Queens. This bustling, vibrant borough of New York is as diverse in the activities and events that go on here as it is in the people who make it Queens. Thankfully, the same is true for the water-loving inhabitants of Queens. Whether you are a tourist, a returnee visiting family and friends, or a local looking for something to do, you’ll be delighted to find the wealth of aquatic life in the area. Read on for some of our favorite aquarium experiences around Queens.
The Queens Zoo is home to a number of iconic species from land and sea, including the American alligator and California sea lion, among other residents such as the Andean bear, American bison, bald eagle, Canadian lynx, flemish giant rabbit, puma, Roosevelt elk, and the Texas longhorn. This centrally located park is a great way to see some of the nation’s symbols, as well as learn about the diverse ecosystems of North America. In addition, there are also interactive opportunities for visitors who want a more hands-on experience, including feeding the extroverted California sea lions and touring the immersive 1964 World’s Fair geodesic dome aviary. In the near vicinity is the Flushing River, a notable gathering point for birds, waterfowl, and egrets.
Forest Park is one of Queens’ largest parks, a retreat for wildlife enthusiasts, the outdoorsy, birdwatchers, and anyone who just wants to spend a moment among the trees. A diversity of turtle species frequent this park, a great chance for visitors to see species like the eastern box turtle, diamondback terrapin, painted turtle, red-eared sliders (and on rare occasions, the intimidating snapping turtle!). Birdwatchers will also delight, with this urban stop popular with over 100 species of migratory birds, including red-tailed hawks, woodpeckers, great blue herons, mallards, northern orioles, ring-necked pheasants, wood thrushes, and red-winged blackbirds. Besides the wildlife, the number of sport and outdoors options to play bocce, go hiking, or enjoy a barbecue makes this a location with so many different options.
Alley Pond Park
The Alley Pond Park is another major enclave of nature here in Queens, the second-largest park in the borough to be exact, at more than 650 acres. Here, the variety in wildlife is matched by a variety in things to do, and there is plenty! A diverse array of animals of all types make this their neighborhood of Queens, such as snapping turtles, spotted salamanders, bullfrogs, spring peepers, bass, carp, perch, cardinals, wood ducks, great horned owls, and an even larger number of seasonal species. One of the oldest New Yorkers (350 years and still going!) also lives here, a 40-meter tall tulip poplar called ‘The Queens Giant’. Aside from these, the Environmental centers, hiking trails, and spaces to canoe, bike, and fish really fill the park with options. For those who are avid fans of nature or want to try a variety of activities, come to Queen’s Alley Pond Park.
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