Whether you’re a native Astorian or, like so many, a recent transplant from another city, state, or country, having a child means you need to rediscover our fair neighborhood, finding family-friendly activities and businesses you and your little one(s) can enjoy. My partner and I, along with our new bundle of joy, not only needed family friendly places to chill, but also wallet-friendly activities. With that in mind, here are some fun and fiscal ideas for family outings.
Best Park within a Park
Astoria Park’s Ralph DeMarco Park
Chances are you’re familiar with Astoria Park’s main rolling lawn, which offers wonderful opportunities for people-watching, frisbee-playing, and ice cream eating. If you’re searching for a bit more peace and quiet though, stroll a bit North on the running path (on Shore Blvd between 20th and 21st Avenues), and you will find this smaller park, with benches, trees, an awesome view of the East River, and a nice flat surface where your little one can roll around!
Best Chance to Exercise Your Vocal Cords
Waltz Astoria Children’s Sing-a-Long
For a mere $7 per family, you and your little Prince or Princess can enjoy a snack buffet while you sing-a-long to live music twice a week. I’ve never seen so many prancing toddlers in my life! Even my daughter, who is an infant, enjoyed the antics of the other little ones, set to a background of acoustic guitar. For more information, visit their website.
Best Place to See and Be Seen
While Steinway is known as an area for shopping, it’s even better for people-watching. One of the best things about living in Queens is that our children can be exposed to different cultures and languages every day. Just walk down Steinway Street, and let them bask in the multi-cultural mecca that this area of Astoria offers.
Most Unique Park in LIC
Gantry Plaza State Park
Technically not in Astoria, but just a few stops away on the 7-line, this amazing park in Hunter’s Point will satisfy your daily need for sunshine and beauty. The playground is stunningly designed using old gantries, which are overhead structures that are meant to hold heavy equipment like cranes, as part of the landscape. The park also offers amazing views of the city skyline and an awesome playground! But best of all, weary mamas and papas, the park boasts hammocks so you can relax after a day of playing before heading home.
Best and Most Exclusive Place of All
The best places I have found to chill out in Astoria are the homes and apartments of other families! The moms and dads I know have planned amazing events in their own homes, from making their own play-doh, to building mazes in their backyards, to Christmas in July parties! The parents of Astoria are creative and inspiring, so the next time you’re in a park, coffee shop, or other happening Astoria locale, strike up a conversation with other parents. Surprisingly, I now have a much more rockin’ social life post-baby than I ever had before her arrival.