Astoria, Children, Community, Family Friendly, Free, Free Kayaking and Canoeing, Long Island City, Parks
Jul 08, 2019

Kids and Family Activities in Astoria and LIC (Summer Edition)

It’s summer: the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and school is OUT! Kids have a lot of energy—usually a lot more than you ;) —so here are some (…)

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It’s summer: the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and school is OUT!

Kids have a lot of energy—usually a lot more than you ;) —so here are some activities to keep them busy and entertained without draining you! This list is tailored especially for the summer season – we’ll update as the years goes on.

The Connected Chef Cooking & Gardening Classes

The Connected Chef works to help children embrace natural, healthy foods at a young age through a playful attitude while cooking and creating. They offer weekly cooking and gardening classes for age 2-10, which you can find out more about here. The cooking classes are usually at Raising Astoria (26-11 23rd Ave, Queens) and the gardening classes are at the Bloom Tree Garden on Ditmars Blvd.

Playgrounds/Parks

Okay, “parks” is a kind of a duh, but we couldn’t not include them! Letting your kid run all their energy out in the grass and sun is never a bad idea. Astoria Park and Socrates Sculpture Park both have ample green space to run around and play, and the latter also offers sculpture classes for kids and teens. There’s a camp that just started today, and free drop-in workshops every Saturday.

As for playgrounds, we have plenty: Hoyt Playground (1800 Hoyt Ave N, Astoria), Ditmars Playground (Steinway St. bet. 23 Ave and Ditmars Blvd), Athens Square (30 Ave between 29 St and 30 St), and Van Alst Playground (21 St bet. 29 Ave and 30 Ave).

Bookstore Reading Groups

Whether your child is a regular bookworm or just likes storytime before bed, local bookstores have many kid-friendly options. Astoria Bookshop (31-29 31st St, Astoria) holds Special Storytime! events on select Thursday mornings from 11am to 12pm. For upcoming ones they have author of Hello Honeybees, Hannah Rogge on July 18, author of A Storytelling of RavensKyle Lukoff on Aug 1, author of LeylaGalia Bernstein on Aug 8.

Book Culture LIC (26-09 Jackson Ave, Long Island City) also holds storytimes on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 11:30am. On Monday afternoons at 4pm Hop-a-log Andrew does music classes, and on Wednesday they have Richard Younger at 4pm for music fun as well. It is a $10 suggested donation.

 

Parent Groups

Everything’s easier when you know you’re not in it alone! Share tips, tricks and just communicate overall about parenthood in groups like the LIC parent groupMommies of Long Island CityAstoria, NY Families, and more.

tea-dance-ice-cream-ice-and-vice-sign-astoria-flea-queens

Sweet Treats

Nothing says summer like a melty ice cream cone all over a child’s face! Try out Ample Hills, Gelato & Co, Sugar & Water (now serving doughnut ice cream cones and sandwiches), or the many froyo options.

astoria-park-pool-laps-on-the-left-queens

Image source: sach1tb on Flickr (cc)

Swimming

The pool is now open! Take the kids for a dip, and perhaps a swimming lesson? Though not right in Astoria, Rockaway Beach is always a great kid-friendly swim choice too.

Museum Of The Moving Image, Brian Palmer

MoMI

Our local museum, Museum of the Moving Image, has tons of family-friendly activities. A regular visit includes cool behind-the-scenes props and costumes (from mind-bending optical toys to a real Chewbacca mask from Star Wars), as well as lots of interactive activities like creating your own animation and adding sound effects to famous movies. They also offer drop-in studio sessions most Saturdays, which involve hands-on creative and craft projects, special family-exclusive hours on the first and last Saturdays of the month, and a slew of family film screenings (just be sure to check the events calendar). Oh, and there’s a summer media camp which includes sessions like “Next Generation Animators,” “Claymation Creators,” and “Digital Game Designers!”

Art Strong Camp. Photo courtesy of Art Strong.

Art Classes

Check out the Art Strong class offerings this summer at the Plaxall Gallery in LIC (5-25 46th Ave, Long Island City)—and read up on their story here!

Credit to Astoria Park.

Outdoor Kids Movies

If you checked out our outdoor movie guide, you can see there are a lot of kid-friendly choices. Here’s a selection (I guess Spider-Man is the popular choice this year!):

  • Sunday, July 14,Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Outdoor Movie Night | Randall’s Island Park, 8:30-10:35 p.m.
  • Friday, July 26, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
    Sunnyside Outdoor Movie Nights | Lou Lodati Playground, 7 p.m. pre-movie activities. Films begin at nightfall (about 8:15 p.m.)
  • Sunday, July 28, Tangled
    Outdoor Movie Night | Randall’s Island Park, 8:30-10:35 p.m.
  • Monday, August 5, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Movies on the Waterfront | Astoria Park Great Lawn, 8:15-10:15 p.m.
  • Monday, August 12, The Incredibles 2
    Movies on the Waterfront | Astoria Park Great Lawn, 8:15-10:15 p.m.
  • Friday, August 16, Coco
    Sunnyside Outdoor Movie Nights | Noonan Playground, 7 p.m. pre-movie activities. Films begin at nightfall (about 8:15 p.m.)
  • Sunday, August 18, Ralph Breaks the Internet
    Outdoor Movie Night | Randall’s Island Park, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 21, March of the Penguins (France)
    Outdoor Cinema International Film Festival | Socrates Sculpture Park, 7 p.m. Cultural Performances & Food Offerings. Film Begins at Nightfall
  • Saturday, September 7, Mary Poppins Returns
    Cinema LIC | Hunter’s Point South Park, Sunset (around 8:15 p.m.)
kayakers on the east river

Kayakers on the East River

Kayaking/Canoeing

A little row around the East River will be quite the adventure for your little one! There are offerings on select Sundays at Hallets Cove, as well as at LIC Boathouse most weekends.

Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments for other local parents!

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