Outdoors

9 Family-Friendly Hiking Trails on Long Island

In addition to its vast waterways, one of Long Island's other treasures is an abundance of hiking trails. A family could spend a whole summer exploring trails in Nassau and Suffolk counties and still not hike them all.

Hiking is not only a great way to spend quality time together, it is also great exercise. So pack up some snacks and drinks, strap on your hiking shoes, and bring the family along for one of these hiking adventures.

For more family-friendly activities this season, check our Spring and Summer Fun Guides.

Easy, Exciting Blue Hills' Hikes with Kids

We'd all like to be the sort of family that hikes together—what can be more healthy and wholesome than that? But with little kids, it can be a challenge to traverse a large parking lot, much less uneven or steep terrain. The nice thing is, one of the closest legit hiking spots to downtown Boston happens to also be among the most kid-friendly: Blue Hills. Stretching across 7,000 acres and four towns—Quincy, Dedham, Milton, and Randolph—Blue Hills' only problem may be its vastness: It can be hard to figure out the best spots for a short-but-sweet journey. Today, we're zeroing in on our three favorite Blue Hills' family hiking trails that can be done in a single morning or afternoon—and make kids feel like great adventurers.

Par-3 Golf Courses on Long Island Where Kids Can Learn the Game

Have a wannabe tour pro on your hands? Or maybe you just want to introduce your son or daughter to golf minus the windmills.

There are five par-3 golf courses on Long Island that offer young players a chance to experience the game with more than just a putter. For less than $20 per round on average, beginners can manage their way around with a light bag, a few balls, tees, and plenty of enthusiasm.

More experienced players will enjoy the opportunity to enhance their short-game precision. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for parent-child bonding over one of Long Island’s signature activities.

So tee it high and let it fly. All five of these courses are in Suffolk County; a few short-length courses exist in Nassau, but some of their par-4 holes might be unreachable for young players. Note: Most par-3 courses require adult supervision of pre-teen players. All players should practice on-course etiquette, including allowing faster groups to play through.

Chihuly Glass Sculptures Dazzle at NY Botanical Garden

Step aside spring blooms. There's a new diva hijacking your spotlight this season at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. It's sparkly, magical, and comes in almost as many eye-popping shades as your petals.

The just-opened CHIHULY outdoor art installation features more than 20 glimmering pieces by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. It spans more than 40 years of his career. Special tours, events and programming are planned around the exhibit, which opened Friday, April 22.

Read on for our review of the latest exhibit at the beloved NYC garden, including whether or not you can bring your kid, or even a toddler, without fear of them crashing and smashing their way through the show. 

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