If you’re looking for a free, outdoor attraction in Queens geared toward the whole family, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is the answer. The previous entry listed some fun activities the area is renowned for such as birding and biking. This entry explores a less known but equally incredible passion of the bay — aviation.

Learn about Flying

Flight captivates even the youngest of children. If you have children who are aspiring pilots, load them in your van rental and head over to the Floyd Bennett Field in Jamaica Bay.

Floyd Bennett Field opened as New York’s first municipal airport in the early ’30s. Aviation heroes such as Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes frequented the airport, and it was celebrated for launching several record-breaking flights. Its glory didn’t stop there, however. In 1941, the United States Navy bought the airport.

In an article titled, “Floyd Bennett Field,” the National Park Service explains this Naval Station’s important role in history: “During World War II, Floyd Bennett Field was the busiest naval air station in the United States. The field was used for training and antisubmarine patrol flights. It was also the home of the Naval Air Ferry Command which was responsible for the acceptance, commissioning, and ferrying of naval aircraft from the factories to the fleet.”

You and your family can tour Hangar B and see a wide variety of old plane replicas. The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Watch a Show

Top off your day by watching radio-controlled airplanes swoop around the nearby field. The planes belong to a model airplane club, and the aviation enthusiasts often get together to fly on the weekends. These aren’t your typical model airplanes; some of these aircrafts are worth $75,000.

Getting to Jamaica Bay

One of the easiest ways to sightsee in New York is to rent a car. In business since 1970, Empire Rent a Car makes renting fast, convenient, and affordable. Many of our car rentals and SUV rentals even include unlimited local miles. We have several locations in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and the other boroughs.

Make an online reservation or call us at 800-750-8782. We look forward to serving you.