Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

  • Published 2022/08/04

Known as “The Little Poland” in Brooklyn, New York City, Greenpoint is a lively and diverse neighborhood worth visiting.

It lies in the northwest area of the borough and is home to a large population of Polish-Americans.

This gives it a solid Polish influence seen in traditional restaurants, shops, and businesses in the area.

The neighborhood also offers a share of top-rated and trendy restaurants, bars, and music venues.

It also presents many popular parks and warehouses transformed into art galleries and studios.

The rise of buildings in the early 2000s made this working-class neighborhood a center for gentrification and nightlife attractions.

Though its location may seem out-of-the-way, Greenpoint is a great place to visit and discover.

Here are the best things to do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Learn Local History at the Józef Pilsudski Institute of America

Established in 1943, the Józef Piłsudski Institute of America honors the Polish statesman.

It serves as an archive, museum, and research center presenting studies on current Polish history.

You’ll discover significant events in the history of Poland and the contributions of Americans of Polish descent.

Check out antique photographs, movies, and printed materials in the archives section.

Browse old and new books about Polish culture and history, and you might find an interesting book to buy at the bookstore.

View the permanent collection of historical artifacts, exciting memorabilia, and paintings by Polish artists.

You’ll also have an opportunity to catch lectures, presentations, or feature films at the Ziuk movie theater.

Spend the afternoon at the Josef Pilsudski Institute of America.

See Contemporary Art Pieces at Faurschou Foundation

The Copenhagen-based art collector Jens Faurschou and his former wife Luisa founded the Faurschou Foundation in 2011.

It presents contemporary works from across the globe.

View unique displays from the Eastern and Western cities like Beijing, Copenhagen, and Venice.

Check out admirable works like Cai Guo-Qiang’s “A Boat With Dreams” and Ai Weiwei’s “Two Figures.”

Admire several art expressions at the skylit gallery with installations like “The Ozymandias Parade” by Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz.

See other thematic and solo exhibitions featuring collaborations with artists and galleries at the Faurschou Foundation.

View the Sunset at WNYC Transmitter Park

Sunset view from WNYC Transmitter Park

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WNYC Transmitter Park is a public park where Greenpoint Avenue ends with East River’s shorelines.

In 1935, the WNYC public radio station bought the six-acre property.

They broadcast an AM signal from the site until it ceased operations in 1990.

Afterward, the city turned the area into a park that opened to the public in 2012.

Today, WNYC’s old transmitter house still stands.

Daytime view of WNYC Transmitter Park

James Andrews1 /

It is the smallest of Greenpoint’s main parks but gives stunning city views, especially during sunset.

Enjoy the Manhattan skyline or take snapshots with a background of the enormous mural of a girl with flowers.

Likewise, let your little ones have fun at the playground, too.

Bring your family to the WNYC Transmitter Park!

People at WNYC Transmitter Park

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Enjoy a Relaxing Stroll at Greenpoint Landing Esplanade

The Greenpoint Landing Esplanade is a public waterfront area everyone enjoys.

It belongs to the Park Tower Group’s Greenpoint Landing development.

The 1.5-acre park lies between the Blue Slip and Bell Slip pathways and includes the waterfront esplanade, lawn, and picnic areas.

Enjoy a walk with views of busy Manhattan and Long Island.

Spend the afternoon with a snack or coffee at the picnic tables.

You’ll enjoy an idle time in the seating area with the sight of verdant plants and small trees.

Enjoy a day at the Greenpoint Landing Esplanade.

Taste Authentic Polish Cuisine at Pierozek

Your Greenpoint experience wouldn’t be complete without tasting authentic Polish Pierogi.

Pierozek is just the place to treat yourself to this delicious delicacy.

The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining with a comfortable decor featuring the 1960s and 1970s Polish Folk Art movement.

Sink your teeth in the classic Ruskie, filled with potatoes and cheese, or try the sauerkraut & mushroom and meat pierogi.

Order samples of the beloved dish with a twist like the jalapeño pierogi and Murray’s cheese pierogi.

Of course, you can also order traditional Polish dishes like croquettes, red borscht, gołąbki, or stuffed cabbage.

Pair your meals with vodka shots, beers, wine, and cocktails like Aperol Spritz and Espresso Martini.

Grab a hearty meal at Pierozek!

Have a Solitude at Monsignor McGolrick Park

A statue at Monsignor McGolrick Park

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Monsignor McGolrick Park is an excellent place to unwind if you want a more relaxed park space.

In 1941, the city renamed the park in honor of Monsignor Edward J. McGolrick, a parish leader who helped build several institutions in the neighborhood.

One of the neighborhood’s three main parks offers a peaceful, low-key area that’s dog-friendly and well-shaded with lines of old tall trees.

A shelter at Monsignor McGolrick Park

James Andrews1 /

You’ll come across the historic pavilion dating back to 1910, the monuments dedicated to World War I heroes, and the USS Monitor Building.

There’s plenty of seating and a gated play area where little ones can enjoy the swings, play equipment, and spray showers.

Explore the Monsignor McGolrick Park!

Pathway lined with trees at Monsignor McGolrick Park

James Andrews1 /

Grab Draft Beers at Tørst Bar

Head out to Tørst Bar for some of the best craft beers in the neighborhood.

This local bar and restaurant boasts 21 drafts and over 200 bottle selections and has become famous for its unique style of diner food.

Try a variety of local brew inventions like the State Pils Kellerbier or Zwickelbier from the Suarez Family Brewery.

You can also try the Find Time Lager from the Drowned Lands Brewery.

Have a glass full of No Hands Now Sour, a fruited by Grimm Artisanal Ales, or Pen Druid Brewing’s Titan Blonde Ale.

Try the different Tørst specialties on the menu, like the Watermelon & Tomato Salad and Cheese Plate.

Have your fill of Fried Chicken Sandwich, Veggie Burger, and Dry-aged Burger, then end with a Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for dessert.

Enjoy a night out at Tørst Bar!

Have Fun Recreation Activities at McCarren Park

Track field at McCarren Park

Cory Seamer /

There are plenty of leisure activities you can enjoy at McCarren Park.

Spanning 35 acres, it’s the largest of Greenpoint’s main parks, which include the McCarren Park Pool and Play Center.

Have fun at this free outdoor pool and cool down on a summer day.

Walk your fur buddies in the dog-friendly areas or go for a relaxing picnic and set up the grills at the barbecue areas.

Outdoor pool of McCarren Park

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The park is famous for its outstanding sports facilities like baseball, soccer, and football fields.

Play basketball, tennis, bocce, and handball on the courts.

Run some laps at the tracks and exercise with the park’s fitness equipment.

Little ones and older kids can also get active with playgrounds, spray showers, and skate parks they can enjoy.

In case you get hungry, you can find eateries around the place and use other amenities like Wifi hotspots and bathrooms.

Make the most of your day at the McCarren Park.

People on the grounds of McCarren Park

James Andrews1 /

Shop for Local Goods at Greenmarket Saturday

Saturdays at McCarren Park get busy with vendors selling local produce on Greenmarket Saturday.

The weekly market started in 1997, and has grown with loyal customers from nearby Williamsburg and Greenpoint communities.

Catch local vendors from New York and New Jersey, so you can expect many goods to see and buy in this market.

Find assorted dairy products like fresh milk, yogurt, and eggs and get farm-fresh meat like pork, beef, chicken, and rabbit.

Rows of seasonal fruits and vegetables are always ready for your picking.

You can also choose from various jams, preserves, honey, baked goods, and juices.

Stock up on groceries at Greenmarket Saturday!

Get a Dose of Entertainment at Brooklyn Bowl

A band in Brooklyn Bowl

Adam Shanker /

Sitting a few minutes from Greenpoint, the Brooklyn Bowl is inside an old iron works building.

This music venue, bowling alley, and restaurant opened in 2009.

In 2013, Rolling Stone recognized Brooklyn Bowl as one of the best music clubs in the country.

Entertain yourself by catching world-class musical acts and live performances.

Signage of Brooklyn Bowl

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Roll a strike at the bowling alleys and have hours of fun, then check out some great Brooklyn Bowl Merch at the store.

You can also have a custom-made Brooklyn Bowl poster you can bring home or gift to someone.

After the fun, you can satisfy your hunger with fantastic food from NYC’s Blue Ribbon.

Grab house-smoked pork ribs and pitchers of local beer, frozen margaritas, or wine.

Performers in Brooklyn Bowl

Adam Shanker /

See Pizza Art at the Museum of Pizza

The Museum of Pizza is far from your typical museum because it presents everyone’s favorite meal, the pizza.

Nameless Network created this unique attraction.

It’s a Brooklyn-based media network aimed to stir knowledge and discovery in young people.

This eclectic museum has no dull space, so you can take amazing photos on every corner.

See larger-than-life installations and immersive displays by Adam Green, Optical Animal, Emma Stern, and Pinky Weber, to name a few.

You’ll also get a slice of pizza while enjoying the fun art of the Pizza Museum.

Feast on Endless Food Options at Smorgasburg

A food vendor at Smorgasburg

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If you love food, you can’t afford to miss dropping by Kent Avenue for the weekend Smorgasburg.

This is an open-air food bazaar that Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler of Brooklyn Flea started in 2011.

Burgers for sale at Smorgasburg

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It hosts dozens of food vendors attracting hundreds of foodies during the weekend that people already call “The Woodstock of Eating.”

This food mecca should satisfy your cravings, from donuts to cookies, burgers to baos, and vegan barbecue sandwiches.

There is plenty of outdoor seating in the area, or you can walk to the waterfront park with a view of Manhattan while enjoying your food.

Spend the weekend at the Smorgasburg!

Bread vendor at Smorgasburg

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Enjoy Nature on a Rooftop at Kingsland Wildflowers

Kingsland Wildflowers is a green roof, bird habitat, and native plant garden that would stir the nature lover in you.

The project resulted from partnerships among local businesses and community organizations that aim to promote environmental sustainability and the local community’s development.

They host educational programs, volunteer days, and open houses with hands-on activities, art, and loads of fun and entertainment during summer.

You can come during one of their public events.

You’ll learn about green roofs, collect wildflower seeds, and enjoy the sunsets on the rooftop.

Depending on the season, you’ll see colorful blooms, like blackeyed Susan, annual phlox, red corn poppy, purple node Joe Pye weed, and purple coneflower.

You’ll see yellow-throated warblers, dark-eyed juncos, and frequent visitors like starlings and house sparrows.

You might also spot some Canadian geese, pigeons, seagulls, and hawks at Kingsland Wildflowers.

See Old Flicks at Film Noir Cinema

For a different film experience and old-school movie rentals, you can drop by Film Noir Cinema.

This attraction is partly a video store and cinema that presents a unique retro cinematic experience.

The Polish-American Will Malitek owns and operates the Film Noir Cinema.

You’ll find a walk-in closet full of film DVD film collections and film memorabilia that brings a nostalgic feeling.

Catch classic films and rare indie flicks at the 54-seat cinema with your family and friends.

If you love films in black and white, this is undoubtedly a treat you don’t want to miss.

View More Artworks at the Greenpoint Gallery

The musician and artist Shawn James founded the non-profit Greenpoint Gallery in 2003.

It focuses on encouraging budding artists through classes and lectures, career guidance, and providing affordable exhibit spaces.

The museum holds periodic exhibitions and actively participates in community programs like the Work, Learn & Grow Program and the Oasis Youth program.

Admire indie art and view rotating displays or featured artists with their creative works.

Check their website for current exhibits and feast your eyes on interesting contemporary pieces.

Final Thoughts

Greenpoint is a lively and colorful neighborhood seen in its communities and local establishments.

The diverse location offers three main attractive parks, local shops, and restaurants with unique specialties.

The neighborhood also features outstanding art museums and galleries that would delight art lovers.

See the beautiful attractions and enjoy the best things to do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

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