Brooklyn residents are passionate about Prospect Park, and with good reason: lush green spaces, gently curved walkways, summer concerts, vivid foliage in autumn, and an all-season skating rink make it a year-round getaway. In 1859 the New York Legislature decided to develop plans for a park in the fast-growing city of Brooklyn. After landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux completed the park in the late 1880s, Olmsted remarked that he was prouder of Prospect Park than of any of his other works—Manhattan's Central Park included. Many critics agree that this is their most beautiful work. On weekends, those not jogging the 3.35-mile loop gravitate to the tree-ringed Long Meadow to fly kites, picnic, or play cricket, flag football, or frisbee. The park's north entrance is at Grand Army Plaza, where the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch (patterned on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris) honors Civil War veterans. On Saturdays year-round, a greenmarket at the plaza throngs
A good way to experience the park is to walk the Long Meadow and then head to the eastern side, where you'll find the lake and most attractions, including the Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park Audubon Center, and the LeFrak Center. The extravagant Prospect Park Carousel, built in 1912, still thrills the kids. The annual Celebrate Brooklyn! festival takes place at the Prospect Park Bandshell from early June through mid-August. Films are occasionally shown on a 50-foot-wide outdoor screen, one of the world's largest.