Tag Archives: Socrates Sculpture Park

Free weekend art bus comes to LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Socrates Sculpture Park

The wheels on a brand-new free shuttle bus service are taking visitors ‘round and ‘round Long Island City’s art scene on the weekends.

Socrates Sculpture Park, The Noguchi Museum, SculptureCenter and MoMA PS1 have partnered up to bring local residents and tourists the LIC Art Bus, which will debut on Saturday. This free weekend bus service will be dedicated to promoting the neighborhood’s arts and culture scene taking visitors between the four institutions.

“Long Island City is already home to a rich cultural corridor, and the LIC Art Bus – free to all – will make it easier for visitors to experience the art offerings the neighborhood is known for,” said John Hatfield, executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park.

The bus will run on Saturday and Sunday, on a first-come, first-served basis, for 19 consecutive weekends until Sept. 14. The first shuttle departs from Socrates Sculpture Park at noon and takes riders door-to-door to The Noguchi Museum, SculptureCenter and MoMA PS1, and then makes its return to Socrates.

Departure times are scheduled for noon, 12:45, 1:30, 2:30, 3:15, 4 and 5 p.m.

“The arts are booming here in western Queens,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “With the addition of the LIC Art Bus, countless New Yorkers will have an easier time getting to some of our borough’s premiere cultural organizations and institutions – all for free.”

The LIC Art Bus’s full schedule will be available at each stop and updated at socratessculpturepark.org/bus.

 

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Woman to give free manicures at Socrates Sculpture Park


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Mikel Durlam

Breanne Trammell is taking her revamped 1968 compact trailer back out on the road to help polish the lives of local western Queens moms in need of a well-deserved pampering.

Last year, Trammell, a Wassaic, N.Y. resident, professional manicurist and core member of the nonprofit The Wassaic Project, embarked on a cross-country road trip she called Nails Across America.

During the trip she visited 20 different states as part of her experimental art project known as “Nails in the Key of Life,” where she uses manicures as the way to exchange ideas, start conversations and collect people’s stories. During her road trip, she would give women, men and children free manicures inside a 1968 Shasta compact trailer she transformed into a mobile nail salon.


                                   Photo by Mikel Durlam

Each person who sported one of Trammell’s manicures would receive a signed and numbered letter-pressed certificate to celebrate his or her involvement in the project.

“The idea is to reach out to as many kinds of people, from all walks of life, and use it as a way to honor them and their experiences, and share their experiences and stories,” Trammell said. “Manicures are usually expensive. It’s been my intention from the very beginning, this is totally accessible for anyone.”

Now, months after returning from her trip, Trammell will take the trailer back out and make a trip to Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park for its spring/summer season opening on Mother’s Day on May 11.

During the event, which will feature the opening of three brand new exhibitions, Trammell will be giving free manicures by the park’s new 50-foot-long, 18-foot-high “Queen Mother of Reality” sculpture by Polish artist Pawel Althamer.

Although the manicures will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, most of the appointments will be filled by mothers from the nearby NYCHA housing development Astoria Houses.


                        Photo by Chuka Chukuma

“We are making sure the people that deserve it are getting it,” said Elissa Goldstone, exhibition program manager at Socrates Sculpture Park. “We are giving women a moment to be praised and to be focused on.”

While the mothers get pampered by Trammell, their children will also be able to take part in workshops conducted by the grass-roots nonprofit Minor Miracles Foundation.

Goldstone said Trammell’s trailer and free manicures pair nicely with the sculpture that was dedicated to Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, who has served as Community Mayor of Harlem since being sworn in by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1995.

Visitors will be allowed to enter the sculpture and get a view of the Manhattan skyline, and, later, get a tour of Trammell’s trailer.

“Breanne’s trailer has similar reclaimed, handmade, but also sacred and secured interior in this larger setting,” Goldstone said. “It’s that privateness that brings out these intimate moments.”

During that weekend, Socrates Sculpture Park will also debut the LIC Art Bus which will offer free weekend door-to-door service from noon to 6 p.m. between Socrates, SculptureCenter, The Noguchi Museum and MoMA PS1.

 

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Weekend bus trial to expand service along Vernon Boulevard


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The western Queens waterfront will soon get a taste of extended bus service.

The Q103 bus line, which connects Astoria and Long Island City via Vernon Boulevard, will begin offering service to riders on weekends starting in June, according to the MTA.

The weekend schedule will serve as a trial program for the transit agency to receive comments from the community at an MTA public hearing to be scheduled at a later date. After the public hearing, a decision will be made to keep the service or not, the MTA said. It was not determined how long the trial program would run.

“At long last, weekend service on the Q103 bus line is in sight,” said State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who has been calling for the extra service on the bus line since 2011. “The need for more public transportation in our area will only continue to grow, especially on weekends, as more people flock to our waterfront to visit our restaurants, parks and cultural institutions.”

The weekend service will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, in addition, the Q103 will also extend its weekday service hours until 9 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m. The travel path and bus stops will not be affected, according to the MTA.

“The expansion of service will not only benefit the increasing amount of riders but it will also give our growing cultural institutions that ability to generate more traffic to their venues,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Local leaders and business owners see the need to expand the Q103’s service as crucial to the growing neighborhoods, with the increase of new residential towers coming into the areas bringing more people.

According to officials, the Q103 ridership has been increasing in the past years, rising from 558 riders per day in 2011 to about 790 in 2014.

“The Q103 service is a vital link for the cultural organizations of western Queens,” said Jenny Dixon, director of The Noguchi Museum. “It enables visitors to go from The Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park in the north to SculptureCenter, MoMA PS1, Dorsky Gallery and the Chocolate Factory to the south.”

 

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American Folk Art Museum opening LIC annex


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

photo-1-1

The Long Island City art scene will soon welcome a new neighbor, according to published reports.

The American Folk Art Museum, located at 2 Lincoln Square in Manhattan, is looking to open a 17,000-square-foot annex in the western Queens neighborhood near the LaGuardia Performing Arts CenterThe New York Times reported.

It will contain the museum’s collection, library and provide additional room for exhibitions, with a 2,000 square-foot exhibit hall, the publication said.

“We think it’s a real opportunity to share pieces for which we often get inquiries,” Anne-Imelda Radice, American Folk Art Museum’s director, told The Times. “And Queens is a great location for us.”

The museum’s annex, expected to open in early 2015, will share the neighborhood with many local art institutions including Socrates Sculpture Park and MoMA PS 1.

This is not the first time the American Folk Art Museum and the Museum of Modern Art have shared the same area. The museum was formerly located next door to MoMA in Manhattan, until it had to reportedly move due to financial issues, and MoMA purchased the building in 2011 to create a 100,500-square-foot expansion to its complex.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Considerable cloudiness. High 58. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Cloudy. Low 41. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

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Giant sculpture coming to LIC’s Socrates Sculpture Park


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photograph © Paula Court

Long Island City will become the new home of a 50-foot-long, 18-foot high sculpture this spring.

Socrates Sculpture Park and multidisciplinary non-profit arts organization Performa have announced that Polish artist Pawel Althamer’s sculpture of a reclining woman named “Queen Mother of Reality” will be installed at the 32-01 Vernon Blvd. outdoor museum.

“Pawel Althamer’s collaborative approach to art, exemplified by ‘Queen Mother of Reality,’ embodies the spirit of Socrates Sculpture Park by engaging the community at every stage – from the creation of his sculptures to their activation,” said John Hatfield, executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park.

The sculpture, which will be unveiled at Socrates on May 11, will remain on view through August 3. The piece is dedicated to Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, who has served as Community Mayor of Harlem since being sworn in by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1995.

“Queen Mother of Reality” highlights the numerous individuals displaced and homeless in New York City. It will also be the focus of a series of workshops and programs organized by Socrates Sculpture Park, including a Mother’s Day celebration. A calendar of the events will be available here in the spring.

The artwork was created for the Performa 13 biennial and originally part of Althamer’s Performa Commission in 2013.

 

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Taking risks at Socrates Sculpture Park


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Troy Benson

ALAN CAPPER

“We believe in taking risks with what we show. We also have to counter the negative feelings about art today by providing openness and access to stimulating work,” says John Hatfield, executive director of Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park.

He was standing in the center of the park two days before the opening of the new show, EAF13, emerging artists and fellows, with 15 new pieces being shown.

The park is looking very attractive, even with artists and workers putting the final touches on their work. This once barren piece of landscape has become a real mixed art center under Hatfield’s leadership. During this time the park has staged yoga and Tai Chi, a series of foreign films in conjunction with Manhattan’s Film Forum, Little Bastille Day and Opera and Shakespeare on the Waterfront, all of which have boosted the garden’s attendance and enhanced its reputation.

“It certainly was a barren place,” says Hatfield.  ”Although it is in a spectacular position at the confluence of the Harlem and East Rivers, this four-and-a-half acre site was used as a landfill and illegal dumping site, with no trees at all.”

Interestingly, the area had one asset that linked it to sculpture and that was good quality of stone. That was one of the things that persuaded Noguchi to set up his studio there.

Hatfield is justifiably proud of the remarkable coalition of the artists and community leaders  under the leadership of sculptor Mark Di Suvero, who had the vision and tenacity to persuade the city to allow it to be turned into a sculpture park. He believes that alongside the Noguchi Museum and the Sculpture Center, Long Island City has become the sculpture center of the city.

He is himself a sculptor, although these days it is for private pleasure only.

“I no longer have the pressure of having to sell my work,” he says. “I am a facilitator and I have two curators who initially select the work, and I do not always like what has been chosen. I have a simple method of evaluating an artist’s work — should this be seen, and what does it communicate?”

He believes that his background more than prepared him to face the challenges and opportunities he must now deal with. He describes himself as an “army brat,” having seen a great deal of the country through his father’s travels and postings.

He was always attracted to sculpture, and eventually spent 17 years at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, eventually becoming its deputy director.

With his sensitivity to the anxieties and needs of the artists and the skills he has acquired in strategic planning and management, he has an excellent combination of abilities to manage the park, which does not charge admission fees, is open 365 days a year and is in constant need of donations for its survival and future growth.

“What I love about this park is its space, its openness, and particular moments of rare beauty, for example when the light changes, or it begins to rain. It is a perfect place to show sculpture and to encourage connection with art in its broadest sense and in the specific. One of the things I am most proud of is the free education we provide for 8,000 children, and grown ups too. I say ‘come here, see enjoy, admire, dislike’ make art part of the fabric of your life.”

Hatfield is a man who considers art at two levels, the first the management and success of the Socrates Sculpture Park.

“We take risks, but the greater risks are taken by the artists themselves when they finally expose their work to the public.”

The second is another passion.

“We have to break the cycle of how art is being displaced in our lives,” he says.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 84. Winds from the NW at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the SSW in the afternoon. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Fog overnight. Low of 72. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Edge of Heaven

Socrates Sculpture Park and AT&T host an eight-week outdoor film festival that includes dance, food, musical performance and film. Food offerings include regional cuisine and films in their original language with English subtitles. The festival concludes this Wednesday with the film The Edge of Heaven, which explores the lives of six characters, including a female Kurdish political activist wanted by the authorities and Lotte, a naïve student who becomes sexually entangled with her. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers. High of 81. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Thursday night: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers in the evening, then partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 68. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the West after midnight. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.5 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: The Metropolitan Opera at Socrates Sculpture Park 

Come to Socrates Sculpture Park for an evening of arias and duets by Metropolitan Opera artists Ying Fang (soprano), Mario Chang (tenor) and Brandon Cedel (bass-baritone), accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore. Free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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MoMA PS1 may expand with $3M in city funding


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

MoMA /Photo: Elk Studios, 2012

MoMA PS1 might soon be able to expand into a property right next door after receiving $3 million in city budget funds.

As part of the city’s 2014 budget, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, chair of the Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, helped allocate the capital funds allowing the museum at 22-25 Jackson Avenue to purchase the neighboring building in the future.

“MoMA PS1 is a real anchor in Long Island City,” said Van Bramer. “It draws hundreds of thousands of people every year to the neighborhood. Anytime a cultural organization sees an opportunity to expand, I think they should grab it and we want to be helpful in the process.”

According to Van Bramer, the expansion will give the museum more flexibility and allow resources and offices to shift to the new building. Acquiring the building would allow PS1 to expand its programming and gallery space.

However, according to MoMA PS 1, there is still no information on whether, when and where the expansion will occur.

“MoMA PS1 hasn’t announced anything at this point, as the City Council has just allocated funding and we are still exploring the possibility of acquiring the property,” said a MoMA PS1 spokesperson.

Along with PS1, Van Bramer has also increased funding for art and cultural organizations in the city including some right in his backyard.

The Chocolate Factory Theater, located at 5-49 49th Ave in Long Island City, will receive $1.7 million to purchase and expand its property. The Noguchi Museum will get $600,000 to protect its sculpture collections from future flood damage. The SculptureCenter will receive an additional $300,000 for its expansion. Funding has also been provided for groups such as Flux Factory and Socrates Sculpture Park.

“They’re economic engines because when people come to see those exhibits, many of them spend money in the neighborhood,” said Van Bramer. “By keeping those organizations strong and well-funded, we are improving the economy of our local neighborhoods.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Wednesday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 84. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm and a chance of rain. Low of 73. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Outdoor Cinema Presents Our Nixon

Outdoor Cinema is an annual international film festival now in its 15th year. Outdoor Cinema 2013 will show eight films from around the world, all in their original language with English subtitles. Prior to the film there will be music, dance and food to enjoy. Our Nixon (U.S.A.): A documentary about Nixon’s presidency using never-before-seen footage shot by three of Nixon’s top aides with their home video cameras will be shown at Socrates Sculpture Park on Wednesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Clear. High of 79. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Clear. Low of 63. Winds from the SSW at 5 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: 2013 Summer Solstice Celebration

Bring the family and friends to join fellow New Yorkers in celebrating the longest day of the year. From 5 p.m. to dusk, Socrates Sculpture Park will be hosting the 2013 Summer Solstice Celebration. Get creative with solstice-themed art-making workshops presented in part by the Noguchi Museum and the Queens Museum of Art. There will also be face-painting, provided by Agostino Arts, as well as a special solstice ritual performed by Urban Shaman Mama Donna. Also featured will be a “silent disco” presented by Silent Storm Sounds Systems, a unique experience in which guests wear wireless headphones, entering  into a dance party like no other while the surrounding atmosphere remains completely quiet.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Free solar phone charging stations coming to Queens


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of AT&T

BY ROSA KIM 

The dreaded low-battery warning—we’ve all seen it. Thanks to AT&T, Queens residents will be able to re-charge their phones, tablets and other mobile devices at solar mobile charging stations, free of charge.

Located at Rockaway Beach, Clearview Golf Course and Socrates Sculpture Park, the charging units work day and night, even when the sun isn’t out. Three monocrystaline solar panels store the sun’s energy to charge up powerful internal batteries to keep the stations working in the shade.

In light of the power outages after  Sandy that left New Yorkers disconnected, AT&T teamed up with solar technology company Goal Zero and Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa to create a more reliable power source.

“We created Street Charge with community and public spaces in mind,” said Mark Prommel, Creative Director of Pensa. “It provides an elegant, durable and powerful off the grid charging solution. Our design pays homage to the beauty of clean, renewable solar power with its solar petals extended towards the sun.”

Between now and the end of summer, a total of 25 mobile charging stations will go live in all five of the city’s boroughs.

For a full list of dates and locations of each AT&T Street Charge station, visit www.att.com/attstreetcharge.

 

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Halloween events in Queens


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Here’s your guide to all the Halloween happenings in Queens this October.

Pumpkin Patch
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Thru October 28
Saturdays & Sundays
11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Haunted House at the Poppenhusen

The Poppenhusen Institute
114-04 14th Road College Point
Friday, October 26-Saturday, October 27
Wednesday, October 31
5:00-6:00 p.m. (ages 6-8), 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (ages 8 and up)

Halloween Haunted House

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28
4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Children’s Fall Festival
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks
Sunday, October 28
11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Dead or Alive
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111 Street, Corona
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, October 28

Thriller at the Battery
Fort Totten Park
Cross Island Parkway between Totten Avenue and 15 Road
Friday, October 26
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Boo at the Zoo
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Saturday, October 27-Sunday, October 28
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Halloween Walking Tour
Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria Park (on Shore Boulevard)
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.

Rockaway Canine Festival
Rockaway Freeway Dog Park
Beach Channel Drive at Beach 84 Street, Rockaway Beach
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Family Halloweenfest
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
161-04 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica
Saturday, October 27
11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Trick or Treat!
Louis Armstrong House Museum
34-56 107 Street, Corona
Saturday, October 27
1 p.m.-4 p.m.

3rd Annual Halloween Costume Party
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Saturday, October 27
8 p.m.

Bayside Village Halloween Family Festival

Bell Boulevard

between Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue

Saturday, October 27

Noon-5 p.m.

Halloween-Remixed

Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
12:00 p.m.

Halloween on Ice
City Ice Pavilion
47-32 32 Place, Long Island City
Sunday, October 28
12:00 pm.-3:50 p.m.

CenterStage Halloween Concert
Sky View Center
40-24 College Point Boulevard, Flushing
Sunday, October 28
3:30 p.m.

Haunted Halloween Hike
Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston
Monday, October 29
4:30 p.m. (ages 5-7), 6:30 p.m. (ages 8-12)

Shocktoberfest
Playground For All Children
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Tuesday, October 30
4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Queens Zoo Trick & Treating and Halloween Festivities
Queens Zoo
53-51 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Wednesday, October 31
3:00–5:00 p.m.

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
Line up near P.S. 222  (87th Street and 37th Avenue)
Wednesday, October 31
5 p.m.

Halloween Party! Devil Science Theater 3K
Laughing Devil Comedy Club
47-38 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City
Wednesday, October 31
8 p.m.

 

 

What to do with the kids this weekend


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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QUEENS

Saturday, October 20

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., At It’s My Park Day, New Yorkers volunteer and celebrate their neighborhood parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs by taking part in local volunteer projects and free family-friendly, cultural, fitness and arts events. Just find a local park that is hosting an It’s My Park Day activity and stop by. Times vary depending on location.

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Come to the Queens Childcare Network’s Fall Family Festival in Forest Hills for entertainment, games, face painting and to learn more about family daycare programs in Queens.

11 a.m. – 3 p.m., At the free Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park, you can make costumes, enjoy live music, enter your dog in an annual canine costume contest, try harvest foods from local restaurants and more.

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Learn about the harvest, pick some fall vegetables and make a special autumn craft at the Kings Manor’s Hands-on History: Harvest Time.

2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Seamonsters, zombie surfers, mummy mermaids, a shipwreck treasure hunt, phosphorescent photo booth, seaweed serenade and more underwater fun at the Queens Museum’s Boo! An Underwater Halloween Spooktacular.

Sunday, October 21

1 p.m., 3 p.m., Bubble artist Casey Carle will perform a presentation of fog-filled bubble sculptures, blobs of helium-filled foam, bubble ping-pong, trapping audience members inside gigantic soap bubbles and filling the stage with thousands of bubbles at the Queens Theatre.

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., At the 5th annual Rockaway Fall Festival there will be a pumpkin patch, pony, hayrides and more entertainment.

 

AROUND QUEENS

Friday October 19 – Saturday, October 20

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., There will be a Halloween themed family sleepover this weekend at the Long Island Aquarium. At the Creatures of the Night Spooktacular, kids will get a rare glimpse into the nighttime habits of three new animals in the Creatures of the Night exhibit. You can also dress up in Halloween customers, and enjoy craft time and a screening of “Monster House.”

Sunday, October 21

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Come to the 2nd Annual Harry Potter Halloween Workshop with LilChefs.com, where children ages 5 to 14 and adults can visit with some of the animals featured in the Harry Potter series at the Center for Science Teaching & Learning in Rockville Centre. Afterwards, kids can make Halloween themed treats, such as crunchy cockroaches, wizard wands, chocolate covered frogs, acid pops and cauldron cupcakes. There will also be a sorting hat ceremony, costume contests, musical performances and more.

10 a.m. – 4p.m., At the third annual Havemeyer Sugar Sweets Festival, there will be sweets made by local bakeries and home bakers, a baking contest and live music. Every treat sold supports the Brooklyn not-for-profit community museum and civic organization The City Reliquary.