As the weather heats up and summer is in full bloom, sky-high gas and transportation costs are causing many families to re-think, alter or cancel vacation plans. However, for those living or working in Queens, a STAYcation is doable right in their own backyards.
The city and its other boroughs serve as the setting for many cultural institutions and places of interest - just great for day trips and even weekend adventures.
Long Island is a wonderful source of STAYcation destinations, offering beautiful beaches and exciting events.
Enjoy your borough, and use mass transit to reap the rewards of the rest of the city and nearby Long Island too. Here are just some choices to consider this summer:
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge will further one from the urban feel of life.
The refuge encompasses over 9,000 acres and is made up of all kinds of habitats, which support many different species of animals and a diversified amount of plant and animal life. Visitors can hike various trails, fish, and participate in interpretive tours. The visitor’s center is handicap accessible. It is recommended that you bring binoculars to get a better view of the birds.
The refuge is open all year round from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, call 718-318-4340 or visit https://www.nyharborparks.org/visit/jaba.html
Fans of baseball should visit Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, in its last season. Shea has been the home of the Mets for over 40 years, and because of that, many historical moments have taken place in the stadium, including two World Series championships in 1969 and 1986. However Shea Stadium’s last season is already half over, and everyone’s window of opportunity to attend a game at this historic park is shrinking quickly. Shea Stadium is located at 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing. Go to the Mets web site at https://newyork.mets.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=nym to learn more or call 718-507-6387.
Those interested in modern art should make it a point to visit the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center. Housed in a former elementary school, P.S. 1, an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), is one of the largest non-profit art centers in the United States solely devoted to modern art. The P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue at the intersection of 46th Avenue in Long Island City. P.S. 1 is open Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m. The admission fee is $5. For more information, call 718-784-2084 or visit https://www.ps1.org/ps1_site/.
P.S. 1 also runs another spot that has gained significant recognition for its cutting-edge contemporary exhibits.
The Clocktower Gallery in Lower Manhattan is on a floor of an old city building and contains six production studios. The Clocktower Gallery can be found at 108 Leonard Street, 13th Floor. It is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there is no admission fee.
Fans of film should be sure to visit The Museum of the Moving Image. This museum educates the public about the history, art and science of film as well as the impact film has had on society throughout time. It has over 70,000 items in its permanent collection and holds over 300 programs a year.
The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 35th Avenue and 36th Street, Astoria. It is open Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The price of admission is $7.50 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 18, senior citizens, and college students with valid ID. Children under 5 get in free and admissions are free after 4 p.m. on Fridays. For more, visit https://www.movingimage.us/site/site.php or call 718-784-4520.
Flushing Town Hall, built in 1862, is a building overflowing with historical significance. Soldiers were sworn into the Union Army during the Civil War in the Hall, and during the late 19th century, an extension was built, and Flushing Town Hall became home to theatrical productions and opera. That tradition has carried on into the present, as art exhibitions and various family activities take place there.
Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard in Flushing. There are many events that take place in the Hall, all with varying prices. Some events are free, and if a valid student ID is presented a discount will be given. To learn more, go to https://www.flushingtownhall.org/ or call 718-463-7700.
A kid-friendly science museum, the New York Hall of Science, is known for its interactive and engaging ways of teaching young kids amusing facts and applications of science. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy the experience, as there is a wide range of educational activities. The hall is open Mondays through Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The price of admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children and senior citizens. It is located at 47-10 111th Street. For more fun, go to https://www.nyhallsci.org/ or call 718-699-0005.
Those who want to escape the urban setting for a short time in order to enjoy some nature should stop by Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
With 1,255 acres, it has some of the most picturesque natural beauty in Queens. It has been home to two World’s Fairs, one in 1939 and one in 1964. Wide open fields are ideal for playing sports and soccer, baseball, and football fields are parts of the park.
Today, Flushing Meadows is one of the flagship parks of the Queens community. It is located at the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway. Visit:
https://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_flushing_meadows/about_the_park.html for more information or call 718-760-6565
The Noguchi Museum is an acclaimed museum, offering a wide variety of works by the Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. The museum has recently been re-opened after a two-and-a-half year renovation that has put a more polished and refined look on the museum, but Noguchi’s art, of course, is the main attraction.
The museum offers a variety of public programs with the aim of sharing Noguchi’s vision to a wide range of people. These programs encourage participants to assess Noguchi’s art in the way they feel they should, and draw their own conclusions from what they experience.
The Noguchi Museum is located at 32-37 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City. The museum is open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Museum admission is $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students with valid ID and children under 12 are free. To learn more, visit https://www.noguchi.org/ or call 718-278-2348.
The King Manor Museum is an 11-acre New York City park that was the home and farm of Founding Father Rufus King for over 20 years. King was an author of the United States Constitution, New York State Senator, candidate for both President and Vice-President of the United States and one of the earliest influential figures to speak out against slavery. Guided tours of King Manor Museum are offered February to December on Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Price of admissions for adults is $5, senior citizens and students is $3, and children 16 and under get in free. For more information, visit https://www.kingmanor.org/Home.asp or call 718-206-0545.
The Queens County Farm Museum is home to New York City’s largest remaining tracts of undisturbed farmland, and is the longest continuously-farmed site in New York State. The site dates back to 1697, and is the only working historical farm in the city, complete with historical buildings from the period.
The museum is open year-round, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for outdoor visits only, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On weekends free guided tours of the historic farmhouse are available. General admission is free. The Queens County Farm Museum can be contacted at https://www.queensfarm.org/ or 718-347-3276.
For those who want to learn more of the historical significance of Queens, the Bowne House is the place to visit. The Bowne House was built in 1661 by John Bowne, an immigrant from England who settled in Flushing. His courageous defense of freedom of religion in 1662 first brought about the principals and ideas later codified in the Bill of Rights. The Bowne House is located at 37-01 Bowne Street in Flushing. It is open Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Their web site is https://www.bownehouse.org/; and phone number is 718-359-0528.