15 Things To Do on Long Island Before Your Baby's First Birthday

Spend a day at a Long Island beach with your baby in their first year. Photo by Gina Massaro
Spend a day at a Long Island beach with your baby in their first year. Photo by Gina Massaro
10/21/22 - By Gina Massaro

Looking for the best things to do on Long Island with your baby before they turn 1? Read on for 15 suggestions. 

Those long nine months finally are over, and it's time to enjoy all the moments you dreamed about. Your baby is here, which means there are many memorable firsts ahead, and there is always something new to experience with your little one on Long Island. Get your camera or phone ready, because this list is full of Kodak moments.

Be sure to check out the 20 things all new parents on Long Island should know and other great tips in our Baby Guide for New and Expecting Long Island Parents


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Top Things To Do on Long Island with Your Baby

1. First Beach Trip

Small things parents take for granted, like the feeling of sand between our toes, are mind-blowing experiences for babies. My son was amazed as he grabbed the sand in his hand. He lifted it to his face, but by the time it got there the sand had vanished, as if by magic. Of course, living on an island surrounded by water, there are plenty of family-friendly beaches. If you plan on taking your baby in the water, don't forget to invest in a life vest and remember sunscreen.

2. Develop Holiday Traditions

No matter what month your baby is born, it's never too early to develop traditions. Choosing the right pumpkin patch, for example, can be as difficult as picking baby's going-home outfit. Winter opportunities are nearly endless: meeting Santa, shopping for decorations, and, of course, holiday light shows. Bright light displays and bursting fireworks are often especially exciting for baby.

RELATED: Where to Play on Long Island for FREE with Toddlers and Babies

Things to do on Long Island before your baby's first birthday go for a hike
Pack up your little one for a stroller-friendly hike. Long Island has a number of four-season trails. 

3. Enjoy Nature

Fresh air is not only good for the baby but for you as well. Long Island is home to some of the most beautiful parks in New York State. They're perfect for taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Not only that, but a few of them are also stroller-friendly. It's time to get out and explore.

4. Read Something New

Check out your local library. Not only does it get you and your baby out for a bit, but it also gives you the chance to uncover new literary favorites. Many libraries also have fun events such as story time sessions and other perks for you and your baby to enjoy. 

RELATED: Long Island Attractions for Children 2 and Younger 

Things to do on Long Island before your baby's first birthday alpaca farm
Your little one will treasure his or her first experience with animals at White Post Farms. 

5. Animal Encounter

There will be a first time for everything your baby sees and experiences, including animals. When my son first saw a goat, his eyes nearly popped out of his head. Goats, giraffes, zebras: Your baby will have a first time for all of them. Long Island is home to some amazing petting zoos and a must-visit aquarium. Most petting zoos also offer food for the animals, so bring plenty of quarters.

6. Revisit Local Favorites

Just because you have a baby, doesn't mean you can't visit the Long Island communities you used to enjoy. Experiencing old favorites with your baby will bring you a new perspective. See our guides to family-friendly day trips to Port WashingtonPort JeffersonGlen CoveStony Brook, and more. Who knows, you might even learn something new about your old haunts.

RELATED: Ways to Meet Other Parents on Long Island

Things to do on Long Island before your baby's first birthday visit a play space
Kids and cars make for a great day at a Long Island play space.

7. Play and Explore

There are plenty of places for you and your baby to go on adventures. Indoor play spaces and play cafes are especially good on rainy days. You can indulge in some hot coffee or tea while your baby explores his or her surroundings.

8. Make Friends

Consider signing up for a mommy-and-me class. Dads, grandparents, and caregivers are also welcome at these classes. Many offer a FREE trial class, so there's nothing to lose. Classes are a fun way to meet other parents while your baby develops new skills.

RELATED: Best Spots for a First Birthday Party on Long Island

Things to do on Long Island before your baby's first birthday Long Island Children's Museum
Babies can enjoy the beach at the Long Island Children’s Museum even on a rainy day.

9.  Visit a Museum

The Long Island Children's Museum has interactive exhibits even the littlest ones can enjoy. There is also a tot spot—a small indoor play space equipped with a play supermarket, where toddlers and crawlers can explore. If you're on the East End, make a day trip to the Children's Museum of the East End. Babies' senses are ready to absorb everything, so any museum that is visually or audibly stimulating will be a worthwhile trip. 

10. Go for a Splash

Not everyone loves the beach, but there are still plenty of places for babies to keep cool in the summer. Spray parks can be especially delightful for little ones, and some Long Island pools are open to anyone regardless of residency. Be sure to check with your community's recreation department for information on local pools and pass prices. Don't forget the sunscreen.

RELATED: 15 Great Stroller-Friendly Park Walks on Long Island

Things to do on Long Island before your baby's first birthday visit the playground
A trip to a Long Island playground will make your baby's eyes light up.

11. A Trip to the Playground

The first trip to the playground is an exciting one. How will your baby react to the swings? The slide? Playgrounds are a chance for you and baby to expend some energy. Some playgrounds, like the one at Eisenhower Park, are good for crawlers. Most parks have baby swings, almost always a favorite. 

12. Grab a Pint

The first year of baby's life is full of sleepless nights and seemingly endless diapers, so treat yourself. These family-friendly breweries and beer gardens are perfect for babies, too. Parents relax, while the baby enjoys an afternoon out. If wine is what you prefer, check out one of these family-friendly Long Island wineries.

13. Dine Out

There are so many amazing and delicious family-friendly restaurants to try on Long Island. Whether you're looking for outdoor dining, something with a unique atmosphere, or simply an amazing meal, our family-friendly restaurant guide has everything you need to know to plan your first dining experience with your baby.

RELATED: Long Island Cafes With Kids' Play Spaces

Things to do on Long Island before your baby's first birthday first birthday shoot
A first birthday shoot is a must for many Long Island parents. Photo by Photography Sisters

14. Say Cheese with a Photo Shoot

 A must for many parents, baby photos are a keepsake you will treasure. Babies grow so much in their first year, you will be glad you captured part of it on camera. Professional photographers can set up a shoot in-studio or go on location. Some parks and public spaces might require a photography permit. Your photographer should be able to handle details such as that. Newborn shoots are particularly popular, but there's no bad age for a photography session.

15. First Birthday Party

It's finally here. Baby has made it to the ultimate first-year milestone—his or her birthday. Whether you want a small, inspired party at home or a big get-together at a party venue, this day will be one you won't forget. It's been a tough, yet rewarding year. It's not just a celebration of the baby, but all you have accomplished as a parent. Don't be afraid to reward yourself with an extra slice of cake. 

Originally published in 2018. Unless noted, photos by the author