Astoria Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:Astoria Park South and Shore Boulevard, Queens, NY
Hours:Park: 6 A.M. to 1 A.M. daily; pool: 11 A.M. to 3 P.M. and 4 to 7 P.M. daily in season
Fee: Free
Contact:

nycgovparks.org/parks/AstoriaPark or call 311; pool, 718-626-8620
 

Bathrooms: Charybdis Playground; Shore Boulevard (opposite 23rd Road)
Water/Snacks: Snack bar at pool; vendors throughout park
Map:

Long considered to be a great neighborhood destination, Astoria Park’s atmosphere and views are well worth traveling for.

Astoria Park
Photo by: Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert

Astoria Park is a place of grand proportions. At nearly 60 acres and 1.5 miles around, it is one of the largest parks in Queens. Two massive bridges stretch over the park—the RFK to the south and Hell Gate to the north—and from its long eastern shoreline, Astoria Park offers expansive views of Manhattan. It is also home to the biggest outdoor swimming pool in the city, which is part of a stunning (if slightly time-worn) art deco complex. Its creator, former parks commissioner Robert Moses, was a powerful swimmer and believed that everyone should have the opportunity to swim, and so he built for Astoria one of the largest swimming facilities in the United States. The pool is now the main attraction for park goers in the summer. At 3 feet deep, the pool is subdivided by ropes—a necessity for keeping track of children on crowded days.

A stroll along Shore Boulevard to take in the East River views is a must. To get a sense of the park’s size, walk north (the river will be to your left) toward Ditmars Boulevard. As you do this, on your right will be the pool complex (site of the 1936 and 1964 U.S. Olympic trials), a shady grove, and a wide-open field. At the top of the field, curve right on the paved path and take the easternmost path, down nineteenth Street, south to the pool. Playgrounds, bocce ball courts, tennis courts, and a running track offer lots of other activities too. Remember: If you are planning to swim, observe city pool rules.

Plan B:

Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Trip 45) and Kissena Park (Trip 47) offer plenty of excellent walks and playgrounds, and the Queens Botanical Garden (Trip 46) provides some educational structure.



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