Flushing Meadows Corona Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:47th Avenue and 111th Street, Queens, NY
Hours:Dawn to 9 P.M. daily
Fee: Free

nycgovparks.org or call 311

Bathrooms: Near Playground for All Children; near 111th Street
Water/Snacks: Vendors throughout park

Home of two World’s Fairs and the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, this park also has vast areas to explore on foot, on bike, or by boat.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald referred to the site of Flushing Meadows Corona Park as “the valley of the ashes,” owing to its history as a former dumping ground. Flushing Meadows triumphed over this ignoble start, and was the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. Many of the exhibits and institutions constructed for these fairs—the New York Hall of Science, the Rocket Thrower sculpture, and the massive Unisphere globe among them—thankfully remain as riveting attractions today. At 1,255 acres, the park is ideal for biking and urban hiking. It also contains Meadow Lake, which is very popular for boating.

Enter the park where 47th and 49th avenues intersect with 111th Street. As you head northeast along United Nations Avenue, you will pass Arthur Ashe Stadium and the U.S. Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on your left and the Unisphere, a gigantic, glistening metal globe, on your right. Walk around this topographically representative globe—several times. Can you spot the Rocky Mountains? Mount Everest? Returning to the route, you will pass several fields. When you reach the top of United Nations Avenue, you can either continue walking clockwise back toward the entrance of the park or follow paths northeast toward Industry Pond. If you follow the bike path leading southeast through this area—and beneath a mind-boggling highway cloverleaf—you will eventually arrive at Meadow Lake. At 93 acres, the artificially constructed Meadow Lake is New York City’s largest lake. The boathouse, where you can rent paddle boats, is located on the eastern shore.

At the southern edge of the park, near 111th Street, is the Playground for All Children. The playground was opened in 1997, and is one of only a handful in the United States that is designed for children with and without disabilities.

Remember: You cannot launch private boats in Meadow Lake.

Plan B:

A carousel and the Queens Zoo, run by the Wildlife Conservation Society, are also located in the park, near the entrance at 47th and 49th streets. The New York Hall of Science is also located on 111th Street near that entrance. Gantry Plaza State Park (Trip 43) is easily accessible by subway, offering cool river breezes.


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