Winter escape: Brooklyn spots where you can pretend it is still summer

A little horseplay: The toy store and activity center Camp features an underground forest decorated like a summer camp, where kids can forget about winter for a while.
Photo by Carlyn Thompson

Winter officially starts this weekend, but we are already dreaming of warm weather. So here are four summer spots in Brooklyn where you can go to escape the winter, and make those dreams come true. 

For the birds: Toy store Camp in City Point features areas decorated as forests, log cabins, and a small lake.Photo by Carlyn Thompson

Notes on Camp

A newly-opened toy store in Brooklyn’s Downtown hides a secret summer sanctum. Behind a bookcase at the back of Camp, you will find a space decked out to resemble a New England summer camp — including a painted lake with projected ripples, log cabins, trees stretching to the ceiling, and a 1970s station wagon that evokes memories of old school road trips. 

Every shelf is covered in toys, games, and kids’ clothing, but there are also plenty of free campground games to keep kids occupied. Young campers can immerse themselves in craft activities that change each day, including making masks or dreamcatchers, and then can enjoy storytelling events or kids’ comedy shows at the “Campitheatre.” 

Adults can visit the camp canteen, which offers coffee, along with Camp’s signature flavor of ice cream: a chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow mash-up dubbed Smores Sprinkles.

Camp [1 Dekalb Ave. between Albee Square West and Fleet Street Downtown, (917) 310–2448, camp.com/locations/5-brooklyn]. Sun–Wed, 10 am–7 pm; Thu–Sat, 10 am–8 pm. Free. 

Tiki talk

Sip a drink from a coconut shell and imagine that you are in the tropics, at Crown Height’s tiki bar Super Power! Fend off the winter doldrums by sipping on summer cocktails served up in beachy vessels, including a mezcal mai tai, a frozen painkiller, and the four-person “Tea Punch” served in an enormous conch shell and decorated with tiny umbrellas and tropical fauna. Outfitted in neon lights, glowing pineapples and sculptures of pufferfish, Super Power helps patrons feel like wintertime is far, far away.

Super Power [722 Nostrand Ave. between Prospect and Park places in Crown Heights, (718) 484–0020, superpowerbrooklyn.com]. Mon–Fri, 5 pm–4 am; Sat–Sun, 2 pm–4 am. 

Shuffle along

A Gowanus shuffleboard club offers a helping stick for those who want to feel that they are cruising the Caribbean. Bring a friend or three and sign up for the game traditionally played on board a yacht, and you can send disks spinning across one of the club’s 10 shuffleboard courts. You will be surrounded by plastic palm trees, pictures of pink flamingos, and bartenders rocking Hawaiian shirts. Between matches, you can kick back on the summer patio furniture while sipping a frozen pina colada from one of the club’s two bars. 

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (514 Union St. at Nevins Street in Gowanus, www.royalpalmsshuffle.com). Mon–Thu, 6 pm–midnight; Fri, 6 pm–2 am; Sat, noon–2 am; Sun, noon–10 pm. $40 for shuffleboard court. 

Winter oasis 

Winter is the perfect season to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and learn about the hottest spots on Earth. Inside the Desert Pavilion, you can marvel at the selection of cacti, wildflowers, and succulents from hot, dry areas around the world. Meanwhile, in the Tropical Pavilion, fruit trees from near the equator are starting to produce papaya, guava, orangeberries, and jackfruit. And as an extra inducement, the Gardens are free on weekdays throughout the winter season. 

Brooklyn Botanic Garden [900 Washington Ave. at Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, (718) 623–7200, www.bbg.org]. Open Tue–Sun, 10 am–4:30 pm. Free on weekdays ($15 on Saturday and Sunday).

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