Daily activities for kids and the family are abound in Queens! Whether you want to spend the day with your children at a zoo, a museum, or just outdoors, we've got it all here. Making plans for next weekend for your family? Take a glance at the NY Metro Parents' calendar!
Dishwasher's Circus - Long Island Children's Museum
December 23, 2013 - Garden City
Join the Remarkable Renaldo as he heads to his job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. His day begins with a rough commute to work, at the same time a circus is arriving and setting up in the field behind his restaurant. Come see how Renaldo?s day develops as he imagines what it would be like to be in the circus and solves his work challenges creatively and with humor. Witness the juggling, pranks, magic and humor of this world class clown. Renaldo has performed with National Circus Project, Big Apple Circus, Circus Sarasota, the Royal Hanneford Circus, the Luna Stage Theater Co. and at SeaWorld, as well as Canada's Garden Brothers Circus and England's Zippo's Circus. Following the show, meet his alter ego, Al Calienes, the author and illustrator of the children's story book "Renaldo Joins the Circus." Tickets for this performance can be purchased online at brownpapertickets.com/event/470387.
Winter Break Camp! - My Gym Fresh Meadows
December 23, 2013 - Fresh Meadows
Drop the kids off at My Gym for 3 hours of fun! Kids will enjoy gymnastics, games, dancing, relays and more! Pizza lunch is included! This is a drop off event. Registration is required.
Holiday Puppet Party Workshop - Museum of the Moving Image
December 23, 2013 - Astoria
Kids ages 7 and older become puppet makers and performers in this hour-long holiday workshop. Using simple materials, children will design their own unique characters, and then take turns performing with them in a short televised puppet show.
Toddler Time-Hillcrest - Hillcrest Library
December 23, 2013 - Flushing
Children ages 2-3 years and their caregivers meet weekly for stories, songs, fingerplays, crafts and lots of fun!
Picture Book Time - Bayside Library
December 23, 2013 - Bayside
This program for children ages 3 1/2 to 5 years incorporate stories with songs, rhymes, crafts and creative movement to give preschoolers important skills that will encourage later success and an appreciation of literature. Space is limited.
Christmas Tree and Poinsettia Sales - Queens County Farm Museum
Through December 24, 2013 - Floral Park
Popular varieties and sizes of trees, evergreen wreaths, poinsettia, Amaryllis, and paperwhites will be for sale with proceeds benefiting the Farm Museum.
Santa Photos - Queens Center Mall-JC Penny Wing
Through December 24, 2013 - Elmhurst
Santa Claus is coming to town, Nov 17-Dec 24. He's making a list and checking it twice. Enjoy a visit and have a photo taken with Santa and his helpers. See Santa in his winter wonderland house located on the Level 3. Special hours on Dec. 9 12-4pm, and pet photo night 6-8:30pm. See website for photo pricing.
Kids Club Meeting - Queens Center Mall-Guest Services
Through December 28, 2013 - Elmhurst
Join a cool club in Queens! Kids receive a membership card, great discounts at participating Queens Center stores and a special gift on your birthday. It's easy to join. Just grab Mom, Dad or a grown up and stop by Guest Services, Level 1, Macy*s Wing (across from Applebee's), and have them fill out a membership form for you. Then join us at the Monthly Meetings on the 1st Saturday of every month and be a part of the fun!
Forest Hills Greenmarket - Forest Hills (outside Post Office)
Through December 29, 2013 - Forest Hills
Features fresh, locally-grown vegetables, orchard fruit, nuts, coffee, berries, potted plants, flowers, honey, fresh seafood, breads, pastries, and more. This market is open Sundays through December 29.
Jackson Heights Greenmarket - Travers Park
Through December 29, 2013 - Jackson Heights
Located in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, the recently expanded Jackson Heights Greenmarket is the largest and busiest Greenmarket in Queens. Wrapping around the edge of Travers Park, this bustling Sunday market draws a large crowd of families, long-time residents and young couples who come out to shop, enjoy the lively scene, and meet and greet their neighbors. The Friends of Travers Park designated 78th a "playstreet" where they host family-friendly events each Sunday adjacent to the market. Reflecting the culinary diversity of the neighborhood, the Jackson Heights market offers a broad selection of vegetables, fruit, eggs, fish, honey, chicken and specialty Mexican produce.
'Tis The Season ... Special Holiday House Tours - The Louis Armstrong House Museum
Through December 29, 2013 - Corona
Celebrate the holiday Satchmo style. Enjoy holiday cheer at Louis's house, featuring rare at-home recordings of Louis Armstrong. In keeping with Louis and Lucille's tradition, the house will be brightly decorated for the holidays. This Holiday Historic House Tour will feature rare audio clips from Louis's personal recordings of himself and family celebrations at home. Hear Louis's magical voice reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas, A Visit from St. Nicholas,' along with other seasonal recordings such as "Zat you Santa Claus" and Louis listening to Nat King Cole's rendition of "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" with and an impromptu duet by Louis himself. Free candy canes included with museum admission.
Louis Armstrong—the world's most famous jazz musician—was an international celebrity who could have lived anywhere.
Yet in 1943, he and his wife, Lucille, settled in a modest house in Corona, Queens, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. No one has lived in the house since the Armstrongs, and the house and its furnishings remain very much as they were during Louis and Lucille's lifetime. Today, the Louis Armstrong House Museum is open to the public, offering guided tours of Louis's longtime home. On the tour, audio clips from Louis's homemade recordings are played, and visitors hear Louis practicing his trumpet, enjoying a meal, or talking with his friends. Visitors also get to enjoy an exhibit on Louis's life and legacy, and the Armstrongs' beautiful Japanese-inspired garden.
The Museum is shown only through guided 40-minute historic house tours that start every hour on the hour (last tour of the day starts at 4 pm). The exhibit area and garden can be explored before or after the tour. No appointment is necessary, unless you are planning a group visit for at least 8 people.
Closed on all Mondays and the following Holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Always open on the 4th of July, in honor of Louis's traditional birthday.
Annual Gingerbread House Display - Le Parker Meridien
Through January 06, 2014 - New York
City Harvest and Le Parker Meridien New York have once again partnered up for their annual Gingerbread Extravaganza, bringing New Yorkers a holiday gingerbread display for the fifth year in a row. Now through January 6, 2014, these edible masterpieces are on display in the atrium of Le Parker Meridien and in other locations across the city, all under the theme "Quintessential New York."
Structures on display at Le Parker Meridien include the "Chrysler Building" by David Burke Kitchen, "Subway Cars" by NORMA's, and "Coney Island" by Rolling Pin Productions. Other participants who created structures for display at Le Parker Meridien include Baked Ideas, Butterfly Bakeshop, Cupcake Cafe, and Le Monde.
Citarella, Hecho en Dumbo, Il Ristorante Rosi, Liddabit Sweets, Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, and Sirio Ristorante are displaying Gingerbread structures in their own locations.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy various gingerbread-inspired treats and promotions to benefit City Harvest at participating locations across the city, including gingerbread scones at Beauty & Essex, gingerbread milkshakes at burger joint (8th street location), as well as gingerbread classes at the Institute of Culinary Education. A full list of treats and promotions is listed on the website at www.cityharvest.org/gingerbread.
Each $1 ticket, available through the Le Parker Meridien concierge, will enable visitors to cast a vote for their favorite house. In addition, City Harvest supporters can cast votes online at www.cityharvest.org/gingerbread.
GingerBread Lane - New York Hall of Science
Through January 12, 2014 - Queens
Jon Lovitch is a chef and the creator of GingerBread Lane, an annual display of homemade and handmade gingerbread houses that he drafts, designs, bakes, plans, builds, and decorates for an entire year. This season will be its 20th.
The concept for Gingerbread Lane changes each year, depending on what Lovitch has seen at gingerbread competitions, in magazines, at holiday displays, sometimes even drawing ideas from houses he spots while driving.
Lovitch purchases the materials after the holiday season, and begins designing and constructing the exhibit by March. All work is completed by late October and reviewed for detail until the exhibit begins. Beginning in November, Lovitch works between 80 and 90 hours for the final three weeks before GingerBread Lane opens for display. Each gingerbread house requires approximately three hours to complete and many of the complicated projects within the village require upwards of 35 hours. Each annual GBL takes about 1500 hours to make.
GBL is made from only "real" edible ingredients: gingerbread, royal icing, and candy. In contrast, other gingerbread competitors use dried pasta, uncooked rice and beans, and edible clay, among other ingredients. This year, GBL uses both gingerbread bricks and candy bricks for the structures.
The 2013 GBL weighs more than 1.5 tons, covers a continuous surface of nearly 300 square feet and is 11 feet high at its highest point. It will be competing for a Guinness World Record for largest gingerbread exhibit, and will be the largest GBL ever.
While the layout and composition change yearly, GBL always includes Eggnog Bay, Gum Drop Row, Peppermint Central Park, Candy Cane Place, and Toffee Boulevard. New this year is Ribbon Candy Ridge and a "behind-the-scenes" window, giving a peek into the makings of GBL with ovens, models, and ingredients...made entirely from royal icing. Five two-foot-high nutcrackers, also made of royal icing, stand guard over the back of the exhibit.
This year's village includes an estimated 1750 lbs. of icing, 400 lbs. of candy, and 500 lbs. of gingerbread dough; and comprises 152 gingerbread houses, 65 trees, four gingerbread cable cars, five gingerbread train cars, an underground candy subway station, candy trees, and sugar signage.
GingerBread Lane always sits out in the open, rather than behind glass, a fact that can really be appreciated when one smells the homemade gingerbread.
All gingerbread structures are given away free on the last day of the exhibit. Since December 2000, GingerBread Lane has also hosted annual workshops for families and after-school programs for children. Each year, Lovitch works with underprivileged and disabled children by shipping GingerBread Lane pieces across the country for those unable to view the display.
gingerbread-lane.org; Twitter: @GingerBreadLane; Facebook: GingerBread Lane, #gingerbreadlane.
Holiday Train Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through January 12, 2014 - Bronx
The Holiday Train Show is back with plenty of holiday fun and new surprises for the whole family! This year features more trains than ever before, and a new holiday dining experience inspired by the historic streets of New York.
Marvel at model trains zipping around New York landmark replicas made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves. The Artist's Studio provides an insider's look at how the building replicas are constructed and - new this year - features a showcase of unique and historic model trains.
Explore the exhibition in the warmth of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, enjoy hands-on holiday fun for the entire family, and get your holiday shopping done too...it's a whole day of fun!
Deconstructed Flowers - Queens Botanical Garden
Through January 25, 2014 - Flushing
H. David Stein's unique mosaic of flora is distinctively detailed in this exhibit, a series of intricate photographs that pull out the detailed beauty of flowers, using a special technique that layers several photographs into a single picture for a view of amazing depth.
Dr. Stein's work as the former chairman of surgery at Flushing Hospital instilled a dedication to the importance of detail. Since his retirement from the medical profession, his interest in photography has intensified. Studying at the International Center of Photography, and with several professionals he has garnered a renewed focus on the technical and visual aspects, and adapted a style that allows him to create photographs that express many aspects of a flower at the same time.
"There are many features of flowers that are beautiful and interesting, but each individual photograph can only show a single element of the flower". Unhappy with losing the depth and beauty of his subject, Stein focused on pulling out the dimensional presence of the flower.
"This meant taking multiple photographs and merging then into a single montage. I then allowed the flower to grow more naturally over the image's matting. The end result is a floral image that shows many views of the flower's beauty in a single image."
Dr. Stein's prize-winning photographs have been exhibited widely throughout the Northeast, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., the Salmagundi Club, The Mamaroneck Artist Guild, and other galleries in New York. His photographs can also be found in commercial establishments and in numerous private collections.
The exhibit will be open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 8am to 4pm, thur Jan 25, 2014 and is free to the public. For more information, contact Darcy Hector at (718) 886-3800, ext. 330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship.
Art in the Garden at QBG: “Deconstructed Flowers” - Queens Botanical Garden
Through January 26, 2014 - Flushing
H. David Stein’s unique mosaic of flora is distinctively detailed in his exhibit “Deconstructed Flowers.” His intricate photographs pull out the dimensional presence of flowers using a special technique which layers multiple photographs into a single montage. The end result shows many views of the flower’s beauty in a single image.
Lights, Camera, Astoria - Museum of the Moving Image
Through February 09, 2014 - Astoria
This exhibition traces the fascinating history of the Astoria Studio complex, which has been at the heart of filmmaking in New York City since 1920. The studio site was the east-coast home of Paramount Pictures in the silent and early talking-picture eras, a center for independent filmmaking in the 1930s, and the U.S. Army Pictorial Center from World War II into the Cold War era. After falling into disrepair in the early 1970s, the site has become a thriving cultural hub that includes Kaufman Astoria Studios and Museum of the Moving Image.
Using film stills, behind-the-scenes photographs, oral histories, film clips, and posters, the exhibition explores the rich legacy and renaissance of the studio complex. With material from silent-era films featuring Rudolph Valentino, early talking films starring the Marx Brothers, World War II training and propaganda films, such modern classics as The Age of Innocence, and television shows like Sesame Street, The Cosby Show, and Nurse Jackie, the exhibition reveals the significant role that the Astoria studio continues to play in energizing its surrounding community and making moving image history.
Flight of the Butterflies in 3D - NY Hall of Science
Through April 11, 2014 - Corona
Join millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey to a remote and secret hideaway. Weighing less than a penny, the monarch butterfly makes one of the longest migrations on Earth. Follow the monarchs' perilous journey to the remote mountain peaks of Mexico in this 3D film. For the first time ever, witness the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, inside a chrysalis, thanks to advanced MRI and micro CT scans.
The award-winning production team, including Oscar-winner Peter Parks, followed the year-long migration cycle of the monarch butterflies, from Canada, through the United States to remote 10,000-foot-high peaks in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico.
The film has won numerous awards including the 2013 Grand Teton Award in the category of Best Immersive 3D/Large Format at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and awards at the 2013 Giant Screen Industry Awards, including Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Film for Lifelong Learning, and Best Educational Program.