Queens Outdoor Activities: Gateway Visitor Programs and Events

A large part of the draw of seaside life at Arverne By The Sea is the opportunity to enjoy the best of two worlds right in your backyard: the natural environment and the city. With Manhattan just a short drive away, and a number of NYC Parks, National Parks, and protected areas just a stone’s throw from home, it’s really the ideal blend. There are so many great activities for outdoorsy types of every age! Many people enjoy popular Rockaways outdoor activities like surfing at Rockaway Beach or biking around Jacob Riis Park, but there really are infinite ways to enjoy the local area.

Where to Start?

Many people who move to Arverne By The Sea, or even just visit the area, know the area is a natural playground. They want to tap into local resources to find enjoyment, recreation, and family fun, but aren’t quite sure where to start. Luckily, the National Park Service knows that people need a little help to enjoy the complex natural landscape to its fullest, and organize seasonal series of events known as the Gateway Visitor Programs and Events series.

What Kinds of Programs and Events Will I Find?

Each season, a new publication comes out with a complete listing of all upcoming Gateway programs and events. You can find the list on the Gateway National Recreation Area website. All programs are designed to help visitors relate to the history of the park through interpretive themes like:

  • The Natural Wonders, Dynamics, and Challenges of an Urban Estuary
  • Two Centuries of National Defense
  • Maritime Heritage
  • Recreation and Education: Quality of Life for All Visitors

Other topics take in-depth looks at the flora and fauna of the local area, or take participants deeper into topics like meteorology, cartography, geography, and photography, just to name a few.

Sample Programs

Here are just a few examples of programs offered by Gateway, to give an idea of what you might find on this season.

  • Star Gazing – Led by the Amateur Astronomers Association, with telescopes provided.
  • Spring Tide at Jacob Riis Park – Walk the beach with an American Littoral Society Naturalist and learn the dynamics of this ecosystem.
  • Yoga in the Park – Held at various locations, such as the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
  • Junior Ranger Day: Nature Hike – Young explorers are led through wildlife areas like the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, and earn a Junior Ranger badge. Junior Ranger Days are held throughout the Gateway parks system.
  • Walk-up and Paddle – Try out kayaking! No booking is required, and equipment is provided.
  • Sizzling Summer Crops – Learn about what kinds of crops to grow right at home in Arverne By The Sea from Gateway’s expert gardeners.
  • World War II Harbor Defense Lantern Tour and Battery Gunnison/New Peck – This example of a historic Ranger and Army Ground Forces Association-led tour through Fort Hancock takes participants back in time on a walk through history.

These and more are great examples of events and programs run by the Gateway National Recreation Area organization. To learn more, check out the website, or simply visit one of your local National Recreation Areas, just a short drive from Arverne By The Sea, like Jacob Riis Park, or the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.