What’s happening in Queens these days? What’s not happening? If it’s your corner of the city, good for you! If it’s not, it’s time to venture to the borough of dreams for some good times, cultural enrichment delicious grub and more. See you on the 7!

rt-brooklyn boulders queens

photo: via Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge Facebook page

BKB Adventures at Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge
Just in time for spring break, the newest outpost of Brooklyn Boulders in Long Island City is hosting its popular youth BKB Adventures days. Kids ages five to 12 can enjoy a day of team-building exercises, arts and crafts and yes, all the climbing they want. Two snacks, gear and even a BKB Adventures t-shirt are included. Register in advance online.

23-10 41st Ave.
Long Island City
Online: brooklynboulders.com


photo: Queens Library

Queens Library’s Mobile Library Celebrates National Library Week
The Queens Library’s Mobile Library is on the move and traversing the borough in celebration of National Library Week and National Bookmobile Day (April 13)! The Mobile Library will make a whopping 17 stops around Queens in neighborhoods such as Bayside, Queens Village, Flushing, Corona and Jamaica in six days. Stop by to sign up for a free library card, borrow a book, and, on select stops, check out free music from violinist Shayshahn “Phearnone” MacPherson and learn the fundamentals of STEM education with bricks4kidz. See locations and time here. 

April 10 – 16
Various locations and times
Online: queenslibrary.org


photo: Resobox

Origami in Action and Anime, Cosplay and More Classes at Resobox
Right next door to Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge you’ll find Japanese cultural center Resobox, which is dedicated to celebrating and sharing Japanese influence in the arts. The space’s recent amazing exhibit deciated to adorable crocheted beings and things “World Amigurumi” just closed, but in its place is an equally-enchanting show, “Origami in Action: A New Approach to Origami“, dedicated to next-level paper-folding. The exhibit features the work of paper engineer extraordinaire Sam Ita (author of Next Generation Paper Airplanes Kit) as well as young paper art upstarts Paul Frasco — who has decorated the Museum of Natural History’s famed origami holiday tree —  and Brooklyn artist Adrienne Sack. While you’re there, consider a cool class for the kids in amigurumi and anime, and drop by for some ramen done right, matcha cheesecake or a swig of sake in the café.

41-26 27th St.
Long Island City
Online: http://resobox.com/


photo: via Sunnyside Shines Facebook page

Spring into the Plazas in Sunnyside
Business improvement organization Sunnyside Shines is hosting its free Spring Into the Plazas program every Friday from now until June. This new weekly series takes place in the neighborhood’s Lowery and Bliss Plazas, and will include free activities, performances and workshops for all. Play a casual game of giant Connect Four or chess, take part in an arts and crafts workshop with local artist and landscape designer Cevan Castle, enjoy a Thalia Theater performance or check out the mobile library the Uni Project. Events will switch plazas each month, with May events happening in Lowery Plaza at Queens Boulevard and 40th Street, and April and June events taking place in Bliss Plaza at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. Learn more and see a detailed schedule of events here. 

Online: sunnysideshines.org


rt-LIC flea

photo: via LIC Flea & Food Facebook page

LIC Flea & Food
Queens’ answer to Brooklyn’s flea and food market combo is LIC Flea & Food, which opened for the season on April 9 (it runs every weekend through Oct. 30). You’ll find vintage goods (among them: old school Fisher-Price toys!), artisan creations like sweet-smelling soaps, upcycled home furnishings, and lots of yummy bites. Eats range from mini gluten free funnel cakes with heavenly toppings from A Lil’ Bit of Fun, soufflés made on demand  from newcomer La Maison de Soufflé,  and mac and cheese waffles served with/in a cup of tomato soup by Rib in a Cup. Plus: an all-Queens-brewed beer garden!

LIC Flea & Food
Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. through Oct 30
5-25 46th Ave.
Long Island City
Online: licflea.com


photo: via Shastye Facebook page

Open art play, yoga, storytime, Russian language and veggie cooking at Shastye
Opened last fall by professional artists and mom Shashta Molnar, this Astoria-based kid-friendly art space (the name of which means “happiness” in many Slavic languages) has expanded its class offerings to include painting, drawing, yoga, crafting, Russian language and vegetarian cooking from “Allergic to Salad”. Many are available daily, and you can find activities for kids ages 10 months to eight years. (They also do classes for adults.) Check out the daily schedule here.

26-16 23rd Ave.
Online: astoriaplayspace.com

TS. Tea Ceremony INST_17

photo: The Noguchi Museum

We’ve written before about how The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City is one of NYC’s most often overlooked gems. Spring is an especially nice time to take in the museum’s peaceful garden filled with the Japanese artist’s work, and this season the museum’s 30th anniversary programming culminates with an immersive exhibit by artist Tom Sachs, the first — other than Noguchi — to create a solo show in the space. Entitled Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony, the show takes over the museum with the artist’s irreverent-but-respectful take on chanoyu, or the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Sachs us known as the “ultimate master of cultural bricolage” (creating new things out of what’s available), and he brings this mashup sensibility to this show as well. Sachs himself will perform his take on the ritual on select dates during the run of the show, but we recommend stopping by for one of the many “Art for Tots” and “Art for Families” on weekends at the museum, which will explore themes of Sachs’ work through hands-on projects.

Tom Sachs: Tea Ceremony
March 23 – July 24, 2016
9-01 33rd Road
Long Island City
Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. & Sun.
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
$10/adults, free for children
Online: noguchi.org

Do you have a favorite place to go with the kids in Queens? Tell us about it in the comments!

— Mimi O’Connor