The upcoming two weeks encompass Arbor Day, Earth Day, Easter, National Jelly Bean Day and spring break. In other words, Queens is ready to shine.

Whether it’s a children’s workshop in the western part of the borough, a flower fest in the middle or a day with bunnies out east, the borough is ready to host a wide array of enriching, educational and entertaining events.

Let’s begin with eco-friendly fun. The Alley Pond Environmental Center begins a busy three-day stretch with an Earth Day Wild Plant and Forage Walk on Monday, April 22, at 5 p.m. Marie Viljoen, editor of the foraging blog 66 Square Feet (Plus), will uncover the secrets of the route’s edible greenery.

The same venue will host Earthly Legends on the same day at 6 p.m. This family-friendly event begins with an early evening walk through the nature trails and ends with interactive story-telling around a fire circle. Marshmallows and orange slices will be provided.

Stay at Alley Pond, located at 228-06 Northern Blvd. in Douglaston, for Earth Day Drop, Swap, and Shop on April 24 at 1 p.m. A truly interactive afternoon, participants simply drop off gently used, clean and functional children’s toys, games, puzzles and books. Then, the fun erupts as people browse, barter and bargain their way through the loot.

Finally at Alley Pond, Peggy Kurtz will discuss environmental issues and a recent UN Climate Report on April 25 at 7 p.m. Kurtz, the longtime director of cultural arts and Jewish heritage programs at Commonpoint Queens (aka Central Queens Y), co-founded the Rockland Water Coalition and served as president of the Rockland Sierra Club.

Queens County Farm Museum dives into the fun with a Barnyard Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20, starting at 11 a.m. Whiskers the Bunny, a perennial favorite, will be on hand to take photos, meet youngsters and cheer them on during hunts and hayrides. Next up, the 47-acre property, whose entrance is at 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy. in Glen Oaks, will celebrate Earth Day with the American Chestnut Foundation’s New York Chapter on Monday, April 22, starting at noon. Six American Chestnut Trees will be transplanted and introduced into their native habitat during a program that includes beeswax candle-making, a seed ball project, bee talks and tractor-drawn hayrides.

Youth Movement

Children can rejoice in the Spring Recess Family Activities at the Museum of the Moving Image from Friday, April 19, to Sunday, April 28. The venue, located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District, will host drop in workshops with green-themed activities every day during this stretch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Youngsters will get up on a green-screen stage and “sing in the rain” against a background of their choice and create claymation movies and characters based on the movie “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which will screen daily at noon.

The New York Hall of Science will present Sustainable Spring Break from April 22 through April 26. In addition to installations, prototypes, workshops and experiences related to sustainable life, Krystal Persaud, who is a designer-in-residence, will lead youngsters through her exhibition, “Solar Cat: The Cutest Solar Panel Ever Made,” which centers around a giant, 140-watt, feline-shaped solar panel that is mounted to a window. Persaud and “Explainers,” who are college and high school students trained to interact with exhibits at this Flushing Meadows Corona Park facility, will also organize games of Climate Change: True or False and teach how to design solar panels.

The Gazillion Bubble Show, which combines laser lighting, soapy masterpieces and countless bubbles, will make a special appearance at the science museum on April 25. Plus, Bionic Me, which demonstrates how technology improves human capabilities, is up until May 5. Among many interactive activities, children use night vision to see in the dark and utilize their minds to move balls and wave robot arms.

The other big, youth-focused event is Spring Break Fun at Rainey Park, Vernon Boulevard and 34th Avenue in Astoria, on April 24 and noon. Planned activities include canvas painting, Jackson Pollock splatter painting, face painting, balloon art, a puppet show, an interactive musical performance, a magic show and a popcorn giveaway.

The Beat Goes On in Flushing

Other local options include a volunteer cleanup at The Bowne House on April 20. After mulching and planting, the group will take a walking tour of the area where the 300-acre Bowne House Farm and the Parsons Nursery once operated.

Also on April 20, Queens Botanical Garden will facilitate a Botanical Immigrants Tour at 11 a.m. While walking around the property, a guide will explain the global origins of plants and how they’re used in different cultures.

Finally, Voelker Orth Museum will host Green Garden/Green Planet on April 25 at 1:30 p.m. With materials gathered from the garden and recycled items, participants will create multidimensional animals or collages.

Images: Gazillion Bubble Show (top) and Queens Botanical Garden/Anne Tan Detchkov (bottom)


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Museum of the Moving Image closes through March 29
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