Behind the Brooklyn Museum  and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden  is enormous Prospect Park (718/965-8999, www.prospectpark.org )—525 acres of forests and meadows, lakes and streams. Prospect Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the two designers behind Central Park. The two men considered this park, which is considerably wilder than Central Park , to be their masterpiece.
The main entrance is at Grand Army Plaza, just up from the Brooklyn Museum at the intersection of Eastern Parkway, Flatbush Avenue, and Prospect Park West. In the center of the plaza, surrounded by an ever-present rush of traffic, is a towering triumphal arch honoring the Union soldiers of the Civil War.
Immediately inside the main entrance is the park’s most glorious sight—Long Meadow. Stretching over a mile, this gently rolling lawn is lined with lush trees that completely hide the cityscape. During warm weather, the meadow attracts West Indian cricket players; in winter, cross-country skiers come out.
East of Long Meadow are an 18th-century carousel; the wooden Dutch farmhouse Lefferts Homestead; and the Prospect Park Wildlife Center (450 Flatbush Ave., 718/399-7339, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily, adults $5, seniors $1.25, children 3–12 $1). At the park’s south end shimmers Prospect Lake.
Like Central Park, Prospect Park is generally safe, but it’s not advisable to explore isolated areas alone or to enter the park after dark.