With the holiday season winding down, your family might find itself with some free time on its hands. And what better way to spend that time than by doing fun, family-friendly things that won’t cost you a thing.
To keep your kids and your wallet happy, we’ve come up with a list of 15 FREE things to do with kids this month, including train shows, mommy-and-me classes and storytimes, and even a summer camp open house.
For more things to do that won’t bust your budget, check out our roundup of free indoor play spaces on Long Island, our winter fun guide, and our list of free and inexpensive kids’ ski programs in the Northeast. And don’t forget our January GoList and our events calendar.
Take a stroll and marvel at the holiday lights along the boardwalk. Photo courtesy of Long Beach Boardwalk Lights
Long Beach Boardwalk Lights — Long Beach
Evenings through January 6
Celebrate the last few nights of the holiday season with a walk along Long Beach’s boardwalk, which is lit up for the holidays every evening from 5 to 9pm. A variety of special events are planned, including live musical performances.
Enjoy an extended free session at the Port Washington Skating Center on New Year's Day. Photo courtesy of the rink
Holiday skating session — Port Washington
Spend New Year’s Day twirling on the ice at Port Washington Skating Center. The session is from 1 to 5pm.
Weekly storytime at Pottery Barn Kids — Huntington
Join the gang at Pottery Barn Kids for story and craft time every Tuesday this month at 11am.
Weekly storytime and activity at Barnes & Noble — Islandwide
Another fun weekly storytime, where children listen to stories, create a fun craft, and participate in other activities. Check out these locations for more details: Carle Place, Manhasset, Massapequa Park in Nassau; and Bay Shore, East Northport, and Lake Grove in Suffolk.
RELATED: LI destinations for delicious hot chocolate
Heckscher Museum of Art's new exhibit will delight art-loving kids and adults alike. Photo courtesy of the museum
New Exhibit: From Frankenthaler to Warhol: Art of the '60s and '70s — Huntington
Wednesdays and Thursdays
Kids and adults will enjoy this vibrant exhibit at the Heckscher Museum of Art, featuring art from the '60s and ‘70s, Lite Brite stations, and other fun, hands-on activities.
Caboosy Babies — Bethpage
In this fun mommy-and-me class, babies and their caregivers enjoy circle time and gym activities. It's a great opportunity to meet other moms.
Toddler Time at Book Revue — Huntington
Take your child to everyone’s favorite independent bookstore in Huntington for a weekly, hourlong story and craft session. Once a month, musician/guitarist Jeff Sorg leads the kids in song and dance.
Holiday Model Train Exhibit at Babylon Town Hall — Babylon
Friday, January 5-Sunday, January 7
This 240-square-foot train exhibit tells the story of the Town of Babylon’s rich rail history, complete with community landmarks.
TMB Model Train Show — Farmingdale
January 6-7; January 20-21
Ten trains run on 19 miles of track in this large-scale train exhibit. Kids will delight in the Thomas the Tank Engine and the Polar Express while adults will enjoy a model train layout that was featured in an episode of The Sopranos. An open house is scheduled for Super Bowl weekend, February 3-4.
Free craft for kids at Lakeshore Learning Store — New Hyde Park
Bring your kids by this store on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm, where they will have the opportunity to create a different craft each session.
Janice Buckner Songs and Puppetry Concert — Commack
Children’s performer Janice Buckner brings along her songs and puppets for a free concert during the Suffolk Y JCC’s open house.
Volunteer Opportunity — Merrick
This is a wonderful opportunity for kids 5 and older (with an adult) to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed those who are less fortunate.
RELATED: Winter day trips for LI families
Enjoy a creative storytime at Smithtown Historical Society. Photo courtesy of the historical society
Tales for Tots — Smithtown
Friday, January 12
Smithtown Historical Society hosts this storytime for ages 3-5 and their caregivers on the second Friday of the month. This event is in partnership with the Smithtown Library.
Rolling River Prospective Family Day — East Rockaway
Believe it or not, soon it will be time to sign up your kids for summer camp. Why not get a jump on things by checking out Rolling River Camp's Prospective Family Day? Children ages 2-9 have the chance to try out camp activities while parents learn more about what the camp offers.
Word Up! A Middle School School Celebration of Poetry — East Hampton
Bring your kids to this unique event that celebrates students and their poetry.