Playing in Flushing Queens: Top Playgrounds, Ice Arena, Bowling Alleys, Parks

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Kissena Park, Bowne Park, Queens Botanical Gardens, Queens Archery, Jib Lanes, World Ice Arena, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Library, Flushing YMCA

We finish up our series of posts about Flushing with a roundup of places to play in the neighborhood, both indoors and outside. The area is home to Queens' largest green space: the attraction-packed Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which we've written about in depth before. You'll also find the smaller Kissena and Bowne Parks featuring playgrounds and a rec center.

Too cold to run around outside? While there aren't any traditional indoor play spaces in Flushing (yet—it's only a matter of time), you will find an indoor ice-skating rink that's open year-round, two family-friendly bowling alleys and a library with regular programs for children. Here are the top 12 places for kids to play in Flushing, Queens.

Outdoor Play

Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Grand Central Parkway to the Whitestone Expressway between 111th Street and College Point Bouevard
This sprawling 897-acre green space actually spans two neighborhoods: Flushing and Corona. The Flushing side of the park is filled with outdoor and indoor attractions, notably the recently renovated Queens Museum, home to the famous Panorama of the City of New York; the Queens Theater, which hosts frequent family shows; the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center; a state-of-the-art rec center, and iconic remnants of two World's Fairs, including the Unisphere. There are also lots of open lawns for picnicking, a wide variety of ball courts and plenty of playgrounds, though many recreational facilities are located on the Corona side. Read our in-depth Flushing Meadows Corona Park post for further details.

Kissena Park
Fresh Meadows Lane to Kissena Boulevard between Oak to Booth Memorial Avenues
Connected to Flushing Meadows Corona Park through the Kissena Corridor Park, this 237-acre green space feels far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Unlike the larger green space, which is crisscrossed by three separate highways, Kissena Park seems positively serene with weeping willows providing plenty of shade, a historic tree grove, and a small lake where you'll spy turtles, ducks, herons and egrets, and can enjoy catch-and-release fishing. Explore the winding trails; play baseball, basketball, tennis or golf; or romp in one of the three playgrounds. It's also a great place to cycle.

Bowne Park
29th to 32nd Avenues between 155th and 159th Streets
Named in honor of a local family with roots dating back to the 17th century, this great neighborhood green space has a standard playground plus basketball and bocce courts, and the Bowne Park Field House rec center, which hosts regular activities for kids like storytime, arts and crafts, and group games.

Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street at Dahlia Avenue
Located on the eastern edge of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, this beautiful garden offers FREE admission November through March, and costs just a few dollars the rest of the year. In addition to strolling through the lovely landscaped grounds, including a Children's Garden that offers hands-on classes for kids, families can enjoy excellent programming like popular annual winter solstice, spring, Arbor Day and harvest celebrations.

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Flushing Meadows Corona Park Road
The largest public tennis facility in the entire world, this center is probably best known for hosting the U.S. Open, which always kicks off with the FREE Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the end of August. Lesser known are the center's occasional Play Days, when children get the chance to try out the game in a no-pressure environment.

Drop-in Indoor Play

Flushing is home to a pair of bowling alleys on opposite sides of the neighborhood:

Jib Lanes
67-19 Parsons Boulevard near Jewel Avenue
Located south of Kissena Park, this bowling alley has a pro shop, cafe and lessons for kids. It also offers great specials including packages for families that vary by time.

Whitestone Lanes
30-05 Whitestone Expressway between Farrington Street and Linden Place
Open 24 hours a day (!) seven days a week, this alley offers 48 lanes and all you can bowl weekend specials.

World Ice Arena
13135 Avery Avenue
Located on the northeastern edge of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, this indoor ice-skating rink offers a slew of public skating sessions year-round, as well as skating lessons, parties and hockey leagues, all at reasonable prices.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Pool
13135 Avery Avenue
In the same building as World Ice Arena you'll find one of NYC's best indoor swimming spots. This Olympic-size public pool has an adjustable floor and diving tank for public swim and competitive meets. While sadly you can't just drop in, annual memberships cost $150 for adults and are FREE for children under 18. If you live in the area and like to swim, it's a steal.

Flushing Library
41-17 Main Street at Kissena Boulevard
As always, the local public library is a wonderful place to duck in out of the cold/rain/heat. In addition to a nice children's section, families can also enjoy FREE programming like regular storytimes for various ages, crafts sessions, a chess club and even homework help.

Flushing YMCA
138-46 Northern Boulevard between Union and Bowne Streets
Although you need to be a member to enjoy most of the offerings, it's worth the commitment. The Y offers a wide array of sports and arts programs for all ages: from preschoolers to school-age kids to teens, and even family classes and nights.

Queens Archery
170-20 39th Avenue near 171st Street
Children can channel their inner Katnis at this indoor archery range and pro shop, which offers lessons for ages 9 and up. A FREE lesson is offered with your first equipment rental or bow purchase.

Read all of our posts about exploring Flushing, Queens with kids.

Area/Neighborhood: 
location: 
Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street
11355 Queens , NY
Phone: 718-886-3800
40° 45' 5.5368" N, 73° 49' 34.0212" W
New York
Queens Archery
170-20 39th Avenue
11358 Queens , NY
Phone: 718-461-1756
40° 45' 41.076" N, 73° 47' 44.0016" W
New York
Jib Lanes
67-19 Parsons Blvd.
11365 Queens , NY
Phone: 718-591-0600
40° 43' 58.6092" N, 73° 48' 36.3708" W
New York
Flushing Library
41-17 Main Street
11355 Queens , NY
Phone: 718-661-1200
40° 45' 28.8792" N, 73° 49' 45.7608" W
New York
Flushing YMCA
138-46 Northern Blvd.
11354 Queens , NY
Phone: 718-961-6880
40° 45' 50.8788" N, 73° 49' 36.1848" W
New York
Whitestone Lanes
30-05 Whitestone Expressway
11354 Queens , NY 40° 46' 12.9756" N, 73° 50' 0.7584" W
New York