Read about this before going to Brooklyn, and prioritised bringing my 3 year old down here for some outdoor fun in the sun. You can tell Piers 5 & 6 have had a lot of money and effort thrown in, with very well designed play areas and great looking sports fields overlooking the river. They have a fantastic small gated area of sprinklers, fountains and streams for little ones to cool off and splash around in, which is a great idea for the summer.
Because we heard about Pier 1's famous carousel, we started there and walked down, only to find the carousel was closed (Sunday morning), and had to walk ages through a long area of heavy construction on Piers 3-4 to get to any life at Pier 6. The only concession we could find was an ice cream stand which was closed. Given the heat even at 10.30am, we were disappointed not to find any more places to buy a drink or snacks.
What I didn't like about the place was the lack of information and signage. Toilets could not be found except for at Pier 1 (thank God for the travel potty!). I knew there was a Sandbox Village, and had brought a bucket/spade for our little one, but could not find the place. I read about a group of concessions/restaurants at Pier 5 but couldn't find anything at all, and despite the fact that the place was heaving with people, there were no shops anywhere nearby, except for a very small farmers market (fresh fish and veg weren't that useful as snacks!) - we wandered round for ages at the foot of the park trying to find somewhere and there were several retail units opposite the bottom of Pier 6, but were all completely vacant. Perhaps this area has only just been done, and no shops have moved in yet, but there was no information anywhere to tell us either way. Eventually we had to walk into town a few blocks to get anything to eat and drink.
The other important thing to note is that when it's hot, there is little or no shade down here for little ones, and the swings were so red hot, they were dangerous. I could feel myself burning after a very short time at the swings, so if you're coming here with kids, make sure you have shade, snacks, drinks, with you.
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