The ability to spend a few hours exploring culture from some of the country’s earliest history to some of its newest art is available to Queens residents without even crossing a river.
And with school starting, many of those listed here — which are not quite all Queens has to offer — have educational programs for those of all ages, and some discounted admission for students and school groups.
With people coming from all over the world to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for two weeks to attend the US Open, many perhaps could take a stroll over to the Queens Museum of Art, located across from the Unisphere at a 90-degree angle to the entrance of the National Tennis Center.
In its mission statement, the museum seeks to bring modern art and educational experiences “to local residents, international tourists, school children, artists, people with special needs, families, immigrants and long-time New Yorkers.”
The museum reopened last fall following a multimillion-dollar expansion and renovation. Its hours are noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Admission is $8 for those 12 and older, and $4 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are free.
Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd., hosts exhibits, lectures, educational programs and cultural performances sponsored by the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts.
The backdrop is a landmark 1862 structure. Directions and information on admission, tickets for presentations and accommodating school groups is available on line at flushingtownhall.org.
A current school and a former one — Queensborough Community College in Bayside and MoMA PS 1 in Long Island City — also have made it their mission to bring people and art together.
The QCC Art Gallery, at 222-05 56 Ave. in Bayside, houses collections of African and pre-Columbian art, post-modern works from the 1950s and photography.
Its hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Travel directions and other information are available online at qccartgallery@.cuny.edu.
On its website, MoMA PS 1 bills itself as “a true artistic laboratory,” geared toward contemporary and experimental art, music and musical performances.
Founded in 1971 as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources in Long Island City, it became a part of Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art in 2000. It is located at 22-25 Jackson Ave., and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday.
Directions and information on admission fees and tours by groups or schools is available online at momaps1.org.
The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City is dedicated to the works of Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), a Japanese-American sculptor.
Located at 9-01 33 Road, the building and gardens themselves are considered to be among his finest works, according to its website.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
General admission is $10 for those 12 and older. Senior citizens and students with valid IDs are admitted for $5. Children under 12 are free. Admission also is free on the first Friday of every month.
Directions and other information are available at noguchi.org.
Immediately north of the Noguchi is Socrates Sculpture Park.
Founded in 1986, the park was formed when a group of artists reclaimed an illegal dumping site along the East River at 32-01 Vernon Blvd. in LIC.
It now functions as a city park where artists can work on their own large-scale outdoor projects. The park’s website, socratessculpturepark.org, states that the public has access not only to works of art and those in progress, but also free lessons and art workshops for children, teenagers and adults.
The park is open year round between 10 a.m. and dusk.
Long Island City also hosts the SculptureCenter, located at 44-19 Purves St.
Founded in 1928 according to sculpture-center.org, the group does not have a permanent collection.
“Our efforts are focused on commissioning and producing contemporary art,” according to its website.
The group no longer offers classes, but does accept submissions from artists during its annual In Practice Open Call.
Artists wishing to be notified of coming open-call periods are invited to sign up for the group’s email list on its website.
The center is open between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Thursday through Monday.
The suggested donation is $5 general admission and $3 for students.
A gallery that offers food for the body as well as food for thought and reflection is the Crescent Grill at 38-40 Crescent St. in LIC.
Aside from serving a menu with food produced close to home, the restaurant also features the works of local “Local and renowned artists.”
Two more conventional stops are the Dorsky and Jeffrey Leder galleries, also in LIC.
Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, at 11-03 45 Ave., promotes visual arts through independently curated exhibits, publications and symposiums, all geared toward promoting and fostering understanding of contemporary art.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Thursday through Monday, and admission is free. Further information is available at dorsky.org.
The Jeffrey Leder Gallery, at 21-37 45 Road, features painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. It was started in part, according to its website, to create space for talented emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. It sponsors juried shows aside from its regular exhibits. It is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Its website is jeffreyledergallery.com.
Moving from contemporary art to living history, the King Manor Museum in Jamaica offers exhibits, tours, events and other presentations in the family homestead of Rufus King, an architect of the U.S. Constitution and one of the first leaders in the newborn United States of America to call for the abolition of slavery.
The museum is located in Rufus King Park at 150-03 Jamaica Ave. between 150th and 153rd streets.
It is open from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The suggested donation is $5 for general admission and $3 for senior citizens and students. Children under 16 are admitted free. Directions and information are available at kingmanor.org.
And combining both past and present history with science, education and just plain fun is the Queens County Farm Museum on Little Neck Parkway in Floral Park.
The working farm offers tours, hay rides, up-close views of farm animals and a seasonal farmstand.
It also will host the annual Queens County Fair on Sept. 20 and 21.
Information on programs for student groups is available at (718) 347-3276, ext. 302, or by sending an email to email@example.com. General admission is free.
For those wishing to venture just a little bit out of Queens, the New York Transit Museum, at the intersection of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn, offers exhibitions, tours and educational workshops detailing how the history and culture of the city and its transit system are intertwined. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults. Seniors 62 and older are $5, and are admitted free on Wednesdays, with the exception of groups. Children 2 to 17 are $5. Further information is available at web.mta.info/mta/museum.
The American Museum of Natural History, at 79th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan, offers exhibits for those interested in mummies, dinosaurs, Hayden Planetarium, the famous blue whale and many things connected with the Ben Stiller-Robin Williams movie “Night at the Museum.”
General admission ranges from $22 (children 2 to 12 are $12.50) to $35 per person, depending on the exhibits one intends to see. Some tours have special or additional fees. Directions and information are available at amnh.org.
For art by some of the great masters in a small, intimate setting, there is the Frick Collection at 1 E. 70th St. in Manhattan. The collection features works by Rembrandt, El Greco, Gainsborough and others. Hours are Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $20, $15 for seniors 65 and over and $10 for students with valid ID. Children under 10 are not admitted to the gallery.