What interesting things in Brooklyn can you be a member of?
April 12, 2010 8:25 PM   Subscribe

My best friend just moved to Brooklyn. Her birthday is coming up, and I'd like to give her a membership to some local institution that she could frequent. What are my options?

She lives in Park Slope and is kind of a homebody, so I thought it would be nice if there were some place pretty near her that she could just pick up and go to easily when she wanted something cool to do.

I am not a New Yorker, so I'm doing this all online and I don't really know the scene. My first thought was the Prospect Park Zoo, but they only do all-inclusive memberships to all the NYC zoos, which has sort of a high price point (I was hoping for around $50), and I don't really see her trekking out to the Bronx and Central Park all the time, which kind of defeats the purpose of the membership. There's the Brooklyn Museum, but I don't think she particularly digs art more than average.

How's the Botanic Garden? Is it the kind of place that invites repeat visits? What other cool places are there? She loves theater, and I was looking into theater subscription series, but I can't find much in my price range; most community theaters don't seem to be well set up for this.

I wouldn't be totally against something in Manhattan, especially if it's near NYU, where she works, but I think somewhere close to home would hold the most appeal. Thanks!
posted by zadermatermorts to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was a Brooklyn Botanic Garden member and absolutely loved it. It made for many a beautiful spring afternoon. The Brooklyn Museum is also fascinating, or Brooklyn Academy of Music. Theater, movies, art, music, etc., within a walk of Park Slope.
posted by bunnycup at 8:30 PM on April 12, 2010

MoMA is in midtown, but has a membership that isn't too expensive, and is great.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of my favorite places in the city. And right now, the cherries are blooming, which is absolutely the most beautiful thing ever (in NYC).
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:33 PM on April 12, 2010

2.5 x your price range and she'd have to work there ~3 hours a month, but you could put down the $125 for her to join the Park Slope Food Co-op. ($100 of that gets refunded if she ever cancels the membership.)
posted by Ashley801 at 8:35 PM on April 12, 2010

Here is what you want: Friend of BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) membership for $75, if you are willing to go a bit overbudget. Ticket discounts, advance sales, parties/special events, invitations to working rehearsals, etc. Also, opera. When I wrote my first answer I hadn't caught the "she loves theater" part.
posted by bunnycup at 8:39 PM on April 12, 2010

The one and only cultural institution I'm a member of is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Boy howdy is it friendly for repeat visits (especially when they have their big events like the Cherry Blossom festival in the spring, and members can breeze right by that biiiiiiiig long line at the entrance).

BAM is local to Fort Greene, though, and is also a good choice.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:58 PM on April 12, 2010

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is a great idea- They have a lot of members only special events in the Spring/Summer. I certainly went often enough to make money back.
posted by GilloD at 11:18 PM on April 12, 2010

nthing the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, definitely -- there're things to do there year round, and she could walk there from Park Slope.

The only other thing I can think of that hasn't been mentioned is the Montauk Club, but besides being expensive, the atmosphere -- "like that of a cocktail party in a Venetian palazzo" -- may not be your friend's scene.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:51 AM on April 13, 2010

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