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Fun in the Sun

Barbecues and baseball, beaches and bicycling, bandshells and lots of fun in the great outdoors.
Here in Queens there is plenty of open space to picnic, sunbathe, jog, horseback ride, birdwatch, swim and listen to concerts. We have more open space and parkland than anywhere else in the City. Queens is the borough of parks — 7,080 acres to be precise. (Compare that to Manhattan’s 2,616, Brooklyn’s 4,239, the Bronx’s 6,780 and Staten Island’s 6,213.) Also Queens boasts the most parks over ten acres in size — 55 of them.
You want to commune with nature? There are 1,200 acres of small islands in Jamaica Bay where there is an incredible wildlife refuge, now part of the Gateway National Recreation area. It is an amazing respite from the push and shove of urban life and more than 325 species of birds can be found in this ornithological melting pot along the Atlantic flyway (appropriately near the man-made flyway at JFK Airport). Call (718) 318-4340 for information on tours and directions.
Then there’s the big parks. Alley Pond, Forest Park, and Cunningham. Acres of Atlantic Ocean beachfront in the Rockaways (see page 44). For information on the parks and beaches and events in them call the Parks Dept. at (718) 520-5713.
Then there’s the Borough’s premier park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (842-2424), 1,258 acres of ballfields, tennis courts, picnic areas, bike and jogging track, baseball, bocci, soccer and cricket fields, two lakes, an ice skating rink, boating and the Queens Botanical Garden (886-3800), the Queens Zoo and Farm (271-7045), the New York Hall of Science (699-0005), the Queens Museum of Art (592-2405), the Queens Theatre in the Park (760-0064), Shea Stadium (507-METS), the USTA National Tennis Center (760-6200)and landmarks from the World’s Fairs of 1939 and 1964 such as the Unisphere. (See map on this page.)
There’s the Alley Pond Environmental Center (229-4000) and the Queens County Farm Museum (347-FARM). There will be outdoor concerts by the Metropolitan Opera in the park (see page 29) and a spectacular 4th of July fireworks concert on the East River (see page 33). So enjoy the sun and fun of the great outdoors this summer right here in Queens — your own backyard.
Here is a list of some other summertime activities in Queens:
Ballfield Permits: Queens Overlook, 80-30 Park Lane, Kew Gardens, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, 520-5933.
Bandshell: George Seuffert Bandshell, Forest Park, 520-5941.
Bridle Paths: Dixie Dew Stables, 263-3500; Lynne’s Riding School, 261-7679. (Both in Flushing.
Canoe & Kayak Launches: Bayside Marina, 520-5923.
Carousels: Forest Park and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, 592-6539.
Swimming Pools: Astoria Pool, 23-50 19 St., Astoria, 626-8620; Liberty Pool, 173 St. and 106 Ave., 657-4995.
Outdoor Museums: Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, 32-27 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, 204-7088; Socrates Sculpture Park, Broadway at Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, 956-1819.
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