QUEENS — Queens parks offer more than just the Unisphere and placid green meadows. With the school year almost done, families can choose from dozens of free events organized in the borough’s oases, including puppet shows, Shakespeare’s plays and hands-on history lessons.
DNAinfo.com has assembled a guide to some of the summer events for kids, from educational programs to entertainment events.
Alley Pond Adventure Program offers a variety of classes year round, including a high ropes adventure course and many low–cost outdoor education and adventure programs, where participants can learn how to canoe, use a compass and fish.
On June 22, Alley Pond Park is inviting kids for family camping, which aims to connect participants to nature and help families bond. Family camping is also scheduled for June 8 in Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park in the Jamaica Bay area.
Among the programs organized by urban rangers this summer will be freshwater fishing. On June 29, at 11 a.m in Kissena Park, kids will get a chance to learn how to fish in fresh water while also studying the ecology of the waterways, according to the Parks Department.
On Aug. 6, from 10 a.m to 11 a.m., children will get the opportunity to interact with exotic animals during the "Nature Nick's Animal Adventure" show at Alley Pond Park.
Queens parks will also feature a number of theater events this summer.
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre will present Little Red's Hood, a modern adaptation of "Little Red Riding Hood."
The show, which features a dozen handmade marionettes, is about a tech savvy Little Red who travels from New York City to the country to deliver cupcakes to her grandma, but is too busy on her smartphone to notice that Wulfric the Wolf is following her.
Kids can watch the puppet show in Rufus King Park on July 23 at 10:30 a.m., in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on August 6, at 10:30 a.m. (111th Street parking lot), and on August 14, at 10:30 a.m. in Alley Pond Park (76th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard).
Queens residents don't have to go to Central Park to see Shakespeare's plays. On July 24, they can watch "The Tempest," and on August 7, "Love's Labors Lost." Both performances will be held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park at the Unisphere from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
In Forest Park, Broad Hollow Theater will present a fairy tale, "Rapunzel," on June 13 at 7 p.m. and on June 20, at 7 p.m. Catskill Puppet Theatre will show "Sister Rain and Brother Sun," where Sister Rain, jealous of Brother Sun, stops watering the Earth. The audience must join forces to save the world.
For movie lovers, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," will be shown at 8 p.m. in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (111th Street parking lot). Prior to the film, there will be crafts activities for kids starting at 6 p.m.
Parents of young children will be able to participate in a Mommy, Music & Me Program at Alley Pond Park (76th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard) on August 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The program will focus on movement activities for newborns and toddlers (for children up to 7 years old) and their parents.
At Rufus King Park, kids will participate in hands-on history lessons. On June 8, between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. they will learn about children's chores from 200 years ago, such as making butter. During SummerFest, on June 22, young people will have a chance to make colorful windcatchers, play historic games and make their own ice cream.
In July and August, kids can also attend free baseball and karate clinics at Forest Park almost on a daily basis. Karate clinics will be held at Oak Ridge (Forest Park Headquarters) and basketball clinics will take place at Dry Harbor playground.
For plays and movie screenings, Parks officials advise people to bring chairs or blankets.
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