by Michael Hsu, 03/18/2014
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
111th Street and Grand Central Parkway to Van Wyck Expressway (bet. Roosevelt Avenue and Jackie Robinson Parkway), 718-760-6565
Al Oerter Recreation Center
131-40 Fowler Ave., 718-353-7853
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park covers a whopping 1,255 acres (it's about 50% bigger than Central Park) and offers a huge range of activities. It was the site of two world's fairs, so a great place to start exploring is the Unisphere, the famous 12-story globe that was the icon of the 1964 World's Fair and has since become an emblem of the borough. From there, head south to the 93-acre Meadow Lake (the largest lake in New York City), where you can fish or rent a rowboat, paddleboat or hydrobike. Perfect for fitness buffs, the Al Oerter Recreation Center has racquetball, handball and basketball courts, as well as an indoor track and cardio equipment, while the park's aquatic center and ice rink—known as the World Ice Arena, right across the street from the rec center—houses an Olympic-size pool and an NHL-regulation rink. And those with little ones in tow should head to the other side of the park for the sprawling Playground for All Children, which was the country's first playground designed to be accessible for all kids, including those with disabilities or limited mobility. Across the street from the park, there's the Queens Botanical Garden, whose nearly 40 acres contain an array of flora to delight visitors' eyes, and, in the case of its famous Fragrance Walk, noses.