Until the 1950s, the site of the Brooklyn Bridge Park was an active waterfront, but the ports there lost out to international ocean shipping just as the construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway cut the area off from the rest of Brooklyn. But with the tireless efforts of the nonprofit Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, construction of the 85-acre park with more than a mile of waterfront began in January 2009, and continues in phases with spectacular results—including sand volleyball courts, a pebble beach, playgrounds, and water sports. Today, head over for their Walk-Up Kayaking and Community Rowing. We can’t think of any venue like this: You get exercise while getting wet, the views are phenomenal, and it’s free. The kayaks are in a protective cove under the bridge, so you’re not out competing with the East River traffic. Community rowing is with a group and an experienced guide. No registration, just come early as the kayaks are first-come, first-served. You don’t need any training, but you do need to know how to swim—sounds reasonable! Meet at the Pier 1 Boathouse.

Sat., Aug. 20, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2011