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AUDUBON CENTER AT THE BOATHOUSE: The country's first
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AUDUBON CENTER AT THE BOATHOUSE: The country's first urban Audubon Center is a great first stop in the park. Not only are there exhibits and information about the natural beauty on hand (all gratis), but the boathouse also houses the visitor's center. The building itself -- a 1905 Beaux Arts beauty that is popular for weddings -- is worth a look from across the Lullwater. (prospectpark.org/visit/activities/audubon) (May 11, 2013)(Credit: Linda Rosier)

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Prospect Park in Brooklyn: 6 must-sees

The great 19th-century landscape gurus Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux considered Brooklyn's Prospect Park -- not their more famous achievement, Manhattan's Central Park -- to be their best-designed urban oasis. Both parks fell into decline in the mid-20th century, and Central Park has bounced back spectacularly, notably with a recent $100 million gift. Prospect Park's comeback has been slower but steady.

Parts of it still need to be restored, but it is again a beloved, safe and well-used public space, with 10 million visits a year across its lush 585 acres. The park is literally ringed with subway lines, making public transportation an easy choice. The best bets are the F to Prospect Park; the 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza; and the B, Q to Prospect Park. Come December, look for the completion of the $74 million Lakeside project, featuring a year-round skating rink. For now, here are the park's top summertime attractions. --TED LOOS, Special to Newsday