Redeeming the NYC ID Memberships: The Brooklyn Botanical Garden and the Chile Pepper Festival

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Remember back in May when I was talking about the free NYC ID and all the cultural perks that come with it? Well, starting September I actually realized that I only have a couple of months left to redeem all of my free memberships until the end of the year so I made sure to get on it. The first stop my friend (a fellow NYC ID carrier) and I made, was the wonderful Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The BK Botanical has always been of my favorite weekend hangout spot. Not only is it in walking distance from where I live, but it has an epic rose garden (that seems to bloom throughout November even!), some cool festivals, and a quaint Japanese garden and pond. Back in April, I had been part of the Japanese Cherry Blossom festival – one of my first times experiencing its hype and it was quite an epic way to celebrate the advent of spring.

Chile Pepper Festival
Chile Pepper Festival

This time around, we stood in the membership line for a hot second (it seemed to be a common day to redeem the memberships) until we were let in. And all behold, it was the day of another interesting event: The Chile Pepper Festival! I had heard about it before but hadn’t been able to participate in it yet, so it was perfect timing to stroll around, check out the stands, and see what it was about. This event was all about what could be made and cooked with the Chile Pepper. It must be a common month of the year for it, as they also had a same-named festival in Queens and Phoenix (and probably a few other spots!). Since we had just brunched, we didn’t feel hungry enough to try any food from the food stands, but walking past them, there seemed to be a bunch of good options. Next time!

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After a little bit, we had enough of the festival and the amount of people. We therefore went for a stroll around the actual garden. Since it was my friend’s first time here, I showed here the Japanese Pond area. We also explored the Lilli Pool Terrace and dug into the greenhouses they have around there. The Conservatory featured numerous humidity factors – from subtropical rainforest over normal green forest to desert land – we walked through quite a bit of different plants and I was smitten by the bonsai trees.

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It seems that the Botanical Garden is extending its grounds, as we saw the site under construction when walking to the children’s area and herb garden. It’s a pretty neat concept for the younger ones: Having an area to explore nature all by themselves through the power of puzzles, games, and other mysteries.

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We ended our tour by walking past the Rock Garden, hiding in some tall grass, and leaving via means of the Osborne Garden. If you are ever in the area, you should check out the BK Botanic Garden. It’s smaller than the one in the Bronx, but easier to get to and of course the Brooklyn Museum is right next to it. So you will certainly get your overdose in culture and more!

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Sniffing roses in September
Sniffing roses in September

With the current membership I have, I gain access to all types of festivals throughout the year (usually they cost $20 and upwards) and full access to the garden at any time its open. I also have two guest tickets, so if you really want to join me, please be nice to me or convince me otherwise!

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