Long Island

The Best Family Sledding Spots on Long Island

Say it ain't snow. But it is. 

Parents with kids eager to brave the outdoors don't have to leave Long Island to find ideal sledding spots. We've rounded up a few places where you can hit the local powder for FREE. Safety first though, so be sure to check surroundings for sticks, rocks and more, and wear a helmet and proper snow gear to keep warm. Bring your own equipment to these snow-covered destinations and be ready for some fun.

Don't forget to check our January GoList and Event Calendar for more ideas on winter entertainment for your family, whether the weather outside is frightful, or delightful.

There's also plenty of seasonal fun in our Long Island Winter Fun Guide, from skiing to hot chocolate spots to FREE events all winter.

Beat Winter Boredom with 8 Awesome STEM Activities

Winter days can leave families in need of fun indoor activities. We worked with Sylvan Learning, a leader in STEM education for kids, to develop ideas for a “boredom buster” jar full of STEM activities. Each fun project is super simple and includes concrete STEM educational tips to bring the learning home. That’s what we love about Sylvan EDGE programs; the educators at Sylvan Learning always make sure that the kids go home understanding important STEM concepts while having fun doing it.

To make your STEM activities boredom busters jar just print out the downloadable sheets, cut out the activity cards, fold and place in a jar or bowl. Any time the kids get restless or need a screen time break, just pull an activity out for some at-home fun. Note: Some of these activities do take some preparation, so make sure to gather your materials—including freezing your colored ice sculpture shapes—in advance so you are ready to go when boredom calls...or whines, as the case may be.

Weekday Fun for LI Kids: MLK Day, Art, Music and More

It may seem like your kids were just off from school, but Monday, January 16 schools are once again closed in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Don't worry, there are plenty of things to keep your little ones happy, smiling, and warm all day long. 

And if the weather has turned icy, that doesn't mean you have to put a freeze on the fun. From spa days for kids to open play all over Long Island, kids have plenty of choices 

Don't forget to check out our January GoList and our full Event Calendar for the month. Plus, check out our guide to FREE events this winter all over Long Island, and the Best Indoor Play Spaces in Suffolk and our Indoor Play Area Family Guide

Winter Fun List: 50 Things to Do Indoors with Long Island Kids

With the holidays behind us and a long, cold winter ahead of us, now is the time to get creative when it comes to keeping your kids entertained. Your local playground may be frozen over, but Long Island is home to some truly amazing museums, arts and crafts classes (also here), indoor play venues (see here and here), and children's theater experiences. You might miss being outside in the fresh air, but you won't struggle to find exciting activities and interesting, winter-friendly (meaning: warm and cozy!) places to explore.

We've created a list of 50 fun things to do indoors with kids on Long Island. Be sure to check out our January GoList and Winter Fun Guide for more fun ideas.

Family Memberships on Long Island Worth the Price

Skipping the line, early invites, and additional discounts on events, food and merchandise are some of the members-only perks families can gain when opting to purchase a membership to one of their local kid hot spots. Here on Long Island, there are plenty of educational and entertaining opportunities for families to take advantage of year-round, from museums to water parks. And if you're going to visit the same destination more than once, or several times, in a year, a membership might make financial sense, too, as it will often save you money in the long run. Not all will, though.

We've rounded up some of the top kid spots around Long Island and done the math on their memberships to find the ones that are most worth it for frequent visitors. Read on for these local deals, which will hopefully put a little more money back in your pocket for the new year, plus deliver your family to the front of the line—an almost invaluable perk on busy school holidays!

Find more ideas in our Classes and Enrichment Guide and Indoor Family Fun Guide, which is filled with play space reviews and more.

MLK Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Princess Brunch, Animals, Dream Big

There are many places on the island to give your kids an introduction to the mission of Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, including crafts-centered events at the Whaling Museum and Education Center, the Long Island Children's Museumthe Children's Museum of the East End, and As You Wish Parties.

Animal lovers will also find plenty of activities to kindle their love for furry friends, from the Center for Science Teaching & Learning's Junior Zookeeper Workshop to animal mosaics, rubber ducks, and Father Goose. After all that learning, take in a lighthearted play about the ups and downs of friendship.

For more activities to fill the three-day weekend, pop on over to our January GoList or Winter Fun Guide to find more seasonal fun. And if you're keeping an eye on your wallet after the holidays, check out our list of 20 FREE Things to Do with Long Island Kids This Winter.

Of course, our Event Calendar is always loaded with fun daily events for Long Island kids. (Don't see a great event listed here? Add it to our Event Calendar yourself!

Bowling Alleys for Kids in Nassau County, Long Island

Visiting a local play space or children's museum is a surefire bet for cooped-up winter days, but if you want to get all ages in on the action (parents, too), bowling is hard to beat. The great boredom-buster is loads of fun and no experience is necessary.

Long Island is loaded with family-friendly lanes, some that offer bumper lanes, lighter balls for little hands, arcades, and family and teen nights. We've rounded up bowling alleys in Suffolk County, and now we're putting together a list of those in Nassau County. One of the best things about bowling? It's often open on holidays when other fun and sport zones are closed like Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

See National Parks for Free in 2017 on These Free Entrance Days

A trip to one of our nation's incredible national parks may already be on your family travel to-do list for 2017. Whether it is or not, you may want to check out the just released FREE admission days at some of the country's largest parks. Courtesy of the National Park Service, the 10 FREE days all take place on easy-for-planning weekends, school breaks, and national holidays at select parks.

While many parks have free admission every day of the year, more than 100 of them, including some of the most popular destinations, charge $15 per person or more. Those waiving admission for these 10 holidays include some of those iconic, bucket list spots like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, Glacier National Park, Olympic National Park, Harpers Ferry, Everglades National Park, and the Cape Cod Seashore. The freebies also extend to a few historical sites under the National Park Service's purview, like the New York home of celebrated American president Franklin D. Roosevelt and national historic parks like Morristown National Historic Park, the scene of an American Revolutionary War battle.

Mark your calendars as the first FREE admission day is coming up this month, Monday, January 19, Martin Luther King Day; and now, read on to find out the rest of the FREE days, and get a peek at some of the kid-friendly parks that are waiving admission. 

Weekday Fun for LI Kids: Minecraft, Red Riding Hood, Cooking

After a long holiday break, school is finally back in full swing. But that doesn't mean the weekday fun has to stop. Take in a show, brush up on craft skills, and stay fit and peaceful with yoga. Feeling adventurous? Visit one of Long Island's beautiful nature preserves and engage in hands-on science activities that take full advantage of the winter season. Or stay warm but active at one of these indoor play spaces, bounce houses, and action centers. 

Don't forget to check out our January GoList and Event Calendar for more ideas on how to keep your entire family entertained, whether the weather outside is frightful—or delightful. There's also plenty of seasonal fun in our Long Island Winter Fun Guide, from skiing to hot chocolate spots to FREE events all winter!

Best Indoor Play Spaces in Suffolk County on Long Island

Play spaces made just for kids are our go-to during Long Island's wintertime, or anytime it's too cold, too wet, or even too hot out. So we've rounded up the best indoor play spaces in Suffolk County on Long Island, from bounce houses and indoor playgrounds, to more low-key spaces like a natural play room and spots for art. There are fun zones loaded with action sports and best for the big kids, and plenty more just right for toddlers and preschoolers.

Many also double as party spaces, so call ahead to make sure they're open for public play. And don’t forget your socks—many of these spaces do not allow shoes or bare feet, even for adults. Then get ready to let your kids loose to play at one of these 13 spots, instead of your living room. 

Find more fun play spaces around Long Island with our Indoor Family Fun Guide.

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