Adventure, baby!

Brooklyn Bites

Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn, New York

Nestled in beautiful Prospect Park is the sweet little Prospect Park Zoo. It’s a tiny zoo – perfect for people like us with a toddler. We saw everything in an hour and 20 minutes with our 19-month-old walking everywhere herself. I don’t like zoos much – I usually find them a bit depressing. The Prospect Park Zoo, however, is filled with well cared for animals and exhibits.

Sea lion, Prospect Park Zoo.

Miss Cheese’s favourite animals of the day were the sea lions, whose exhibit is smack in the middle of the zoo. Make sure you catch the daily sea lion feedings at 11:30am, 2pm and 4pm, to get a really good look at the sea lions performing their natural behaviours with some help from the keepers.

Kids of all ages (including us!) will love feeding the animals in the barn area of the zoo. Cows, goats, sheep, alpacas and chickens are housed in barn-like pens, with slats and holes in some of the fences so you can feed them the designated food. Watch out for the goats and sheep – they are so used to being fed that they climb up onto the fences and reach their long necks over for better access to food – funny for us, but a bit scary for little toddlers. They’re super gentle and tame though, and Cheese had no problem feeding them with animal kibble straight from her little hand. The best bit: baby lambs, just two weeks old. Squeee!!

Lambs! Prospect Park Zoo.
Baboons! Prospect Park Zoo.

The other highlights for us were the baboons, housed in a large enclosure adjoining one of the visitors centers, with floor to ceiling glass, and the Discovery Trail, a winding path through gardens and scrub lands, with animal exhibits like prairie dogs and red pandas. Cheese particularly loved the ducks, including eating the duck kibble instead of feeding it to the actual ducks.

Cheese watching the ducks, Prospect Park Zoo.

What to eat: This is the sad part of our post. While the animals are well fed, the humans aren’t. There are a lot of outdoor picnic tables to sit at, but inside the cafeteria lies only vending machines. We highly recommend you bring your own lunch, or leave the park and eat at a nearby cafe or restaurant. Check out our personal fave in Prospect Heights, Gueros, or download this guide to eating in Prospect Heights for a larger directory of places to eat.

Prospect Park Zoo
450 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 399-7339
Hours: Spring/summer (Mar 23–Nov 3, 2013) Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5:30pm.
Fall/winter (Nov 4, 2013–Mar 28, 2014) Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Betty Bakery; Kid-friendly Bakeries and Cafes, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York

Betty Bakery is the place to stop in Boerum Hill when your sweet tooth is getting the better of you. The bakery was opened in 2006, by renowned cake designers Cheryl Kleinman and Ellen Baumwoll. A touch retro, a touch modern, it’s the go-to place n the neighbourhood for cupcakes, custom cakes, cookies and hot chocolate.

Betty Bakery, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
Kids hoping for snacks. Betty Bakery, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

What to try: In summer, you absolutely have to have their strawberry lemonade. They also do a strawberry lemonade cupcake that will delight your tastebuds. In winter, get a hot chocolate and mini palmier to go – or perch on a stool in the bakery and take cover from the nasty elements outside.

Mini palmiers. Betty’s Bakery, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Betty’s loves to celebrate special occasions and seasons, so it’s the perfect place to drop in and pick up last-minute Easter and passover treats.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: No. There is space for a few strollers in the store however – we’ve fit three at once and still had room for other customers.
Easy access: No. There is only one step, but it’s a narrow door frame and tricky to manoeuvre the stroller in.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Betty Bakery
448 Atlantic Ave,
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 246 2402
Prices: $$
Hours: Tues-Thurs 7:30am-7pm, Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays.
Get directions.

Betty Bakery on Urbanspoon

The New Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park; Brooklyn, New York, Playgrounds

Something miraculous happened over winter. Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park, opened to the public on a suitably arctic day, too cold for most New Yorkers to check it out.

We had a chance to take a look soon after it opened, and fell in love with the sweet little toddler play area, perfect for kids Cheese’s age (she’s currently 19 months old).

New playground at Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park.

As well as the little toddler area, there is a playground for slightly older kids, with a spiders web to climb.

Not a bad view. Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The new pier also features a 200,000 square feet sporting field and a picnic peninsula with tables, grills and umbrellas for some much needed shade come summer.

What to eat: After Memorial Day weekend, Prospect Heights’ Ample Hills Creamery will be serving crazy flavours like Maple Baon and Ooey Goey Butter Cake at the pier. You’ll also be able to walk to Pier 6 next door and grab a slice of pizza from Fornino, who are opening up for the season. Enough of this cold already, bring on the summer!

Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Joralemon St,
New York, NY

The Best Desserts In DUMBO, New York

DUMBO (standing for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), is industrial neighbourhood on the verge of gentrification. Old factories have been gutted and turned into luxury condos, hipsters bars and restaurants like Superfine are popping up everywhere. DUMBO is also a haven for those with a major sweet tooth. Here are four places to hit up for an intense sugar hit.

Whoopie pies and spiky cupcakes, One Girl Cookie, DUMBO.

Best whoopie pie: One Girl Cookies
Lovers of cookies will find it hard to restrict themselves to just a few treats when stopping by One Girl Cookie’s DUMBO store (They also have a cosy cafe in Cobble Hill). What to try: Tiny, exquisite cookies give the store its name, but it’s the spiky cupcakes and whoopie pies that are the big drawcard for us. If you’ve never had a whoopie pie before (for the uninitiated, it’s two mounds of cake – usually either chocolate or pumpkin – with a cream cheese filling), get thee to One Girl Cookie now!

Little piggie. Whoopie pies at One Girl Cookie, DUMBO.

One Girl Cookies
33 Main St (corner of Water)
Hours: Mon-Thurs 8am-7pm, Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 9am-7pm

Desserts at Almondine, DUMBO.

Best croissants: Almondine
This beloved pastry-haven was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy last year. It reopened a few weeks ago and has been packed ever since with returning loyal customers, desperate for their favourite crossants. What to try: Almondine are well-known for their croissants, macarons and loaves of bread.

85 Water St, Brooklyn
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm

Best candy in town – Dewey’s Candy Store, DUMBO.

Best candy: Dewey’s Candy Store
Venture into this store only if you’re ready for the smell of sugar and a desire to eat everything in sight. Dewey’s Candy Store is an adorable retro candy store that will make you feel like you’re in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Just don’t lick the wallpaper. What to try: Get a little clear bag and fill it with bits and pieces of everything. Our particular favourites are the cola bottle sours.

Dewey’s Candy Store
141 Front St, Brooklyn
Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri & Sat 12pm-7pm, Thur 12pm-8pm, Sun 12pm-6pm

Best chocolate hit – Jacques Torres, DUMBO.

Best chocolate hit: Jacques Torres
Whenever we need a major chocolate hit, there is no place in the neighbourhood like Jacques Torres for really good chocolate. They currently have a huge range of Easter treats like bunnies, chickens and traditional Easter eggs, as well as their usual supply of delicate chocolate bonbons, pastries and chocolate-covered nuts and pretzels. What to try: We’d say one of everything, but if you can’t handle that much sugar, the must-haves are the hot chocolate (think pure chocolate melted in a cup) and the chocolate-covered almonds.

Jacques Torres
66 Water Street, Brooklyn
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm

What are your favourite places to go for sweet treats in your neighbourhood?

Superfine; Kid-friendly Restaurants, DUMBO, Brooklyn

On a cold, unexpectedly snowy day, we trudged on down to check out Superfine in DUMBO. It’s such an in-the-know-only hipster joint – if you didn’t know it was there, you’d walk straight past it.

Snowy day, nondescript exterior …

Inside is a spacious bar and restaurant, where kids are welcome and the cocktails run strong.

Inside is this bar …
And this huge area just for us.

We wheeled our jumbotron stroller up the ramp to the eating area and were given a massive table next to some strollers. “Great,” I said to the hostess, “stroller parking!”. “Actually, there are babies in there”, she confided, as she slipped away again. We peeked inside the strollers and, sure enough, there were babies asleep in there. We sat down, baffled as to what to do with the slumbering babes, when their mother came over and let us know that they could sleep through a hurricane, so not to worry about them. Ok!

And that, really, sums up the atmosphere at Superfine. Super casual. Anything goes. Park your stoller (and potentially babies, too) wherever they fit.

The misc toys we found.

We also found some spare toys they had lying around for Cheese to play with when she wasn’t running up and down the ramp like she was possessed by a demon.

Delicious. Baby thought so too.

We were super keen to try out Superfine’s brunch menu, but I didn’t realise it was only served on Sundays, so we had the Saturday lunch menu instead. My sandwich with fries was fresh and tasty, and the fries were devoured by Miss Cheese.

The cocktails are a must-have. If you’re a lightweight, be prepared to have someone escort you home after just one, as, yes, they are that strong.

Superfine is known for its live bluegrass music, but sadly we didn’t have any during our visit, so perhaps it’s only on Sundays – their website is a bit sparse, so I’d suggest you call them directly for more information on anything.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

126 Front St,
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 243-9005
Call for updated hours.


Superfine on Urbanspoon

Moo Burger; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

We’re at Moo Burger a lot – it’s our go-to place in the neighbourhood for burgers, shakes and fries. Despite Shake Shake being only a block away, we prefer to walk over to Court Street – for me, it’s because I dream about the uh-mazing sweet potato fries and shakes made with Blue Marble Ice Cream.


The Moo folks sure know their audience. We’re always sat at a table with no wait and Cheese is quickly given a cute little straw cup with water.

Burger and sweet potato fries.

Moo’s pitch is “gourmet, organic burgers, sides and drinks, all handcrafted with fresh, local ingredients”. We bring a lot of visitors to eat here and everyone ends up full and very happy.


Especially Miss Cheese. She LOVES the fries. What makes them so great? They’re soft in the middle and crispy on the outside. Basically, your perfect sweet potato fry.

Best. Thing. Ever.

Highchairs: Yes.
Stroller storage: Yes (stroller must fold up however). On days when it’s not too busy you can fit a larger stroller at the tables.
Easy access: Yes (one step).
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: Yes.
Kid-friendly rating: ♥♥♥♥-

240 Court Street,
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 246 8259

Mon 5pm-10pm Tue/Wed/Thu/Sun 12pm-10pm
Fri/Sat 12pm-11pm


Moo Burger on Urbanspoon

Afternoon at Brooklyn Bridge Park; Kid-friendly Things To Do in DUMBO, Brooklyn, New York

With an unseasonably warm forecast, we head down to DUMBO for lunch at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Since we’ve been craving sunshine for months, we decided to pick up a sandwich at Foragers City Grocer and head on down to the park to eat and let the Cheese run free.

Foragers have a great range of locally-sourced breads, groceries and snacks, as well sandwich and smoothie bars. While you can perch on stools and eat in, we prefer to take everything to go.

The area of Brooklyn Bridge Park directly under the Manhattan Bridge has possibly the best views of both bridges and Manhattan that you’ll see anywhere. It also has a huge grassy area, so bring a ball for the kids to kick around, or a blanket to sit on. The pirate playground that sits in this area of the park was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy – we were thrilled to see that it has been repaired and is due to re-open next month.

Brie and Granny Smith apple with watercress on a baguette.
Cheese runs amok.

Foragers City Grocer
56 Adams St,
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 801 8400
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-9pm Sun 9am-8pm
Get directions.

Foragers Grocer on Urbanspoon

Chocolate Attack at Jacques Torres; Kid-friendly Places To Eat, DUMBO, Brooklyn

Admission: I have a huge chocolate addiction. After a sunny day turned cold, we head to our go-to place for delicious chocolate in DUMBO, Jacques Torres. Here’s what you need to know about Jacques Torres. The hot chocolate is so think it’s like mud. Delicious, but there is a high chance you’ll feel ill after drinking it. Don’t be weak though, order it while the weather is still crisp. The signature cookies are amazing – huge chunks of chocolate and minimal actual cookie. Planning to take home some chocolate for later? Try our favourites, the chocolate-covered almonds. They’re so moreish that they won’t last the subway ride home.

Take home hot chocolate mix or a giant Easter bunny.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: No.
Easy access: No. There are a few steep steps to get in.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Jacques Torres
62 Water St,
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718) 875 1269
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm Sun 10am-6pm


Jacques Torres Chocolate on Urbanspoon

Nunu Chocolates; Kid-friendly Places To Eat, Downtown Brooklyn, New York

On a day with torrential rain and a toddler with cabin fever, we ventured out for hot chocolate and snacks at the nearby Nunu Chocolates.

Dreary day outside.

It’s not exactly the most kid-friendly establishment around, but the owners are lovely and adore kids, so made us feel totally at home. Sure we could leave our giant stroller infront of their register. Sure they could fit us at a table (we then watch as they kick their employees off a long bench to continue whatever they were doing elsewhere). We love you too, Nunu!


Nunu Chocolates are sold all over the city, and made right here in their flagship store in Brooklyn. They serve a limited menu of beverages, chocolates and pastries, but what else do you want from a chocolate shop?

Baby loves hot chocolate.

Cheese adored the hot chocolate – it turned her mood from feral toddler to charming kid. She also loved grabbing the teaspoon and feeding herself the hot chocolate. Bring wipes if you’re going to attempt to give your small child freedom with chocolately beverages.

Letting Cheese go to town on my hot chocolate.

We had a wonderful break from the nasty weather at Nunu Chocolate, and felt so welcome that we will most definitely return over and over again. Don’t let our low baby-friendly rating stop you from bringing your small kids. Despite physical limitations, it’s a real find for families in the neighbourhood.

Highchairs: No.
Stroller storage: Minimal. Bring a folding stroller or carrier if possible.
Easy access: No – several steep stairs.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No.

Nunu Chocolates
529 Atlantic Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: (917) 776 7102
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am–9pm Sat-Sun 9am–9pm


Nunu Chocolates on Urbanspoon

Rucola; Kid-friendly Restaurants, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York

This little neighbourhood joint is a hot spot for brunch on weekends. We turned up one chilly morning before Christmas with a group of 6 adults and the Cheese and were told it would be a 15 minute wait. So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. 45 minutes later, it turned out that there was a table who had finished up over half an hour ago but wouldn’t leave (don’t you HATE that?! Especially at peak eating times?!).

So by the time we sad down we were all hungry, freezing cold, and not in the best mood. And that was just the adults. Cheese had already run through her tolerance for boring adult outings and was ready to run around like a crazy turkey.

Festive exterior.
Cosy inside – lots of families.

Rucola has a great little menu, and a really lovely, cosy ambiance. Lots of families were crowded inside, with plenty of other kids also loosing their brains at the dining tables. After our long wait for a table, we were left waiting for service too – it maded me want to grab a waiter and say, “Hello, sir, see this angry baby? It’s in both of our best interests to get us eating and out of here as quickly as possible”.

Waiting for food. Thank God for the iPhone.

Just before the food arrived I noticed that had high chairs tucked behind the bar and requested one. I’m not sure why they weren’t offered on arrival.

The food when it arrived was really delicious. I had the Nutella French toast and it was divine. We ordered Cheese her own “small side of scrambled eggs”. It came out with enough egg to feet two adults. I was amazed to see Cheese hoeing into it with gusto – until I noticed that over 50% of it had ended up on the floor…

The food. Really good!
“Baby-sized” serving of scrambled eggs.

Highchairs: Yes – remember to request it.
Stroller storage: Yes but minimal. Bring an umbrella stroller.
Easy access: Yes.
Change tables: No.
Kids’ menu: No, but there are kid-friendly options and they’ll make special items on request.

190 Dean Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: (718) 576 3209
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am–12am Sat-Sun 10am–12am
Get directions.

Rucola on Urbanspoon