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QNS Weekender: 15 things to do in Queens

Guadalupe Maravilla is debuting his solo exhibition 'Planeta Abuelx' this weekend. Photo courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Arts and culture is the name of the game this weekend.

This weekend, check out a virtual performance by Afro-Caribbean duo Okan, consisting of musicians Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne. Attend the openings of a couple art exhibitions — “Cada Cabesa Es un Mundo” at Flux Factory or “Planeta Abuelx” at Socrates Sculpture Park. Or if jazz is more your style, tune into the jazz brunch hosted by Bayside Historical Society, featuring Carl Bartlett Jr. and his band.

If you’re more the outdoor type, get some fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs at the Queens County Farm Museum farm stand, which runs from May to November of this year. Volunteer with Queens Botanical Garden’s horticulture team to keep the garden clean and beautiful for visitors to enjoy.

Check out these ideas and more! Here are 15 things to do in Queens this weekend!

GET TESTED AND VACCINATED

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.

FRIDAY, MAY 14

Seasonal Farmstand (Queens County Farm Museum): The season everyone has been waiting for has arrived: farmstand season. From mid-May until the beginning of November, get fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs that grow at Queens County Farm. In May, the stand is selling asparagus, beet greens, rhubarb and spinach. Members get 10 percent off and EBT and FMNP benefits are accepted. Bring a reusable bag for a zero-waste experience. 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park. queensfarm.org. Open Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 14 to Nov. 7, 2021.

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., May 14.

Okan (Flushing Town Hall): Check out a performance from Okan at Flushing Town Hall. The word “Okan” means heart in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria. The women-led, contemporary, Afro-Cuban roots and jazz duo consists of Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne. The duo’s music fuses their Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms. Virtual on Flushing Town Hall’s YouTube channel. flushingtownhall.orgBuy tickets for $5. 7 p.m., May 14.About the 

Movies on the Waterfront – “A Star is Born” (Astoria Park): The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition Inc. is bringing back movies in the park, this time with “A Star is Born” featuring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The film tells the story of a musician, Jack (Cooper) who discovers and falls in love with a struggling artist, Ally (Lady Gaga). The film is rated R and is suggested for viewers ages 17 and up. Astoria Park Lawn in Astoria Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 8:15 p.m., May 14.

TAKE ROOT Dance Series – Carmen Caceres DanceAction and chrisbelldances (Green Space): The TAKE ROOT dance series is now in its 12th season and this week is presenting “BLINDSPOT” by Carmen Caceres DanceAction and “FlyAway” by chrisbelldances. Virtual. danceentropy.networkforgood.comDonation-based. Link sent at time of performance. May 14.  

SATURDAY, MAY 15

American Indian Food and Craft Market (Queens County Farm Museum): Visitors to Queens County Farm Museum can enjoy this two-day food and craft market, sponsored by the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. Authentic Native American art, jewelry, ceramics, textiles and food will be available for purchase. 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park. queensfarm.org. No admission, fees apply. 11 a.m., May 15 and 16.

Birding – Hawk Watch (Flushing Meadows Corona Park): Join the Urban Park Rangers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park this weekend for a bird watching adventure. This time, experts will lead bird enthusiasts to the best locations to observe wild Hawks in an urban setting. Bird watchers of all skill levels, including beginners, are welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars to enhance their experience. Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
nycparks.gov. Free. 11 a.m., May 15.

It’s My Park (Seaside Playground): The Friends of Seaside Playground are calling volunteers who wish to help beautify the area. Those who wish to volunteer should register with friendsofseasideplayground@gmail.com, as space is limited. Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 110 Street and Beach 109 Street. nycparks.gov. Free. 12 p.m., May 15.

“Cada Cabesa Es un Mundo” (Flux Factory): This weekend is the opening of Diego Espaillat’s exhibit, which features various sculptures in the style of Spanish Caribbean mask making. There will be a reception of the exhibit’s opening on May 15 from 3 to 6 p.m at the Windmill Community Garden. Email maya@fluxfactory.org for appointments. 39-31 29th St., Long Island City. fluxfactory.org. Free. 1 to 6 p.m., May 15 to 23.  

“Planeta Abuelx” (Socrates Sculpture Park): This weekend marks the opening of artist Guadalupe Maravilla’s solo exhibition “Planeta Abuelx” which features new commissions by the artist rooted in ancestral and Indigenous practices of holistic healing. On opening day, the artist is also offering free healing sound baths and those interested can put their name on a registration waitlist. The exhibit is free, but donations of $10 to $20 are welcome. 32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City. socratessculpturepark.org. Free. 2 p.m., May 15.

Jazz Brunch (Bayside Historical Society): The organization’s Annual Sunday Jazz Brunch is going virtual this year. Carl Bartlett Jr. and his band will perform live at the Castle and will be streamed for home viewers. Virtual. baysidehistorical.org. Free. Time to be announced, May 15.

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 15, 2021 through Feb. 12, 2022

SUNDAY, MAY 16

Nature Exploration (Captain Tilly Park): Get ready for a hike that explores the natural wonders of Captain Tilly Park. The Urban Park  Rangers will lead this moderately-paced hike and highlight the nature of the park. Participants should wear comfortable shoes or boots. Chapin Parkway and 85th Avenue in Captain Tilly Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 1 p.m., May 16.

Horticulture Volunteer Day (Queens Botanical Gardens): Volunteer with the Queens Botanical Garden team to help the Garden stay clean, green and growing. The horticulture staff will teach the basics of gardening and how to do hands-on work with plants. Engage in seasonal projects like weeding, watering, pruning, planting, mulching and more. Register here. 43-50 Main St., Flushing. queensbotanical.org. Free. 9 a.m., May 16.

Compost & Farm Site Tour (Queens Botanical Gardens): Garden staff will lead an informational tour of the QBG mid-scale composting facility and learn to compost, techniques to process food scraps and the macro-organisms hard at work making compost. Registration is required. 43-50 Main St., Flushing. queensbotanical.org. Free with Garden admission. 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., May 16.

To submit an event for QNS Weekender, email editorial@qns.com.

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