QNS Weekender: 13 things to do in Queens

David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band. Photo courtesy of Flushing Town Hall

Guess what? It’s gonna be May! And a new month means tons of great things to do in the borough of Queens.

Hit up Queens Parks and outdoor spaces to get a dose of fresh, spring air. Plant some trees at Forest Park, take a walk to observe ephemerals at Alley Pond Park or take part in the City Nature Challenges at Flushing Meadows Corona and APEC.

For a dose of arts and culture, tune into a jazz performance by David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band, streamed live courtesy of Flushing Town Hall.

Check out our list of 12 things to do in Queens this weekend!


Before doing anything in person, make sure to get tested for COVID-19 and register for a vaccine if eligible!

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:

Eligible individuals can also get their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov to find a vaccination site near you.


Tree Planting (Forest Park): Since April 30 marks Arbor Day, the Stewardship Team is hosting a tree planting event in the forest of Forest Park. Volunteers will learn proper tree planting techniques while also learning to make iNaturalist observations. Those who don’t know how to use iNaturalist should arrive 15 minutes early to learn how. Volunteers should dress in sturdy boots or shoes, long pants and clothes that can get dirty. Everyone should also wear a mask and bring a water bottle. Register here. Groups of eight or ore should contact [email protected] before registering. Seuffert Bandshell Parking lot in Forest Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 9:30 a.m., April 30.

Movin’ n’ Groovin’ Mature Adult Dance Class (Queens Theatre): This Friday, the Queens Theatre will transport you to the past with this dance class for mature adults. The hour-long online dance class will bring back the memories of legendary dancers like Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse and is appropriate for dancers of any level. The class will start with a group warm up activity before launching into the main dance lesson. Reserve a spot here. Virtual. queenstheatre.org. Free. 2 p.m., April 30.

Zoom Artist Hang (Flushing Town Hall): Calling all artists! Flushing Town Hall hosts a weekly virtual meeting get together for artists and creatives across all disciplines. Since the pandemic began in 2020, FTH has held Zoom Artist Hangs for creators to share projects their working on and have discussions based on a weekly prompt. Those wishing to be added to the private Zoom link and weekly e-blast should contact FTH Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek at [email protected]. Virtual on Zoom. flushingtownhall.org. Free. 5 p.m., April 30.

Fridays at Five – Artists Build Community (Flushing Town Hall): The “Fridays at Five” virtual exhibition commemorates the one-year anniversary of Flushing Town Hall’s weekly Artist Zoom Hangs. Creators from multiple disciplines have created a supportive network to gather and discuss art. Each week, artists who have regularly taken part in Weekly Artist Hangs are showcased during the Fridays at Five event. Anyone is welcome to view the Fridays at Five virtual gallery at any time. Virtual on Zoomflushingtownhall.org. Free. 5 p.m., April 30.

A Divergent from the Magnetism of Whiteness: Dealing with the Hungry Ghost (Flux Factory): Curated by Denae Howard, this exhibit investigates the divergent evolution and collective subconscious of Black artists. Is is “a conversation between Black artists establishing self identity in the crux of absolutisms associated with Blackness while defying the [divisive] nature of the white gaze.” Virtual. Register for the garden reception on April 30. fluxfactory. Free. View works on Friday, April 30 from 3 to 8 p.m. and May 1 and May 2 from 1 to 6 p.m.

David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band “Remembering The Past and Celebrating The Future” (Flushing Town Hall): Flushing Town Hall is celebrating International Jazz Day with a live performance from David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band. The group features leader David Ostwald on tuba, Joe Boga on trumpet, Will Anderson on clarinet and alto saxophone, Dion Tucker on trombone Arnt Arntzen on banjo and Alex Raderman on drums. Virtual on Flushing Town Hall’s YouTube channel. flushingtownhall.org. Buy tickets for $5. 7 p.m., April 30.


Ephemeral Walk/Tour (Alley Pond Park): This event kicks off the City Nature Challenge hosted by NYC Parks. Volunteers will help to identify and safely remove invasive plants, learn of the diversity of Alley Pond’s spring ephemerals and learn to make iNaturalist observations. Those who do not know how to use iNaturalist will learn to do so. Everyone who participates should wear a face mask. Volunteers under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Register here. Alley Pond Park Adventure Center in Alley Pond Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 10 a.m., May 1.

It’s My Park (Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk): Join the Belle Harbor Property Owners Association to clean up at Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk B. 130 to B. 141.. Space is limited so email [email protected] to register. Beach 134th Street in Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk. nycparks.gov. Free. 10 a.m., May 1.

City Nature Challenge: Volunteer Litter Clean Up and Nature Exploration Hike (Forest Park): Urban Park Rangers and volunteers will collaborate to clean up Forest Park, followed by a nature exploration hike to collect data for the City Nature Challenge, happening from April 30 to May 3. Instead of focusing on competition, this year’s City Nature Challenge will embrace the healing power of nature and celebrate tens of thousands of people all around the world, searching for and documenting their local biodiversity. Participants should download the iNature app onto their phones for an interactive experience. Wallenberg Square in Forest Park. Canycparks.gov. Free. 12 p.m., May 1.

Capturing Queens (Queens Historical Society): The Queens Historical Society is continuing its Capturing Queens exhibit featuring and analyzing the work of Percy Loomis Sperr who was considered the “official photographer of the City of New York.” Sperr was born in Ohio in 1890, but came to call Staten Island his home. The New York Public Library commissioned him to photograph the five boroughs, which was instrumental in showing how the city’s architectural landscape transformed throughout the twentieth century. Those who wish to view the exhibit in person can do so by reserving tickets online. Capacity is limited. Masks are required and visitors will need to fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire before attending. Reserve tickets here. Virtual. queenshistoricalsociety.org. Free. Appointment only, May 1, 2021 through Feb. 12, 2022


City Nature Challenge: Biodiversity Hike (Flushing Meadows Corona Park): Flushing Meadows Corona Park is hosting a City Nature Challenge event this weekend. This one is a biodiversity hike, which will not focus on competition this year. Participants are asked to download the iNaturalist app onto their phones for an interactive experience. Albert H. Mauro Playground in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 10 a.m., May 2.

Earth Day Forest Bathing Experience (APEC): In celebration of Earth Day, certified forest therapy guide Linda Lombardo will lead a walk to reconnect participants with the natural world. Hikers will wander trails and observe the beauty of the forest for 90 minutes followed by a session to create nature art. This event is limited to 12 participants. Registration is required224-65 76th Ave., Oakland Gardens. alleypond.org. $15 per adult. 10:30 a.m., May 2.

City Nature Challenge Walk (APEC): Alley Pond Environmental Center is hosting two, one-hour guided walks for the City Nature Challenge this year. Bring a smartphone to talk pictures and post nature observations. Register for the A.M Walk or the P.M. Walk. 224-65 76th Ave., Oakland Gardens. alleypond.org (A.M.) or alleypond.org (P.M.) Free. 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m., May 2.

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