a majestic view of The Brooklyn Bridge

Guide To Visiting The Brooklyn Bridge In New York City

Dec 19,2022read

The Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see attraction for any visitor to New York City. Located in the heart of Brooklyn and connecting the borough to Manhattan, this iconic bridge offers breathtaking views of the New York skyline and the East River.

The History Of The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is so much more than just a bridge. It's a living piece of history, with a rich and fascinating past that stretches back more than 140 years. Here's a closer look at the history of the Brooklyn Bridge:

The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by John Augustus Roebling, a German-born engineer who immigrated to the United States in the early 1800s. Roebling's original design called for a bridge made of iron, but he later switched to a design using steel, which was stronger and more durable.

Construction on the Brooklyn Bridge began in 1869 and was completed in 1883. It was the first bridge to use steel for cable wire, and its innovative design made it the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion.

A view of The Brooklyn Bridge from Dumbo

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

The Brooklyn Bridge was a major feat of engineering, and its construction was not without its challenges. Roebling himself was injured in a ferry accident during the early stages of construction and died from complications a few weeks later. His son, Washington Roebling, took over as chief engineer, but he too was plagued by health problems and was unable to physically oversee the construction of the bridge. Despite these setbacks, the bridge was completed on schedule and opened to the public on May 24, 1883.

Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic symbol of New York City and a popular tourist destination. It's a great place for a leisurely walk or a bike ride, and the views from the bridge are truly breathtaking. If you're visiting New York City with your family, be sure to add the Brooklyn Bridge to your itinerary.

In addition to its historical and architectural significance, the Brooklyn Bridge is also a great place to learn about the natural environment of New York City. The East River is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including birds, fish, and crustaceans. If you look closely, you might even spot a dolphin or two swimming in the river below.

Image Credit:  Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

If you're planning a trip to the Brooklyn Bridge with your family, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  1. Start early: The Brooklyn Bridge is a popular destination, so it's best to visit as early as possible to avoid crowds. This is especially important if you have young children with you, as it can get quite crowded later in the day. Aim to arrive at the bridge around sunrise, when the crowds are at their lowest and the light is at its most beautiful.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: The Brooklyn Bridge is a long walk, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You'll be walking on a mix of pavement and wooden boards, so sneakers or walking shoes are a good choice. If you have small children, consider bringing a stroller or carrier to make the walk more manageable.
  3. Bring water and snacks: There are food and drink vendors along the way, but it's always a good idea to bring your own water and snacks, especially if you have young children with you. The walk across the bridge can be tiring, especially on a hot day, so be sure to stay hydrated. Pack a few healthy snacks, such as fruit or granola bars, to keep your energy levels up.
  4. Take your time: The Brooklyn Bridge is more than just a means of getting from one place to another - it's an attraction in its own right. Take your time and enjoy the views, the history, and the architecture of this iconic structure. The bridge is more than a mile long, so you'll have plenty of time to take in the sights and sounds. Stop along the way to snap a few photos or just take in the views of the city and the river below.
  5. Be mindful of traffic: While the Brooklyn Bridge has a pedestrian walkway, there is also a busy roadway for vehicles. Be sure to stay on the designated pedestrian walkway and keep an eye out for traffic. This is especially important if you have young children with you, as they may be tempted to wander off the walkway.
  6. Learn about the history of the bridge: The Brooklyn Bridge is more than just a beautiful piece of architecture - it's also an important part of New York City's history. Take a moment to learn about the bridge's history as you walk across it. The bridge was completed in 1883 and was the first bridge to use steel-wire cables. It was a major engineering feat at the time and helped to transform Brooklyn and Manhattan into the bustling metropolises they are today.
  7. Explore the surrounding area: The Brooklyn Bridge is located in the heart of Brooklyn, so take some time to explore the surrounding area after you've crossed the bridge. There are plenty of great neighborhoods to explore, such as Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and Brooklyn Heights. You'll find a mix of independent shops, restaurants, and cafes in these neighborhoods, as well as some great views of the city.
  8. Consider a guided tour: If you want to learn more about the Brooklyn Bridge and its history, consider taking a guided tour. There are several companies that offer guided walks across the bridge, led by knowledgeable local guides who can provide insight into the bridge's history and significance.

In terms of the best time of day to cross the bridge it is also worth considering a sunset walk. This way you get to see the bridge transition from day to night and enjoy the magical sunset light too.

Family Days Out recently visited New York and you can see here from this short video just how magnificant the bridge is!

Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge with your family is a great way to spend a day in New York City. See below for a list of some other fun attractions.

a majestic view of The Brooklyn Bridge

Photo by Hannes Richter on Unsplash

Some other fun things to do in NYC

  1. Visit Central Park: Central Park is a must-see destination for families visiting New York City. With more than 850 acres of green space, there's plenty to see and do. Kids will love exploring the park's playgrounds, ponds, and sculptures.

  2. Take a boat tour: A boat tour is a fun way to see the city from a different perspective. There are several companies that offer boat tours of the Hudson River, East River, and New York Harbor. Kids will love the chance to see the city's landmarks from the water.

  3. Go to the museum: New York City is home to some of the world's best museums, and many of them offer special exhibits and programs for families. Consider visiting the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

  4. See a show: New York City is known for its world-class theater scene, and there are plenty of shows that are suitable for families. Consider seeing a Broadway show, such as "The Lion King" or "Aladdin," or check out a performance at the New Victory Theater, which specializes in shows for kids.

  5. Take a food tour: Food tours are a great way to explore a new city, and New York City is no exception. There are several companies that offer food tours of the city's neighborhoods, allowing families to try a variety of local dishes and learn about the city's diverse culinary scene.

  6. Go ice skating: Ice skating is a fun winter activity, and there are several indoor and outdoor rinks in New York City. Consider visiting the rink at Rockefeller Center, or head to Central Park's Wollman Rink for a more traditional outdoor skating experience.

  7. Take a bike tour: A bike tour is a fun way for families to see the city and get some exercise at the same time. There are several companies that offer guided bike tours of the city, including tours of Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge.

  8. Visit the zoo: The Bronx Zoo is home to more than 600 species of animals, making it a great destination for families with kids. In addition to seeing the animals, visitors can also participate in educational programs and activities.

Brooklyn Bridge Quiz

 

1. When was the Brooklyn Bridge completed?

a) 1883

b) 1903

c) 1913

d) 1923

2. How long is the Brooklyn Bridge?

a) 0.5 miles

b) 1 mile

c) 1.5 miles

d) 2 miles

3. Who designed the Brooklyn Bridge?

a) John A. Roebling

b) Gustav Eiffel

c) I. M. Pei

d) Frank Gehry

4. What is the Brooklyn Bridge made of?

a) Steel

b) Concrete

c) Stone

d) Wood

5. How many cables does the Brooklyn Bridge have?

a) 4

b) 6

c) 8

d) 10

6. What color is the Brooklyn Bridge painted?

a) Red

b) Orange

c) Yellow

d) Grey

7.What is the Brooklyn Bridge used for?

a) Pedestrian walkway

b) Bicycle lane

c) Vehicle roadway

d) All of the above

8.What is the weight of the Brooklyn Bridge?

a) 10,000 tons

b) 25,000 tons

c) 50,000 tons

d) 75,000 tons

9.How many people visit the Brooklyn Bridge each year?

a) 1 million

b) 5 million

c) 10 million

d) 15 million

10. What is the nickname of the Brooklyn Bridge?

a) The Big Apple

b) The Empire State

c) The City That Never Sleeps

d) The Great Bridge

 

Answers: 1) a, 2) b, 3) a, 4) a, 5) c, 6) d, 7) d, 8) c, 9) c, 10) d

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