by Michael Hsu, 01/01/2010
New York Hall of Science. Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
111th Street to Van Wyck Expressway, 718-760-6565
With so many world-famous attractions in one spot, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park is a veritable wonderland. Its 1,255 acres make it almost one-and-a-half times larger than Central Park, providing plenty of room for games, sites and one-of-a-kind attractions. A great starting place is the Unisphere; the 12-story globe was the icon of the 1964/1965 World's Fair and has since become an icon for the entire borough. Nearby, the Queens Museum of Art features a diverse collection of art as well as the Panorama of the City of New York, Robert Moses' scale model of the five boroughs, which includes every building and street as of 1992. (A few changes have been made since then, however, such as the replacement of the miniature Shea Stadium with a replica of Citi Field, in 2009.) Adjacent to the museum, the Queens Theatre, a City-funded venue, presents festivals of Latino, black and Asian cultural arts, as well as other performances. And visits to the Queens Zoo (home to alligators, bald eagles and pumas) and the New York Hall of Science (with more than 450 hands-on exhibitions and a display of real NASA rockets) make great day trips for families.