Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Blvd., at Broadway, Long Island City; 718-956-1819
No one’s disputing the timeless appeal of the Temple of Dendur or the New York Aquarium. But walking into the Socrates Sculpture Park is like entering a fantasyland designed by Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton, where trees sprout from the earth wrapped in hundreds of rainbow ribbons and pirate ships are marooned in a sea of grass. To a kid, this is the world as it should be. And the best part? Many of Socrates’ rotating sculptures are scalable, jumpable, and swingable. Some pieces, like Vandana Jain’s Deere Crossing, two 17.5-foot-long-by-12-foot-high deers (on view through the end of March), read like pure playground fun; others are more perplexing. Should your kids find themselves wondering why, why, why there’s an alien rock formation in the middle of a park in Queens, be prepared with a simple response: Why not?