Whether you are looking for great vacation activities right next door or for a vacation spot across the country, it is worth considering Queens, New York. It is a place that offers a lot of fun things to see and do. Here are 10 of the many fun things to see in Queens in no particular order.
1. The Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Garden
This garden is the actual studio of Isamu Noguchi which was converted to a museum after his death. The main atmosphere is Japanese with its huge backyard, native Japanese plants and rock garden. The sculptures are mostly stone. It’s a little out of the way in Astoria, Queens but well worth the effort for a visit.
2. Astoria Park
While in Astoria, you can visit the Astoria Park. It has what may be the second largest swimming pool in the U.S. There is also a huge playground that is a magical place for children. With a spectacular view of the Triborough Bridge and Hell Gate Bridge, it is pleasant to sit on one of the benches along the shore. During the summer there are Central Astoria Waterfront Concerts as well as movie nights.
3. PS 1 Contemporary Art Center
In affiliation with the Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Art Center is one of the best places to view modern art. In Long Island City, Queens, it offers unusual and fascinating art installations. It is one of the largest facilities in the country that is dedicated to modern art as well as one of the oldest. It was founded because New York was the magnet for the modern artists of the world, and they needed enough space to exhibit their art.
4. Flushing Meadows – Carona Park
There is a lot to see in Flushing Meadows Carona Park including the Queens Museum of Art, the NY Hall of Science, the Queens Theater in The Park, the Queens Botanical Gardens and the Queens Zoo. It’s a fun place to bike, skate, run, barbecue and play soccer. Plan to spend the day and wear comfortable shoes.
5. The Unisphere
Also in Flushing Meadows Park, it is the largest globe in the world. It is an iconic symbol for the 1964 World’s Fair made from steel. Dedicated to Peace through Understanding, it has welcomed visitors to the park for almost 50 years.
6. The Museum of the Moving Image
For those who love movies, this is a must see place just off Steinway St. in Queens. Visitors enjoy the arcade and café on the first floor and the interactive displays on the second floor about the different elements in creating a movie. The third floor shows the optics required including early cameras, nickelodeons and a spinning wheel that shows a changing Claymation.
7. The Panorama of New York City
In the Queens Museum of Art is the largest architectural scale model on earth. It was built by Robert Moses with a team of 100 for the 1964 World’s Fair. It is 9,335 square feet and includes 895,000 individual structures.
8. Jackson Heights
The center of the Indian and South Asian neighborhood, it is a feast for the eyes with gold shops, fabulous food, beautiful fabric and fantastic music. Yes, it is a bit over the top, but well worth the experience.
9. Downtown Flushing’s Chinatown
A bit more sedate but no less fascinating, the herbalist shops, exotic tea and tasty Chinese and other kinds of food, make this a place worth visiting. There are elaborate celebrations of the Lunar or Chinese New Year every winter with dragon dancers, firecrackers and few tourists.
10. Socrates Sculpture Park
On the edge of Astoria and Long Island City, Sculpture Park was an abandoned property on the beautiful waterfront of the East River. During the 1980s, a group of artists took over the area for an outdoor museum and park with space for artists to work and exhibit. During the summer there is outdoor cinema.