Free Events in NYC Parks For Spring: What’s Happening in May 2023

By Alicia Venter

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As the days get longer and the weather begins to stay balmy and pleasant, Queens residents will look to the outdoors in order to enjoy the spring weather.

They need not look far — community organizations and the NYC Parks Department are bringing free events to parks across the borough.

From movie nights to musical performances, read on to find out about events set to be held in Queens through the weekend and the rest of May.

Free Movies in District 26

Starting this weekend, free kid-friendly movies will b

Ravenswood Park after its renovations at the end of 2022. Photo: NYC Parks/David Avila

e available at parks across District 26 through July.

Sponsored by Councilwoman Julie Won and in partnership with the Parks Department, the first movie will be on Friday and will be a screening of Turning Red, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Thomas P. Noonan Park in Woodside. All movies in this series start at dusk, or 7:30 p.m.

The following dates and films are:

  • June 3 at Windmuller Park, Woodside  — Encanto
  • June 9 at Murray Playground, Long Island City — Soul
  • June 23 at Torsney/Lou Lodati Playground, Long Island City — Finding Nemo
  • June 30 at Ravenswood Park, Astoria — Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • July 9 at Windmuller Park — Minions: The Rise of Gru
  • July 21 at Queensbridge Park, Long Island City — Turning Red

The council woman’s office will offer free popcorn, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.

Pedal Forward at Roy Wilkins Park

Roy Wilkins Park. Photo: Google Maps

Pedal Forward, a free community day event, is set for this Saturday at Roy Wilkins Baseball Field in St. Albans. Starting at noon, the event will include a bike clinic, carnival games, Mother’s Day events, free giveaways and local food events.

Hosted by the Nigel Sylvester Foundation — a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of underserved youth — in partnership with the Southern Queens Park Association, the event will also have a Nigel & Friends kickball game.

Register for the event at www.nigelsylvesterfoundation.org. Enter the park at 116th Ave. and 175th St.

Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival

Photo: JCAL

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) is hosting their annual Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival next weekend, starting May 19 with an opening reception at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center. The following day will be held at Rufus King Park, and will feature a number of artists celebrating jazz culture.

Free for all, the festival will free Grammy-award winning and nominated performers, and Saturday’s jam-packed eight-hour showing will feature six artists.

Starting at 12 p.m., all can come to see performers such as Drummer, Latin Grammy Award winner and Southeast Queens local Marcus Gilmore.

RSVP’s are encouraged.

Movies Under the Stars

Travers Park. Photo: Google Maps

This weekend marks the return of Movies Under the Stars, which brings more than 150 film screenings to parks across the city. Through the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the first event held in Queens this year will be at Rory Staunton Field at Travers Park in Jackson Heights — the 5th Annual Public School Film Festival.

The festival will screen films created by students’ across the city, and start at dusk.

The event is free and open to the public. Bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the talent of the city’s aspiring youth.

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