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Living in Williamsburg – a neighborhood guide for families

Williamsburg has evolved a great deal over time, from an industrial district to an artistic community to a destination for music and nightlife. Today, the neighborhood’s development is on the rise, and there are so many new amenities for Brooklyn families. Williamsburg is bordered by Greenpoint to the north, Bed Stuy to the south, Bushwick and East Williamsburg to the east, with a series of beautiful waterfront parks on the East River. Find out about things to do, family-friendly amenities, kid-friendly restaurants, and more!

Key facts about Williamsburg

  • Total population: 64,444
  • Median age: 32.3 (young!)
  • Race demographics: 26% Hispanic, 57% White, 4% Black, 8% Asian
  • Total households: 29,542
  • Family households: 12,282 (42% of households)
  • Median household income: $129,838
  • Average household size: 2.2

Play spaces, drop-in activities, and classes for kids

  • Area 53 Adventure Park | This adventure park has a ropes course, rock climbing, zipline, skating, an arcade, and so much more for all ages.
  • Canopy | A chic play space for babies, toddlers, and their caregivers. Save the date for a first-of-its-kind “Baby’s First Rave” event on Saturday, July 27.
  • Brooklyn Zoo | Offers after-school classes in tumbling on the trampoline, parkour, and Ninja Warrior, plus birthday parties, private lessons, and more.
  • Twinkle Playspace | This magical play space is for kids 6 and younger. It has a life-size climbable tree and endless areas for creative exploration, like a fire house, general store, beauty parlor, and so much more.

  • The Tiny Scientist | Offers STEM and science classes for ages 5-10.
  • SkateYOGI | Kids ages 2-15 can learn to skateboard at this skate school based in Williamsburg and also Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
  • AquaBeba | A swim school in Williamsburg for infants, toddlers, children, and their caregivers.
  • Geek Forest | An electronics and robotics shop that offers engineerings, programming, and design classes for kids ages 5-14.
  • Vital Climbing Gym | Kids 6 and up can learn how to climb and boulder at this indoor gym, which also has teams, climbing clubs, camps, and birthday parties.
  • Ms. J’s Gymnastics | A gymnastics school with classes, after-school programs, camps, birthday parties, and family fun!

Family-friendly restaurants

  • Talea | The female-founded brewery is family-friendly and even has Jazz Baby family music classes for ages 6 months to 4 years on Sundays, from 10:30 to 11:15am.
  • Sage | This Thai restaurant on Graham Avenue has a kid’s menu, plus a spacious backyard and tuk tuks for kids to play on.
  • Veselka | The East Village Ukranian diner recently opened their newest location in Williamsburg. Come for the classic Veselka favorites: beef stroganoff, Ukrainian meatballs, stuffed cabbage, schnitzel, and borscht.
  • Mother’s | This family-friendly neighborhood spot serves burgers, craft beers for grown-ups, and has outdoor seating.
  • Jack’s Wife Freda | Locations all over NYC including in Williamsburg, this is a favorite spot for brunch.
  • Egg Shop | Cafe that serves egg sandwiches and bowls for breakfast and lunch.
  • Gertie | Calls itself a modern “Jew-ish” diner, serving bagel sandwiches, deli classics, salads, babka, and more.
  • Blue Collar | In addition to burgers, serves breakfast all day, plus milkshakes!
  • Sunday in Brooklyn | This neighborhood restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is a great spot for weekend family brunch.
  • Cafe Mogador | Serves Moroccan tagines, couscous, and more for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch.
  • Tacocina | Located in Domino Park, this taqueria is a picturesque outdoor space overlooking the East River and adjacent to the Domino Park playground. A great spot for kids to eat and play!

Parks and outdoor spaces

Domino Park (South Williamsburg)

Domino Park has amazing waterfront views, is about 10 minutes away from the East River Ferry’s South Williamsburg stop, and has so many activities for kids and families: from the Domino Park playground inspired by the old sugar factory, water sprinklers with a view of the bridge, Tacocina’s waterfront taqueria, and the elevated walkway with even more expansive views of the East River.

Nearby is also Padel Haus with outdoor courts, as well as Putting Green Mini Golf, a seasonal pop-up is designed to showcase the problems and solutions of pressing climate change issues.

Marsha P. Johnson State Park (North Williamsburg)

Formerly East River State Park, Marsha P. Johnson is a seven-acre waterfront park located along the East River. There are play areas, green spaces, and stunning waterfront views of Manhattan. The park is home to Smorgasubrg on Saturdays!

McCarren Park (bordering Greenpoint)

McCarren Park is shared by Williamsburg and Greenpoint and has playgrounds, ball fields, and McCarren Park public pool in the summer. There are also dog-friendly areas, barbecuing areas, bocce courts, skate parks, and tennis courts.

Open Streets and outdoor festivals

  • Berry Street Open Streets | Daily, 8am-8pm, Berry Street from Broadway to North 12th Street | Williamsburg’s Berry Street Open Street creates open space for pedestrians and cyclists, including a Bike Boulevard that creates a two-way cycling route. Follow North Brooklyn Open Streets Community Coalition to see all programming and news.
  • Smorgasburg | Marsha P. Johnson State Park | Saturdays, 11am-6pm | The beloved food festival is in Williamsburg on Saturdays during the warmer months.

  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast and Giglio Carnival | Williamsburg | July 10 through July 21, 2024 | Since 1887, the Italian American community in Williamsburg takes part in a centuries-old tradition known as the Dancing of the Giglio. Each July, the streets surrounding the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel are transformed into a vibrant festival with rides, games, food vendors, and daily entertainment.

Other amenities for kids and families

Affording Williamsburg (data by Peter Riolo | Compass)

  • Average 2-bedroom rent for the last 3 months is $6,202
  • Average 2-bedroom condo sale price ytd 2024 is $1,660,000

How to get there

  • Subway: Served served by the L, J, M, and Z trains.
  • Ferries: Take the East River Ferry to South Williamsburg or North Williamsburg.

Updated: July 9, 2024. Main Image: Williamsburg Bridge from Domino Park.

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