How to make the most of your summer Fridays

summer fridays

You COULD sit in a kiddie pool on your roof, but think about all the fun stuff you’d be missing out on.

If you’re lucky enough to have a job that gives you summer Fridays (or any job at all), you’re pretty much killing us here at Brokelyn if you’re using your free, salaried time to watch Netflix. We’re not going to say we’re not jealous of your paid free hours, but even while secretly hating you we want you help you make the most of your summer Fridays.

Even though lucky you has permanent, parent-approved employment, you don’t need to spend a lot, or any, money to make the most of your much-deserved time off.

SWIMMING

If being around a bunch of screaming kids doesn’t bother you, head to the Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool to lay out in the sun, on the beach, or take a dip in the 60 person pool. For a slightly more crowded experience (bonus: larger pool), check out the McCarren Park Pool or any of Brooklyn’s other public pools.  If splurging for a day is in the budget, check out the saltwater pool at King & Grove (160 North 12th Street), where a $35 reservation (it’s $45 on weekends, so you’re saving money!), saves you a spot by the 150 person pool and access to the Elm’s menu which includes BLTs and watermelon mojitos.

And if you think you can handle a mini-vacation out of town, venture into the Bronx for the Floating Pool. Bring your plain white tee, because shirts with colors on them are not allowed on deck. Neither are unrestrained periodicals or valuables and a bathing suit is required for entry.

OUTDOORS

Because you’re so sick of office life, why don’t you enjoy some fresh air for once?  Take a long walk in your neighborhood, explore a new one, or actually enjoy nature at the Highland Park Ridgewood Reservoir.

You could also stroll around Newtown Creek, the beautiful, only semi-polluted water body between Greenpoint and Long Island City. Walk the Pulaski Bridge before sunset for some amazing city views!

Did you know that Prospect Park is home to Brooklyn’s only freshwater lake?  Check out Lakeside for water activities like pedal boating, kayaking, and rowing. Brooklyn Bridge Park only offers free kayaking on Thursdays and Saturdays, but head to Manhattan for free kayak Fridays with Manhattan Community Boathouse.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park skating rink offers free Friday admission from 3pm to 6pm if you want to do some laps while taking in waterfront views of Manhattan.

Another free boating opportunity: The Staten Island Ferry. Enjoy the free views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Skyline and enjoy the cheap beer (or just bring your own on). When you get to Staten Island, Enoteca Maria (27 Hyatt Street), an Italian restaurant with a different menu every day determined by an Italian grandma (seriously) is just a short walk away if you want to get a bite.

For the afternoon, you can relax for free at Governors Island’s new Hammock Grove. Hop on the $2 ferry from Brooklyn or Manhattan and enjoy 30 new acres of open park with beautiful views of the New York skyline.

To make some new eco-minded friends and help the planet, try volunteering with GrowNYC.  A Friday afternoon shift at a Farmers’ Market or a park is a great, free way to unwind for the weekend.  And feel good about doing something mostly selfless.

For those of us who dream of stardom, eight hours of volunteering in Prospect Park earns a three-hour free recording session in their Beat Cave studio and there’s no reason to not use your summer Friday hours to earn the time. Maybe your rap about trees and grass will go platinum and you won’t even have to worry about summer Fridays ever again.

If you’re up for some mini-golf (and don’t want to pay), play the free course at Bushwick County Club, which opens at 5pm and offers endless free off-brand cheese puffs with every drink purchase. And those drinks are $6 sweet tea vodka slushies.

DRINKING (AND OYSTERS)

To get your day drinking on, visit Uncle Barry’s (58 5th Avenue), a Prospect Heights dive bar with plenty of outdoor space that opens at 1pm on Fridays. Before 7pm, all drafts (usually around $6) are $2 off!

Brooklyn’s best old school absinthe and oyster bar, Maison Premiere (298 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg) opens at 4pm and serves $1 half shells- oysters and clams from New England, Canada, Mexico, and more- from 4pm-7pm.

Bed-Stuy’s Bedford Hall (1177 Bedford Avenue, Bed-Stuy) also has an oyster happy hour, from 3pm to 8pm, where you can choose from $1 oysters or get a half-dozen oysters and a Narragansett tallboy for $10.99.

Farm-to-table eatery Alice’s Arbor (549 Classon Avenue, Bed-Stuy) has a 4pm-7pm happy hour that includes $1 oysters, $8 apple backs, and $2 off all of their wine and draft beer! Relax in the reclaimed wood restaurant and start a chill weekend with a nice discount.

Of course, why drink inside when you could drink outside? Hot Bird (546 Clinton Avenue, Prospect Heights) has a big yard (that’s child-free) and a happy hour that goes from when the bar opens at 4pm, until 8pm and features $4 drafts from their awesome selection of craft beers.

There’s also Brokelyn favorite the Gowanus Yacht Club (323 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens), open at 3pm. Duff or no Duff, the all-outdoor bar opens at 3pm for all your drinking the sun needs, with $3 cans and $6 drafts, with a burger and hot dog-centered food menu to make sure you’ve got something to keep the booze in your belly company.

Williamsburg’s Alligator Lounge (600 Lorimer Street), perhaps best known for serving free pizza with every drink order, opens at noon and offers $1 off drinks from 3pm-6pm, pizza included. Fireball Fridays also offer $4 shots of every bro’s favorite cinnamon whiskey…

MOVIES

Looking at a rainy day for your summer Friday? Good thing there are cheap movies. Hit up an indie flick at Brooklyn Heights Cinema (70 Henry Street), where a weekday matinee (before 4pm) will run you only $7. Williamsburg Cinemas (217 Grand Street) has a more mainstream selection of films (shocker), with an $8 weekday matinee. Their sister theatre, Cobble Hill Theatre (265 Court Street), also sells $8 matinee tickets before 5pm.

EATING

Dine at one of our Brokelyn-approved weekday brunch spots and reap in the benefits of not waiting to even put your name on a list.  A favorite is Williamsburg’s egg (109 North 3rd Street), which serves Southern comfort food like biscuits and gravy, organic eggs and grits and ham biscuits.  Plus, you get to color (with crayons!) on the tables.

In Park Slope, stop by Israeli eatery Miriam (79 5th Avenue) from 5pm-8pm for a generous happy hour that features two for one wine, beer, and fantastic mezzes ($6).  For under $15, you can make a large  meal out of small plates including falafel, watermelon and feta salad, eggplant bourekas, fried cauliflower, and much more. Shabbat Shalom!

Follow Melissa while she struggles without summer Fridays at @melissabethk