Whitestone has a lot to offer the sports enthusiast. Christy’s Gymnastics provides classes for kids from 18 months through high school. For the little ones, they have classes that introduce them to movement through play. There is also an arts and crafts class to help prepare them for school. For older kids they offer recreational or competitive programs. They also host birthday parties and a summer camp!
If your child prefers outdoor activities, Harvey Park is perfect. Located on the side of the Whitestone Expressway just off of exit 15 on I-678, Harvey Park has basketball courts, 2 baseball fields, and even a roller-skating rink that is set up for roller hockey. There is also a large playground with equipment for younger and older children. A paved path, ideal for walking or jogging, surrounds the park.
Only a few minutes on 3rd Ave. between Parsons Blvd. and 147th St., Francis Lewis Park offers another variety of activities. In addition to basketball courts, it also has handball and bocce courts, and because it is on the water, there are also kayak and canoe launch sites. Part of the park is currently under construction, but it still a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors.
For parent and baby time, the Whitestone Library has Toddler time every Friday at 11:30. Kids between 2 ½ and 5 will listen to short stories and sing songs. On April 6th between 3:00 and 5:00 they are having a special event for 4-12 year olds where they can make an Easter basket. Registration is not required for either of these programs, but if you attend the Easter event, you need to bring an empty, clean ½ gallon carton of milk or juice.
Once Upon a Time Parties, also has activities for younger children. Every Wednesday from 10:00-11:30 they have a Mommy and Me class complete with circle time, story time and play time. They also provide snacks. It’s led by a New York State licensed teacher, and is $12/child and $3/sibling. They also offer classes for Toddlers (12-18 months), Tykes (18-30 months), and Kiddies (2 ½-3 ½ years old). Of course they also host amazing them parties. Some of the themes they have done are Disney Princesses, the circus, pirates, Finding Nemo and more. Contact them at (718) 357-1240 for more details on their classes and parties.
Now that summer is quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about the beach. If you live in Whitestone (zip code 11357), you can contact the Whitestone Boosters Civic Association about becoming a member of Boosters Beach. This little stretch of beach, located off of 3rd Ave. all the way down 149th St., is a convenient alternative to the Long Island Beaches, especially on the traffic-heavy weekends. There are picnic tables and room to host a BBQ. Membership is $200 for the year. If you don’t live in Whitestone, you can go to the beach as the guest of a member. The contact information for the Whitestone Boosters Civic Association is: 15011 Powells Cove Boulevard, Whitestone, NY 11357-1154; Phone: (718) 767-7232.
Of course no neighborhood overview would be complete without a look at their restaurants. Here is a rundown of some places to check out:
- Café Rustico – 7-26 149th St., (718) 357-3737; This isn’t your typical little pizza place. It has a nice atmosphere and a wonderful variety of pizza and other traditional Italian dishes.
- Tasty Grill – 14-22 150th St., http://tastygrilldelivery.com/; A charming restaurant that offers Greek and American comfort food. If you’re out on a nice day, take advantage of their garden seating.
- Golden Sparrow – 12-58 150th St.; This newly opened café is getting rave reviews for its cupcakes, French macarons, and unique variety of gelato. They have a great little area for kids to play, in addition to outdoor seating.
- eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant – 15-16 149th St. , http://www.exorestaurant.com/; You will be hard-pressed to find a negative review of eXo. From the service and atmosphere to the beautifully presented and delicious food, you will not be disappointed with your experience!
- Cascon Cheesecake & Baking Company – 7-04 149th St., http://www.casconcheesecakes.com/; A family-owned business for over 31 years, Cascon provides breads, pastries, and of course, cheesecakes to restaurants all over the city. They deliver to all five boroughs, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, so they are perfect for your next big event. If you need an idea for a fundraiser, contact them for information on selling their cheesecakes. They are also certified Kosher (Tablet K).
- Stork’s Pastry Shop – 12-42 150th St., http://www.storkspastry.com/home.php; This German bakery has been in business for over 50 years. They feature bread, hand-made chocolates, pastries and wedding cakes, but their specialty is Baumkuchen, which translates to “King of Cakes.” Contact them for your next event or holiday dinner.
Now get out there. Whitestone awaits! Stay tuned for our next neighborhood visit.
By: Megan Ross