10+ Hidden Things to Do in Queens Gems Revealed

Unearth secrets of yesteryear at Kingsland Homestead, where Queens whispers its storied past. Will you decode its lingering mysteries? Read on...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

🚀 Get Unlimited Instagram Likes & Comments. 100% Free Forever. Join Wolf Global Groups, home to the largest Instagram engagement pods, and amplify your reach today! Ready? Become a member today.

Hey, did you know that Queens is not just a royal moniker but a treasure trove of experiences waiting to unravel right here in New York? Forget the mainstream Manhattan buzz for a sec, because this borough's got its own sizzle. You've got your Greek eats that'll transport your taste buds to Athens without the flight, street art that turns sidewalks into galleries, and quiet trails where the skyscrapers give way to forest canopies. And that's just warming up the plate. I'm talking about places like Kingsland Homestead that whisper secrets of the past, and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where birds chirp louder than your notifications.

So, lace up those walking shoes, because we're diving deep into the heart of Queens, with local haunts and under-the-radar spots that give you bona fide bragging rights. Ready to live it up like a local? From feasting on Jackson Heights' culinary creations to kayak adventures that cost nada, here's your inside scoop:

Soak Up Local History at Kingsland Homestead

Picture this: you're strolling through Flushing, Queens, and suddenly you find yourself stepping back in time. That's the magic of the historic Kingsland Homestead. Built in the 18th century, this enchanting house stands as a proud monument of New York's rich past. You feel like a local historian, uncovering the layers of stories etched in these vintage walls.

Donning its signature Weathervane, the Kingsland Homestead is not just a house; it's a key to the life and times of Quakers in Queens. You can't help but get wrapped up in the tales of sea captains and revolutionary war spies as you move through each room. It's a hidden gem that even some locals haven't fully explored. So while you're soaking up the local lore, remember, you've discovered a piece of history many have walked past, unaware of the treasure that it is.

Come on, savvy explorers, why settle for the clatter of the typical tourist traps when you can wander quietly through rooms that have seen centuries pass by? Spend an hour here, and it becomes clear why it's the perfect pit-stop for history buffs or anyone looking to escape the usual hustle for a gentle, historical whisper.

As you tip-toe on the creaky wooden floors, you feel a sense of connection to the souls that once called this place home. It's great for families with curious kids, or for solo adventurers hungry for a slice of untold stories. And when you're done, local delights are just around the corner to satisfy any cravings stirred up by your time travels.

Put simply, if walls could talk, Kingsland Homestead would be a loquacious elder with an enchanting voice, wooing history-loving folks, and charming the socks off nostalgia seekers. Let's keep this between us though; it’s our little secret spot in Queens.

Relish in Greek Delights in Astoria

If your taste buds are screaming for a scrumptious adventure, then welcome to Astoria, where Greek cuisine is not just food; it's a full-blown festival of flavor! Seriously, you'll think Zeus himself cooked up a storm for you.

Here in Astoria, Greek eateries are as authentic as it gets outside of Greece. Want to know where to find the best Greek eats in Astoria? Your quest ends at places like Taverna Kyclades or Bahari Estiatorio. These joints are so legit, you might just break into a Zorba dance out of sheer joy!

First things first, you've got to try the seafood. We're talking octopus that's grilled to perfection, fish that's fresher than Poseidon's palace, and oh-my-gods-worthy lobster. Not a sea-dweller fan? No problemo! There's a smorgasbord of grilled meats, creamy tzatziki, and spanakopita that will make your heart sing.

Expect to rub elbows with locals and expats alike, because these places are the real Greek deal. It's not just a meal; it's like you're being welcomed into a big, fat, Greek family. Go with an empty belly and a full heart, because you'll be feasting and toasting with ouzo or wine like there's no tomorrow.

So, how long should you dedicate to dining in Astoria? Let's say a decent time to allot would be a couple of hours. You'll want to savor every bite, maybe catch a live bouzouki performance, and bask in the oh-so-welcoming Greek vibe.

Astoria is perfect for everyone from singles to families. Kids with adventurous palates will dig it too, and date night can't get more romantic than sharing a platter of moussaka under the twinkling lights of a Greek taverna.

Walk off that hearty meal by strolling through the neighborhood. Peek into little shops, check out the street art, and feel the heartbeat of this vibrant community. After experiencing Greek eats in Astoria, you'll say "opa!" to anything else.

Uncover Artistic Gems at LIC Art Scene

Imagine strolling through a vibrant tapestry of street art, stepping into cool, hidden galleries, and meeting artists who pour their souls onto canvas. That's the LIC Art Scene – an explosive creative hub just waiting to be explored. For those who crave a dose of culture with a side of urban edge, this is your mecca.

What's popping over at LIC? Well, it's a treasure trove of galleries and studios where emerging and established artists showcase works that'll have you nodding 'yeah, I could pretend to understand that' while sipping on some pretentiously delightful artisanal coffee.

  • 5Pointz – Once a graffiti hotspot, now an artistic soul in the city. Even though it's undergone changes, the very streets breathe creativity.
  • SculptureCenter – Ever seen a sculpture that looks like your last mid-night snack dream? This is where it's at! A cavern of contemporary coolness (FourPointz).
  • MoMA PS1 – Not just any offshoot of MoMA, it's the cooler, hipper cousin that wears sunglasses indoors. Contemporary art that's as fresh as your grandma's homemade pie.

LIC Art Scene isn't just for the beret-wearing crowd. It's a full-on experience for families, too. Got a mini-Picasso? Weekend art workshops could be their gig. Drop by with a date or tag along with your art-appreciating pup – yes, Fido might just tilt his head at the abstracts, but it's all about the experience.

What's the bonus? LIC Art Scene is surrounded by quirky cafes and mouthwatering eateries – perfect for discussing the difference between post-modern and post-ironic... or just stuffing your face with some killer pastries.

Spend an afternoon or an entire day here. Unleash your inner critic, laugh at how oddly a paint splatter can speak to you, and feel connected to something bigger – the boundless realm of human creativity. If you listen closely, you might just hear the walls whispering tales of artists past and dreams being painted right now. So, grab your most colorful scarf, and let's dive headfirst into the LIC Art Scene!

Wander the Hidden Trails of Forest Hills

Imagine stepping away from the city bustle, your feet treading on a leaf-laden path, the sound of urbanity fading into birdsong. You've just found one of Queens' best-kept secrets: the idyllic trails of Forest Hills. It's the perfect retreat for nature lovers and those seeking a pinch of serenity in the city that never sleeps.

In Forest Hills, you're transported to a village within the city, where dining options cater to whatever your taste buds fancy. Picture yourself after that refreshing hike, sitting down to a meal that hits the spot. You've got choices from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, and every culinary stop between.

Here's the inside scoop — Forest Hills may look quaint, but it's got a palate for the exquisite, and its dining scene punches well above its weight class. From farm-to-table experiences to ethnic flavors that span the globe, these eateries are where local chefs shine away from the Manhattan limelight. Imagine a meal that not only fills the stomach but satisfies the soul.

Got a day to spare? Spend it here. Whether you're flying solo or exploring with your crew, the well-groomed trails and ambient neighborhoods cater to everyone. And hey, if you're lucky, you might stumble upon a street fair or a pop-up market.

So, lace up those hiking boots, and once you've worked up an appetite, round out your adventure with a foodie's delight. Whether it's brunch that blends into a lazy afternoon coffee or a dinner under the stars that wrap up your day, Forest Hills is the place to be.

Looking for the perfect day plan in Queens? Consider it found! Forest Hills isn't just a detour; it's a destination. Trust me, your social media followers won't know what hit 'em when they see your snapshots from this hidden slice of NYC!

Birdwatch at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Pack your binoculars and sneak away to a feathered paradise at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This urban oasis will skyrocket your birdwatching game to pro levels. Imagine this: You're surrounded by the sounds of birdsong, the rustle of marsh grass, and saltwater circling the air. Pure bliss, right?

Located on the outskirts of the city's hustle, the refuge is a prime spot for catching glimpses of migrating waterfowl, songbirds, and even the occasional raptor. It's not just about the birds, though. The blend of fresh and saltwater makes it a unique ecosystem where you can witness a symphony of nature's diversity. It's like the VIP lounge for wildlife enthusiasts, but guess what? You're always on the guest list.

This serene getaway is perfect for:

  • Solo adventurers seeking tranquility
  • Families wanting to inject nature into their city trip
  • Photographers ready to snap NatGeo-worthy shots
  • Curious minds looking to learn about coastal ecology

Spend an hour or two, or linger till the sun dips low – there's no clocking out early when nature's show is this good. With several well-marked trails to explore, you can wander through the grasslands and marshes or settle in at an observation blind for unobtrusive viewing. You'll rub elbows with locals who treat this spot like a closely guarded secret and tourists who can't believe they're still in New York City.

Good news, folks: It’s suitable for all ages and is a brilliant choice for an outing that’s both entertaining and educational without the adrenaline rush. Nearby, you’ll find places to grab a bite, so once you've whispered sweet nothings to the avian residents, you can refuel before your next Queens escapade.

And don't just take my word for it, experience the vibrant ecosystem for yourself. One visit and you'll understand why the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is one of Queens’ coveted hidden gems.

Savor the Taste on Jackson Heights Culinary Tour

Picture this: you're strolling down the bustling streets of Jackson Heights, where the air is redolent with exotic spices and sizzling treats from every corner of the globe. Ready to tantalize those taste buds? Then, step right up and dive into one of Queens' most delicious secrets—a culinary tour in Jackson Heights.

What makes Jackson Heights the ultimate foodie haven?

  • A smorgasbord of diverse cuisines
  • Authentic flavors from South Asian, Latin American, and Tibetan eateries
  • A vibrant community of local food lovers

You're in for a treat with a Jackson Heights Culinary Tour. You won't just grab a bite; you'll embark on a gastronomic adventure that will lead you through the heart of Queens' cultural melting pot. It's a place booming with South Asian culinary masterpieces, alongside Latin American traditional treats and hidden Tibetan delights. Yes, we're talking about momo dumplings that'll make your taste buds sing!

Imagine sampling savory plates that pack a punch, like spicy Indian chaat or Colombian empanadas that cradle a burst of flavor in each bite. Oh, and let’s talk about sticky rice with mango, because dessert is not an afterthought here. It's the exclamation point at the end of a flavorful sentence!

Spend how long, you ask?

Devote an afternoon to this culinary escapade. Trust us; your palate deserves this journey.

Who will love it?

  • Adventure seekers with an appetite
  • Culture enthusiasts eager to eat like a local
  • Anyone ready to eat their way to bliss

Now, let's not dilly-dally on hungry stomachs. Gather your fellow food lovers for a sensational flavor-packed outing. And if you fancy diving even deeper into this delectable slice of Queens, keep an eye on local events for an immersive experience that pairs food with cultural festivities. Welcome to Jackson Heights, where every meal is a celebration of the world’s vibrant diversity!

Picnic at Socrates Sculpture Park

Imagine sprawling on a blanket with a picnic basket packed with your favorite treats, surrounded by awe-inspiring sculptures under open skies. That's Socrates Sculpture Park for ya, folks! Located right at the edge of the East River, it's a place where art and leisure blend seamlessly.

With Socrates Sculpture Park events on the regular, there's always something new to experience.

  • Ever witnessed a sculpture event by the water? Pure bliss!
  • How about yoga with a side of contemporary art? Yes, please!

Let's talk ambiance. This park isn't just any patch of grass -- it's a living gallery set in nature's lap. You'll find pieces that'll make you stop and think, 'What the…', and others that'll have you snapping pics like there's no tomorrow.

Got kiddos? They'll have a blast! Got a cute date? It's the perfect spot. Flying solo? The best kind of me-time. And you've got to catch the sunset here – it's like the sky's putting on a show just for you.

Spend a good part of your day here, because there's plenty to explore. Hey, and bring a frisbee or a book – there’s room for every leisure activity. You'll find folks from all walks of life, from artists to families, all bonding over the park's unique vibe.

So what's nearby? More goodness, that's what. You're a stone's throw away from some tasty bites in Astoria when hunger strikes after all that fresh air and art.

Now, while you're there, make sure to check their website for the latest happenings. You might just walk into a live performance or a sculpture workshop.

In short, Socrates Sculpture Park is where you want to be for a day of chill, a touch of culture, and memories worth their weight in gold (or, well, in beautiful sculptures).

Encounter Flora at the Underrated Queens Botanical Garden

Ever turned a corner and felt like you've just stumbled into a piece of paradise? That's the Queens Botanical Garden for you. Tucked away in Flushing, this hidden gem offers tranquility amidst the concrete jungle. Bursting with blooms and greenery, it's a botanical bonanza right in Queens.

Here's the thing: You'll want to carve out at least half a day for this lush oasis. Why? Because with 39 acres to explore, every path leads to a new discovery. Plus, it's perfect for all types: families, singles, and especially plant enthusiasts. Heck, it's enough to make a botanist weep with joy!

The Queens Botanical Garden isn't just rows of pretty petals—it's an evolving canvas of nature. From the fragrant Herb Garden to the Bee Garden that's buzzing with life, it's a living, breathing lesson in biodiversity. Seasonal bursts like the Cherry Circle in spring and the fiery foliage in fall transform it into an all-year-round spectacle.

Nearby, you can refuel with some stellar eats in Downtown Flushing. Trust me, foodies, you’re in for a treat. And after you've sniffed, seen, and smiled your way through the greenery, take a jaunt through the local neighborhoods. Feel the hum of a community that's as diverse as the plants in the garden.

Are you the relaxed, picnic-in-the-park kind or perhaps an avid photographer seeking that perfect natural shot? It doesn't matter. The Queens Botanical Garden is a slice of serenity for everyone. It's the place where the hurly-burly of the city fades, and you can hear yourself think again.

Ready to breathe in the fresh air? Step into this botanical wonderland and get up close and personal with Mother Nature's masterpieces. Trust me, it's like hitting the refresh button on life. Don't forget to check out their calendar for sweet events before you go, because this spot's got more layers than your favorite flower's petal count.

Family Fun at Lesser-Known Queens Zoo

Imagine a place where giggles fill the air, where majestic animals play mere feet away, and you’re wandering with cotton candy in one hand and a zoo map in the other. Welcome to the Queens Zoo, a hidden gem perfect for a family outing and an escape from the city hustle. This quaint zoo, nestled in the heart of Queens, is an idyllic spot for families with kids of all ages who are eager to experience wildlife up close.

Why should you book your next adventure at the Queens Zoo? For starters, it’s not as crowded as some of the other zoos, giving your family the chance to take their time, see the animals without elbowing through crowds, and really soak up the wonder. You’ll find animals native to the Americas, from playful sea lions to majestic bald eagles. Remember to check out the Andean bears; they’re a rare sight, and Queens Zoo offers a fantastic opportunity to watch them frolic.

Perfect for kids who can dart around all day and equally great for toddlers who are just finding their feet, the zoo has interactive exhibits without overwhelming your little ones. Here's the deal: plan to spend a solid half-day at the zoo. That’s enough time to make memories without a meltdown. And what's nearby? Flushing Meadows Corona Park, where you can set down your picnic blanket and let the kids run free post-zoo visit.

The Queens Zoo also sets the stage for a brilliant learning experience; it's not just about seeing the animals, it’s about understanding them and their habitats. The enthusiastic staff members are remarkable storytellers, making this experience as enriching as it is delightful.

And there you have it, your slice of wildlife paradise, right in Queens. Whether you're local to the area or visiting, a sunny day spent with the family at the Queens Zoo is a day well spent indeed. Strap on your most comfortable shoes, pack those binoculars, and get ready to create unforgettable memories with your pack!

Dive into Free Kayaking Adventures in LIC

Imagine paddling through the gentle waters of Long Island City, with the sun kissing your face and the skyline painting a backdrop that's just... wow! Yes, free kayaking is not a mythical unicorn, it's a real-deal adventure, and it's waiting for you in LIC! You don't need a treasure chest of gold, just bring your enthusiasm (and maybe a splash-proof camera).

Free kayaking opportunities in LIC offer an unrivaled mix of urban buzz and tranquil waterway escapades. Dive right into a day you won't forget. For those asking, "Is it really free?" Yes, you read that right, free as the birds soaring above the East River. So, what're you waiting for? Dip that paddle and glide!

These adventures are a dream come true for singles, friends in cohorts, and families ready for giggles and seafaring tales. Whether you've got firm sea legs or you're a newbie to the waves, kayaking in LIC is perfect for you. Spend an hour or two on the water, and then why not stroll along the shoreline for a bite to eat?

Adrenaline junkies, tranquility seekers, and everyone in between, your chariot awaits! Whether you're in it for the 'gram or for the gratification of conquering the river, LIC kayaking delivers. It's like scoring the lead in your own adventure movie, with NYC's skyline as your trusty sidekick. So, scoot on over to LIC, and let's paddle like nobody's watching. Remember to check out Long Island City Community Boathouse for all the juicy details on your upcoming nautical escapades!

Enjoy Quietude at Sunnyside Gardens Park

Imagine stepping away from the city's hustle and bustle and finding yourself in an oasis of tranquility. That's Sunnyside Gardens Park for you. This hidden gem offers a slice of serenity and a perfect spot for anyone seeking a peaceful escape. Think lush green lawns, playful squirrels darting around, and the soft whisper of leaves rustling in the breeze—a picturesque setting that seems almost magical.

What can you do at Sunnyside Gardens Park? Bring a book, find a shady spot under a towering tree, and let yourself slip into the pages. It's also an ideal place for families. The playgrounds here come alive with the sweet sounds of children's laughter, making it a joyous setting for the little ones to play and interact. If you're a keen photographer, the scenic backgrounds serve as a stunning backdrop for your next profile picture update.

Feeling peckish? Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal amidst nature. Just a stone's throw away from the inviting picnic benches, you'll find local cafes offering delightful bites—a perfect accompaniment for your outdoor feast.

Visitors often wonder, "How long should I spend at Sunnyside Gardens Park?" Give yourself at least a couple of hours. Mornings here are splendid with gentle rays of sunshine cutting through the foliage. If you prefer quieter moments, late afternoons on weekdays are your best bet.

Sunnyside Gardens Park isn't just for the solitude seekers; it's for anyone who appreciates a good dose of Mother Nature. Whether you're a solo adventurer, a family with toddlers or teens, or a couple looking for a romantic retreat, this park caters to all.

And if you're itching for something unique, check out the occasional community events that bring locals and visitors together for a taste of Queens' spirit—a delightful cherry on top of this serene sanctuary's experience. You'll leave rejuvenated, with your heart a little lighter and a mind a little softer, courtesy of the quietude that Sunnyside Gardens Park masterfully offers.

Discover Local Narratives with Queens Historical Society

Dive headfirst into stories from yesteryears at the Queens Historical Society! Tucked away in Flushing, it's your go-to spot for delving into the borough's rich tapestry of history. It's not just a history buff's haven – there's something mesmerizing about uncovering the layers of narratives that have shaped Queens into the vibrant place it is today.

Imagine walking through a living scrapbook, where every artifact and picture tells a tale of Queens' past, from its indigenous roots to its multicultural evolution. The society offers enlightening exhibitions, engaging walking tours, and even genealogy workshops for the Nancy Drew in you. A visit to the Queens Historical Society isn't just a casual stroll down memory lane; it's an intimate experience where you can connect with the community's soul.

Neighboring the historical Kingsland Homestead, you've got a delightful dose of history in one go. Allot an hour or two for a truly immersive experience. It's ideal for everyone – families, solo adventurers, and, of course, those passionate about preserving and celebrating local histories.

And let's talk crowds – this gem is perfect if you're looking to escape the buzz of the city. It's a serene, educational getaway that's not about adrenaline but rather the quiet thrill of connecting to Queens' roots. For those who appreciate slower-paced, thoughtful activities, this place is a treasure trove!

So, whether you're a long-time resident or just passing through, prepare to walk away with a newfound appreciation for Queens. Gain a deeper understanding of the borough's evolution and its cultural heartbeat at the Queens Historical Society. Here's your chance to celebrate the past in living color!


Things to do in queens for adults

To keep the fun rolling, adults in Queens can explore museums, trendy bars, or catch a game at Citi Field.

Things to do in Queens at night

When the sun sets, hit up lively music venues, savor flavors at a late-night eatery, or stroll through illuminated parks.

Things to do in queens this weekend

This weekend, check out community markets, local art events, or relax in one of the borough's beautiful parks.

Things to do in queens today

Today's a great day to visit a Queens museum, enjoy a waterfront walk, or feast on diverse cuisine.

Unique things to do in queens

Discover Queens' uniqueness by visiting off-the-beaten-path art galleries, historic homes, or scenic outdoor spaces.

Free things to do in Queens this Weekend

Save your cash and enjoy free park concerts, stunning street art tours, or browse neighborhood flea markets this weekend.

How do you spend a day in Queens?

Max out your day with a mix of cultural attractions, a sporting event, delicious food, and a relaxing park visit.

What is Queens NY known for?

Queens is famous for its incredible ethnic diversity, Flushing Meadows Park, and as the home of US Open tennis.

Is it worth visiting Queens in New York?

It's totally worth it! Queens offers a treasure trove of cultural sights, eats, and activities you shouldn't miss.

Is Jackson Heights worth a visit?

You bet! Jackson Heights is a vibrant neighborhood known for its cultural diversity and authentic international cuisine.

Final Words

So you've just gotten the scoop on soaking up history, tasting amazing eats, and exploring the art scene, among other fantastic experiences in Queens. From the lush greenery at Queens Botanical Garden to the delightful chaos of a Jackson Heights culinary tour, you've got all the inside info to make the most out of this diverse borough.

Your adventure in Queens wouldn't be complete without indulging in the rich tapestry of things to do in Queens. Make sure you get out there and create your own stories to tell. Trust me, you'll want to come back for more!

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
More from the blog
Take a peek into the world of usernames
March 8, 2024
Aria Ohlsson
9+ Things to Do in Grand Canyon [Lesser Known]
Read now →
March 8, 2024
Aria Ohlsson
9+ Things to Do in Koh Chang's Hidden Spots
Read now →
Tap the unicorn to get unlimited Instagram ❤️ and 💬. 100% Free Forever.
Close Button

Real Instagram Likes and Comments
Free Forever

Join the Largest Instagram Pod in the World: Exchange Likes & Comments with influencers, bloggers and more.
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
90k+ members
No login required
100% free forever
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Over 90,000 people
use Wolf Global
Get unlimited Instagram likes and comments via Wolf Global's Engagement Pods.
Right Arrow Icon
Join now - it's free