CROWN HEIGHTS — Too many tots, not enough taps.
That's the consensus in Central Brooklyn, where kids have only a handful of places to cool off during the dog days of summer.
"A lot of parks have sprinklers, but most of the time they're not on," said mom Melony Akylbayeva, who trundled her one-year-old son Justice up to Brower Park in Crown Heights for its reliable ice-cold sprinklers. "My son loves the water. It's freezing."
Brower Park at Kingston Avenue and Park Place boasts three big sprinklers encircled by shady benches and bounded by playgrounds and fields that draw heat-weary families from a diverse cross section of the community. Located in the center of the neighborhood and just across the street from the Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brower is one of the most popular summertime spots around.
"I like getting icy and playing in the water," said six-year-old Jacera Alston, who visited the park Tuesday with her aunt Jalayer Taylor, 23. "I don't like going home."
Underhill Playground at the corner of Underhill Avenue and Prospect Place is another reliably wet respite from the sweltering summer heat. Its whimsical water-spouting whales and ground-level sprinkler features cater primarily to toddlers, a relief for many young Prospect Heights families.
"It's the best relief," said mom Tracy Blake, who brought son Tyler, 3, to the neighborhood specifically for the sprinklers. "We come here all the time."
Mount Prospect Park at Eastern Parkway and up the stairs from Underhill Avenue offers a wide, sunny play space with small sprinklers inside its expansive hilltop playground, a perfect alternative for older kids — when it's on.
Elijah Stroud Playground on Sterling Place between Classon and Washington Avenues is also outfitted with sprinklers, but those too are less dependable than a spritz from Grand Army Plaza's massive Bailey Fountain or the nearest open hydrant.
The Brooklyn Public Library's Central Branch may not be a playground, but small children looking to cool off between parks can dip their toes in the burbling fountains that line it's Eastern Parkway entrance before abandoning the heat altogether for an air-conditioned story hour.