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20 Epic Things to Do in Queens (Well Worth the Trek)

The Mets Stadium NYC, Best things to do in Queens

Queens is the biggest borough in New York City, full of diverse cultures, unique shops, exciting museums, and one-of-a-kind bites. In this article, I’ll go over the best things to do in Queens based on a little research and a whole lot of personal experience.

But don’t worry, I won’t drown you with a dozen pizza places to visit or cliché recommendations that you can do everywhere else (like going to the movies). I’ll focus on what the borough has to offer and what makes it so unique; what do you say we dive in?


Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +3 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.

Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens

Things to Do in Queens

Table of Contents: Queens Travel Guide

Top attractions in Queens New York

#1. Saunter Your Way through Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Website: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Address:
Grand Central Parkway and, Van Wyck Expy, Queens, 11354

The crown-jewel of Queens, those who can only visit only one place in the borough should make it Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. To be fair, a vast majority of the best things to do in Queens are in and near the park. It’s like a nucleus full of greenery and attractions that epitomizes urban living.

Standing at 898 acres, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the fourth-biggest park in NYC (even bigger than the mighty Central Park). Among the top landmarks in the park is the iconic Unisphere. It’s the biggest globe in the world and one of the most popular filming locations in New York City.

But even more so than all the events and attractions, at the end of the day it’s a park providing a valuable green-space to the Concrete Jungle. Going for a jog or sitting under a tree with a book is priceless.


#2. Stop by the Real Chinatown

Address: Chinatown, Flushings, Queen

Now I’m not slandering the Chinatown in Manhattan, it’s the original and is full of fun things to do. Having said that, locals know the Chinatown in Flushing is massive and brimming with shops and restaurants. In fact, it’s home to the largest Chinese population in New York City.

Cheap and savory restaurants makes it a destination for foodies so bring your appetite. Food crawls are one of the best things to do in Queens, and Flushing’s Chinatown just might be the mecca (and it’s one of the best, non-touristy things to do in New York City).

Besides the restaurants, Chinatown is also a popular pit-stop thanks to its markets, massage parlors and retail stores. Even if it’s just to feel like you’ve left America for the day, visiting is one of the best things to do in Queens.


Queens Botanical Garden, things to do in Queens New York
Image Courtesy Queens Botanical Garden

#3. Wander the Queens Botanical Garden

Website: Queens Botanical Garden
Address:
43-50 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

The Queens Botanical Garden was born out of an exhibit for the 1939 World’s Fair, growing (no pun intended) over the last 80 years. Attendance has flourished too, more than 300,000 people visit annually! The 39 acres of the Queens Botanical Garden are filled with unique and beautiful plants, and stopping by to smell the roses is one of the best things to do in Queens.

Admission is only $6 from April through December, and December through March, so visiting is a budget-friendly things to do in Queens. The garden neighbors Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.


Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens, what to do in Queens NY

#4. Cherish the Sunset at Gantry Plaza State Park

Website: Gantry Plaza State Park
Address:
4-44 47th Rd, Queens, NY 11101

Gantry Plaza State Park is the crown jewels of Long Island City, Queens. Standing at a mere 12 acres but providing some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, the park is modern and inviting. The Chrysler, Empire State, United Nations, and Copper buildings are directly across the East River.

As one of the top attractions in Queens, the park is often full of chipper locals sprawled out on picnic blankets or playing games. The park also has playgrounds, basketball courts, and ferry terminals.


#5. Eat Your Fill at the New World Mall Food Court

Website: New World Mall
Address:
136-20 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

The New World Mall Food Court is a destination for foodies, especially those with an affinity for Asian cuisine. Inside the mall, there’s a food court downstairs where more than 30 vendors wait. The cuisines include Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean and more. 

Most joints are inexpensive, too; the only thing to bear in mind is that tables fill quickly. The rest of the mall is also worth checking out. There’s a market full of hard-to-get ingredients, retail stores selling jewelry and clothing, and there’s even a karaoke lounge. 


#6. Take a Tour of the Cemetery Belt

The Cemetery Belt is a term given to the border between Brooklyn and Queens, home to more than a dozen cemeteries. Taking a tour of the strip isn’t meant to be a macabre suggestion; instead, it’s a way to appreciate life. With more than five million people buried in Queens, the borough’s dead population outnumbers those alive 2-to-1. 

The Calvary Cemetery is especially of note, being the cemetery with the most burials in the country. Across its 365 acres, more than three million people are buried there (including some celebrities like Tony Bennett). The cemeteries provide a place for tranquil contemplation and one of the most unique things to do in Queens.


#7. Wander the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Website: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Address:
175-10 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11693

A scenic place to view wildlife and nature is the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge near JFK Airport. Part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the refuge aims to provide the urban populations of New York and New Jersey with outdoor recreational opportunities and one of the best things to do in Queens.

The main loop around the refuge is about a mile and a half long, a trip introducing visitors to as many as 330 bird species. With that said, bring binoculars or a telephoto zoom lens for your camera. There are public transit options and a parking lot if you’d rather drive yourself.


The Mets Stadium NYC, what to do in Queens New York

#8. Cheer on the New York Mets

Website: New York Mets
Address:
Citi Field, 41 Seaver Wy, Queens, NY 11368

Most folks assume all New Yorkers are Yankee fans, but Queens is Mets country through and through. Game day at Citi Field is a sea of orange and blue, and the passion is exhilarating. Even non-fans can’t help but root for the home team, so cheering on the Mets is one of the most fun things to do in Queens.

The baseball season is 162 games-long, so tickets aren’t as scarce as NFL games (and that makes them more affordable). So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive but memorable thing to do in Queens, going to a Mets game is a blast. For the price, it’s a fun, family-friendly activity.


Noguchi Museum, What to do in Queens
Image Courtesy Noguchi Museum

#9. Saunter through the Noguchi Museum

Website: Noguchi Museum
Address:
9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY 11106

Only a few artists create robust collections that can single-handedly fill a museum, but Isamu Noguchi is no ordinary artist. The Japanese-American artist was as talented as they come, creating striking sculptures, feats of architecture, furniture and stage design. 

His creations fill the Noguchi Museum across the street from his former studio. Visiting is one of the most popular things to do in Queens, and some folks might recognize a few of Noguchi’s designs, including this beaut, which is still sold today.


#10. Savor Each Bite of the Best Bagel in NYC

Website: Utopia Bagels
Address:
1909 Utopia Pkwy, Queens, NY 11357

Opened in 1981 in Whitestone, Utopia Bagels consistently ranks among the best bagels in New York City. Stopping by to try them is one of the best things to do in Queens, and thanks to the lines out the door, the bagels are practically guaranteed to be fresh; the high demand keeps them coming hot out of the oven.


#11. Take a Tour of the Queens Zoo

Website: Queens Zoo
Address:
53-51 111th St, Queens, NY 11368

At 18 acres, the Queens Zoo is not huge, but visiting is one of the best things to do in Queens with kids. Due to its small size, guests can stumble upon alligators, bison, pumas, and more in less than an hour and a half. 

Fortunately, the prices aren’t steep either. Visiting the Queens Zoo is one of the most affordable things to do in Queens because a full-price ticket is still under $10. The zoo is within Flushings Meadow-Corona Park, near the 55th Street Street parking lot.


#12. Get Lost in Forest Park

Website: Forest Park
Address:
Forest Park, Forest Hills, NY

With an aptly fitting name, Forest Park is one of the only parks in New York City that can insulate you from the noise of city life. Taking the time to meander the trails is one of the best things to do in Queens; as the 10th biggest park in NYC, there’s a lot to explore.

The area around Woodhaven Boulevard (which splits the park in two) has a dense assortment of trees, pathways, and a handful of attractions. There are food vendors, a carousel, tennis and basketball courts, a baseball field, a running track, a pond, a bandshell, restrooms, and a visitor center. 


Queens Museum, Best things to do in Queens
Image Courtesy Queens Museum

#13. Be Awestruck at the Queens Museum

Website: Queens Museum
Address:
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368

The Queens Museum is an underrated gem that every New Yorker should take the time to visit at least once. It’s housed in a building originally built for the 1939 World’s Fair, which also hosted the 1964 World’s Fair and was the temporary home of the United Nations for four years. 

The museum’s magnum opus is the Panorama of the City of New York, a scaled model of New York City’s five boroughs that takes up an entire room. Built for the 1964 World Fair, it features every building built before 1992. Other popular exhibits include a robust selection of stained glass made by Tiffany & Co. a century ago and memorabilia from the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair.

Visiting the museum is also one of the best budget-friendly things in Queens since admission is free. You’ll need to reserve your tickets in advance (and they’ll ask for a donation, which is not required).


Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria,Best things to do in Queens

#14. Feast Your Eyes at the Museum of the Moving Image

Website: Museum of the Moving Image
Address:
36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

We live in a world dominated by screens, and learning how they convey a message will interest even non-museum-going people. One of the best things to do in Queens (especially with kids) is to drop by the Museum of the Moving Image for a lesson on how your favorite films and TV shows are made.

From stop-motion to special effects, the Museum of the Moving Image uses popular shows to keep guests engaged and fun. There’s a screening room, the ability to create your own stop-motion book, computers to toy with animation, and puppets you can use to make your own show.


Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Best things to do in Queens

#15. Peruse the Socrates Sculpture Park

Website: Socrates Sculpture Park
Address:
32-01 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11106

Along the East River is the Socrates Sculpture Park, a charming five-acre promenade that doubles as an outdoor art gallery. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Astoria and Queens as a whole. Featuring both prominent and up-and-coming artists, the sculpture park frequently rotates its collection.

As an added incentive to visit, Socrates Sculpture Park has a calendar brimming with fun community events. Yoga, a market pop-up with Hell Gate Farm, and field workshops focusing on plants and nature are all reasons why visiting Socrates Sculpture Park is one of the best things to do in Queens.


#16. Browse the Queens Night Market

Website: Queens Night Market
Address:
4701 111th St, Queens, NY 11368

Night markets are a staple of summer in New York, and one of the best is in Queens. Every Saturday between April and October, you’ll find as many as 100 vendors setting up shop in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (just behind the New York Hall of Sciences). 

The Queens Night Market is a foodie’s paradise, with cuisine from Peru to Pakistan keeping locals returning for more. Besides food, there are also art vendors and musical performances – it’s like a community block party. The market is open from 5 PM to 12 AM, making it one of Queens’s best things to do at night.


#17. Catch some Sun Rays at Rockaway Beach

Website: Rockaway Beach
Address:
Shore Front Pkwy, Queens, NY

One of the best things to do in Queens is to take the A train to the last stop and spend the day at Rockaway Beach. You can use the unrelenting sun rays to sun kiss your skin and catch a tan, or if you’d rather get your heart rate pumping, jump in the water for a swim. Surfers (yes, we have those in NY) are often out catching waves.

But the neighborhood’s popularity goes beyond the summer months. Rockaway Beach has that unique, coastal town charm, and sometimes a foggy morning stroll on the boardwalk is just what the doctor ordered. Afterward, swing by for a hot cup of coffee, simmering in one of the best things to do in Queens.


MoMA PS1, Things to do Long Island City, Queens

#18. Explore MoMA PS1

Website: MoMA PS1
Address:
22-25 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101

Those who love the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) but want to avoid the crowds should make a bee-line towards MoMA PS1. A branch of the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, receives 200,000 annual visitors compared to 3.2 million at the flagship location, and it has a very similar selection of modern art. 

The PS1 part of the museum’s name comes from the museum being inside the first public school founded on Long Island City, Queens. MoMA PS1 has a rotating selection of events enticing folks to visit, including the popular Summer Warm Ups, where a DJ and food vendor set up shop in the former playground for a mini outdoor party.


Queens County Farm
Image Courtesy Queens County Farm Museum

#19. See the Happenings at the Queens County Farm & Museum

Website: Queens County Farm & Museum
Address:
73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Queens, NY 11004

The concrete jungle is still home to a fully operational farm: the Queens County Farm & Museum. Even more shockingly, the farm has been operational for more than 325 years! It was first owned by a Dutch family starting in 1697. It has changed hands multiple times over the centuries, but since 1975, it’s been owned and operated by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

The farm and museum hosts events year-round, giving you ample opportunity to visit. Every weekend, there are free guided tours of the quaint farmhouse; during the fall, they open a pumpkin patch, and every July, they host more than 40 Native American nations for a powwow. It’s also one of the best places to shop in Queens, thanks to a farm store selling fresh eggs, honey, and produce.


Soccer Players in Astoria Park, Best things to do in Queens

#20. Stretch Your Legs at Astoria Park

Website: Astoria Park
Address:
19 19th St, Astoria, NY 11105

Sandwiched under the shadows of the Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges, Astoria Park is littered with sprawling lawns and benches at an impressive 60 acres (roughly 15 city blocks). If you’d rather go for a stroll, the half-mile promenade along the East River is as idyllic as it gets.

The park has a soccer field, a running track, a skate park, basketball & tennis courts, and one of the best public pools in New York CityVisiting is one of the best things to do in Queens, especially if you end your day at the park enjoying the dazzling cotton candy sunset.


Quick Recap of the Best Things to Do in Queens NYC

  1. Saunter Your Way through Flushing Meadows Corona Park
  2. Stop by the Real Chinatown
  3. Wander the Queens Botanical Garden
  4. Cherish the Sunset at Gantry Plaza State Park
  5. Eat Your Fill at the New World Mall Food Court
  6. Take a Tour of the Cemetery Belt
  7. Wander the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
  8. Cheer on the New York Mets
  9. Saunter through the Noguchi Museum
  10. Savor Each Bite of the Best Bagel in NYC
  11. Take a Tour of the Queens Zoo
  12. Get Lost in Forest Park
  13. Be Awestruck at the Queens Museum
  14. Feast Your Eyes at the Museum of the Moving Image
  15. Peruse the Socrates Sculpture Park
  16. Browse the Queens Night Market
  17. Catch some Sun Rays at Rockaway Beach
  18. Peruse MoMA PS1
  19. See the Happenings at the Queens County Farm & Museum
  20. Stretch Your Legs at Astoria Park

Top Attractions in Queens, New York (Helpful Map)

Frequently Asked Questions
What is Queens NY most known for?

Queens, NY is most known for its cultural diversity, vibrant food scene, and iconic attractions such as Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the Unisphere, and Citi Field.

Is Queens New York worth visiting?

Queens, New York is worth visiting for its diverse neighborhoods, cultural attractions, delicious food scene, and iconic landmarks, offering a unique and enriching experience for visitors.

What is the borough of Queens famous for?

The borough of Queens is famous for its cultural diversity, world-class museums like the MoMA PS1 and Queens Museum, as well as iconic landmarks including Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and the Unisphere.

How do you spend a day in Queens?

To spend a day in Queens, explore its diverse neighborhoods, enjoy cultural attractions such as museums and parks, indulge in its renowned food scene, and take in iconic landmarks like the Unisphere or Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Is Queens a walkable city?

Queens is a large borough with varying degrees of walkability depending on the neighborhood, but many areas offer pedestrian-friendly streets and access to public transportation.

Why visit Queens?

Visiting Queens offers a rich cultural experiences, diverse culinary scene, iconic attractions, and vibrant neighborhoods.

Does Queens have a downtown?

Queens does not have a traditional downtown area like Manhattan, but it does have several vibrant neighborhoods with bustling commercial districts and cultural hubs scattered throughout the borough.


More Helpful Queens Resources

Best Things to Do in Astoria: 12 Amazing Things to Do in Astoria, Queens (Art, Food & Parks!)
What to Do in Long Island City:
12 Unique Things to Do in Long Island City, Queens (You’ll Love)

More Neighborhoods to Explore

The Best of Greenwich Village: 20 Great Things to Do in the West Village (+Helpful Advice)
SoHo’s Top Things to Do:
15 Fun Things to Do in SoHo (Local’s Guide)
Highlights of the Lower East Side:
15 Exciting Things To Do in the Lower East Side (You’ll Love)
The Best of Brooklyn:
15 Best Things to Do in Brooklyn (Helpful Guide & Tips)
Things to Do in Greenpoint: 15 Great Things to Do in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (Local’s Guide)


And there you have it, my friends. My list of the best things to do in Queens! As always, don’t hesitate to let me know if I missed anything.

Until next time, cheers.