The Dragon Boat Festival will return to Flushing
Meadows Corona Park on Aug. 9 and 10, with
more than 150 teams competing in this long-
BY TRIB STAFF
With the temperature warming and Memorial Day right around the corner, the start of summer is upon us. For many, that means vacations, relaxation and spending time in the sun. Indoors or outdoors, active or passive, educational or just plain fun, Queens has something for everyone to enjoy this summer. Here are a select few that everyone should take advantage of this summer.
One of the best parts of summer is the chance to explore the great outdoors. Queens is home to parks of all shapes and sizes, giving residents from every corner of the Borough the chance to walk under the shade of trees, lie down on the grass or throw a Frisbee around.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is one of the most memorable parks in the City. Home to highlights such as the Unisphere, the New York State Pavilion, the Queens Theatre, the Queens Museum and more, there is something for everyone in its sprawling acreage. FMCP is also home to the Playground for All Children, the first playground in the country designed for both disabled and able-bodied kids.
Cunningham Park is the go-to destination for eastern Queens residents, with the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway standing as one of the most well-known bike paths in the Borough. Starting on May 18, Cunningham will also host the Big Apple Circus, with ongoing performances until June 15.
Over in western Queens, Astoria Park features one of the largest free pools in the City. With a length of 330 feet, this pool is a popular destination on hot summer days. People can stop by for a swim between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Southeast Queens residents have the Roy Wilkins Recreation Center, a unique public space that is also a cultural touchstone. The center is home to the Black Spectrum Theatre company, a group dedicated to performing socially-conscious dramas. Keep an eye out as well for Groovin’ in the Park, a Reggae, Rhythm and Blues festival taking place at Roy Wilkins on June 29.
Queens has a ton of fun places to visit this summer, including several that require a bit of moving around and exercising. So, rather than sitting around in front of the air conditioner all day, here are a few activities to try out.
Queens Archery, which is located at 170-20 39th Ave., Flushing, is a wonderful option for locals who crave a little adventure this summer. Under the watchful eye of experienced professionals, first-timers are taught the basics of shooting before they hit the range. More information about Queens Archery, including rates, can be found at www.bigapplearchery.com or by calling (718) 461-1756. Only children 9 and up may participate.
For days that are just too hot for the park, indoor batting cages are an excellent alternative. And luckily, there are two batting cages in Queens perfect for a day of family fun.
Astoria Sports Complex, located at 34-38 38th St., Astoria, features a large batting cage available for rental. At Astoria Complex, you can choose between speeds of 40 miles per hour and 95 miles per hour, allowing locals of all skill levels to perfect their swing.
In addition to its batting cage, Astoria Sports Complex also features an indoor soccer area, a swimming pool and a jacuzzi, all of which you can utilize for a low hourly rate or with a membership.
If Astoria is a little too far away, Artistic Stitch Sports Complex, located at 79-08 Cooper Ave., Glendale, is another great option. At Artistic Stitch, you can similarly rent out a batting cage for all your needs.
Although the annual competition is mostly just for show, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, is a great event to visit this summer.
The festival, held this year on Aug. 9 and Aug. 10, rain or shine, is a commemoration to the legend of the ancient patriot-poet Qu Yuan, a court minister who advocated for reforms for his home state. The tradition now features more than 150 teams competing for $60,000 in prizes every year.
Not all cultural centers or activities are indoors. Astoria Boaters and LIC Community Boathouse offer free kayaking and canoeing for all ages on select Saturdays and Sundays this summer, departing from the Socrates Sculpture Park Beach and Hallett’s Cove.
Participants will be paired with a life preserver and paddle by the boathouse team of volunteers, and are free to explore the waters, which are sheltered and marked by buoys, for 20-minute tours. Beginning June 21, the program opens up for Sunset Paddle, an evening of boating that closes at sundown.
No prior boating experience is necessary, though participants must know how to swim. For an up-to-date schedule, visit www.licboathouse.org.
Also in Long Island City, the Noguchi Museum boasts an impressive collection of renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s work and designs, spread out across its cool stone indoor galleries and lush outdoor garden.
Museum admission is pay-what-you-wish on the first Friday of every month. From May to September, First Fridays extends into the evening with special programming, including Center of Attention, in which experts and participants discuss a single work of art. Select Fridays offer specially curated film screenings during the summer.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located in Floral Park and dating back to 1697, the 47-acre Queens County Farm Museum occupies the City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. Year-round educational programming at the museum includes historic tours, horticulture workshops and lessons in beekeeping and gardening.
Every week this summer, from Wednesday through Sunday starting June 4, visitors can also shop at the museum farmstand. More than 50 varieties of vegetables will be available, rotating each week depending on what is fresh and in season.
Following up on last year’s Mumford & Sons show, there will be more concerts this summer at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. On June 21, the Zac Brown Band will perform at the facility, in the first of six planned shows. The August date will feature a co-headlining show from Modest Mouse and Brand New. The Zac Brown Band show is sold out and the second show is nearly sold out, but there will be more shows announced in the future that you could get your hands on.
Forest Park will host several shows and events all summer long. The carousel will host clown shows throughout the summer, every Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. There will be free concerts at the Bandshell, beginning on July 10 with Bon Jersey, a Bon Jovi tribute band.
The Queens Museum will be home to several events throughout this summer, including a Drop-In Family Workshop, which invites children 5-12 and their adult companions to explore different works on view each week through a variety of fun hands-on art making activities and “Oye Corona,” a monthly cultural celebration at Corona Plaza that is hosted by the Museum.