by Michael Hsu, 01/28/2014 [Updated 02/04/2015]
New York Hall of Science. Photo: Julienne Schaer
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
111th Street, 44th Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway, 718-760-6565
At 897 acres, Flushing Meadows Corona Park provides plenty of room for games and one-of-a-kind attractions. A great starting place is the Unisphere; the 12-story globe was the icon of the 1964–65 World's Fair and has since become an icon for the entire borough. Nearby, the Queens Museum 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, such as the addition of a miniature Brooklyn Bridge Park and the replacement of a Shea Stadium replica with one of Citi Field.) Adjacent to the museum, the Queens Theatre 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 pair of real NASA rockets) make great day trips for families.