QNS Weekender: Ten things to do in Queens

Greenhouse Gossip at Queens Botanical Gardens. (Photo by Dylan House)

The last weekend in January is chock full of activities, both virtual and in-person, that anyone can enjoy. Whether it’s attending a virtual artist talk and exhibit at the Flux Factory or learning to paint watercolor versions of your favorite houseplants with the Alley Park Environmental Center, there is sure to be something for you to take part in.

Check out these 10 events happening in Queens this weekend!


To slow the spread of COVID-19, the New York City Department of Health suggests getting tested often. Here are several places where you can get tested this weekend:


“The Gift in the Wound” (Flux Factory): Long Island City’s Flux Factory is hosting “The Gift in the Wound,” an artist talk and the opening of a virtual exhibition. In his curatorial debut, Noah Philips worked with five artists in this “celebration of resilience.” During the event, the artists — Megan Bent, Betty Eastland, Valeria Haedo, Angela Rogers and Ellen Wetmore — will discuss their creative processes they went through to create their works and the journeys leading them to learn from and face challenges. Registration is required. Virtual. fluxfactory.org. Free. 7 p.m., Jan. 29.  

“On the Inside Looking Out” (Queens Botanical Garden): Come to the Queens Botanical Garden to view art installations in a natural community space. The AnkhLave Garden Project is an annual fellowship involving six Queens-based Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) artists. This is the second annual show involving these artists, who all experienced immigration journeys to the United States and were challenged to create and display their work in a natural environment. The original public art show ran through the summer of 2020 and now, viewers can see relics from the initial exhibit and “new and continued explorations” unique to this current exhibit. 43-50 Main St., Flushing. queensbotanicalgardens.org. Free. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 29.


Did Anyone Say Marbled Paintings? (Queens Museum): In this week’s iteration of Drop-in Family Art Workshops, the Queens Museum is leading a lesson on creating mesmerizing marbled paintings. From the comfort of their own homes, families can create their own projects while reflecting on the works of art on display at the museum. Family Art Workshops are open to all and suited for diverse learners, children with special needs and English language learners. To RSVP for this week’s workshop, contact  [email protected]. Virtual. queensmuseum.org. Free. 1 p.m., Jan. 30.

Forest Restoration (Alley Pond Park): Join the Stewardship Team to clean up the forest areas of Alley Pond Park. Those who volunteer for this opportunity will get to learn about and remove species of invasive plants that threaten the park in order to create a healthier ecosystem. Volunteers are asked to dress in sturdy boots or shoes, long pants and clothes that can get dirty. Participants should also wear a mask and bring a water bottle. Space is limited. Participants under 18 should be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required. 228-06 Northern Blvd, Douglaston. nycgovparks.org. Free. 9 a.m., Jan. 29.

Clean Up Trails (Forest Park): This hiking experience doubles as a cleanup of the trails at Forest Hills Park. Organizers will provide volunteers with litter pickers to collect trash that collects around the park trails. At the end of the hike, volunteers will be given a Parks Trust water bottle as a thank you gift. Register here. Yellow Trail Head in Forest Park. nycgovparks.org. Free. 10 a.m., Jan. 30.

Riverfront Walk and History (Queensbridge Park): This Saturday, the Urban Park Rangers will be at Queensbridge Park leading a walk along the East River to see the scenic views of the Manhattan skyline. Participants will get to learn about the natural and historical significance of the park. 41st Avenue Entrance in Queensbridge Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 12 p.m., Jan. 30.

Greenhouse Gossip (Queens Botanical Garden): The Queens Botanical Garden will host this virtual workshop where participants will learn to care for their cacti and succulents. Each month, the Greenhouse Gossip series focuses on different plant topics by showing plant care demonstrations and leading activities and discussions. Participants are asked to come prepared with their questions. Register here. Virtual. queensbotanicalgardens.org. $10 for non members, $8 for members, free with Urban Advantage Student +3 Voucher. 12 p.m., Jan. 30.

Watercolor House Plants (APEC): This virtual lesson in watercolors is hosted by the Alley Park Environmental Center. Diana Kuan will lead this beginner-friendly class, which will teach participants techniques like flat wash, wet-on-dry, wet-on-wet, and dry brush to bring your favorite houseplants to life. Some of the plants that participants will learn to paint include Monstera deliciosa and eucalyptus for a simple exercise. A longer exercise will provide the opportunity to recreate the image of your “ideal houseplant.” Required supplies include any brand of watercolor paints, watercolor brushes, watercolor or mixed paper, a palette, disposable plate or takeout container lid, water and paper towels and houseplants for painting. Registration is required. Virtual. alleypond.org. $18 per household. 11 a.m., Jan. 30. 


Birding — Winter Waterfowl (Brookville Park): Urban Park Rangers will help bird lovers to view some of the best winter waterfowl New York City has to offer. This birding opportunity is suited for ornithologists of of all skill levels. Beginners are welcome. Brookville Boulevard and Caney Road in Brookville Park. nycgovparks.org. Free. 11 a.m., Jan. 31. 

Percussia Live: Percussia is an innovative musical ensemble based in Queens, led by its musical director and percussionist Ingrid Gordon. Viewers will be able to check out the group’s varied repertoire, which includes a mix of genres like contemporary chamber music, world and popular music styles and original arrangements. The virtual concert is hosted by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and Summer Sundays in the Park. Virtual. YouTube.com. Free. 6 p.m., Jan. 31. 

To submit an event for QNS Weekender, email [email protected]

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