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Several times over the last couple of weeks, my friends have endured the announcement that I harbored a desire to go the zoo. They all started rattling off about how easy it is to get to the Bronx or Central Park from Astoria, and I was forced to interrupt their advice.

Why leave Queens, if you want to visit a zoo? The stunned reply has uniformly been: Wait, Queens has a zoo?

That’s how I found myself on the 7 train last Thursday morning, heading to the 111th street stop high above Roosevelt Avenue.

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Critique is offered on the “wayfinding” front to the officiates and wardens of this institution, as I know exactly where the place is, but I still felt a bit “lost” while walking the short few blocks from the train.

Suffice to say, head downhill and for the Terrace on the Park building, which is an easy landmark that the Queens Zoo is next door to.

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The signage issue continued to be confusing, to say the least, even at the periphery of the park itself.

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Luckily, a fantastic hand illustrated map was displayed nearby the zoo’s entrance, which is about the equivalent of a city block back into the park from 111th street.

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Tickets are on sale in the little building pictured above.

It’s $8 for an adult, $6 for seniors, and $5 for kids. Kids under 3 are admitted for free. Until November, their hours are: Monday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Weekends & Holidays 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

From nyc.gov:

The Queens Zoo in Flushing Meadows Corona Park opened October 26, 1968 on the grounds of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. The last borough to get its own zoo, over 10,000 people attended the ceremony at which former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, then-current commissioner August Heckscher, and Metropolitan Transit Authority President William T. Ronan all spoke at the opening.

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It’s cold. There are some big football games on television. Laundry awaits. In other words, it’s the perfect time to head to the Queens Zoo. During the winter, the alligators aren’t around, but the meandering marsh is full of ducks and swans doing their thing without worrying about their big-jawed predators. Meanwhile, the Andean bear, American bison and puma roam other areas of the 11-acre venue. The zoo also features an indoor Discovery Center, where a Lunar New Year celebration will take place on February 1st and February 2nd. It’s the year of the horse, and the zoo’s equine residents will be the focus of the activities, which are geared toward children. Scavenger hunts and dragon- and lantern-making will begin at 11 am these days, followed by story time and a dance workshop by the Chinese Theater Works. At 12:30 pm, attendees can spend some time with the horses before the dragon mask parade starts at 3:15 pm.

Details: Lunar New Year Celebration, Queens Zoo, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, February 1st and February 2nd, 11 am to 5 pm, free with admission, $8 adults/$6 seniors/$5 children.

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10/21/13 1:00pm

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It’s scary how many Halloween-related festivals will take place in Queens over the next 10 days. On tap are everything from costume contests (for humans and dogs, of course), haunted houses, enchanted walks and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Here is a list of some of the free or low-cost fun.

Oct. 25, See It Big!, 7 pm, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria. Despite the availability of movies on portable devices and small screens, there is only one way to really see a scary movie: BIG! Enjoy the 1978 Halloween classic starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Free with MMI admission ($6-$12).

Oct. 25, 26 & 27, Halloween Haunted House, 4 pm-7 pm, Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park. Hayrides, mulled cider, pumpkins and apples. The haunted house is recommended for children ages 4–12. Adults will find it creepy too! $4 with purchasable items.

Oct. 25 & 26, Haunted Lantern Tour, 6:30-8:30 pm, Fort Totten, 212th Street and Bell Boulevard, Bayside. Urban Park Rangers will lead a nighttime tour of the Civil War-era bastion’s battery. Expect frights mixed in with a history lesson.

Oct. 26, Second Annual Woodside Halloween Pet Parade and Festival, 11 am-2 pm, Windmuller Park, 52nd Avenue and 39th Drive. An afternoon of surprises including a costume contest, training workshops, grooming demos and giveaways. Free.

Oct. 26, Canine Costumes Carnival in the Rockaways, noon-2 pm, Freeway Dog Park/Beach 84, 83-02 Beach Channel Dr., Rockaway. Indulge your desire to dress up your pooch as a caped avenger. This costume contest for canines has carnival games, a photo booth and pet-friendly services. Free.

After the jump, many more Halloween events taking place all over the borough… (more…)

03/30/13 9:00am

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Image Source: Four Muddy Paws

Please allow us one pun: The oval hunting prospects in Queens this weekend are absolutely eggs-traordinary. Let’s begin with the Queens Botanical Garden at 11 am this Saturday. The Flushing venue will celebrate spring with its first-ever Egg Hunt in the crabapple orchard and arboretum. The fun continues with seasonal crafts, old-fashioned games, seed plantings, face painting and a special visit from Flora, QBG’s mascot! At the same time (and again on Sunday at 11 am), the Queens Zoo will host its Egg Hunt with the chance to meet the Easter Bunny and some real life Flemish giant rabbits and partake in some spring-themed activities, including mask-making. Starting at noon on Saturday, the Queens County Farm Museum will hold continuous Egg Hunts throughout the day in the orchard. Whiskers the bunny will be hopping around the farm to greet children and pose for pictures, and participants will be able to dance the Bunny Hop, and play egg toss and rolling games on the farmhouse lawn. Then there’s the chance to visit farm animals and take a hayride.

43-50 Main Street, Flushing
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
12/14/12 2:00pm

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The Queens Gazette published news of a tempting opportunity – a call by the Wildlife Conservation Society for volunteers to serve at the Queens Zoo. As a volunteer, you’d get to do all sorts of interesting and fun things, like teaching visitors about the animals through guided tours, act as a speaker at narrated feedings, lead arts and crafts activities, and assist with events during the holidays.

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