October GoList: Best Things To Do With Long Island Kids

The Best Family Events and Activities on Long Island, October 2018

Why is it that every year the final day of October generates so much enthusiasm from families across Long Island?

You’d think we would have plenty to get excited about in the initial 30 days of this spectacular month, when autumn’s colors alight from Manhasset to Montauk.

Yet, Halloween dominates the October calendar, with festivities arriving on our island like a pumpkin-colored tsunami earlier seemingly every year.

Don’t get us wrong: We here at Mommy Poppins love Halloween—what’s not to love? We just recognize there is more to this colorful month than goblins, ghouls, jack-o’-lanterns, and costume parades.

For starters, there’s Columbus Day and all of the fall festivals that accompany it. Long Island’s family-friendly wineries are in full harvest mode, and Oktoberfest celebrations bring a little oom-pah-pah to every step. Did we mention fall foliage and family day trips?

So sweet tooths, put down that Halloween candy for a few minutes and consider all October has to offer. And remember our Long Island Events Calendar offers exciting family options as they develop throughout the month.

We also have compiled a list of FREE family activities in October, sure to delight your kids while not denting your wallet. Lastly, sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

Columbus Day Fair — Farmingdale
Thursday, October 4-Monday October 8
Celebrate the holiday weekend with carnival rides, games, food, a parade, and more. Fireworks follow Monday’s parade, at 8 pm.

Family Fall Festival and Chowder Contest — Montauk
Saturday, October 6
Enjoy great chowder and plenty more, including a carousel, Oktoberfest celebrations, local beer and wine, and live music,  at Long Island’s most celebrated seaport.

Doggie Parade and Pet Expo — Farmingdale
Saturday, October 6
Treat your “best friend” to a woofing good time, beginning at the Village Green. Proceeds benefit Farmingdale Rotary Club charities.

RELATED: The best pumpkin picking destinations on Long Island

Catch an apple on a string at Sagtikos Manor's fall fest; it's more challenging than you think. Photo courtesy of the manor

Fall Festival at  Sagtikos Manor — Bay Shore
Sunday, October 7
Enjoy old-time activities such as spinning, weaving, broom-making, beekeeping, and metal smithing, then take a self-guided tour of the manor and cemetery. Member of the 3rd New York State Regiment will perform drills.

Discovering LI’s Lighthouses — Southold
Saturday, October 6-Monday, October 8
Join the staff of Horton Point Lighthouse, one of Long Island’s oldest, for a day of discovery. Learn about the history of LI’s lighthouses in a fun and family-friendly atmosphere.

Kooky Spooky Halloween — Port Jefferson
Saturdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27; Sunday, October 21; sensory-sensitive performance, Sunday, October 14
In this seasonal musical, ghost Abner Perkins is afraid of the dark. Can he conquer his fear with the help of some new-found friends? At Theatre Three.

Mary Poppins Jr., The Musical — Smithtown
Weekends, October 6-28, including Monday, October 8
Even adults can learn a lesson or two from the irresistible nanny, who believes “anything can happen if you let it.” At the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts.

RELATED: Corn mazes and farm fun on Long Island

Hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns light up the night at Old Westbury Gardens. Photo courtesy of Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns — Old Westbury
Weekends beginning Friday, October 5-October 29
View 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated jack-o'-lanterns in a breathtaking musical display inside Old Westbury Gardens. The trail is flat and and stroller-friendly. Weekday performances on October 18, 25, and 29.

Fall Festival and Costume Parade — Long Beach
Saturday, October 13-Sunday, October 14
Enjoy craft vendors, a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, live music, hayrides, and more. The costume parade begins at noon on Saturday.

Long Island Oyster Festival —  Oyster Bay
Saturday, October 13-Sunday, October 14
The Oyster Festival is one of the East Coast’s largest harborfront celebrations. Enjoy carnival rides, live music, animals on display, a butterfly exhibit, and, of course, oysters. The oyster shucking and eating contest begins at 2pm on Saturday.

Spooky Fest — Rockville Centre
Saturday, October 13; Friday-Sunday, October 19-21, 26-28
Sixteen acres of Tanglewood Preserve are transformed into a family-friendly Halloween showcase of non-scary attractions, arts and crafts, live animals, and more.

Thrill to mischievous Pinkalicious at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. Photo courtesy of the theater

Pinkalicious, The Musical Patchogue
Sunday, October 14
Despite warnings from her parents, Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes. Her passion for pink turns  troublesome when she comes down with the disease “pinkititis.” At the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Rock Hall Country Fair — Lawrence
Saturday, October 20-Sunday, October 21
Thrill to a weekend of country fun, including a traditional lumberjack show, at the Rock Hall Museum. Also enjoy a harvest market, pumpkin patch, antique cars, and more. Visitors can make their own scarecrows.

Dog Days at Old Westbury Gardens — Old Westbury
Saturday, October 20-Sunday, October 21; Saturday, October 27-Sunday, October 28
Bring your leashed family friend for an afternoon of canine fun at Old Westbury Gardens. Mix with other dog lovers. Animal welfare groups will be on hand; a pet costume contest and parade takes place both days at 3 pm.

Halloween Family Day with Michael the Magician — Huntington Station
Sunday, October 21
Michael the Magician presents a family illusion show supported by audience participation at the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site. After the show, enjoy face painting, costume contests and a tour of the site.

Great Jack-o’-Lantern Spectacular Sail — North Babylon
Saturday, October 27
Watch the pageantry as 50 carved pumpkins, contributed by visitors, are placed on flotation devices, inserted with candles, and sailed around the lake. Kids also can make seasonal crafts, play games, visit the "Spooky Den,” and trick-or-treat.

Pumpkin Fling — Yaphank
Saturday, October 27
Thrill to Long Island's annual pumpkin catapult contest at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center. Watch as the pumpkins fly in devices made by students (and adults).

RELATED: Not-so-scary Halloween haunts on LI

You never know what "animals" you'll meet along the Quogue Wildlife Refuge's Enchanted Forest Trail. Photo courtesy of the refuge

Enchanted Forest Trail — Quogue
Saturday, October 27-Sunday, October 28; Saturday, November 3
Follow a guide along the trails at Quogue Wildlife Refuge to meet a host of whimsical, fun, and educational characters. Kids are invited to dress up.

Sag Harbor welcomes Halloween with the traditional Ragamuffin Parade. Photo courtesy of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce

Ragamuffin Parade — Sag Harbor
Sunday, October 28
Join the fun at this East End tradition, where kids, adults, and pets parade down Main Street to welcome in Halloween. FREE

Halloween Family Fun Day — Stony Brook
Sunday, October 28
Kids can dress in costume, go trick-or-treating, enjoy a puppet show, and more at the Long Island Museum. FREE admission.