PROSPECT PARK — Brooklyn's most beloved park will unveil its largest water play area on Monday, just in time for the summer months, according to a press release from the Prospect Park Alliance.
The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center, a skating pavilion and event center that has two rinks open seasonally for roller skating and ice skating, transformed the open-air ice rink in the southeast portion of the park into a water play area for the summer.
The play space is designed for children 12 and under and access to the facility will be free to the public. The space is decked out with terraced, shaded seating and a year-round café, and is part of the 26-acre development of the park at Lakeside.
The converted rink includes 41 jets shooting water streams across the play area’s surface, that will provide recreation for local youngsters and refuge from heat on hot summer days, organizers said.
Parents and children alike already seemed enthusiastic about the new development. The covered public roller rink adjacent to the play area, which forms a contiguous ice rink in the winter, was abuzz with parents and young skaters on Sunday. Many said they were eager to explore the play area when it opened.
“Particularly on hot days, we’ll come and hang out, and we love the fact that there’s roller skating right near by,” commented Alexandra Jurenko, a Brooklyn resident.
“There’s so much to utilize and every time we come to the park I can’t believe it’s all here. The fact that the water play area is new and clean makes it really appealing for my 11-year-old, Cara,” she continued.
Organizers are also proud to have finally realized a dream of making the space available through the hottest months of the year.
"Ensuring the LeFrak Center at Lakeside could be used year-round was an important goal when we were designing it," said James Snow, acting president of the Prospect Park Alliance, referencing the more high-profile use of the space for ice skating. "With the opening of the water play feature we are excited to add another great activity made especially for kids."
A host of new programs and activities will be introduced with the water play area’s opening, including boating and biking, the release noted.
An onsite manager of the LeFrak Center at Lakeside declined to comment on the water play area’s opening Memorial Day.
The free water play area will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day. Fees are associated with some roller rink use. Adults over 18 must be accompanied by a child under 12. For more information, visit http://lakesidebrooklyn.com/.