Must-See Prospect Park
by Heather Liang, 10/02/2013
Prospect Park Zoo. Photo: Joe Buglewicz
Where the Wild Things Are
As you might expect, Prospect Park offers ample ball fields and playgrounds for kids to burn off some of their boundless energy. But what makes the park different is that it's also home to a terrific zoo, a carousel and the newly constructed Lakeside. The Prospect Park Zoo is one of the five venues that make up the Wildlife Conservation Society—along with the Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium—and is home to roughly 400 animals of more than 80 species, all living in environments that imitate their natural habitats in order to promote their conservation. Residents to look out for include the hamadryas baboon, the red panda and the cotton-top tamarin. Kids can also enjoy a ride on a different kind of animal at the nearby carousel, which features 53 carved horses, a giraffe, a lion, a deer and two dragon-pulled chariots. The Prospect Park Carousel is one of the few in the country that is wheelchair accessible. New to the park this year is Lakeside, in the space that formerly housed the Kate Wollman Rink. A year-round destination for recreation and fun, Lakeside will feature two new skating rinks—one an open-air version that will have roller-skating in the warmer months, the other which will be a children’s waterplay area in summer. It debuts with ice-skating this December.