25 Things To Do with Preschoolers on Long Island

Everything is on the menu for the goats at the Animal Farm and Petting Zoo.
Everything is on the menu for the goats at the Animal Farm and Petting Zoo.
12/5/22 - By Lisa Mancuso

Looking for the best preschooler activities on Long Island? Read on for our top picks. 

Long Island is an awesome place to raise a family. From Nassau County to the East End and everywhere in between, there is no shortage of ways to entertain kids–including high-energy toddlers. In that spirit, we’ve rounded up a list of 25 exciting things to do with Long Island preschoolers.

Check out these fun activities around the Island that will keep little ones happily busy, including exploring the great outdoors, discovering something new in a museum, visiting a different playground or park, getting creative, and much, much more. We hope this list inspires you and your preschooler to take advantage of all Long Island has to offer families.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to entertaining your Long Island preschooler and our Events Calendar.


boy sitting at a news desk at LICM
This just in: Long Island Children’s Museum is a must-see for preschoolers.

1. Visit a Museum Built Just for Kids

Make learning fun with a visit to the Long Island Children’s Museum, with its many ongoing exhibits, including TotSpot, which is exclusively for the under 5 set, or the Children’s Museum of the East End, where playing mini-golf can be exciting and educational.

2. Go Round and Round

Go for a ride on Nunley’s Carousel. The century-old historic ride is located along Nassau County's Museum Row. In the summer, visit Greenport and its famous carousel.

3. Hand-Pick Fruit

Take a drive out east and let your kids explore the local farms and farm stands. Depending on the season, take home some fresh strawberriesapples, or pumpkins.

4. Cool Off in the Heat

When the temperatures rise, get cool at one of Long Island's many spray parks.

RELATED: 100 Things to Do with LI Kids Before They Grow Up

Feed the residents of Manorville's Animal Farm Petting Zoo. Photo courtesy of Animal Farm Petting Zoo

5. Feed a Goat or Giraffe

If your preschooler loves animals, visit the Animal Farm Petting Zoo in Manorville or one of the many other animal farms and petting zoos on Long Island.

6. Foster a Love of Books

Take your preschooler to a story or craft session at your local library. You can also check out events hosted by BookhamptonBarnes and Noble, and Pottery Barn Kids.

RELATED: Birthday Party Venues for LI Preschoolers

boy getting to touch a turtle
You never know which fun animals will be there to greet you at the Long Island Aquarium.

7. Go Under the Sea

From penguins to sharks, there’s so much to see and discover at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.

8. Get Adventurous

Go for a spin in a teacup or hop on the mini roller coaster at Adventureland. For even more thrills, visit these other amusement parks scattered throughout Long Island.

9. Get on Board

If your preschooler is obsessed with trains, a visit to the Railroad Museum of Long Island is just the ticket. Located in Greenport and Riverhead, visitors can ride a train between the two sites.

10. Get a Strike

There are plenty of kid-friendly bowling alleys with lighter balls for little hands in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and a few on the East End, as well. Some even sport shorter lanes.

RELATED: Guide to Indoor Play Spaces for LI Kids

Preschoolers can engineer and build while mom gets in a much-needed manicure at WowMoms World.

11. Get Pampered

WowMoms World in Mineola caters not only to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers but also to their caregivers. Preschoolers can take part in open play, a class, or even a manicure, while mom takes a fitness class or gets a manicure herself.

12. Grab a Bite and Play

Head to one of these Long Island cafes with play spaces, where kids can have fun and parents can relax.

13. Swing, Slide, and Climb

When it’s too nice to be indoors, bring your little ones to one of Long Island’s fabulous playgrounds.

14. Jump and Bounce

Long Island has no shortage of bounce and trampoline parks. Many even have special hours dedicated to the younger crowd.

15. Get out the Paintbrushes

Nurture your child’s creative side with art classes and workshops for aspiring artists.

Learn fire safety at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum

16. Travel Through Space

Head to Museum Row in Garden City to experience these two must-see museums: the Cradle of Aviation Museum and the Nassau County Firefighters Museum.

17. Build a Sandcastle

There’s no better place to spend the day than at one of Long Island's many gorgeous, sandy beaches.

18. Pack a Lunch and Smell the Flowers

Celebrate spring with a picnic at Planting Fields Arboretum.

19. Head Inside for Fun

For some rainy-day excitement, let your kids work off their energy at an indoor play area.

20. Catch a Game and Maybe a Ball

The whole family can "root, root, root for the home team" at a Long Island Ducks baseball game. Meanwhile, Hamptons Collegiate Baseball is a no-cost way to glimpse the talent of potential big-leaguers.

21. Get Lost in the Stars

The Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium has a host of activities geared toward preschoolers, including numerous educational workshops throughout the year.

22. Drop a Line

Bring your pole or rent one. Either way, go fishing for trout at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium.

23. Plan a Birthday Bash

If your child’s special day is coming up, it’s never too early to start planning the perfect birthday party.

24. Catch a Live Show

Take your family to one of Long Island's great children's theaters, including the John W. Engeman in Northport for live performances of Seussical the Musical, Frosty, and Frozen Jr.

25. Take a Class

Preschoolers are not too young to learn a second language. Choose from one of the many classes offered on Long Island. See our classes and enrichment guide for more inspiration.

A version of this article was published in 2015. It was updated in November 2022.

Unless noted, photos by the author