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Best Field Trip

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?


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Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).