School's out, the presents are opened, and the kids are bouncing off the walls.
But there are plenty of great places to go to keep the kids busy in Brooklyn. Here are our top picks:
Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., (one mile from Grand Army Plaza and 10 minutes on the Dean Street bus) is always worth the trip. Today offer a host of activities and workshops including Creatures of the Sea, "Roving Animals" and several on Holiday Traditions. Plus there are exhibits to see all day long including a mini version of a Brooklyn Street, a huge Burmese pyton named Fantasia and special areas for babies, toddlers and kids with autism spectrum disorders. Perfect for a cold winter day. $9. Babies under 12 months are free. (718) 735-4400. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 24. Closed Dec. 25. Open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 26-31. Closed New Year's Day.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Although we tend to associate the garden with cherry blossoms and koi ponds, there are several luxuriously warm greenhouses that make it worth a winter trip. There's also the new visitors center with several interactive exhibits, a cafe with surprisingly delicious food including, usually hot soups and chili for mom and dad as well as milk, juice boxes and other kid-friendly fare. Plus the extensive gift shop is always a good place to kill a few minutes, if your wallet can hold up. If you have a car, there's a parking lot on site. $10 for adults, $5 seniors and students. Children under 12 are free. Free on winter weekdays. 900 Washington Ave. (718) 623-7200. Open weekends 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Mondays and Christmas and New Year's Day.
Prospect Park Zoo. At the zoo's "lifestyles building," tots can learn about animal habitats and meet the zoo's mascots, Hamadryan baboons. Inside there are also meerkats, piranhas, poisonous frogs, a pretty big snake and a ton of other cool animals. There are also free arts and crafts projects to try and a renovated discovery center open on weekends, with play areas including a puppet theater, a veternary clinic and a campsite complete with tent. There's also a cafeteria building. It only has vending machines, but one of them provides hot knishes, cheese sticks and other kosher delights. If you have a car, there's usually plenty of parking along Flatbush Avenue right near the entrance. Or take the Q to Prospect Park. $8 adults, $6 senions, $5 kids 3-12, up to 35 months, free. (718) 399-7339. Open every day 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Lefferts Historic House. The 19th century farmhouse in Prospect Park recently added a play kitchen for kids to explore, plus they run games and tours. See their schedule here. In the Park's Children's Corner at the Ocean/Flatbush avenues intersection. If you have a car, there's usually plenty of parking along Flatbush Avenue right near the entrance. Or take the Q to Prospect Park. $3 suggested admission for adults. Closed Dec. 24 and 25 but open New Year's Day.
Prospect Park's Audubon Center. The discovery center has ongoing exhibits and also games and workshops for kids. Open Dec. 28-30. Free. Located near the Lincoln Road entrance. Take the Q/B to Prospect Park.
Ample Hills Creamery. Fantastic ice cream plus a play space for kids. Plus, unless it's been moved recently, the famous swap-o-matic. 623 Vanderbilt Ave., at St. Marks Place, Prospect Heights. 347-240-3926. Closed Mondays (and probably on Christmas and New Year's Day).
Lark. A coffee shop for the parents that includes a large playspace for the kids. There are often sing-alongs and other drop-in events. 1007 Church Ave. at E. 10th St. Take the Q/B or G/F lines to Church Avenue.
Brooklyn Museum. Children of all ages are welcome at the museum. Suggested admission, $10 for adults; $8 students & seniors. 200 Eastern Parkway. (718) 638-5000. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Have some suggestions for other spots? Let us know in the comments!