This year, Earth Day is on April 22nd. Usually schools create fun lessons and activities for children during the month of April that focus on the environment. There are many opportunities to reinforce what they are learning with fun family activities. Lucky for us, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Earth Day in Queens.
The Queens Zoo is hosting their family party on Sunday, April 22nd from 11:00AM to 12:30PM. The activities are geared toward children ages 4-10 and include planting in the butterfly garden, planting a cooking herb souvenir, working with recycled materials, and a guided tour of an animal exhibit. Admission is $30 for members, $35 for non-members, and $10 for each additional adult and child.
The Alley Pond Environmental Center is holding two events: the Earth Day walk for APEC and a Live Animal program on Sunday April 22nd. The fundraising walk is $10 per person and begins at 10:00AM. Participants walk along Little Neck Bay. Participants are also encouraged to make banners and form teams, and can join a professional trainer for warm up stretches at 9:45AM. The Live Animal program is from 7PM to 9PM. Participants can pet and touch at least eight live animals under supervision while they listen to stories about them. This event is open to all ages and is $12 for APEC members, $15 for non-members, and 8$ for children 7-12.
The Queens Botanical Garden will be celebrating Earth Day with a children’s activity table from 1PM to 3PM. They also set up their children’s activity table for other environmentally focused events as well, such as the Arbor Festival on April 29th. Participation in the table is free with admission. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for students with ID and children ages 3+.
The Sixth Annual Rockaway Earth Day will take place April 28th at 12pm, and it will be a day of environmental activities for kids and families, including: surf fishing, marine touch tanks, kite making/flying and bird watching. Admission is free. The festivities will take place on Beach 59th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Arverne.
The 3rd Annual Green for Queens Earth Day Fair is a free festival on May 6th from 1PM-4PM. Located at the Central Queens YM & YMCA in Forest Hills, this fair includes activities like eco-crafting, vegan cooking, animals, music, sustainable food and green vendors, and more.
Can’t make it to one of these events? Here are some at home ideas for celebrating Earth Day:
Create your own compost bin. If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space, it is very simple to create a compost bin out of a garbage can. The activity encourages sustainability as children can continue to collect composting materials all year long. DIY instructions can be found here.
Plant a kitchen window herb garden. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes sell kits, and HGTV provides DIY instructions here. Your children will love helping you cook dinner by picking fresh herbs themselves.
Create your own eco-crafts. Use old boxes and bottles to create playhouses, play kitchens, doll houses, etc. The possibilities are endless and encourage imaginative play. We love the adorable eco-craft ideas on Martha Stewart’s website.
By: Allison Casal-Dunn