BY JAMES FARRELL
From book festivals to outdoor markets, there are a number of great events taking place in Queens during the next month. The Queens Tribune has put together a list of some of the best places to spend time outdoors this summer in the borough.
Queens Book Festival
If you love a good book, the Queens Book Festival—coming up this weekend—is the place for you. With literary talks from more than 100 authors, hundreds of exhibits and a crowd of more than 10,000 fellow bookworms, the festival bills itself as “the largest and most inclusive literary gathering in Queens.”
This year, children and young adults get their own day: on May 27, come out to listen to some of the most respected children and young- adult authors, such as Jackie Azua Kramer and Paulette Bogan.
On Sunday, adult authors, including Noelle Santos and Alex Segura, will discuss their work.
The festival runs both days from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the LIC Landing, located at 52-10 Center Blvd. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit www.queensbookfestival.nyc/m
MacNeil Park Family Earth Fair
Join the Coastal Preservation Network as it celebrates one of College Point’s most prized features: MacNeil Park. The annual Family Earth Fair is a family-oriented day of fun activities with an emphasis on taking care of the environment. The event was originally scheduled for early May, but was pushed back to early summer due to weather.
The event will feature environmentally friendly giveaways, such as reusable tote bags and water bottles. There is also a volunteer cleanup of the park’s waterfront leading into a day of music from a DJ, an underwater discovery lab that will let guests observe plankton under a microscope, kayaking in the East River and more.
The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. and is free to attend. Come enjoy a wonderful day by the water and learn a little bit about the importance of preserving one of Queens’ most treasured parks.
Family Day In Rufus King Park
The city Department of Parks and Recreation and Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) will host a Family Day at Rufus King Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring the kids for a day of games, crafts, an animal show and more. The event is free to attend. For more information, call (718) 393-7370.
Aloha To Summer: Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto Park
Come out to Phil Rizzuto Park in Richmond Hill for a fun afternoon of games, inflatables, music, popcorn, ices, a photo booth and more. It’s a perfect event for families and is free to attend. The event is from noon to 4 p.m.
Queens Botanical Garden: Twist and Sprout
Spend an afternoon at Queens Botanical Garden, learning the basics of keeping up good health at Twist and Sprout. The free event is family-friendly and all about healthy eating and outdoor exercise. From medical experts and cooking demonstrations to bounce houses, hula hoop lessons and kickboxing, this event will get you and your kids on your feet in a fun and healthy way.
There will also be live music and a discussion with medical experts from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens.
The event is free to attend, although there is a $10 parking fee. It will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the Queens Botanical Garden, located at 43-50 Main St. in Flushing.
It’s Only In Queens Summer Festival
George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic will headline this festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s official designation as a New York City park. But before they start playing, there will be a number of other local acts as well as guided tours of the New York State Pavilion, a scavenger hunt and food and craft vendors from the Queens International Night Market.
The festival will run from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the headlining act taking the stage at 5 p.m. The event is free and family-friendly.
LIC Flea And Food
Come and see the best that Long Island City has to offer at the weekly LIC Flea and Food, an outdoor market that runs every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The market offers a vast selection of handmade and vintage antiques, art, furniture, jewelry, and arts and crafts. Additionally, guests can enjoy internationally inspired artisan- food vendors, local craft beers and live music. All of the items and food on display is sold by 80 carefully curated vendors.
The Flea is located at 5-25 46th Ave. It’s a fun, family-friendly outdoor venue located across the river from the Manhattan skyline.
There are also a number of special events throughout the summer at the Flea. On June 10 and 11, visitors can sample a variety of tacos from Queens’ best taquerías—with unlimited craft-beer tastings. Buy tickets for any special event on www.licflea.com. Tickets for the event range from $36 to $126.
Queens International Night Market
Drop by Flushing Meadows Corona Park for an open-air night market featuring up to 100 independent vendors, all selling merchandise, art, food and more. The market will also host a variety of cultural performances. This week’s market will feature DJ Lil Buddy, Alex English, Os Clavelitos, and Lyndsey Smith and Soul Distribution.
The event takes place every Saturday evening, from 6 p.m. to midnight. In 2016, the market averaged more than 8,000 visitors per week. It features more than 100 local performing artists and more than 200 local vendors spanning 60 countries. There will also be a beer and wine garden as well as games and activities.
Food options include Romanian chimney cakes, Middle Eastern stews, Barbadian fish balls, crawfish pies, Peruvian chocolate and more. Art and merchandise include Quechuan handicrafts, Indian jewelry, henna, curated gifts and antique brooches.
The next night market will be on May 26.