See what Queens has to offer this summer

Dozens of polar bears braved the winter weather to take a dip in the water off Breezy Point Saturday during the Rockaway Plunge, which this year raised money for hurricane relief efforts.
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Bill Parry

Rockaway Beach will open to swimmers beginning May 26 and outdoor pools will open June 27, according to the city Parks Department, but if you are looking for more than the sun and surf this summer, Queens has something for everybody.

The Museum of the Moving Image hosts its Jim Henson Exhibition Guided Tours every Saturday at 1 p.m. through Sept. 1, with a museum educator serving as a guide who explores Henson’s ground-breaking work for film and television. The exhibition includes puppets, character sketches, scripts and costumes from the worlds of “Sesame Street,” “The Muppet Show,” “Fraggle Rock” and more.

The Subway Series makes its annual stop at Citi Field from June 8 to June 10, and the Sunday night match-up between the Mets and the Yankees will be televised nationally by ESPN. The Queens Chamber of Commerce will host its first Queens Chamber Day/NY Mets Day at Citi Field that night.

The following weekend, Borough President Melinda Katz, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver will present the Only in Queens SummerStage Concert featuring Kool & The Gang to officially kick off the Katz Concert Series. The band will perform “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swingin,” among their other hits, beginning at 5 p.m. in Flushing Meadow Corona Park.

Later in the summer, Flushing Meadow Corona Park will host the Queensboro Dance Festival at the Unisphere at 2 p.m. July 21 and Silent Disco will return to the Unisphere with family friendly music for everyone with three live DJs spinning Motown, Top 40, hip-hop, R&B and more between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. July 15.

In addition to free yoga every Saturday and Sunday from now until Sept. 15, the Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria will host its inaugural Queens Green Day between noon and 4 p.m. June 2, celebrating all things green — local ecological initiatives, food justice, gardening, urban farming, and healthy living, including bike safety and advocacy.

Main partners Queens Action Council and Hellgate Farms offer interactive presentations complemented by a variety of art-making, activities and food demos from City Harvest, Bike New York, The Connected Chef, Smiling Hogshead Farm, Mechanical Gardens bike repair, and City Parks Foundation’s Green Girls and Coastal Classroom programs.

Head south on Vernon Boulevard and you will find the waterfront parks of Long Island City, which continue to grow in popularity during the warm weather months.

“The summer is the perfect opportunity to experience the magic of the Long Island City Waterfront Parks,” Hunters Point Parks Conservancy President Rob Basch said. “We expect the amazing phase two extension of Hunters Point South Park to open in June and it will be a must-see destination for everyone in Queens and elsewhere. The Conservancy will be very active in both Hunters Point South Park and Gantry Plaza State Park with our outdoor movies, music, yoga, free summer programming, dance and many other activities to keep everyone busy and entertained. We will be equally busy gardening, weeding and cleaning both parks to keep them looking pristine and beautiful. We look forward to seeing everyone in our parks this summer and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.”

Elsewhere, Queens Pride hosts its Parade and Multicultural Festival in Jackson Heights June 3 and the Jamaica Arts and Music Summer Festival takes place the first weekend in August. Known as JAMS, the festival showcases Queens’ diversity through cultural talents, foods, and arts and crafts. The event stretches along a 10-block area of Jamaica Avenue from Parsons Boulevard to 170th Street.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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