Queens Botanical Garden brings back outdoor movie night series and a lineup of summer activities

Queens Botanical Gardens summer movie nights
Queens Botanical Garden’s “Summer Movie Nights” kicks off on Friday, June 3. (Photo courtesy of QBG)

This summer, there’s something for everyone at Queens Botanical Garden, from food to arts and crafts and movie screenings for families at the place where “people, plants and cultures meet.”

“People can expect a lot of different things — whether you love flowers, nature and botanical gardens and whether you also enjoy cultural experiences and entertainment, there’s a lot of things happening here,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, QBG executive director.

On Friday, June 3, QBG will kick off “Movie Nights at the Garden” with the screening of the 2016 Disney animated film “Moana” at 7:30 p.m.

Queens Botanical Garden’s movie nights will extend throughout the summer and into the fall. QBG will offer a $5 snack voucher and each event will feature either a hands-on craft activity or a live performance, which varies based on the featured film.

Queens Botanical Gardens summer movie nights
Photo courtesy of Queens Botanical Gardens

“Onward,” Saturday, June 18

In the 2020 Disney computer-animated film “Onward,” two elf brothers named Ian and Barley Lightfoot set out on a quest to find an artifact that will temporarily bring back their deceased father for 24 hours before it’s too late. 

“Men in Black,” Friday, July 1 

“Men in Black” is a sci-fi adventure comedy that follows the exploits of agents Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith), members of a top-secret organization established to monitor alien activity on Earth. The two MIB find themselves in the middle of a deadly plot by an intergalactic terrorist who has arrived on Earth to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies. 

“A Bug’s Life,” Saturday, July 9 

In this 1998 animated film, a misfit ant named Flik is looking for “tough warriors” to save his colony from a protection racket run by Hopper’s gang of grasshoppers. Unfortunately, the “warriors” he brings back turn out to be an inept troupe of circus bugs. 

“Grease,” Saturday, July 16 

 Experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids in the 1950s. Welcome to the singing and dancing world of “Grease,” the most successful movie musical of all time. A wholesome exchange student (Olivia Newton-John) and a leather-clad Danny (John Travolta) have a summer romance, but will it cross clique lines?

“Jurassic Park,” Saturday, July 23 

In Steven Spielberg’s massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA.

“Encanto,” Saturday, July 30

Disney’s “Encanto” follows a multigenerational Colombian family, the Madrigals, led by a matriarch whose children and grandchildren — except for Mirabel Madrigal — receive magical gifts from a miracle that helps them serve the people in their rural community called the Encanto. When Mirabel learns that the family is losing their magic, she sets out to find out what is happening, and save her family and their magical house.

“The Princess and the Frog,” Saturday, Aug. 6 

In this 2009 Disney film, a hardworking waitress named Tiana dreams of opening her own restaurant. After kissing a prince who has been turned into a frog by an evil witch doctor, Tiana becomes a frog herself and must find a way to turn back into a human before it is too late.

“Jungle Cruise,” Friday, Aug. 19 

“Jungle Cruise,” featuring Dwayne Johnson, tells the alternate history of the captain of a small riverboat who takes a scientist and her brother through a jungle in search of the Tree of Life while competing against a German expedition and cursed conquistadors.

More summer fun

On June 11, QBG will partner with the High School of Art & Design to host “FanFaire NYC,” which will include a cosplay draw-a-thon, a cosplay contest and parade, and an artist alley. The ticketed event is open to the public and is a fundraiser for both Art & Design and QBG. 

In celebration of Pride Month, QBG will host “Queens in the Garden” featuring NYC drag artist, activist and TV personality Marti Cummings, on Wednesday, June 22, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 

Queens Botanical Gardens summer movie nights
NYC drag artist, activist and TV personality Marti Cummings. (Photo courtesy of QBG)

The $20 ticket fee includes after-hours access to the garden, drag queen performances, DJ music, and pride-themed crafts. Food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are available for purchase. Registration is required. Drop-ins are welcome upon availability.

In August, the garden will host its annual “Taiwan: A World of Orchids” show in partnership with the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in New York (TECO-NY), from Aug. 11-14. The show features a display of orchids and inspiring cultural activities. 

According to Hantzopoulos, there will be more scheduled activities at the garden for children and their families. Queens Botanical Garden’s calendar of events will be finalized in the next couple of weeks with activities. For more information, visit queensbotanical.org or sign up for QBG’s newsletter.