2014-02-19 / Editorials

Winter’s Radiant Lining

Do not let the recent days of sub-zero wind chills and below freezing temperatures get you down. Queens has lots of activities to offer those who might be suffering from cabin fever. On days of heavy snowfall, the city Department of Parks and Recreation (DOP) offers sleigh riding in lower Highland Park near Jamaica Avenue and Elton Street. They will even provide the sleds, music and hot chocolate. The DOP suggests entering the park from the Brooklyn side, but the fun is on the Queens side.

Other sleigh riding opportunities can be found at Crocheron Park, on 35th Avenue, near 216th Street in Bayside and in Forest Park in Richmond Hill (Mary Whalen Playground, 79th Street and Park Lane South).

Additional outdoor winter fun can be enjoyed with nature walks available along the small wetlands trails of Alley Pond Environmental Center (228-06 Northern Blvd. in Douglaston) or stroll along the Atlantic at Rockaway Beach.

For those who are skiing enthusiasts cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can be found in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park’s Meadow Lake near the Jewel Avenue entrance.

Forest Park offers beautiful hiking trails and Fort Totten in Bayside offers tours of its historic military battery.

The winter months are also perfect for bird watching. Jamaica’s Baisley Pond Park at Baisley Boulevard and 155th Street has been noted as one of the top winter duck sites. According to the DOP, the diverse species that winter there are rarely seen elsewhere in the city.

Other great spots for nature lovers are Alley Pond Park and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

And, of course, what winter season would be complete without ice skating? The City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City offers skating and lessons at its facility at 47-32 32nd Place. Also in Flushing Meadows, the World Ice Arena offers world class surroundings for the perfect ice skating outing for professionals and enthusiasts.

If you prefer to stay indoors, check out all our museums, historical societies and cultural institutions, Queens Library, colleges, movie houses, local theater, comedy clubs, restaurants, senior centers, Parks Department recreation centers, concert venues and auditoriums. Check our Community Calendar online for everything from gentle yoga, dance classes, independent films, lectures and exhibits, to arts and crafts – all for your enjoyment and to help you get through the winter.

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