Living in the city, it’s often hard to access nature in its true form. As a parent, you may be hoping to expose your children to the outdoors and the natural environment, but are having some trouble finding the place to do that. Luckily we have several public options here in Queens; one of which is the Queens Botanical Garden. I visited this under-publicized but beautiful garden with my two year old, and was pleasantly surprised.
The Queens Botanical Garden was created as part of the 1938 World’s Fair in Queens. In 1964, the garden was moved across the street from Flushing Meadows Park, to accommodate the 1964 World’s Fair. Today, the Botanical Garden consists of over 39 acres of plants, herbs, flowers – even a bee garden (my daughter’s favorite, in particular).
Possibly the best part about The Queens Botanical Garden was having the ability to stroll (or run, depending on your age), in a completely peaceful and serene environment. On each winding path within the gardens, one feels ten million miles away from anything urban. We spent close to an hour exploring different corners of The Garden, and enjoying every moment of it.
We loved exploring the visitor center, complete with goldfish ponds (possibly unintentional – but huge toddler attraction). Designed by BKSK Architects, and opened in 2007, this building received the “Platinum” Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Rating. It’s a beautiful example of contemporary architecture, and something that can be admired by visitors of all ages.
If you are looking for traditional programming, the Queens Botanical Gardens has much to offer. The HSBC Children’s Garden is a program for children ages 5-12. It’s designed to teach children about plants, gardens, and nature. The Children’s Garden is active during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. In addition, a variety of family friendly events are offered for members throughout the year.
The Queens Botanical Garden is a great place to take your kids to get away from busy, noisy city life, without having to go very far at all. The Garden is located at 43-50 Main Street, in Flushing. It is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 8am – 6pm from April 1st through October 31st. From November 1st through March 31st, it is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8am – 4:30pm. The Garden is closed on Mondays.
Admission to the Garden is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for children over 3, plus students with valid ID. From November 1st through March 31st, admission is free. During the peak months, April 1st through October 31st, the Garden offers free admission on Wednesdays from 3pm – 6pm, and on Sundays from 4pm – 6pm.
More pictures of Queens Botanical Garden: