Why whine about summer winding down when you can embrace it, filling these last few weeks with engaging and entertaining family fun?
We've rounded up 25 of the best last-of-the-summer fun activities to do with kids on Long Island before they head back to their books, from water playgrounds and outdoor pools to FREE music and movies.
Check out our August GoList for the best family events throughout the month, and peruse our Summer Fun Guide and Beaches, Pools, and Water Fun guide for your last sticky summertime hurrah. Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.
1. Hit the local splash pad one more time before the sprinklers are turned off for fall.
2. Ride the roller coaster at Adventureland, or test out the kiddie rides at another nearby theme park.
3. Nosh outdoors at Long Island restaurants with great outdoor seating and enviable views, including in the Hamptons.
Hit the waves at Jones Beach; the water temperature is at a seasonal high in August. Photo by ric shaw/CC BY 2.0
4. Hit the beach for one last sand castle. Swim and lounge in the summer sun.
5. Groove to the final outdoor concerts playing for FREE across the Island this summer, including Eisenhower Park, the Jones Beach Bandshell, and Concerts on the Green in Montauk.
6. Score $1 weekday movies for the last time this year with Bow Tie Cinemas Summer Kids Series (August 15-16).
7. Pull up a lawn chair and a bucket of popcorn for a FREE movie under the stars at various local parks and places, including Jones Beach.
8. Climb a lighthouse before the ocean gets too rough and the breeze too chilly. Enjoy Lighthouse Weekend (August 19-20) at Montauk Point for more family-friendly activities.
Our Backyard at the Long Island Children's Museum is a creative play land for kids. Photo courtesy of the museum.
9. Visit the seasonal Our Backyard exhibit at the Long Island Children's Museum while it still remains.
10. Pitch a tent (or park your RV) at these cool Long Island camping sites for a final weekend of summer outdoor fun.
11. Hitch a final ride aboard Long Island Live Steamers, a mini railroad for kids at Southaven County Park. Go full train geek at the Riverhead Railroad Festival (August 26-27).
RELATED: 100 things to do with kids on Long Island
Savor the last summer berries at Bhavana Berries. Photo courtesy of the farm
12. Pick the final berries and peaches before local farms turn the u-pick over to apples.
13. Swoosh down the waterslide at these water parks and epic pool slides.
14. Pick up a day pass for these fantastic outdoor swimming pools before the autumn chill arrives.
15. Don your captain's hat and life vest for a family-friendly boat ride.
16. Tailgate at a polo match in Bethpage State Park. Sit in the bleachers or bring your own chairs and/or blanket. Sit on the grass field side for a nice picnic.
17. Play hooky from work to catch the solar eclipse on Long Island, August 21, with the kids. Find a FREE pair of glasses at select libraries.
18. Get your face painted, pick up a balloon, and enjoy carnival rides at the final summer street festivals, carnivals and fairs, including Alive After Five in Patchogue and Beachfest in Port Washington.
19. Stroll the boardwalk in flip-flops (sans hoodie). Hang onto that summer vibe—you'll need it come November.
RELATED: 50 things to do on the East End in the summer
Ace the little schoolhouse hole at Tick Tock Mini Golf in Greenport. Photo by Jaime Sumersille.
20. Putt-putt your way to a hole-in-one at these mini golf spots.
21. Take a final summer-fueled day trip to see dinosaurs, parks, cute towns, ferries, and more.
22. Immerse the kids in the outdoors with Nature Sundays at Planting Fields Arboretum.
23. Set up a backyard water park extravaganza for the neighborhood kids with games and plenty of splish-splashing.
24. See the incredible creations at the sand castle contest at Hither Hills State Park in Montauk, or build one together as a family.
25. Cool down with an over-the-top ice cream creation from local parlors, or check out the newly opened Spoons for a cereal-topped sweet treat.
Top photo: Cool off at the Geiger Park sprinkler area. Photo courtesy of the park