4 Best Sights in Ditmas Park and Midwood, New York City

Brooklyn Banya

Head to this small Russian bathhouse for a healthful, social experience quite different from the typical modern spa. There are pools and saunas of varying temperatures—moving between them is believed to stimulate the circulation and boost immunity. Bathers (of both genders) can also opt to undergo a variety of treatments, including the traditional platska treatment (exfoliation via beating with leafy oak branches). There's a restaurant that serves Russian specialties, and a roof deck.
602 Coney Island Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11218, USA
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $40 for all-day bath access; treatments and massages $30–$90

Brooklyn College

The original Georgian-style buildings, elm tree–lined main quad, and lily pond of Brooklyn College were built in the 1930s, and today film and TV crews regularly use the bucolic campus as a location stand-in for Ivy League schools. It's especially beautiful in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Get a visitor’s pass from any security post or sign up for an hour-long guided tour (10 am and 3 pm most weekdays).

Flatbush Reformed Church

The last Dutch director-general of New Netherland, Peter Stuyvesant, ordered a church built at this site in 1654, making this one of the oldest places of worship in New York. The current Federal-style stone building, the third at this location, was completed in 1798 and features Tiffany stained-glass windows. The complex, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, also includes the 1853 Greek Revival and Italianate parsonage and the 1924 church house.
890 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11226, USA
Sight Details
Rate Includes: Check with church office (Tues.–Thurs. until 1 pm) to access church midweek, Grounds and cemetery: daily 7–3. Sunday services: 11 am.Check with church office (Tues.–Thurs. until 1 pm) to access church midweek.

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Prospect Park South Historic District

Designed in 1899 as a park within the city, the Victorian blocks of this iconic historic district feature stately gateposts that mark the entrances of handsome streets lined with palatial Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and Tudor Revival homes, each with striking architectural details. The Ditmas Park Historic District, which also has homes built in the early 1900s, is a few blocks southeast. (To step inside the houses, see Best Brooklyn Events in Chapter 1 for details about the Victorian Flatbush House Tour.)