07/23/15 10:34am

Ah, summer in Brooklyn. A marvelous unfolding of rooftop drinking, movies under the stars, music in the parks, and out-of-town guests–like your parents.

Alarmingly, many parents still harbor the belief that a visit to New York City means a crowded, over-long day at the Met followed by mediocre Midtown dining and an astronomically expensive Broadway show. Need help figuring out how best to show off your borough to the folks who helped you get here? We’ve got you covered. Here are more than 50 ways to show them Brooklyn—your Brooklyn—plus a little smidge of Queens.

A group on the Brooklyn Classic tour with Get Up and Ride. Photo: Get Up and Ride

A group on the Brooklyn Classic tour with Get Up and Ride. Photo: Get Up and Ride

For Your Folks Who Are Still in Great Shape 

1. Bike the waterfront—or anywhere else. Get Up and Ride offers group tours on comfortable bikes (which they also rent), or can organize a private tour. Citibikes are also a fantastic option, with 24-hour passes costing only $9.95.

2. Shoot some arrows at Gotham Archery. Intro classes are $30, and are offered most days except for Mondays & Tuesdays.

3. Knock down some pins at one of Bk’s many bowling alleys, from the scruffy Gutter to the swanky Brooklyn Bowl to the old-school Melody Lanes.

4. See some art while smashing some balls at PIPS Table Tennis and Art Space.

5. Learn what to do with biscuits and tangs at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, with courts rented for $40/hr.

6. Climb the walls at Brooklyn Boulders—no experience or reservations necessary.

7. Get your surf on at the Rockaway Beach Surf School, with lessons every day of the week.

10. For a serious taste of today’s Brooklyn befitting the most adventurous parents, take a circus class—intro classes are offered at the Muse, Brooklyn Air Space, and LAVA Brooklyn. (more…)

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02/09/15 9:00am

Valentines

Remember when Valentine’s Day just meant a dozen roses and a Whitman’s sampler? Maybe you don’t–it’s been so long since the Hallmark holiday morphed from a day for lovers to a good excuse for girls’ night out and lonelyhearts-themed parties. Now that there are so many ways to celebrate or protest Valentine’s Day, we’ve narrowed the field down to 10 wildly different players, so you can take a chance on one.

1. Looking to Get Girly?

Try Girl Crush by Nice Package
The Love Shack, 161 Stockholm St
2/14, 1pm, $75

Grab your closest lady friends and treat yourself to brunch and bottomless cocktails from Chef Zoe Maya, yoga with Pop-Up Yoga NYC, custom poems by Haiku Guys, and wild manicures by Vanity Projects. It all goes down in the quirkily adorable Love Shack, made even cuter with additional décor (including gilded piñatas) by Svbscription x Confetti System.

2. Looking to Get Steamy? 

Try Valentine’s Night at the Russian Baths
Brooklyn Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave
2/14, 7pm, $35 to $85

Underground nightlife impresarios Gemini & Scorpio are bringing back the legendary Valentine’s banya party. The fête will include Russian, Turkish, and Swedish steam rooms, a jacuzzi and cold plunge, Russian eats and a hookah lounge, not to mention a poolside dance floor, where you can get down to live Balkan brass bands and ethno-mesh DJs all night. Plus an open vodka bar from 9 to 10pm, and pierogies for all at 2am.

3. Looking to Get the Sparks Flying?

Try a Couples Welding Workshop
Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 92, corner of Flushing Ave & Corona Ave
2/14, 3pm, $60

If you want to surprise your paramour with a really unusual V-Day couples class, try getting hot and sweaty together with an acetylene torch. Artist and welder Susan Woods will oversee some serious crafting, teaching basic welding skills and metal fabrication techniques. Couples will build custom metal hearts to take home. (more…)

12/26/14 11:13am
Gemini & Scorpio's costumed New Year's Eve fete brings the perfect amount of ceremony to the end of your 2014  . Photo:  Linus Gelber

Gemini & Scorpio’s costumed New Year’s Eve fête brings the perfect amount of ceremony to the end of your 2014 . Photo: Linus Gelber

Brooklyn nightlife suffered a lot of casualties in 2014. A slew of DIY stalwarts shuttered: 285 Kent, Death By Audio, Body Actualized Center, the Muse, and after the new year, Glasslands is closing, too. We also got the news that the venerable Galapagos Art Space will be defecting for Detroit. Space there is plentiful and cheap, unlike Brooklyn, which is now the least affordable place to buy a home in the country. Yeesh.

Here are 23 stellar ways to celebrate the end of all that nonsense, and look ahead to 2015. There are still a lot of wonderful things left to celebrate in this crazy borough. (more…)

10/22/14 9:35am
Littlefield's Zombie Prom, complete with a blood splattered photobooth. Photo: Jacob Boller

Littlefield’s Zombie Prom, complete with a blood splattered photobooth. Photo: Jacob Boller

It’s probably time we declare the entirety of October Halloween month, rather than restricting all the spooky revelry to one night a year. If you already donned your costume this past weekend, there are nine more frightening fêtes for you on Friday, from a never-been-danced-upon abandoned factory floor to the terrifyingly toxic Newtown Creek. (more…)

10/07/14 7:13am

It made sense during our unseasonably warm September to pretend that summer wasn’t over, but by now it’s impossible to deny: fall is upon us, in all its crisp, pumpkin-spiced glory. Which means it’s a great time to put on a comfy sweater, grab some intrepid friends, and spend a few hours really getting to know parts of Brooklyn you’ve never explored. Inspired by this weekend’s Open House New York, we’ve compiled a handful of terrific walking tours, plus one by bike, that will lead you through the borough’s nooks and crannies, from historic neighborhoods to a toxic waterfront.

During a self-guided tour of South Williamsburg organized by UnionDocs, you'll hear stories of neighborhood fixtures like the Puerto Rican man who sells piraguas. Photo: Shannon Carroll

During a self-guided tour of South Williamsburg organized by UnionDocs, you’ll hear stories of neighborhood fixtures like this man. Photo: Shannon Carroll

Williamsburg

Southside Walk: self-guided, so go whenever you’re ready

If you’ve ever wondered about the empty lot full of stuffed animals on Bedford and North 1st, or how much homes on South 2nd cost in the 1980s, this self-guided audio tour—part of UnionDocs’ multi-year, multimedia project Living Los Sures—will answer all your questions. The half-hour tour starts at the Bedford Ave. Dunkin Donuts and ends at the Caribbean Club on Grand St, the last remaining Puerto Rican social club in the neighborhood. In between you’ll hear stories of Hasidic women swimming, Bangladeshi families gardening, a Puerto Rican man selling piraguas (shaved ices), and many more past and present neighborhood denizens. Pro tip: Go on a Sunday evening when Toñita, the beloved owner of the Caribbean Club since the 1970s, makes a free dinner for everyone who comes in. (more…)

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12/27/13 10:34am
An eleven-piece swing band is one of the many draws at the glamourous Bootlegger's Ball, hosted by Gemini & Scorpio.

An eleven-piece swing band is one of the many draws at the glamourous Bootlegger’s Ball, hosted by Gemini & Scorpio. Photo by Linus Gelber.

As we count down the last days of 2013, the time to figure out your New Year’s Eve plan is fading. For some, fireworks in Prospect Park or clinking champagne with friends in a warm apartment is plenty celebratory for a year that brought us universal healthcare, the death of DOMA, and the election of a progressive mayor from Brooklyn. But if you need a bigger, more fabulous send-off, Brooklyn Spaces has rounded up a slew of stellar options, from high-class cabarets to foodie fêtes to down-and-dirty dance parties to ring in 2014 in style.

Gemini & Scorpio Bootleggers’ Ball
Irondale Center, 85 S. Oxford St.
Fort Greene
9pm, $50–$60

Underground party mavens Gemini & Scorpio are reprising one of their most popular themes this year and inviting guests to get dolled up in Depression-era glamour for a vintage costume ball, cabaret, and epic dance party in one. The 11-piece swing band, burlesque dancers, aerialists, sideshow stunts, a psychic, and absinthe cocktails will feel even more glamourous against the backdrop of the beautiful Irondale Center.

Tea Factory Sounds’ 3rd Annual Reggae Prom
175 Stockholm St #111
Bushwick
9pm; $5

For a very Bushwick New Year’s, head to the Tea Factory Lofts where a collective of reggae musicians present tunes from the Frightnrs, the Far East, Grace of Spades, and more. The “prom” theme means fancy dress is encouraged, and entrance is free before 10pm.

Shanghai Mermaid
Secret Brooklyn location
9pm, $75

Although the gorgeous Red Lotus Room is no more, monthly costume ball Shanghai Mermaid has a new home, and New Year’s eve will be the first soirée in the new space. The theme is “Old Hollywood,” so celebrate in glamorous speakeasy style dressed as your favorite silent film star. Expect musicians, circus acts, and performers to keep you reveling far past dawn.

Monster’s Ball
Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th St.
Williamsburg
8pm, $100

Brooklyn Brewery presents a Brooklyn foodie extravaganza, with meats from Brooklyn Cured, cheese from Saxelby’s, pickles from McClure’s, and desserts from Momofuku Milk Bar. Plus, of course, beer—eight different kinds, including a vintage Black Chocolate Stout. If you’re not too stuffed to move, dance to ’80s pop, rock, and soul.

New Years 2: Galaxy Quest
Silent Barn, 603 Bushwick Ave.
Bushwick
9pm, $10

Celebrate New Year’s as well as the Silent Barn’s 1st anniversary in their new space! The entire building will be remade as a spaceship, and each hour you’ll travel to a different planet. Don’t worry—a ship captain will be on hand to “guide guests through the strange musical lifeforms,” including Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, Unstoppable Death Machines, and plenty of DJs.

Aerialists, two main stages, more than a dozen DJs and bands, illuminated art installations, Burning Man Art Cars, body painting, and hundreds of fellow revelers await you at BangOn!'s New Year's party.

Aerialists, two main stages, more than a dozen DJs and bands, illuminated art installations, Burning Man Art Cars, body painting, and hundreds of fellow revelers await you at BangOn!’s New Year’s party.

BangOn!NYC Time & Space
Secret Brooklyn location
9pm, $40–$140

The BangOn! parties seem to get larger and wilder each year. This one will take place in a block-long, 60,000-square-foot East Williamsburg warehouse, and will feature two main stages, more than a dozen DJs and bands, illuminated art installations, Burning Man Art Cars, body painting, aerialists, and much more. (more…)

10/23/13 9:42am
CHERYL's elaborately themed Halloween dance party will not disappoint. Credit:  Eric Harvey Brown

CHERYL’s elaborately themed Halloween dance party will not disappoint. Credit: Eric Harvey Brown

Another Halloween is upon us, along with the very Brooklyn concern of having an embarrassment of riches. Whether you like your Halloween to be funny, toxic, dance-y, or kid-friendly, Oriana Leckert of Brooklyn Spaces  has rounded up some terrific ways to spend the 31st, from the spooky to the spectacular.

Thursday, October 31

For cultural fun for the whole family:

BAMboo!, BAM’s Peter Jay Sharp Building, 4–7pm, free

Here’s a great Halloween for kids: BAM’s 12th annual block party! This year’s festival is Egyptian themed, featuring sphinxes, snakes, a hieroglyphics artist, and of course plenty of candy.

For an evening that’s truly scary:

Haunted Canoe Tours to Dutch Kills, Broadway Stages Boatyard, tours from 5:30–10:30pm, $15

North Brooklyn Boat Club offers a place to be really scared this Halloween: perched atop the toxic waters of Newtown Creek. In addition to guided boat rides, there will be scary stories around a bonfire and “fried troll skin treats.” When planning your costume, make sure it won’t be ruined by adding a life jacket!

For a caffeinated costume party

Haunted Brown Throwdown, Gimme! Coffee, 7-9pm, free

At Gimme’s Lorimer locale, the baristas are having a latte art throwdown, and we’re all welcome to witness their espresso and foamed milk pyrotechnics as they battle for the crown of coffee art. Come in costume and enjoy the gratis pizza and beer.

For a bookish costume bash:

The New Venetian Halloween Carnival, Housing Works Bookstore, 7–9pm, free

Fabulous Brooklyn indie publisher Melville House Books will host this literary steampunk soirée. The event promises “every single pair of old-timey goggles this city can muster,” as well as a costume contest, dramatic readings, silent cinema, and steampunk author Jean Christophe Valtat.

For an offensively funny fête:

Shouting at the Screen, Indie Screen, 8pm–midnight, $10

Okayplayer presents the inaugural event in a new monthly series that features comedians Wyatt Cenac and Donwill as loud-mouthed Statler & Waldorf, shouting at classic blaxploiation films, Mystery Science Theater 3000–style. Stay after the film for a dance party with DJ Tara spinning funk and soul.

For a deliciously devilish dinner:

Chaos Cooking: Blood + Guts, Gowanus Loft, 8pm, $25 / $45 if you don’t cook

If you’ve ever been to a Chaos Cooking event in their old Bushwick location, you know what a blast it is when a bunch of strangers each prepare a dish from scratch—all at the same time and in the same space. This Halloween edition will be hosted by the Gowanus Girls, and tasty costumes are expected. You’ll also need to BYO ingredients and utensils, plus a bottle of wine to share.

For a wild, rollicking dance party:

R.I.t.E., Brooklyn Masonic Temple, 9pm–3am, $20

Cheryl throws crazy elaborate parties, and this Halloween should be no exception, featuring “hallucinatory live musical performances, satanic DJ sets, phantasmagorical visuals, and sinister secret society séances,” You can check out their deliriously wacky promo here.

Find even more events on the Brooklyn Spaces  events calendar.