Top 12 Things To Do In Queens, New York City

things to do in queens
| 4 min read

Queens is the largest and most ethnically diverse borough in New York City so you can expect different cultures once you’re here. Look beyond skyscraper buildings and explore Queens while reconnecting with flora and fauna all day by going to the places where locals visit. With people from all cultures and roots residing in Queens, it comes as no surprise that Queens is a popular food destination in New York. If you love the arts, there’s plenty of contemporary artworks to admire indoors and outdoors. Iconic parks such as Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Socrates Sculpture Park have become a must-visit for their scenic beauty. Read on to find out more about the top things to do in Queens, New York City.

1. Enjoy a walk down the movie lane in the Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Imaage

MoMI welcomes people of all ages and connects diverse communities from all walks of life to the moving image in all its forms to create a more inclusive cultural future. The museum is driven by the novel mission of educating the public about the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media.

Speaking of the collection, MoMI boasts the largest collection of artifacts relating to the art, history, and technology of the moving image in the entire nation. Constructed in 1981, the museum has on display approximately 130,000 artifacts in the present day.

Don’t miss the holdings from the silent film era - they offer both the general public and the scholar with an avid interest in the history and culture of the moving image an insight into how films were made, marketed, and exhibited back in the day.

Museum of the Moving Image

Address: 36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106, United States

Website: Museum of the Moving Image

Opening hours: Thu: 2pm - 6pm; Fri: 2pm - 8pm; Sat - Sun: 12pm - 6pm (closed on Mon, Tue & Wed)

Price: 10 - 20 USD (free for members)

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2. Admire the works of the legendary artist in The Noguchi Museum

Noguchi Museum

The Noguchi Museum was constructed in 1985 by Isamu Noguchi - an artist who is an extraordinary personality in the world of art, sculpture, and paintings. Located in Long Island City, this museum has collections on display that explore the various themes in Noguchi’s work ranging from sculptures, models, and drawings to his personal possessions.

Visitors with a keen interest in art and culture can opt for a guided tour around the museum. You can converse with the educator and explore select works and exhibitions that will give you a detailed insight into the life and vision of the artist.

The Noguchi Museum

Address: 9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY 11106, United States

Website: The Noguchi Museum

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: 12 USD (general admission); 6 USD (seniors and students)

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3. Go wall climbing at Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Rock climbing
Source: Unsplash

Everyone loves a little fun while working out and rock climbing is an example of a thrilling sport and a perfect activity at any time of the day. Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge is a rock climbing facility with traditional climbing and bouldering walls. Learn the basics of bouldering such as top roping and belaying with Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge’s classes for beginners. You can choose between the 60-minute or the 90-minute one. Fitness enthusiasts can also try other fitness classes such as yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and train as a team to improve their climbing techniques.

Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Address: 23-10 41st Ave, Queens, NY 11101, United States

Website: Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Opening hours: Mon, Wed & Fri: 12pm - 9pm; Tue & Thu: 9am - 10pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 6pm

Price: From 36 USD

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4. Enjoy a stress free visit at Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City

Brooklyn Grange City View
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paulina Fein used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Brooklyn Grange is an organic urban rooftop farm that produces vegetables, herbs, and honey for local restaurants and one of the largest soil farms in the world. Aside from that, it’s also a special place that offers lots of activities for families and friends looking to have a unique experience in Queens. Visit Brooklyn Grange for farm tours, workshops on urban farming, yoga, and even farm dinners.

Brooklyn Grange

Address: 37-18 Northern Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101, United States

Website: Brooklyn Grange

Price: 12 USD - 18 USD

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5. Marvel at architecture designs and art collections at Queens Museum

Queens Museum-1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Leo Chiou used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Exhibitions at Queens Museum depict the diverse culture and international community you’ll find in the city. Some of these exhibits include temporary and long-term installations. Situated in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, this visual arts museum is not the common historical museum you’d expect to see. Instead, it is a contemporary museum fitted with lots of glass that allows natural light to enter and reflect on a lantern that serves as a centrepiece at the museum’s lobby. Long-term installations at New York’s second-largest museum include The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass and Panorama of the City of New York.

Queens Museum

Address: New York City Building, Corona, NY 11368, United States

Website: Queens Museum

Opening hours: Wed - Fri: 12pm - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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6. Try an arepa at Arepa Lady

Arepa de pabellon
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andreadlserrano used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Arepa is a staple in Central and South American cuisines, especially in Colombia. It is made out of ground maize dough, which is similar to a cornmeal cake, and often it is stuffed with different fillings such as shredded meat, avocado, black beans, and cheese. Arepa Lady is recognised in Queens as the go-to place for fluffy and savoury midnight snacks. Visit in the morning to avoid crowds as Arepa Lady gets filled with patrons looking to end their night on a high note.

Arepa Lady

Address: 77-17 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372, United States

Website: Arepa Lady

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12am; Sun: 11am - 10pm

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7. Stroll on the serene gardens of Queens Botanical Garden

Entrance Plaza, Queens Botanical Garden
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Queensbotanicalga... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

In the midst of skyscraper buildings, find respite in Queens Botanical Garden. The botanical garden is home to an urban forest consisting of 825 trees. It also provides educational programmes around the forest to educate visitors on how to properly care for trees. Other than the urban forest, you can also find a garden with flowers blooming all year round, a bee garden which is another popular spot for educational programmes, and art displays around the garden. It doesn’t matter what season you visit, you can always learn about new plants at Queens Botanical Garden.

Queens Botanical Garden

Address: 43-50 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355, United States

Website: Queens Botanical Garden

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 8am - 4.30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 6 USD

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8. Bond and feed the animals at Queens Zoo

Andean Bear at Queens Zoo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user BronxZooFan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Take a look at animals from North and South America at Queens Zoo. Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the indoor and outdoor animal exhibits will keep you excited throughout your zoo experience as you meet a four-horned Jacob sheep, a Roosevelt elk, an Andean bear, and a pudu, the tiniest deer in the world. Get up close with animals during the zoo’s sea lion feeding sessions and other conservation stations spread throughout Queens Zoo.

Queens Zoo

Address: 53-51 111th St, Corona, NY 11368, United States

Website: Queens Zoo

Opening hours: 10am - 4.30pm (daily)

Price: 9.95 USD

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9. Learn how to surf and hit the waves of Rockaway Beach (from USD 85.0)

Learn how to surf during a 60-minute lesson at Rockaway Beach. Locals flock to this beach all year round, especially during summer, and surfing is a popular activity to do at Rockaway Beach because of its world-class waves. Intermediate surfers have the chance to learn new surfing skills such as duck-dive and bottom turn. If you already know how to surf and want to try something new, opt for paddle boarding classes instead.

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Surf & Paddleboard in Rockaway Beach Nyc

Duration: 1 hour

15 reviews

10. Explore Flushing Meadows Corona Park by borrowing a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals

Top things to do in Queens, New York City
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Patrick Stahl used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a must-visit place in Queens simply because the park is so iconic to the city. Besides hiking on scenic trails and playing sports, the best way to discover the park is to rent a bike at Wheel Fun Rentals. If you don’t know how to ride a bike, Wheel Fun Rentals offers other options such as tandem bicycles or you can rent a quad sport bicycle for a Mario Kart experience. In sunnier seasons, you can rent a boat from Wheel Fun Rentals for some water splashing fun.

Wheel Fun Rentals

Address: Meadow Lake Rd. W at Ederle Terrace, on the North Side of, Meadow Lake Bridge, 11368, United States

Website: Wheel Fun Rentals

Price: From 8 USD

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11. Enjoy panoramic views of the city at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 灰飛作蝶 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Interact with some flora and fauna at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge where you’ll discover not just freshwater ponds and saltmarshes, but also the largest bird habitats in Northeastern America. This makes Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge one of the best places in New York to witness migrating species. It is recommended you take hikes along the trails provided as bikes are not allowed inside Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Address: 175-10 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11693, United States

Website: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

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12. Look at remarkable large sculptures at Socrates Sculpture Park

Mountain Views by Blane De St. Croix
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Blane De St. Croix used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Socrates Sculpture Park is one of the most interesting parks in Queens. Not only is it a public park with free admission for all but it also serves as an outdoor museum. Contemporary artworks are mostly built on site, which allows the public to witness the art process and appreciate the art more. There are no permanent exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park so you can always expect surprises when you visit.

Socrates Sculpture Park

Address: 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11106, United States

Website: Socrates Sculpture Park

Opening hours: 9am - 7:45pm (daily)

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Immerse yourself in a city of culture

Look beyond the high-rise buildings and venture deeper into Queens. Get cultured by mingling with the international community in Queens and appreciating contemporary arts. When you need some alone time, head to the city’s many iconic parks for a scenic leisure stroll. New York doesn’t have to be fast-paced after all, especially with these top things to do in Queens, New York City.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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