The Ultimate Summer Fun Events Guide – Free and Fun Events for Kids in Queens

Summer is almost here, so plan ahead and get these Queens events on your calendar for some real quality, family-time together in the sun. Most of the events are free, so you can plan to take advantage of all of them!


May 30- Broadway Astoria Festival  All day come celebrate all things Astoria during this day long street festival. Runs along Broadway between Steinway and Crescent Streets.  Free



Long Island City Bike Parade – Free
June 11 – There are tons of things to do for bike lovers.  Bike safety demonstrations, bike swap, bike decoration—all followed by a bike parade.
Location: Socrates Sculpture Park  (Long Island City)



June 30, 2011- Astoria Park Fireworks Show starts at nightfall, get there a little early for a nice view!



There are so many ways to stay fit this summer in Queens including this Free Fitness Walk on May 31st
9:00 a.m.  (Held every Tuesday and Thursday)
Step out with us this summer by walking along Joe Michael’s Mile Fort Totten Front Gate (in Fort Totten Park), Bayside

Yoga in the Park (weekly) at 9:00 a.m.

June 4- Hatha yoga exercises in a setting that overlooks Long Island Sound. Hockey Rink (in Little Bay Park), Queens



The City Parks Foundation presents CityParks Golf, a wonderful and completely free way for children ages 6-17 to learn the fundamentals of the sport while enjoying the courses and making new friends.  All equipment is provided free of charge and provides the opportunity for dedicated young golfers to try out for the Junior Golf Academy.

Session one runs from July 5- July 19; Session two runs from August 1-26.   A variety of days and locations are opened to Queens residents including The Mario Fajardo Park (located at Kissena Blvd and Booth Memorial Ave), Alley Pond Park (located at Winchester Blvd and Union Tpke), Baisley Park (located at Foch Blvd & 155 St) and Flushing Meadows Park.

Visit City Parks Foundation to register early as placement is determined on a first-come basis.



The New York City Parks and Recreation Department is offering a variety of wonderful shows and events at Forest Park.  Head out in the early evening to enjoy the sunset and some of these great productions:

It’s Popping Up Puppets
Wednesday, June 1, 7:00 p.m.
Forest Park (Mary Whalen Playground)
Kids of all ages will delight in this puppet show featuring music, dancing and audience engagement.

Puppets in the Park/Bessie’s Big Shot
Wednesday, June 8, 7:00 p.m.
Forest Park (Dry Harbor Playground)
Lay out the blankets for this wonderful production about a cow named Bessie making her way through life.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Wednesday, June 15, 7:00 p.m.
Forest Park (Sobelsohn Park)
Bring your chairs a pack picnic dinner to sit back and enjoy a theatrical production of this family classic.

Visit Forest Park Events for more information.



QAX 2001
Thursday, June 16 – Sunday, June 19
The Queens Council on the Arts presents Queens Art Express – a festival showcasing the wonderful and diverse art, performers, exhibits and places to eat along the route of the No. 7 train and the N/Q train.  Come along to see why Queens is becoming a preferred hot spot for artists in NYC!

Learn more at Queens Art Fest.



Family Camping at 6:00 p.m. – Free
June 18 -Enjoy the time-honored tradition of camping in the woods.  Food and tents provided.  You must bring your own sleeping bag.  Each family size is limited to four people.  Space is limited.  Participants are chosen by lottery.  To enter your name in the lottery, click here



MoMA PS1’s Warm Up parties from 2–9pm
July 2 – This year’s lineup has yet to be confirmed, but anyone who has attended MoMA PS1 Warm Up’s in the past know that it is not to be missed. MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave.,Long Island City – $15, members and LIC residents free. 718-784-2084,


Target Passport Fridays from  6:30–10pm – Free
July 8–August 26 Queens Museum of Art’s Target Passport Fridays
This event celebrates the diversity of the people of Queens through music and film.  The 2011 lineup has yet to be confirmed. Visit the Queens Museum of Art website for more info


New York Hall of Science presents Dragon Boat Science
July 16- Learn about dragon boats in this one-day event. Test your strength and race on rowing machines, and experience a Lion Dance, a form of traditional Chinese dance. Forty-foot-long dragon boats will be on display. Location:  NY Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Free with NYSCI admission. More info here.



Dancing Under the Stars from 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
June 1- Bring your dancing shoes and join us for free dance lessons (first 45 minutes), music, dancing, and fun. Located at the Hockey Rink (in Little Bay Park), Queens. More info here.


Sunset Concert Series 2011 from 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
June 3- Free summer music concerts for the family. The musical genre will include smooth jazz, R&B, Oldies, Gospel, Country Rock, Caribbean & Latin.
Location: Beach 20th Street Overlook (in Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk).  The series goes through August.


Chamber Music at Flushing Town Hall at 7:00 pm
June 4- St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble performs a FREE one-hour chamber music.  The series will also host a food drive for New York City’s homeless in partnership with City Harvest. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to each performance. Visit Flushing Town Hall for more into


Queens Museum of Art Percussion Demonstrations from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
June 12- Free Presentation on the Afro-Colombian coasts with percussion demonstrations, call and response song workshops, dance workshops, food demonstrations and a special lecture by Manuel Jaimes. Featuring Diego Obregón and Grupo Chonta, Ronald Polo, Moris Cañate and Grupo Rebolú and more. Visit the Queens Museum of Art’s website for more info.


Oran Etkin at 10:30 a.m.
July 12- His musical travels around the world inspired him to create Timbalooloo music classes & concerts for kids – a fun new approach praised by parents. At Rufus King Park, Jamcia


SeeW e African Dance at 10:30 a.m.
July 18- Seewe African Dance bridges the gaps in African music, song, dance and folklore existing in African American culture. Located at Rochdale Park (JHS 72)


Kool Moe Dee at 7:00 p.m.
July 19- Kool Moe Dee was one of the first rappers to win a Grammy Award.  Come see the legend himself perform. Performance at Queensbridge Park,  LIC


Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes / Rhythm Revue with Felix Hernandez at 7:00 p.m.
July 20- The classic group with timeless hits such as “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” will be performing songs from their many albums. Performance at Queensbridge Park,  LIC


“Salute to Hip-Hop” featuring Funkmaster Flex and special guests at 7:00 p.m.
July 21- For more than a decade, DJ Funkmaster Flex has reigned as America’s number one hip-hop radio personality and reaches more than two million listeners a week on his radio show. Join Funkmaster Flex as he hosts Salute to Hip-Hop, a nationwide series of concerts that celebrates hip-hop and honors the generations of artists that have shaped it and carry on its influence today. Performance at Queensbridge Park,  LIC


Donell Jones / Olivia at 7:00 p.m.
July 26- Check out these two R&B singers who have captured audiences with their smooth sounds. Performance in Springfield Park, Queens


Hezekiah Walker at 7:00 p.m.
July 27- For over 25 years, Bishop Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir have spread the Gospel of Jesus to a variety of audiences, changing the lives of many around the world. Performance in Springfield Park, Queens


Chrisette Michele at 7:00 p.m.
July 28- New York native Chrisette Michele is a “soulful songbird” as described by Entertainment Weekly, who has been shining on the R&B music scene since 2007. Performance in Springfield Park, Queens


Tony Vacca at 10:30 a.m.
August 4- Combining elements of traditional African and Afro-Cuban rhythms with the American-born tradition of innovation, they create a sound that is simultaneously elegant and slamming. Performance at Queensbridge Park, LIC



16th Annual Sandcastle Contest from 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
July 31- Registration for the contest begins at 10:00 a.m. Kids and adults can build sandcastles on Rockaway Beach during this 16th annual contest. There will be refreshments and prizes for several age categories. Bring buckets and tools, and dig in. Location: Beach 117th Street (in Rockaway Beach)  Contact: (718) 318-4000



The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival from 9:00am-5:00pm
August 13-14- The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York is an annual sporting and multicultural event held in August on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York to celebrate the fifth moon (or the fifth month) of the lunar calendar. In addition to providing audiences with traditional Chinese foods and performances, the festival hosts over 120 dragon boat teams from across North America, making it one of the largest dragon boat festivals in the United States. Depending on the competitive division, teams compete for cash prizes, trophies and other prizes.
Location:  Meadows Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park More info here


“Its Poppin’ Up Puppets” by Janice Buckner from 7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
June 1- Enjoy this family event  with music, dance, puppets and more!
Location: Mary Whalen Playgound (in Forest Park)


Hot Peas ‘N Butter at 1pm
June 4- Introduce kids to rhythms, songs and dances from the Caribbean with artists from Hot Peas ‘N Butter. Learn fun interactive games and songs, different rhythms, how they are played, and where they originate. Create cool beats with hot Latin rhythms! Flushing Town Hall


Jack & the Beanstalk presented by Pattycake Theatre from 7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
June 15- Take your kids to see an adaption of this classic fairy tale.  Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy. Location: Sobelsohn Park (in Forest Park)


Queensborough Community College Community Arts Center at 5:00pm
June 19- The Children’s Orchestra Society’s 42nd Annual Spring Concert – festivities showcasing all COS orchestras, chorus, and concerto performances by select graduating seniors! Tickets: $15 / $50 family of 4
More info here


Wizard of Oz presented by Pattycake Theatre 7:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
June 29- What would you do if you were in the Land of Oz?  Find out what Dorothy does in this live bilingual adaptation of Wizard of Oz.
Location: Mary Whalen Playgound (in Forest Park)


CityParks PuppetMobile Presents “Bessie’s Big Shot” at 10:30 a.m.
July 28- Come root Bessie on in this new variety show as she attempts the impossible.
Location: Queensbridge Park, LIC


“Tunde’s Trumpet” by Chisa Hutchinson at 8:00 p.m.
July 29 and 30- Tunde is a normal kid that deals with all the issues that kids typically deal with. However, he has a mischievous streak that continually drives his parents up a wall. For Tunde’s tenth birthday, his jazz trumpeter father gives him the trumpet he used to practice on when he was a boy with the hope that Tunde will focus some of his energy on the instrument.

Watch as Tunde works through frustration, around distractions, past laziness, doubt, and jealousy to become an accomplished trumpeter who makes his (hitherto exasperated) parents proud.
Location: Springfield Park, Queens


Thunderbird American Indian Dancers at 10:30 a.m.
July 19- Specializing in the songs and dances of the tribes of the Northwest Coast, Woodlands, Plains and Southwest, their repertoire includes the “Fancy Dance” and “Hoop Dance,” as well as a variety of other regional dances.
Location: Rufus King Park, Jamaica


Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents Free Shakespeare in the Park: Othello from 7 :00pm- 8:30pm
August 2- Enjoy a tragedy one week and a comedy the next, performed in repertory by a professional troupe of actors. All performances are free and open to the public – fun for the whole family. Bring a blanket or low chair and picnic fare, and enjoy a Shakespeare play in the open air. More info here


Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents Free Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing from 7 :00pm- 8:30pm
August 9- Enjoy a tragedy one week and a comedy the next, performed in repertory by a professional troupe of actors. All performances are free and open to the public – fun for the whole family. Bring a blanket or low chair and picnic fare, and enjoy a Shakespeare play in the open air. More info here



The Learning Gardens at Liberty Park is a wonderful program designed to teach kids grades pre-k through 8 about the fundamentals of gardening through family events, garden fairs and a variety of classes.

Butterflies N’ Buds from  12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
June 11 - Kids help to plant and create a beautiful butterfly habitat
Plant & Play Time from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Every Saturday from July 9-August 6 enjoy wonderful outdoor activities including harvesting fruits and veggies, flower planting and general garden work.

Learning Gardens at Liberty Park
173rd Street & 106th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens
To learn more and see ongoing events visit The Learning Gardens.



On June 4-5 this incredibly popular skateboarding competition will be happening in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
10am-6pm  Tickets $20-$30 More info here



Tour De Queens at 8:00 a.m.
July 10th- Cyclists of all ages are invited to this 20-mile ride through the beautiful parks and neighborhoods of eastern and northern Queens.  The tour kicks off at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows park and the ride begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. Registration is required.
For more information visit  Tour De Queens.



There is nothing better then grabbing a blanket, packing a picnic dinner and enjoying some quality family time listening to music outdoors in the summer.  Make sure to head to this beautiful event as the Metropolitan Opera performs in Queens this summer.

Metropolitan Opera in Queens
Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 7:00PM
Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City

To learn more visit Metropolitan Opera.


Experience a genuine American Indian Pow Wow.  For three days over 40 Indian nations will participate in intertribal Native American dance competitions on the beautiful grounds at the Queens County Farm Museums apple orchards.  Native American art, jewerly, crafts and food will also be available.

33rd Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow
Friday July 29, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m
Saturday July 30, noon-5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 31, noon – 5:00 p.m.
Admission: Adults $10.00 (all weekend pass $15.00), children: $5.00 (12 and under) (all weekend pass $7.00)

For more information visit Queens Pow Wow.



July 6, 13, 20, 27 and August 3, 10, 17, 24 at 7 PM (weather permitting)
Presented in collaboration with Museum of the Moving Image and Rooftop Films, this annual international film festival focuses on a different country or culture each Wednesday evening. Now in its 13th year, this program invites visitors to sample regional cuisine from neighborhood restaurants, picnic on the grass, see musical and dance performances, enjoy the cool waterfront breeze as the sun sets over the Manhattan skyline and watch exceptional international films on an outdoor screen.
Location: Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City


Silent Film Festival from 7:00pm-10:00pm
August 24- Backyard Band/with presents a night of silent films, live music and homemade pies (yes, you can have all three at the same time)! Enjoy a specially curated, Socrates Sculpture Park-themed evening of classic and contemporary silent films set to original, live scores by local musicians. More info here


“Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” (Runs through January 2012)
July 16- Get up close and personal with Kermit the Frog and his ladylove at this retrospective of the legendary puppet-maker’s career, which included such childhood touchstones as The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and the criminally underrated Fraggle Rock. More than 120 artifacts, including drawings, set pieces and—yes—Muppets, will be on view.

Location: Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue, Long Island City. More info here



Queens Family Day at 3:00pm
Come and enjoy family themed activities including dancing, singing, and puppet shows for the little ones.
Location: Queensbridge Park, LIC

Family Fun Day at Fort Totten Park from 12-3pm
June 25- An afternoon of game crafts and activities for the entire family.
Location:  Fort Totten Park, Bayside

Celebrate the Summer Solstice from 5 PM – Sunset
June 21-Bring your friends and family to the 10th anniversary of the Park’s Solstice event, welcoming the summer and celebrating the longest day of the year

Location: Socrates sculpture park, LIC More info here
Arthur Ashe Kids Day from 9:00am-1:00pm
August 27- The gates to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (the USTA and site of the U.S. Open) will be open to kids and parents to enjoy free grounds activities and performances. Kids can join free tennis clinics and lots of different games, face painting and more. Touring tennis players are on hand for autographs.
Cost: While many events are free, some events (concerts and special perfomances) require tickets. More info here



The Socrates Sculpture Park is offering a variety of great outdoor events this summer including:

The 4th Annual Long Island City Bike Parade
Saturday, June 11
11am-1pm: Come early for free kids helmets, fittings and bike repairs
Noon-3pm: Enjoy a fabulous Bike Decorating Workshop with Socrates artists
3pm: Parade along Vernon Blvd.

The Bike Parade is presented in collaboration with Bike New York, Free Style Arts Association, Friends of Queensbridge Park, Green Shores NYC, Materials for the Arts, Partnerships For Parks, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Transportation Alternatives, NYC Dept. of Transportation – Traffic Safety Division and Velo-City.

The Summer Solitice Celebration
Tuesday, June 21, 5:00 PM – Sunset
Enjoy the park’s annual solstice event with face painting, kayaking, local cuisine and a dance party!

Shakespeare in the Park
Tuesday, August 2, 7:00 p.m.
The Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents Othello

Tuesday, August 9, 7:00 p.m.
The Hip to Hip Theatre Company presents Much Ado About Nothing

Check out a full listing of events at Socrates Events Calendar.


Jennie Abrams-Rosenberg & Simone Gobin