Prospect Park Tours

Discover hidden treasures, natural wonders and little-known tales on these interactive guided tours of Prospect Park in the heart of Brooklyn, presented by Turnstile Tours in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance. While taking in the beauty of this iconic park’s woodlands, waterways, wildlife, and landmarks, explore the fascinating layers of natural and human history, from the flora and geology, to the architectural eras visible in the built environment, to the past and present of recreation and play. Explore how use of the park has changed over time, from the original vision of designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, to projects underway today that support environmental conservation, historic preservation, and recreational and cultural access for Brooklynites and visitors from around the world.

Highlights

  • Iconic park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, designers of Central Park
  • Explore the history of architecture, recreation, and conservation in this 585-acre park
  • Themed tours including Art & Architecture, Sustainability, and Hidden Treasures
    icon-calendar  SAT 10:30am
    icon-clock-o  2 hours
    icon-male  Walking touricon-cutlery
    icon-map-marker  Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

General Admission: $22 per person for Hidden Treasures and Sustainability Tours / $29 per person for Art & Architecture Tour (includes Zoo admission)

Seniors (65+): $19.80 / $26.10

Students and Veterans: $19.80 / $26.10

Children (5-12): $11 / $14.50

Prospect Park Alliance Members: 25% off

Children under 5 are welcome to attend free

Advance ticket purchase is required

This tour is 2 hours in length.

Public tours are offered on Saturdays at 10:30am.

Use the calendar below to find our next available tour date. If you are interested in other tours about architecture, sustainability, or urban ecology, check out our Brooklyn Navy Yard programs.

Prospect Park is a 585-acre park located in the center of Brooklyn. Tours may begin and end at different locations, so please take note of this when booking. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, or view the Prospect Park map.

Click the map below for Google Maps directions. If traveling by public transportation, visit mta.info for directions and service alerts.

Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 6.44.50 PMBrooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza

Hidden Treasures, Sustainable Prospect Park, Art & Architecture Tours

Starting Point: Tours begin on the front steps of the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library, located at 10 Grand Army Plaza. The nearest subway stations are at Grand Army Plaza (2,3) and 7th Av (B,Q).

End Point: These tours end at either the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, located in the southeast corner of the park near the Parkside Av (Q) subway station, or at the Children’s Corner, near the Prospect Park (B,Q,S) station.

Hidden Treasures Tour (2nd & 3rd Saturdays): There is always more to explore of Prospect Park, and this tour focuses on the park’s little-known corners and hidden treasures. The park is a living, constantly changing place, and as public interests have changed over the past 150 years – in sports, food, music, entertainment – the park has had to adapt to provide new amenities to continue to be, as Olmsted put it, “a means of ready escape” for Brooklynites. This tour will visit many areas of the park that were once prime attractions but are now quiet corners, look at the history of sports and recreation in the park, and examine the layers of history still visible in the landscape. We will also learn how the  Prospect Park Alliance restores and stewards the park today, with a focus on current projects to revitalize the park’s east side, including the Vale, Children’s Pool, and Lakeside.


Art & Architecture Tour – includes Zoo admission (1st Saturday): Prospect Park is an engineering marvel, designed to encapsulate many different landscapes and ecosystems within a relatively small area. Yet with 10 million annual visitors, the park requires constant care and maintenance of its forests, waterways and meadows. This tour will focus on the natural landscape of the park, and the manmade systems that support this hotspot of biodiversity. We will look closely at the ingenious drainage system and chain of manmade streams and ponds that terminate in Brooklyn’s largest lake, follow the park’s scenic watercourse, and go behind the scenes at one of the most unique features of the park: the 1869 Wellhouse, the park’s last remaining building by park designer Calvert Vaux, which once housed the machinery that fueled the  watercourse and was recently restored by the Alliance and converted into the first composting restrooms in a NYC park. We will also learn about management of the park’s forest and how it is impacted by climate change, see projects to improve water quality such as the innovative ecoWEIR filtration system that is being piloted, and learn how the Alliance monitors and protects the plants and wildlife of the park.


Sustainable Prospect Park Tour (Last Saturday): Prospect Park is an engineering marvel, designed to encapsulate many different landscapes and ecosystems within a relatively small area. Yet with 10 million annual visitors, the park requires constant care and maintenance of its forests, waterways and meadows. This tour will focus on the natural landscape of the park, and the manmade systems that support this hotspot of biodiversity. We will look closely at the ingenious drainage system and chain of manmade streams and ponds that terminate in Brooklyn’s largest lake, follow the park’s scenic watercourse, and go behind the scenes at one of the most unique features of the park: the 1869 Wellhouse, the park’s last remaining building by park designer Calvert Vaux, which once housed the machinery that fueled the  watercourse and was recently restored by the Alliance and converted into the first composting restrooms in a NYC park. We will also learn about management of the park’s forest and how it is impacted by climate change, see projects to improve water quality such as the innovative ecoWEIR filtration system that is being piloted, and learn how the Alliance monitors and protects the plants and wildlife of the park.

Please contact us for more details on booking a private tour of Prospect Park, or visit our Group Tours page. Private tours can be offered seven days a week, subject to availability, for groups of any size.

These tours are offered on behalf of the Prospect Park Alliance, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to restore and maintain Prospect Park after a long period of steady deterioration and decline. The Alliance works to preserve the natural environment, restore historic design, and provide public programs and amenities for the Park, which receives more than 10 million visits each year. If you would like to become the member of the Alliance and support their work, you can add a membership to your purchase when reserving tour tickets. Membership levels include:

  • Friend ($35): Prospect Park Alliance aluminum water bottle, $35 off a Citi Bike annual membership, invitations to fall and spring Member Tours & Trails, and 10% off season passes for ice skating, roller skating, bike and boat rentals at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside
  • Supporter ($100): Prospect Park Alliance tote bag, invitation to Member Creatures of the Night tour, subscription to Brooklyn Magazine, $1 off a beer at the Smorgasburg Beer Garden, and complimentary skating admission on Wednesdays
  • Family Supporter ($150): All of the Supporter benefits, plus unlimited rides on the Carousel (for family of four), invitation to Members Morning at Children’s Corner, and $25 off children’s birthday party rentals at the Carousel, Lefferts Historic House, LeFrak Center at Lakeside, and the Tennis Center

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