Bay Shore With Kids: 18 Things To Do in the Historic Seaside Community

Splash the day away a Bay Shore's well-known splash pad, Shipwreck Cove. Photo courtesy of the Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce
Splash the day away a Bay Shore's well-known splash pad, Shipwreck Cove. Photo courtesy of the Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce

One of the oldest hamlets on Long Island, Bay Shore's historic roots date back to the 1600s. The British armed forces used it as a headquarters during the American Revolution, and George Washington even spent some time at Sagtikos Manor. As the centuries went on, Bay Shore developed into a vacation destination for city-dwellers, and eventually housing developments took over. Still, modern Bay Shore has no shortage of family-friendly destinations worth a visit.

From Main Street to the marina, here are the top spots to explore in Bay Shore with kids. Find more family-friendly towns in our Moving Guide to Long Island.

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Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Bay Shore

1. Rock City Dogs

Gourmet hot dogs have arrived on Main Street. Rock City Dogs is a restaurant and bar with a rock 'n' roll atmosphere: Hot dogs are dubbed Headliners and menu items have a classic rock-inspired name. The restaurant's namesake hot dog features lobster, horseradish, champagne mignonette, and cavier. Choose from all-beef or vegan dogs. It also has a kids' menu, which includes a traditional hot dog, grilled cheese, and chicken fingers. Wash it all down with one of its creative milkshakes.

2. ITA Kitchen

Also located on Main Street, ITA serves classic Italian dishes and desserts. If you want to eat away from the crowd, opt for a private cabana, which holds 4-10 people. Advanced reservations are required but there is no booking fee. There is, however, a day-of cancellation fee if it's are unable to rebook. It also has a Sunday brunch option. Don't miss the cannoli cream-filled French toast.

Grab a box of uniquely flavored doughnuts at the North Fork Doughnut Company.

3. North Fork Doughnut Company

Forget Dunkin, North Fork Doughnut Company on Main Street offers craft doughnuts bound to satisfy any sweet tooth. Each week brings a different set of specialty doughnuts, from blueberry cream cheese pie to peanut-butter banana. It also has frosted classics like strawberry and chocolate, and filled doughnuts, such as jelly and Boston cream.

4. Toast Coffehouse

Perk up your morning with fresh coffee while the kids indulge in Nutella French toast, cookie dough pancakes, or any one of Toast's other delicious offerings. Toast also has a vegan menu.

5. Amanda's Bakery Co.

Cake pops, cookies, brownies, fresh bread, and more can be found at this sweet Main Street shop. Amanda can also whip up custom cakes for special occasions.

RELATED: 13 of Long Island's Most Walkable Main Streets

Outdoor dining at Nicky's on the Bay
Enjoy the view while dining at Nicky's on the Bay.

6. Nicky's on the Bay

Nothing is nicer than having lunch on the water, and this Bay Shore staple is a local favorite. There's a big, outdoor deck right on the water and a rooftop deck for even better ocean views.

7. Captain Bill's

Enjoy seafood and sea views at Captain Bill's. It also offers a selection of burgers and steaks for the landlubbers in the family.

8. Great South Bay Brewery

This welcoming brewpub has outdoor seating, darts, and cornhole. While it doesn't serve its own food, there is often a food truck on-premises. While you're in the area, stop in at Ghost Brewing Company next door.

RELATED: Family-Friendly Beer Gardens and Breweries on Long Island

boy fishing on a waterfront dock
Drop a line at the Bay Shore waterfront. 

Top Kid-Friendly Things To Do in Bay Shore

9. Explore the Waterfront

Head down to the marina and walk the boardwalk or drop a fishing line. Kids can take a dip at Benjamin's Beach in the summer.

10. Shipwreck Cove Spray Park

Cool off at Shipwreck Cove, where water-dropping buckets, slides, and water cannons entertain kids of all ages. Get there early to snag a beach chair. There is also a concession stand located just outside the park.

11. Anthony Casamento Park and Pool

If you'd rather go for a swim, head over to Anthony Casamento Park and Pool. There is a baby pool and regular-sized pool, as well as new playground with interactive features just outside the gates. Across the parking lot are basketball courts and a baseball field. Summer nights also feature outdoor family-friendly movie screenings.

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

Kids playing on pinball machines at an arcade
Go for a personal best at High Score Pinball Arcade. Photo by Jaime Sumersille

12. High Score Pinball Arcade

Located inside the South Shore Mall, this arcade brings the thrill of high scores to Bay Shore. Unlike other arcades, you won't need quarters or game cards here. You pay per session and during that session, all games are free to play.

13. Great South Bay YMCA

Take a class or join a camp at the Great South Bay YMCA. This branch is loaded with amenities, like indoor and outdoor basketball courts and pools, a dance studio, and a playground.

14. Gardiner County Park

Buckle up the kids and the dogs and hit the trails at Gardiner County Park. There are two fenced-in dog parks and dog-friendly walking trails that lead to the Great South Bay. Best of all, it's FREE.

15. Sagtikos Manor

History buffs love a touring of Sagtikos Manor. Stroll along the gardens and see what's blooming.

RELATED: Patchogue with Kids: Fun Things to Do as a Family

Try on costumes at Blast from the Past. Photo courtesy of the venue

Best Stores for Kid-Friendly Finds in Bay Shore

16. Blast from the Past

At this unique toy store, focused on vintage and used items, young kids may discover toy brands their parents once played with. While some items are collector's pieces, there is plenty that's meant to be in small hands.

17. Willy Nilly Trading Company

Willy Nilly has Bay Shore and Long Island goods, collectibles, decor, and even toys for kids.

18. Westfield South Shore Mall

This mall is perfect for gift buying or shopping with kids of different ages and interests, with classic favorites sure to please buyers of all interests.

Unless noted, photos by the author

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