30 Things to Do Over February Break With Long Island Kids
Well, we’ve got exactly what you need: a list of 30 family-friendly events happening across Long Island during school break, February 17-21 (most private schools are also closed that week). Of course, we think these events are timeless enough to be enjoyed whenever your children are home.
From one-day and week-long camps to outdoor ice skating, indoor swimming, museums, and aquarium events, our roundup of activities will get your kids up and out of the house. Some events might cost you, but plenty are FREE or low cost, so there’s no excuse to not try at least one.
1. Hit the Lanes. Bowling alleys have been a staple on Long Island since forever, but my how they have changed. Most venues now include full-service restaurants (and bars for the adults), high-tech arcade and game rooms, and themed events. Check out these family-friendly bowling alleys: Farmingdale Lanes, Coram Country Lanes, and Maple Lanes RVC in Rockville Center.
Shop then skate at Tanger Outlets in Deer Park. Photo courtesy of the Tanger Outlets
2. Try Ice Skating. Whether your family prefers to bundle up and do its skating outdoors or head indoors, somewhere on Long Island there is a rink just right for your family. Check out our roundups of the best indoor and outdoor rinks. Some rinks are town-run facilities and offer discounted rates for residents.
3. Or Roller Skating. If ice skating isn't your family's thing, roller skating might be more its style. Try United Skates of America in Seaford, which offers skating times and events for little ones as well as older kids. It’s a great way to work off some of that kid-sized energy.
4. Go Camping. We’re not talking tents, of course, (too cold for that). We mean the daily and weekly camps that pop up all over the Island during February break. There’s plenty going on at the Nassau County Museum of Art, Sweetbriar Nature Center, and the Vanderbilt Museum, just to name a few. See our complete guide to camps and classes for more ideas.
Sharpen your putting skills under the lights at Glowgolf. Photo courtesy of Glowgolf
6. Aquarium Fun-cation. From movies to crafts and games to touring exhibits, there’s plenty to keep your kids busy at the Long Island Aquarium’s week-long camp. Kids ages 6-14 can go for the week or for one or more days. Registration is required.
Beginners are welcome to learn the ancient game at a meeting of The Southampton Youth Bureau's Chess Club. Photo courtesy of the youth bureau
7. Strike Up the Band. Kids in grades 9-12 can sign up to take part the Southampton Youth Bureau’s 18th Annual Battle of the Bands on June 5th. Applications are now available and must be in by Friday, May 8th.
8. Kitchen Closed. Shut down the kitchen and treat everyone (especially yourself) to a dinner in a family-friendly restaurant. To keep it budget-friendly, check out our roundup of Long Island restaurants where kids eat for free.
9. Day Trippin’. Pile into the car and take a drive out of your neighborhood and into one you haven’t visited in a while … or ever. Explore the quaint shops and restaurants in scenic harborside villages such as Northport, Port Jefferson, or Cold Spring Harbor. In Nassau, consider Port Washington or Glen Cove. Maybe head to the East End to see what’s happening in Riverhead and Greenport, or hop on the LIRR and head into NYC for the day.
Pick up the pace at Pole Position Raceway in Farmingdale. Photo courtesy of the raceway
10. Go for a Spin. Here’s something for older kids: go-kart and slot car racing. There are a number of indoor and outdoor spots on Long Island. Most have minimum height requirements, so be sure to check individual websites.
With animatronic animals and costumed characters, Stew Leonard's is a whole lot more than a dairy store. Photo courtesy of Stew Leonard's
11. Take the Kids Shopping. Kids seldom get excited by a trip to the food store, but Stew Leonard’s is no ordinary supermarket. Dubbed the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores” by The New York Times, kids visiting the Farmingdale or East Meadow stores are entertained by costumed characters, animatronics, and more. Or after hunting for holiday shopping-mall bargains, you can skate on the ice at Tanger Outlets at the Arches in Deer Park.
12. Open Play. Head to the Long Island Sports Complex in Freeport for some indoor play time. A variety of sports are available, including kickball, football, soccer, and more.
14. Discover Nature. At Sweetbriar Nature Center, kids can attend camp for the week or for a day. This year’s themes include "How to Train Your Bearded Dragon," "Even Animals Bundle Up," and more.
15. Books and Beyond. Spend an afternoon at your local library and let your kids experience the pleasure of browsing through the shelves. Children’s sections are equipped with puzzles and games, and most libraries offer free storytimes, museum passes, and plenty of other perks.
16. Winter Workshops at the Vanderbilt. During Presidents Week, the Vanderbilt Museum offers a number of workshops for kids, incorporating fun, history, and nature.
Discover the marine world and more at the Long Island Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
18. Aquarium Fun. Visit the Long Island Aquarium for a day of fun exploring underwater creatures, petting penguins, and learning about the Amazon rainforest. Kids can also attend the week-long camp.
The Long Island Children's Museum's celebrate trains with the Thomas & Friends Explore the Rails exhibit. Photo courtesy of LICM
19. All Aboard. The Long Island Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit Thomas & Friends Explore the Rails lets kids have fun while strengthening their STEM skills and abilities.
20. Take a Dip. Summer is right around the corner … or at least you can pretend it is. Dive into one of Long Island’s many family-friendly indoor swimming pools.
21. Calling All Techies. Geek out, have fun, and learn at the Long Island Explorium’s Winter Break Robotics Experience. Enjoy five days of workshops that focus on Engineering Design and Introduction to Robotics. Taught by qualified educators and teachers.
22. Learn and Play. Enjoy hands-on science experiments and more at the Center for Science Teaching and Learning’s winter break camp. Garvies Point Museum and Preserve offers plenty of indoor and outdoor crafts and activities during the break.
23. Outdoor Fun. Children get to explore the outdoors at Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s Winter Wildlife Camp. They’ll take a hike, meet some animals, and create a craft. Be sure your child is dressed appropriately.
24. Puppet Play and More. The Ward Melville Heritage Organization is hosting a unique, three-day puppet-making workshop presented for kids ages 6-11 by a professional puppeteer. Younger kids ages 3-5 can attend the three-day music and movement workshop.
25. Celebrate Engineers. It’s National Engineering Week and the Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center is hosting a number events that let families explore the many exciting sides of STEM.
26. Whale of a Time. The Whaling Museum & Education Center in Cold Spring Harbor offers a colonial crafts workshop at which kids can celebrate the birthday of our first President and learn about Colonial America.
27. All About Art. Head to a museum and let your child discover the world of art. Storytime and art go together perfectly at the Long Island Children’s Museum’s stART (story + art) program.
28. Flip Out. Work off some of that energy at M.A.T.S.S. Kids’ Gym. Mini camps at two locations, Bellmore and Syosset, include gym activities, crafts, snacks, and more.
29. Go Sledding. If we get snow during the week off, bundle up the kids and grab those sleds. We’ve updated our list of the best family sledding spots on Long Island. Then, warm up with a steaming cup of hot cocoa.
30. If it’s too cold for outdoor activities, check out our list of 50 things to do indoors with Long Island kids to keep your family happily and warmly entertained.
This post was originally published in 2018 and is updated yearly.