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QNS Weekender: 27 things to do in Queens

Antara Saha will teach classical Indian dance at Socrates Sculpture Park. Photo courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Take a look at all the activities Queens has to offer this weekend!

Some of the weekend’s highlights include the “Proud Mary” Rock and Roll Ladies concert at Flushing Town Hall, the Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival and family fun day at St. Albans Park, Pride on the Farm at Queens County Farm, the sandcastle Contest at Rockaway Beach and hitting the Alley Pond Park Adventure Course.

For these events and more, check out these 27 things to do in Queens.

GET TESTED AND VACCINATED

Before doing anything in person, make sure to get tested for COVID-19 and register for any of the three available vaccines.

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:

Visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov to find a vaccination site near you.

FRIDAY, JULY 30

The Floral Escape (Queens County Farm): The Floral Escape is a flower lover’s dream and it’s your last chance to come and see this flower-lover’s dream in person. 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 30 to Aug. 1, 2021.

Fitness Fridays (St. Albans Park): Get some fresh air while also getting in shape at St. Albans Park this weekend. The fitness Mobile Unit will be in the park to offer fitness classes like spin, dance fitness and other shape and tone classes. Participants should dress in exercise clothes and bring a water bottle. Outdoors at the Field House in St. Albans Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 11 a.m to 3 p.m., July 30.

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 30 to Nov. 7, 2021.

“Concrete Utopia” Opening Reception (Local Project): For just two more days, check out “Concrete Utopia” a solo exhibit by Brooklyn-based artist and graphic designer Saneun Hwang. The exhibit features Hwang’s digital prints of his own photography, digital collages and visual poetry and explores his interpretation and impression of living in New York City. 11-27 44th Rd., Hunters Point at Local Project Art Space. localproject.org. Free. July 30 to 31. 

“Proud Mary” – Rock & Roll Ladies (Flushing Town Hall): While this is an in-person event, there are only virtual tickets left to see The Emilie Surtees Experience Band perform songs like Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” Stevie Nicks’ “Go Your Own Way” or Heart’s “If Looks Could Kill.” In person and virtual. flushingtownhall.org. $7 for non members and $5 for members. 7 p.m., July 30. 

Movies Under the Stars – “Godzilla vs. King Kong” (Frederick B. Judge Playground): For this edition of Movies Under the Stars, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is showing “Godzilla vs. King Kong” this weekend. The story follows Kong who is on a journey to his birthplace but has to defend earth after Godzilla threatens the fabric of humanity. Rated PG-13. Bring a blanket and arrive before 8:30 p.m. to secure the best viewing spot, as spaces are limited. 111th Avenue between 134th Street and 135th Street at Frederick B. Judge Playground. nycparks.gov. Free. 8:30 to 11:30 p.m., July 30.

SATURDAY, JULY 31

Bayswater Park Wetland Restoration (Bayswater Park): This weekend, volunteer with the Stewardship Team to protect Bayswater Park’s wetland areas. Volunteers will learn to identify and safely remove invasive plants and debris to restore the wetland and create a healthier ecosystem. Those interested should come dressed in sturdy boots or shoes, long pants and clothes that can get dirty. Don’t forget to wear a mask and bring a water bottle. Registration is required. Beach 35th Street and Norton Avenue in Bayswater Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 9:30 a.m to 12 p.m., July 31.

Saturday Yoga Sessions 1 and 2 (Socrates Sculpture Park): Instructor Jennifer Batson will be teaching free Vinyasa Yoga classes at Socrates Sculpture Park. Vinyasa is a series of flowing poses linked to awareness of the breath. Those who participate should wear comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel. All experience levels are welcome. 32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City. socratessculpturepark.org. Free. The first session is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and the second session is from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. , July 31.

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 to 11 a.m., July 31.

Hellgate Farmstand (Socrates Sculpture Park): Get some delicious, seasonal produce at the Hellgate Farmstand, operated by Hellgate Farm, a network of residential and rooftop gardens in Queens. In addition to produce, the stand also offers small batch goods, like their signature hot sauce. On select Saturdays, Wilk Apiaries offers a pop up to sell a variety of local and raw honeys. 32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City. socratessculpturepark.org. Free. Saturdays, July 31 to Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Beginner Fishing (Brookville Park): Get ready for a chance to catch a pumpkinseed sunfish, carp or chain pickerel at Brookville Park. Individuals will participate in catch-and-release fishing led by the Urban Park Rangers. Registration is required. Brookville Boulevard and 147th Avenue in Brookville Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 11 a.m to 12:30 p.m., July 31.

Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival and Family Fun Day (St. Albans Park): Celebrate Caribbean culture at this free event featuring family friendly activities like a drum circle, cultural concert, games, basket weaving and food. Register. 169th Street Merrick Blvd. braataproductions.org. Free. 12 to 8p.m., July 31.

Pride on the Farm (Queens County Farm): This is the first-ever Pride event at Queens Farm, presented in partnership with the LGBT Network. The day includes live music, farmer-led tours, pollinator talks, LGBTQ+ resource fair and Drag Story Hour.  Get tickets. 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Parkqueensfarm.org. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 3 to 12; children 0 to 2 are free. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 31. 

Telling a Story and Painting a Picture (Friends of Maple Grove): This virtual event is both a lecture and concert by David Holzman, who will perform the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, McDonald, Ricci and Hannay. Virtual with YouTube link available after the event. friendsofmaplegrove.org. Free. 4 p.m., July 31. 

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. Register hereGeorge Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 1 to 3 p.m., July 31.

Queens Book Fair 2021 (Beyond the Abuse): At this third annual event, attendees will get to meet with a slate of diverse authors, poets and many artists like Dianna Bellerose, Terry Shaw, Blaque Diamond, Rosemarie Lyons, Salma Waly and Elman Woodson. There will also be live music with DJ E Bless, meet and greets with the authors, giveaways and more. Get tickets. Virtual on Zoom. beyondtheabuse.org. Free but donations are welcome. 2 to 6 p.m., July 31 to Aug. 1.

History of Immigration in Queens (Kingsland Homestead): Attend a lecture by Jeran Halfpap, who will be presenting notes by Queensboro Historian Jack Eichenbaum. The event will cover Queens’ history from its colonial origins to the rush of the 19th century and even how today’s immigrants shaped the borough’s cultural landscape. The lecture will be in person at Kingsland Homestead but those interested in digital access should email jeranh@queenshistoricalsociety.org. Registration is required. 143-35 37th Ave., Flushingqueenshistoricalsociety.org. $5 for adults; $3 for students and seniors; free to members. 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., July 31.

CinemaLIC – “The Lion King” (Hunters Point Park): The Hunters Point Park Conservancy is back with its annual movie series with a showing of “The Lion King” (2019) starring big names like Beyoncé, Donald Glover, James Earl Jones and Seth Rogan. The Oval in Hunter’s Point South Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 8:15 to 10 p.m., July 31.

Movies Under the Stars – “Onward” (Astoria Heights Playground): Grab your blanket and enjoy a screening of the Disney/Pixar movie “Onward.” The story follows two teenage elf brothers who discover a spell that can bring their father back to life. Rated PG. Plan to arrive earlier that 8:30 p.m. for a prime viewing spot. Astoria Heights Playground (JHS 10). nycparks.gov. Free. 8:30 to 11 p.m., July 31.

SUNDAY, AUG. 1

It’s My Park (Ralph Demarco Park): Join the Friends of Ralph Demarco Park for this volunteer event and help to paint benches and pick up litter. Register here. Ralph Demarco Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Aug. 1.

Alley Pond Park Adventure Course – Free Public Sundays (Alley Pond Park): Spend some time outdoors at this Queens adventure course that fosters trust, communication and team building. The two-hour adventure has both high and low elements and is open to individuals or small groups of friends or family. The course is open to people 8 and up and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Valid photo ID and sneakers are required. Register here. Alley Pond Park Adventure Center in Alley Pond Park. nycparks.gov. Free. The course is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m., Aug. 1.

Sensory Perception Hike (Forest Park): Join the Urban Park Rangers in this sensory hike and use your senses to explore the park and look for clues. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes or boots and bring water and a light snack. The Overlook Parking Lot in Forest Park . nycparks.gov. Free. 10 to 11 a.m., Aug. 1.

Sunday Yoga (Socrates Sculpture Park): Instructor Yojaida Estrella will be teaching free Vinyasa Yoga classes at Socrates Sculpture Park. Vinyasa is a series of flowing poses linked to awareness of the breath. Those who participate should wear comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel. All experience levels are welcome. 32-01 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City. socratessculpturepark.org. Free. 10 to 11 a.m., Aug. 1.

Sandcastle Contest (Rockaway Beach): The Rockaway Times is sponsoring this 24th annual contest to see who can build the best sandcastle at Rockaway Beach. Viewers are welcome and no experience is necessary. Participants should bring their own buckets and tools and prizes will be awarded for several age categories. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.; the contest begins at 12 p.m. Beach 117th Street in Rockaway Beach. nycparks.gov. Free. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 1.

Compost and Farm Site Tour (Queens Botanical Garden): Learn the ins and outs of composting and get a tour of the mid-scale composting facility at the Garden. The staff will talk about the composting process and teach techniques they use. Register here. 4350 Main St., Flushing. queensbotanical.org. Admission included in the price of Garden admission. Tour times vary, Aug. 1.

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. Register here. George Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park. nycparks.gov. Free. 1 to 3 p.m., Aug. 1.

TurnOut Queens – Grupo Rebolú (Queens Theatre): The TurnOut Queens series began on July 11 and continues this Sunday with a free performance by Grupo Rebolú. No tickets are required for this event. Summer Outdoor Stage at Corona Plaza. queenstheatre.org. Free. 4 p.m., Aug. 1.

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

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