Spring break is just around the corner – and so are two words parents know well: I'm bored.
A week-plus off can seem like a lifetime to children, which is why it helps to plan a few fun activities to keep brains active and hands and feet moving when kids are away from the classroom. Whether your child is into theater, the great outdoors, art, sports, or science, there's a great event, class, venue, or park, on Long Island during break week that is sure to delight.
Don't forget to check out our April GoList, Spring Fun Guide and Long Island Events Calendar for more fantastic ideas.
1. Join a spring break camp. Whether you have a stage star or a child who can't bear the thought of a full week without baseball or yoga, there's a weeklong camp out there that is perfect. Some options include School Vacation Theater Camp, Spring Break Rolling River Holiday Camp, World Explorers Camp, April Break Holiday Sports Camp, or Holiday Break Art Mini Camp.
2. Take in a show. There's always an entertaining kids' show (more like several) on Long Island. Live stage entertainment during break week includes Annie Jr. and Red Riding Hood.
The “Gilded Lady” highlights the Mummies exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. Photo by D. Finnin/courtesy AMNH.
3. Enjoy a staycation. You don't have to travel far to have a good time. Consider hopping on the LIRR and visiting the Liberty Science Center, Battery Park City, or the Mummies exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.
4. Go for a nature hike. Long Island is filled with family-friendly hikes that are perfect at this time of year. Pack a lunch, light snack, or some cocoa on the go and keep an eye out for interesting birds, plants, and budding trees.
5. Visit a park. As the weather warms up, kids will be looking to run, climb, swing, and slide at one of Long Island's amazing parks. Nassau and Suffolk County parks are some of the best around, and don't forget about the Island's state parks.
6. Got a sweet tooth? Satisfy it at one of Long Island's candy shops. Get your fill of lollipops, chocolate, and old-fashioned milkshakes.
Enjoy a spirited game of mini-golf at Tiki Action Park in Centereach.
7. Play mini-golf. If you're searching for an activity kids of all ages enjoy, miniature golf is ideal. Many of Long Island's mini-golf venues feature heated golf stations, beautiful views, and are adjacent to other fun attractions, including go-karts, batting cages, and more.
8. Treat the kids (and yourself) to a family-friendly dining experience. If the weather is especially kind, check out one of Long Island's outdoor dining venues.
9. Lace up your skates and glide to fun music at one of the Island's roller skating venues. If you want to bid winter a proper farewell, it's never too late (or warm) to visit an indoor ice skating rink.
10. Learn about art. The Nassau County Museum of Art boasts the works of talented local artists, as well as interesting traveling exhibits. On Family Sundays, kids learn more about these works and dive in to their own exhibit-based projects.
11. Sharpen your STEM skills. Scientists in training can perform experiments or learn about space, math, technology, and more at one of several science museums and classes in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
12. Get reacquainted with beach life. It's probably been awhile since you and your children smelled the fresh ocean air. Consider paying a visit to one of these fun beach playgrounds, where you can run, jump, swing, skate, or dunk on the sand or just a few feet away from it.
13. Visit an indoor play space. Because you hope for a sunny day but always prepare for a rainy one, these Long Island indoor play spaces offer the most fun Plan B possible, where kids can get out their pent-up energy, create art, read, and engage in imaginative play.
13, Check out a skate park. If you have a skateboarder or roller skating champ in your family, one of these Long Island skate parks should satisfy his or her adventurous streak.
14. Go bowling. Work on your lucky strike at a Nassau County bowling alley or one of several alleys in Suffolk.
15. Play laser tag. Glow-in-the-dark excitement, special-effects lighting, and even arcades and rock climbing walls are part of the laser tag experience on Long Island.
16. Join forces at an Escape Room. Just Escape is Massapequa's new escape-room experience, where older kids and families can team up, work together, and use clues to escape from a locked-in room.
17. Create art. Children, toddlers, and even babies can create works of art at a Long Island art class. These offer everything from painting to drawing, sketching and even mixed media.
18. Get a head start on summer by perfecting your backstroke at one of Long Island's indoor pools.
19. It's not too late to meet and greet the Easter Bunny for photos at Roosevelt Field mall or Smith Haven Mall. Check out our full list of fun spring festivals and Easter events.
Baby piglets enjoy a child-supplied meal at the Animal Farm Petting Zoo and Park in Manorville.
20. Greet baby animals. Many of Long Island's farms and petting zoos reopen in April, which makes spring break the perfect week to visit White Post Farms, Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard, Garden of Eve, and more. Learn about animal habitats, and perhaps play in a bounce house or on playground equipment.
Top photo: Spring break is an ideal time to meet the new additions at the Animal Farm Petting Zoo and Park in Manorville. Photo by pattisfotos via Instagram. Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the venues.