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QNS Weekender: 21 things to do in Queens

Check out …Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude this weekend. Photo courtesy of Queens Theatre

Summer is in full swing and this weekend is jam packed with activity in all corners of the borough.

At the Astoria Park Carnival, revelers can enjoy amusement park rides, games and fair food. Catch some outdoor movies at Travers Park, which will be showcasing films made by New York City public school students or head to Colden Playground to watch “Sonic the Hedgehog” on the big screen. Make sandcastle art at the 24th Annual Sandcastle Contest at Rockaway Beach or help to beautify outdoor spaces in several different neighborhoods.

Check out our list of 21 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, JULY 9

Street Tree Care (Long Island City): Volunteer with the NYC Parks Stewardship team to care for trees in Long Island City. Participants will learn the ins and outs of aerating, cultivating, mulching and identifying street trees and will also learn about the importance of trees in the fabric of New York City’s ecosystem. Those who volunteer should wear clothes that can get dirty as well as closed toe shoes. Face masks are required and water bottles are encouraged. Volunteers under 18 should be accompanied by a chaperone. Register here. 21st Street and 44th Road, Long Island City. nycparks.gov. Free. 9 a.m., July 9.

Seasonal Farmstand (Queens County Farm): 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 Parkqueensfarm.org. Free. Open Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 9 to Nov. 7, 2021.

Astoria Park Carnival (Astoria Park): Head to Astoria Park for some good family fun. The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition is hosting this weekend carnival which features amusement park rides, carnival games and classic fair food to enjoy. Parking lot in Astoria Park. centralastoria.org. Prices vary. July 9 from 4-11 p.m., July 10 from 12 p.m.-12 a.m. and July 11 from 12-11 p.m.

…Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude (Queens Theatre): The Dorrance Dance tap dancers will perform in this showcase, created by Josette Wiggan-Freund and jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold. Reserve free tickets. Outdoor stage at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. queenstheatre.org. Free. Times vary, July 9-10.

Movies Under the Stars – 3rd Annual Public School Film Festival (Travers Park): Head to Travers Park to check out 32 films created by students from schools across the city. Films in the festival were chosen by a panel of NYC Public School Film Festival teachers and media professionals and are split into several categories: feature/narrative, animation, experimental, PSA advocacy and documentary. Register here. Rory Staunton Field in Travers Park. nyc.gov/nycpsfilmfestival. Free. 8 p.m., July 9.

SATURDAY, JULY 10

4th Annual Jamaica Bay Festival (Bayswater Park): This event is a joint effort between NYC Parks and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy where participants will have fun, learn about Jamaica Bay and help preserve and protect it. Activities include a kayak parade, rooftop yoga, and a guided kayak tour. Bay 32nd Street and Beach Channel Drive in Bayswater Park. jbrpc.org. Free. 8 a.m., July 10.

It’s My Park (Forest Park): Volunteer with the Kew Kids Forest School to beautify Forest Park. Those interested must register and only the first 25 registrants can participate. Register here. Metropolitan Avenue and Forest Park Drive in Forest Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 9:30 a.m., July 10.

It’s My Park (Ralph Demarco Park): The Friends of Ralph Demarco Park are welcoming volunteers to help clean up the beautiful outdoor space, which give Queens residents a view of Manhattan over the East River. Ralph Demarco Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 9:30 a.m., July 10.

It’s My Park (MacDonald Park): Head to MacDonald Park this weekend to help the Friends of MacDonald Park pull weeds, prune shrubs and pick up litter. Yellowstone Boulevard Entrance in MacDonald Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 10 a.m., July 10.

Yoga on the Beach with Sonia (Rockaway Beach): Head to the beach for a relaxing yoga session. Led by yoga instructor Sonia, the session combines elements of meditation and movement. Participants are asked to bring sunscreen, a yoga mat, water, towel, yoga blocks and yoga strap. Beach 32 and the Boardwalk in Rockaway Beach. nycparks.gov. Free. 10 a.m., July 10.

Nature Scavenger Hunt (Bayswater Park): The Urban Park Rangers are inviting young children and families to connect with nature and explore the wonders of the natural world. During the scavenger hunt, participants will hunt for common and uncommon objects and artifacts at Bayswater Park. Bay 32nd Street and Beach Channel Drive in Bayswater Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 11 a.m., July 10.

Arts, Culture & Fun – Celebrating Nesting Shorebirds (Rockaway Beach): Artists Max and Jacob Cohen from the Art Students League and NYC Parks will create a temporary chalk art mural celebrating piping plovers, shorebirds which travel 700 miles every year to nest at Rockaway Beach. Beach 17th Street and Boardwalk in Rockaway Beach. nycparks.gov. Free. 11 a.m., July 10.

Queens Recreation Family Day (Rockaway Beach): This event, presented by Councilman James Gennaro and Queens Recreation, is a fun day of family activities like arts and crafts, games, fitness challenges, sports activities and prizes. 160 Street and 75 Road at Playground Seventy Five. nycparks.gov. Free. 1 p.m., July 10.

Litter Ambassadors Saturday (Forest Park): As part of the Litter Ambassadors program, volunteers will help keep the picnic and barbecue areas of Forest Park clean in June. Litter Ambassadors will also distribute garbage bags and guide their neighbors in the proper ways of disposing trash. George Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 1 p.m., July 10.

The Floral Escape (Queens County Farm): The Floral Escape is a flower lover’s dream. Guests will get the opportunity to pose and take pictures with 15 blooming activations including “The Best Seat in the House,” “Petal to the Metal” and “Garden Vibes.” 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Parkqueensfarm.org. $20 for adults, $12 for children ages 2 to 12. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 10 to Aug. 1, 2021.

Distant Voyages – Jeffrey Swann (Uncommonly Studio at The Box Factory): As part of the Extensity Concert Series, pianist Jeffrey Swann will perform in this lecture/recital showcasing masterpieces from Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Claude Debussy. The concert will be followed by a reception featuring local wines. 1519 Decatur St. Ridgewood. extensityconcertseries.com. Limited virtual and in-person tickets. 8 p.m., July 10. 

Movies Under the Stars – “Sonic the Hedgehog” (Colden Playground): Grab a blanket to watch “Sonic the Hedgehog” at Colden Playground. “The Blue Blur” is adjusting to life on Earth but accidentally knocks out the power grid, alerting his enemy Dr. Robotnik. This live-action adventure comedy is rated PG. Arrive before 8:30 p.m. to get the best viewing spot. Colden Playground. nycparks.gov. Free. 8:30 p.m., July 10.

SUNDAY, JULY 11

24th Annual Sandcastle Contest (Rockaway Beach): Think you’ve got what it takes to build an impressive sandcastle? Prove your sand-sculpting skills or be a spectator at the 24th annual contest at Rockaway Beach. Prizes will be awarded in several age categories. Bring your own buckets and tools. No experience is necessary. Beach 117th Street in Rockaway Beach. nycparks.gov. Free. 11 a.m., July 11.

Queens Recreation Family Day (Judge Moses Weinstein Playground): This event, presented by Councilman James Gennaro and Queens Recreation, is a fun day of family activities like tie-dye, games, fitness challenges, sports activities and prizes. 141-33 Union Tpke., Judge Moses Weinstein Playground. nycparks.gov. Free. 1 p.m., July 11.

Litter Ambassadors Sunday (Forest Park): As part of the Litter Ambassadors program, volunteers will help keep the picnic and barbecue areas of Forest Park clean in June. Litter Ambassadors will also distribute garbage bags and guide their neighbors in the proper ways of disposing trash. George Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 1 p.m., July 11.

Nature Exploration (Kissena Park): Pull on some hiking shoes or boots for this moderately-paced nature hike in Kissena Park. Rose Avenue and Oak Avenue in Kissena Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 2 p.m., July 11.

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

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