entry site.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children and seniors. Entry for children under the age of 12 is free.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden members and affiliates have free access to the site every day.
Tickets are available online and must be reserved two weeks before the visit date. Visitors can also purchase tickets from the Garden’s entry booths
Community tickets are also available free of charge for those who need them, i.e., school groups.
Tourists can get the New York City pass.
For $129 per day, the pass gives you access to multiple city attractions and tours, including BBG, the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo tour, NYC bus Tour, Luna Park, Deno’s WonderWheel, Empire state building, Statue of Liberty, Museum of Modern Art and other top attractions In NY.
It is expensive for a one-day visit.
However, if you’re in town for an extended stay and intend to do a lot of sightseeing, the NY pass offers good value for money. It can help you save up to 45% off regular admission tickets to major attractions. Longer passes (3-10 day passes) are even better; they build more value.
A combined ticket for the Botanic Garden and the museum is also available. The ticket costs $28 for adults and $19 for seniors and children 12 and older. Please note that the combination ticket does not give access to other city attractions outside the museum and Garden.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Light Show
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Every winter, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosts a light show event called Lightscape, where the Garden landscape is illuminated for a particularly romantic sight.
Lightscape showcases the beauty of nature in winter with an enchanting illuminated trail through the vast garden space, complete with music.
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Highlights include the Cathedral of Light tunnel, the Fire Garden, and the Sea of Light, among other artistic lighting designs.
Visitors can grab a drink (hot chocolate, coffee, or hot cider) to enjoy while walking the trail of lights and music.
The show takes place after dark (last entry at 8:30 p.m.) and is open to all visitors as long as you have a valid ticket.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Light Show tickets are available online (via the ticketing site) for $34 for an adult and $18 for children under $12.
Like all admission tickets, online Light Show tickets must be purchased in advance. You can also reserve tickets by calling ShowClix at 888-850-8718 (call on weekdays only from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.).
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Events
BBG offers the perfect backdrop for video and photo shoots and a memorable setting for weddings and corporate events, from the lush lawns and meadows to the Cherry Esplanade and Lily Pool Terrace.
The Garden, through Patina events, can also help you plan barbeques, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and more.
You can choose from various indoor and outdoor spaces, including the dazzling all-glass Palm House overlooking the Lily Pool and the Atrium, whose glass walls offer the perfect views of the Esplanade.
Outdoor events are often held in the Garden at Cherry Esplanade and Magnolia Plaza.
Event costs vary depending on the time of year. Peak season charges are, of course, higher than off-peak prices. Also, night events packages are more expensive than day events packages.
Generally, costs range from $1250 to $11000 per event.
Guest minimums apply for both the Palm House and the Atrium. Contact Patina Events or submit an inquiry through the BBG Weddings & Events page for information on space availability, reservations, facilities, and pricing.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Parking
Brooklyn Botanic Garden has attended parking that opens at 6.00 a.m. on weekdays and 7:00 a.m. on weekends until 10:00 p.m.
The parking lot is right next to the Garden’s gift shop and behind the Brooklyn Museum. It serves both institutions.
Parking rates are:
- $7 for the first hour
- $10 for 2 hours
- $12 for 3 hours
- $14 for 4 hours
- $17 for 5 hours
- Maximum $20 above 6hrs
Overnight parking is not allowed at this 900 Washington Avenue Lot. But if you leave your car for more than 24 hours, you will be charged $32.
There is also street parking along Flatbush Avenue and Union Street. However, most street parking is metered and sometimes difficult to find.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Hours And Location
Location: 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s hours of operation vary depending on the time of year.
Currently, the Garden remains closed on Mondays.
It opens on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Wednesdays, Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The last admission to the Garden is 30 minutes before closing (all year). Some specialty gardens such as Rose, Japanese Hill and Pond, Native Flora, and Discovery Gardens begin closing 30 minutes before official closing time.
Check the official Brooklyn Botanic Garden website for current hours of operation.
Does the Brooklyn Botanic Garden allow picnics?
Unfortunately, picnics are not allowed in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
When is Brooklyn Botanic Garden Free?
Admission to the BBG is free on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. from March 1st to November 30th.
There are also pay-what-you-wish days during winter weekdays (Tuesday to Friday from December through February)
Is BBG wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the Garden is wheelchair accessible to ensure all guests’ comfort. Wheelchairs are available at the Garden on a first-come-first-served basis.
Is there a dress code to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden?
No. Wear whatever you want as long as it includes comfortable shoes as you will be walking a lot.
What is the best way to get to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden via public transport?
Subway transport is the easiest and most convenient.
The BBG is accessible by trains 4 and 5 to Franklyn Avenue-Botanic Garden Stop and trains 2 and 3 to Eastern park way-Brooklyn Museum and Grand Army Plaza.
The B, Q, and S lines will also take you here via the Prospect Park Station. But the B train only runs on weekdays.
Are pets allowed at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden?
No, but service animals are allowed.