CORONA — Flushing Meadows-Corona Park may be larger than Central Park, but it doesn't enjoy the Manhattan greenspace's outsize reputation.
Flushing Meadows is filled with trees and greenspace for running, playing Frisbee or relaxing. It also boasts a science center, museum, botanical garden, ice skating rink, indoor pool and gym.
Plus, it's home to the U.S. Open and the Mets.
Here’s our guide to some specific activities this summer. Let us know in the comments what your favorite part of the park is.
The 11-acre Queens Zoo on the south side of the park features pumas, bison and more along wooded trails. The aviary features bald eagles and parrots and you can also check out American alligators. Kids can get hands-on by feeding llamas, goats and sheep and “decoding” barnyard riddles.
There’s no pricey food court but the zoo encourages families to bring a lunch and enjoy it on one of the space’s picnic tables.
Queens Zoo, 53-51 111th St., Corona, is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors over 65 and kids get in for $5.
PITCH & PUTT
Take a swing at the city’s only illuminated pitch and putt, the Flushing Meadows Golf Center, which lets you get your golf game on after dark. The space features an 18-hole course and a mini-golf course with waterfalls and streams, according to GolfNYC, which operates the course.
If you're not into improving your short game, the greenspace features a snack bar that sells hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, veggie burgers and steak fries, plus beer on the cheap.
They have Michelob Amber Bock on tap and a 60 ounce pitcher will set you back $11; pints of the brew are $3.50. If canned beer is more your speed, they sell 16 ounce cans of Becks for $5.25 and 16 ounce cans of Bud, Bud Light, Coors and Coors Light for $4.25.
In the summer, the pitch and putt opens at 8 a.m. and the last tee time is at 11 p.m.— with the lights out at 1 a.m. Those hours go through October.
Flushing Meadows Golf Center, 100 Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Rd., Corona. For adults, weekday rates start at $15 for 18 holes during the day and $17.50 for night golfing. Rates are cheaper for seniors over 62 and kids; club rentals run $2 each and a three pack of golf balls costs $6.
RENT A CANOE OR BIKE
Riders can get a four-wheel Surrey ($20/hour), a three-wheel Deuce Coupe ($20/hour) or a classic cruiser bike ($20/hour) to explore the more than 800 acres of the park. A tandem bike rents for $45 for the day, and $18 an hour.
If you want to take it to the lake, rent a double kayak ($45/day) or a pedal boat, which rents for $15/hour.
Hours for the rentals at the north side of the park are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until sunset, and weekends 9 a.m. until Sunday. This schedule goes through October.
Wheel Fun Rentals, 61-30 Van Wyck Expressway, Corona, overlooking Meadow Lake.
The Queens Museum underwent a nearly $70 million renovation and reopened last year with more gallery space and access through the park, with a breathtaking view of the Unisphere seen from the main gallery.
It's currently showing an exhibit on Andy Warhol's “13 Most Wanted Men” art, which was taken down before it could be displayed at the 1964 World’s Fair. It runs through Sept. 7 and is featured among many other exhibits.
The Panorama of New York City, the Tiffany glass exhibit and items from the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs are also permanently shown at the museum.
While you're learning about the World's Fair, why not check out a replica made out of Legos? The Queens Theatre has an exhibit that reimagines the Unisphere, New York State Pavilion and more in the plastic blocks. That exhibit runs through November and is free. It's open limited hours on Monday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the rest of the week from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Queens Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. and suggested admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and seniors. Kids under 12 can attend for free.
Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Avenue, Corona.
A PLAYGROUND FOR EVERYONE
The Playground for All Children was built in 1984 and allows disabled children to play alongside able-bodied children. It was the first of its kind and was used as a model for similar parks throughout the country. It can accommodate children who use crutches and wheelchairs.
There’s a 12-foot-long suspension bridge, information about nature on the Interpretive Trail (with plaques in Braille) and a Water Wheel area for kids to cool off. There’s also a baseball diamond and a basketball court, as well as space for net games including volleyball and badminton.
The playground is located at the south side of the park, 111-01 Corona Ave, Corona.