Queens, one of the best boroughs of New York City, is home to stunning restaurants, majestic art galleries, and popular attractions like the giant world’s fair globe. While the charms of Brooklyn overshadow it, Queens still has a chance at winning the crown. Moreover, It is home to more than 150 different cultures, welcomes tourists with open hands, and offers them a huge list of “things to do in queens.”
What Is the Specialty of The Area of Queens, New York?
The largest borough also offers plenty of entertainment, beach access, and easy transportation. A blessing for tourists and people looking to move.
Named after Queen Catherine, the English queen of Braganza, the borough was established in 1683 and continues to be a popular area of New York. Take spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline; travel by taking the 7 train or the East River Ferry, and head to Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City for impressive views.
What Are Some of The Best Attractions in Queens?
From scenic waterfront walks to historic parks, New York’s most versatile borough is the perfect destination to explore New York’s rich history, culture, and heritage.
Queens has a lot to offer travelers, from taking a stroll on Rockaway beach and experiencing innovation through contemporary art in MoMA PS1 to enjoying the farm life in the queen’s county farm museum.
The best things to do in queens with kids include the New York science hall, Queen’s botanical garden, Queens zoo, and Socrates sculpture park.
The Top 20 Things to Do in Queens:
If you are planning a visit to Queens, here are 20 fun things to do in queens with your friends and family!
1. Spend a Day at Flushing Meadows Corona Park
One of the city’s most iconic parks, Flushing meadows corona park, continues to draw and delight visitors.
The 897-acre public park is located in northern Queens and was created for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. However, it gained recognition at the same event in 1964
1.1 What is Flushing Meadows Corona Park Famous for?
The largest park in Queens and the fourth in New York features many top tourist attractions such as Queen’s botanical garden, Queens Museum, New York hall of science, Citi Field, and Queens zoo, among others.
Flushing meadows corona park offers many enjoyable activities such as hiking, biking, sightseeing, and sailing. But the most popular tourist attraction is Unisphere, an 140 feet spherical stainless steel representing the earth, popularized by the 1997 film Men in Black.
2. Experience Creativity at MoMA PS1
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a place that fuels creativity, ignites minds, and inspires. It is one of the largest art museums in the United nations solely dedicated to contemporary art and one of the main tourist attractions in Queens, New York.
Founded in 1971 as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Inc., its main purpose was to organize art shows. However, a permanent gallery opened in Long island city after a few years.
2.1. Why You Should Go
Additionally, in 2001, a collaboration with MoMA resulted in MoMA PS1 as a creative place for fostering innovative and revolutionary contemporary art integrating technology and photography.
The museum is housed in a picturesque Romanesque Revival Public school building with astounding architecture dating from 1892 and is one of the many creative things to do in queens.
3. Take a Stroll Through the Gorgeous Queens Botanical Garden
The 39-acre Queens botanical garden sits on Main street and offers 25 wonderful gardens to experience beauty and peace. Taking a stroll and following a trail in Queen’s botanical garden is one of the best things to do in queens.
The Queens’ botanical garden began as a part of 1939, New york world’s fair as the “Gardens on Parade” exhibit, but after the fair ended, it was expanded across the larger part of Flushing meadows park.
3.1. Why Is Queens’ Botanical Garden so Special?
The garden is famous among nature-lovers as it offers an enjoyable sensory experience with several gardens, such as a bee garden, herb garden, and rose garden. Furthermore, the garden is home to a wedding garden, an art gallery, an arboretum, and a LEED.
4. New York Hall of Science
The New York hall of science, also known as NYSCI, is a popular museum among science enthusiasts. This science museum was also established during the 1964 world fair and, at the time, was only one of the few science museums in existence.
4.1. What Are Some Fun Activities to Do?
Learning becomes fun when the 100,00-square-foot space offers programs and workshops and includes more than 400 physics, biology, and chemistry exhibits. The hands-on experience offered in the New York hall of science helps young minds to explore passionately and provides a way for people to approach science and technology easily or to create their own work of art in the Design lab.
5. Citi Field
Home Field of Major League Baseball’s New York Mets, this iconic baseball stadium is located on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing meadows corona park in New York City. It opened in 2009 and replaced Shea Stadium, built in 1964 for the world’s fair.
This majestic Baseball Stadium can seat 41,922 spectators, and the outside of the stadium resembles Ebbets Field, a famous former stadium in Brooklyn. They also provide die-hard fans with public tours to help you explore the New York Mets’ home.
The Jackie Robinson Rotunda serves as the stadium’s main entrance and is home to an eight-foot-tall monument of the renowned Brooklyn Dodgers star.
5.1. What to Do
History-lovers can also learn about the history of Mets and can visit the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum. In addition to the fabulous stadium, Visitors can enjoy the Taste of the city food court, Fan Fest Family entertainment zone, game kiosks, and many facilities.
6. Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York
The Noguchi Museum, also known as The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, is a museum and sculpture garden in Long Island City. It is dedicated to the works of the Japanese’s- American artist Isamu Noguchi.
The structure was renovated in 2004 and currently contains 12 stunning galleries and a gift shop. The two-story, 24,000-square feet museum was intended to preserve and display Noguchi’s sculptures, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs.
The Noguchi museum also boasts an outdoor sculpture area, whereas the inside is filled with paintings, busts, and architectural models done by the artist. It is located a block away from the intricate Socrates sculpture park.
Socrates sculpture park is the best testament to repurposing lands for better use. Once a landfill now stands as a 5-acre outdoor museum with mesmerizing sculptures from local and international artists.
7. Rockaway Beach
Rockaway beach is also nicknamed Irish Riviera due to the many Irish Americans living here. The largest urban beach in the United States is Situated on the Rockaway Peninsula; the beach itself is a wide swath of sand that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
The Rockaway Beach Surf Club, located on the boardwalk, serves tacos from its popular food stand, Tacoway Beach, among other delicious foods.
7.1. What to Do
Rockaway Beach is the only legal beach in New York City and is a popular spot among surfers.
Visitors can explore Jacob Riis park, which is only a 10-min drive from Rockaway beach. Adventurous scuba divers can improve their skills by exploring a sunken ship from Pier Five.
8. Queens Museum, New York City Building, Corona, New York
Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens Museum is an art museum and educational center. The museum was founded in 1972 and features many exhibits.
8.1. What Is Its Specialty?
The museum has a permanent collection of 10,000 objects, many of which are related to the 1939 and 1964 New York World’s Fairs. The most famous of them all is, The “ Panorama of the City of New York,” a room-sized model of the five boroughs of New York that displays the famous city in miniature, and was created for the 1964 worlds fair.
9. Museum of Moving Images
A must-visit for all pop culture fans and cinephiles, this museum is solely dedicated to television and film arts and was founded in 1988. It is housed in the former building of the historic Astoria Studios in the Queens, New York City neighborhood.
The Museum of the Moving Image focuses on art, history, and technique of filmmaking, television, and digital media. Film enthusiasts enjoy going around the film-related exhibits and learning about the wonderful world of moviemaking.
9.1. Why You Should Go
The Museum houses over 130,000 artifacts related to film, including vintage technical apparatus and old movie theatre furnishings. The Museum of moving images also frequently hosts premieres and other special events. However, the public favorite and the permanent collection include the Jim Henson exhibit, which credits the work of the man behind the legendary shows The Muppets and Sesame Street.
In addition to all the amazing exhibitions, the museum also allows visitors to try their sound and film editing skills in private booths.
10. Queens Zoo
Queens Zoo is an 18-acre zoo located in Flushing meadows corona park in Queens, New York City, which aims to conserve wildlife. It consists of a network of four zooms and an aquarium.
When it was first launched in 1968, this beautiful zoo was intended to be a cage-free zoo. The zoo is home to more than 75 kinds of animals indigenous to the Americas. The Queens Zoo also provides educational programs and guided tours that teach children about the importance of animals along with animal care.
11. USTA National Tennis Center
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, one of the world’s largest public tennis facilities, is home to the US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament, which has been held here since 1978.
Located in the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, the stadium is over situated over 46.5-acre of land; the complex features 22 courts in the main facility along with 11 other courts in a contiguous park. Within the complex, there are three tennis stadiums, which are some of the largest stadiums in the world. Arthur Ashe Stadium, one of the stadiums built in August 1997, can hold more than 22,000 spectators.
The US Open is held every year in August and September. All the courts use the DecoTurf cushioned acrylic, which improves the quality of the sport. It is close to Citi Field and LaGuardia Airport, and the tennis center is open to the public for play except during the US Open.
12. King Manor Museum and Park
King Manor celebrates the life of the Founding Father Rufus King, one of the signers of the United States Constitution in 1787. After the formation of the new Congress, he represented New York in the United States Senate
The Historic House sits at 150th Street and Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, New York City. It was the home of Rufus King, and his descendants lived in the house until 1896. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974 and is now open to the public as a museum.
12.1. What to Do
The only historic home museum in Southeast Queens, it connects visitors with guided tours around the house, hands-on displays, and public and educational engagement. The public can revisit the early- American era and explore interesting exhibits about the king’s anti-slavery ideologies and notable life.
13. Gantry Plaza State Park
Offering spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, Gantry Plaza State Park delights visitors with its 12 acres of an urban oasis. This little gem of a park is clean, safe, and uncrowded and offers A+ views of the entire Manhattan skyline.
Once a wrecked and abandoned industrial waterfront, Gantry Plaza features stunning award-winning designs of the park that merit their own close-ups, complete with landscaped gardens and native grasses. The resurrected and reused old shipping lifts and restored gantries used to load and unload rail car floats displays the city’s historical past as a major shipping port.
Today, the Gantry plaza state park has four sections—Gantry Plaza, the Library, the Fields, and the Piers—each offer a unique experience for visitors looking to enjoy a former dockyard turned urban oasis.
14. Visit the Home of Louis Armstrong
As jazz has been an integral part of Queens, every jazz lover has to visit the house of the popular jazz musician Louise Armstrong. The residence at 34-45 107th street was Armstrong’s place once he retired in the late 1960s
Louis Armstrong was one of the most recognizable jazz players in the world, and people looked up to him as an inspiration. The public appreciated when he chose the working-class neighborhood of corona, Queens, as his home.
In addition to this, Louis Armstrong’s home is now a popular museum that displays the achievements of his life.
15. Alley Pond Park
Situated between the neighborhoods of Bayside and Douglaston, this park is the second largest public park in Queen, New York City, encompassing over 655.3 acres.
The park’s hilly terrain consists of wildflower meadows, Oakland gardens, and tulip woodlands. Alley pond is also home to the oldest and tallest tree in NYC, dubbed the Queens Giant, which stands at 133.8ft tall and has been around for over 450 years.
Alley Pond Park is an amazing picnic spot with beautiful trees and huge grass fields, resulting in children’s playgrounds. The trails are flat, wide, and perfect for kids and elders, and one of the best things to do in queens with kids.
15.1. What Does Alley Pond Park Offer?
Alley Pond Park offers glimpses into New York’s geologic past, its colonial history, and its current conservation efforts and is surrounded by lush nature and Oakland gardens.
Along with charming nature and trails, visitors observe ospreys, deer, fish, amphibians, and hundreds of forest and water bird species among the forests and fields of Alley Pond Park.
16. Queens Night Market
The Queens Night Market is an enormous, family-friendly open-air night market in Queens. The uniquely affordable market features over 100 independent vendors selling art, food, and merchandise. Heaven to Foodies, this market celebrates the rich diversity and heritage of New York City and Queens.
A must-visit for all shopaholics, the event was launched in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York in April 2015 with 40 vendors. Since then, it has opened on Saturdays from April through October.
17. Forest Hill Stadium
Built in 1923 & renovated in 2013, this storied stadium with a capacity of 13,000 is the city’s only outdoor venue of its kind and size. A historic outdoor music venue, the lively stadium has welcomed fans for an out-of-the-world experience with the picturesque New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills for nearly 100 years.
The stadium has hosted some of the most culturally significant performances of the time – Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand as well as the new superstars such as – Drake, Ed Sheeran, Dolly Parton, and many more
18. Jacob Riis Park
Located on a mile-long section of Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, Jacob Riis Park also called “The People’s Beach,” is one of the city’s oldest planned recreational beaches. Named after a noteworthy social reformer and photojournalist, this park was built in the 1930s.
The splendid bathhouse from the 1930s is one of the major attractions and forms the backdrop for visitors enjoying their time on this relatively quiet beach.
Another popular attraction is the 4-faced clock built-in 1891 on the boardwalk. This beach is relatively smaller and much calmer than the nearby Rockaway beach stretch.
19. Queens Jazz Trail
New York City is rich with jazz history, and many of the genre’s big names lived in Queens. However, guided jazz tails are now shut down. Jazz enthusiasts can go on a Jazz trail with the help of an illustrated map poster guide by Ephemera Press.
19.1. How To Go on A Queen Jazz Trail?
The award-winning Queens Jazz Trail map shows the different neighborhoods and sites as part of this hidden jazz history.
This pictorial map makes a beautiful poster featuring portraits of great jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.) and drawings of their houses.
The back of the map contains a short history of jazz Queens; the addresses of homes once occupied by jazz musicians; and sites of current interest to jazz fans
20. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Attention, Bird watchers! Jamaican bay wildlife refuge is the best place to check out the feathered creatures of your dreams, with more than 332 species of birds in the wildlife refuge. Birding is excellent year-round.
20.1. Why You Should Visit
The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which happens to be the only wildlife refuge in the national park system, covers 9,155 acres of open bay, saltmarsh, mudflats, upland field and woods, two man-made brackish ponds, the 117-acre “East Pond” and 45-acre “West Pond,” and small freshwater ponds The site was established as a wildlife refuge in 1951 under the Newyork City Department Of Parks.
To Conclude – Things to Do in Queens
Queens is such a lively and majestic part of New York. It is a must-visit for art lovers and sports enthusiasts.
Plan the most amazing trip possible with our list of 20 top things to do in queens. Hopefully, our guide proves to be a helpful companion, resulting in a wonderful trip to Queens.