100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids

Discover the trails at Quogue Wildlife Refuge for a day of free, outdoorsy fun. Photo by Jaime Sumersille
Discover the trails at Quogue Wildlife Refuge for a day of free, outdoorsy fun. Photo by Jaime Sumersille
1/7/24 - By Gina Massaro

Living on Long Island is expensive, but there are also tons of great free things to do with kids. From playgrounds and parks to museums and historic towns, there's plenty for a family to do and discover on a budget. Read on for our list of 100 awesome things to do with kids on Long Island that are absolutely free.

Be sure to also check out our Guide to Free Things To Do with Long Island Kids for even more no-cost activities.


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One important note: Some of the destinations on this list do require a nominal parking fee or, in the case of state parks, an Empire Pass to park for free.

Best Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids

1. Suffolk County Farm and Education Center

This farm is open year-round, only closing for two weeks December into January. Admission is free for everyone. Pet goats and sheep, see cows and pigs, and play on the natural playground.

2. Bailey Arboretum

Explore the grounds of this serene arboretum. Each season brings something different, but spring and fall are especially beautiful.

3. Roosevelt Field Mall

This is the biggest mall on Long Island, offers lots of window shopping options, but there is also a small play area on the concourse level of the mall for little ones to expel some energy. There's also a Lego Store where kids can practice their building skills.

4. Nassau County Museum of Art

Exploring the sculpture garden, arboretum, and grounds does not require admission. If your family would like to explore inside the museum, check out your local library's museum pass program, as many offer free admission to the Nassau County Museum of Art.

5. Jones Beach 4th of July Fireworks

Don't sit in traffic on the Wantagh Parkway–head over to Wantagh Park instead. While you may have to park on a side street if you don't arrive early enough, you get a great view of the fireworks show at no cost.

6. Town of Islip Summer Drive-In

Every summer Town of Islip hosts their summer drive-in series, featuring different family-friendly movies at parks across the town of Islip.

7. Smithtown Library Nesconset

A jam-packed events calendar means there's always something fun happening at this local library. Choose from programs like storytime, Lego leagues, preschool dance parties, and more.

8. Farmingdale Village New Year's Eve Celebration

Celebrate the new year with Farmingdale Village on Main Street. Enjoy live music and wait for the ball to drop.


IKEA in Hicksville is a destination for kids and adults. There is Smaland, which allows potty-trained kids to play while parents shop, although the maze of IKEA is an adventure in itself.

10. Montauk

While some restaurants and shops are closed during the off-season, there is still plenty to do and perfect photos to take at Long Island's eastern tip.

11. NYE Midnight on Main

Patchogue celebrates New Year's Eve annually with fireworks, character appearances, food, and more.

12. Valley Stream State Park

Pop by in the fall and winter months to enjoy walking trails, a playground, and more.

13. Go Sledding

Once a big snow hits, there are plenty of free sledding hills to check out.

RELATEDGuide to Playgrounds & Parks on Long Island

Belmont Lake State Park: 100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids
Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail at Belmont Lake State Park.

14. Belmont Lake State Park

Play on one of two playgrounds, fish in the lake, or ride bikes along the paved path. Belmont Lake State Park is free in the off-season from early September to April, after which fees are collected on weekends only until Memorial Day weekend, after which it is collected daily.

15. Fun Stuff Toys

Fun Stuff Toys in Seaford has lots of toy displays out for children to play and engage with. It's perfect for figuring out which toys your child may want for the next holiday or birthday. Be sure to set up ground rules before entering if you don't want to leave with a bag of goodies.

16. Rockville Centre Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Celebrate Irish heritage and culture at this annual parade.

17. Greenport Cherry Blossom Festival

In May and June each year, walk through Greenport to see the bountiful blooms of hundreds of Cherry Blossom trees.

18. Captree State Park

In the off-season, and after 6pm in the summer, drop a line and see what you can catch off the fishing pier at Captree State Park.

19. Lake Ronkonkoma County Park

Suffolk County residents can swim, fish, play on the playground, and more for free at this county park.

20. Broadway Commons

The mall has a play area on the upper level near the food court, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

21. Port Jefferson Village Ice Festival

Celebrate the magic of wintertime at this annual festival that includes photo-ops, horse and carriage rides, ice skating, live music, and more.

22. Hempstead Lake State Park

There are accessible playgrounds, hiking and equestrian trails, fishing, and more available in the off-season.

23. Build at Home Depot

On the first Saturday of each month, Home Depot hosts a children's building event where kids can build different creations.

24. Avalon Nature Preserve

Avalon Nature Preserve is open year-round. There are multiple trails to follow, ranging from .35 miles to 2.2 miles.

25. Saddle Rock Grist Mill

Saddle Rock Grist Mill is one of the few tidal mills left in the entire country. The mill once ground corn and grain, and it overlooks Little Neck Bay.

26. Wantagh Park

This park features multiple playgrounds, a long walking path, and spots to fish. Mini-golf and a swimming pool are available in the summer months for an additional fee.

27. Sunken Meadow State Park

There are two large playgrounds, as well as a small boardwalk before reaching the beach. A highlight of this state park is the pirate ship playground. Visit during the off-season or in the evenings in the summer to avoid fees.

Jones Beach State Park: 100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids
The lack of waves in Zach’s Bay at Jones Beach makes it perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

28. Jones Beach State Park

Similar to other state parks on this list, Jones Beach is completely free during the off-season. Stroll the boardwalk, play on the playground, or collect seashells.

29. Lakeshore Learning

Long Island's only Lakeshore Learning store is in Garden City. Each month it hosts free events for kids, from science experiments to building, and on the event flyer there is even a coupon for an in-store purchase.

39. Sagamore Hill

Tour Teddy Roosevelt's former property, spanning over 80 acres. Access to the beach, trails, and Old Orchard Museum is free, but to there is a fee to tour Teddy Roosevelt's home.

31. Cantiague Park

Cantiague Park has multiple playgrounds, picnic areas, and baseball fields. In the summer there is a pool for an additional fee. The pool also boasts a spray park and waterslide.

32. Long Beach

Walking in Long Beach can feel like California dreamin'. Its beaches, multiple playgrounds, and long boardwalk are a must-do for all Long Islanders.

33. Port Jefferson Annual Dragon Boat Race

The annual event celebrates Asian culture with vendors, food, and of course, a dragon boat race.

34. Garvies Point Museum and Preserve

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve is on the north shore of Long Island, with beautiful views of the coastline. The museum offers plenty of children's programming and extensive informational exhibits on Native Americans.

35. Garvies Point Playground

While you're in the neighborhood, be sure to visit this spectacular playground that opened in 2021. We love the sail-shaped climbing tower!

36. Friday Night Promenade in Garden City

Themed nights dazzle Garden City residents. There is live music, kid-friendly entertainment, and free giveaways.

37. Eisenhower Park

It's easy to spend the day at Eisenhower Park. There are plenty of shaded picnic areas, and multiple playgrounds, including a large accessible playground, a splash pad in the summer, and a long walking path. Multiple events are set up here throughout the year.

38. Flex Your Library Card

Put our library pass to work for more than checking out books: Many local libraries lend out museum passes that let you visit one of our favorite museums for families on Long Island for free.

39. Fire Island

Walk from Robert Moses State Park to explore parts of Fire Island inaccessible to cars. Don't forget to stop by the lighthouse.

40. Nautical Mile

In the summer it's fun to walk the Nautical Mile in Freeport. It's perfect for walking the dog, a stroller, and people-watching. If you're feeling inclined to cool off, you can stop by Ralph's Italian Ices.

Big Duck: 100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids
Stop by the Big Duck in Flanders for a picture with a Long Island landmark

41. Big Duck

This Flanders landmark is exciting for kids and adults alike. Who doesn't love taking a picture with a giant duck?

42. Norman J. Levy Preserve

On a clear day, trek the trail to the top of the former landfill where you can get a view of the New York City skyline. While on your hike you may spot foxes, birds, and the goats that call the preserve home.

43. See Holiday Houses

Load the family in the car to tour these Griswold-esque decorated holiday houses. Some families really go all out!

44. Barnes and Noble

Located across Long Island, Barnes and Noble stores offer free storytime events each week that are perfect for socializing little ones.

45. Clark Botanic Garden

Clark Botanic Garden is completely free. The garden, which is open year-round, highlights the local fauna of Long Island and features a rose garden.

46. Walt Whitman Birthplace and Historic Site

Walt Whitman was not just a great poet from Long Island, but one who cemented a place in our nation's history. Check out Whitman's recently restored farmhouse birthplace.

47. South Fork Natural History Museum

While you'll have to pay to visit the indoor exhibits and touch tank, the sprawling grounds are free to explore and connect to the Vineyard Field Preserve and Long Pond Greenbelt.

48. Harbes Barnyard Adventure

Save money and nab a free pass from your local library to visit this country attraction. Harbes Barnyard Adventure is a must-do for Long Island families. There are pig races, a sack slide, a hedge maze, and so much more. Pay attention to our family activity calendar too: Harbes offers free admission to some visitors on select dates—like mom's on Mother's Day!

49. Concerts at the Jones Beach Bandshell

Jones Beach holds free concerts at the bandshell all summer long. Previous performances and artists include tribute bands, line dancing, a family night, and performances from School of Rock students.

50. Christopher Morley Park

This park is extremely stroller-friendly; paths are smooth and wide. There is a large playground as well as basketball and handball courts. From mid-May to November check out the farmers market that operates Wednesday mornings.

51. Heckscher Museum of Art

The museum offers a suggested admission policy. It's nestled in Heckscher Park in Huntington, not to be confused with the state park on the South Shore. This is a staple for budding artists on Long Island. Each spring there's an exhibit of the best work of Long Island's high schoolers.

52. Otto the Ghost Animated Story

Meet Otto the ghost and hear his story each fall at Hick's Nursery in Westbury. There are also lots of photo opportunities, so don't be afraid to dress the kids up.

53. Hick's Christmas Children's Story

Return in the winter for an all-new holiday adventure at Hicks. Kids can see a Christmas story, meet Santa, and drop off their letters to the jolly man.

54. Planting Fields Arboretum

Planting Fields Arboretum's two greenhouses are great to visit all year round. In the warmer months, walk the grounds and view the magnificent blooms.

55. Connetquot River State Park

Escape into nature at Connetquot River State Park, but watch out for the ticks living on the sizable deer population.

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Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center : 100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids
Staff will happily help you explore the touch tank at Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center.

56. Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center

Admission to the Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center is free year-round, though in the summer months there is a parking fee. This nature center offers a wonderful touch tank where children can pick up everything.

57. Alive After 5 in Patchogue

This summer staple usually begins in June and features live entertainment, food trucks, vendors, and more.

58. Cedar Creek Park

This park has an archery range, multiple playgrounds, handball and basketball courts, and a roller skating rink.

59. Robert Moses State Park

Robert Moses State Park is much quieter than Jones Beach, and there is a shorter trek down to the water from the boardwalk. However, its boardwalk and amenities aren't as expansive as Jones Beach's.

60. Tanglewood Preserve

Located next to The Center for Science, Tanglewood Preserve has a wooded path as well as a stocked pond for fishing.

61. Newbridge Road Park

Newbridge Road Park is located on the very south of Newbridge Road in Bellmore. There is an updated playground, basketball and handball courts, as well as Newbridge Arena for ice skating, though the rink is an additional fee. After a snowstorm, check out the steep hill for some sledding.

62. The Great Jack O' Lantern Sail

Each year the state parks department hosts this spooktacular event for free.

63. Uplands Farm Sanctuary

Uplands Farm Sanctuary was once a dairy farm, and the original farm structures, including the silo, are still standing, though they are not operational.

64. Bethpage State Park

Hiking, playgrounds, tennis courts, equestrian paths, and more are available at Bethpage State Park.

65. Magnolia Park Playground

The newly erected playground has state-of-the-art equipment, including a large, multi-person swing that's handicap accessible. Even crawlers can get in on the fun at this playground.

66. Cedarmere

Walt Whitman wasn't the only famous poet to call Long Island home. Visit Cedarmere to see the magnificent grounds, mansion, and buildings of romantic poet William Cullen Bryant.

67. Cold Spring Harbor State Park

Large oak trees, with trunks over 3 feet in diameter, call this state park home. It's the perfect spot to observe spring and fall bird migrations.

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Bayard Cutting Arboretum : 100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids
Bayard’s beautiful scenery makes for great family photos.

68. Bayard Cutting Arboretum

This beautiful park sits right on the water. It's a great spot for taking family photos, and you might spy some ospreys that nest on the property.

69. Quogue Wildlife Refuge

There are 7 miles of trails to explore, plus an outdoor area housing injured wildlife that have been rescued, like owls, a fox, and more. Inside the nature center, you can find more wildlife exhibits.

70. Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay is nestled on Long Island's picturesque north shore. Walk Main Street, stop by the beach to watch ships sail and dock, or check out the Oyster Festival in the fall.

71. Brookhaven State Park

Brookhaven State Park is the center of Long Island's Pine Barrens. This park is great for families who are serious about hiking, but don't expect playgrounds or picnic areas.

72. Music on Main

This summer event happens in Farmingdale on Main Street. Enjoy live music, vendors, and food.

73. Hofstra University Museum of Art

There are over 5,000 works of art in the museum, featuring ancient works up to modern-day.

74. Babylon Block Party

Play games, listen to live music, and check out the local eats and vendors at Babylon's annual summer celebration.

75. Riverhead

There is plenty to do in Riverhead. Walk the historic downtown area and stroll along the riverfront.

76. Camp Hero State Park

View the historic military installation and hike the wooded trails. The park has amazing surf fishing as well.

77. Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center

This is the nation's first songbird sanctuary. There are 13 acres of lush forest habitat to explore.

78. Rock Hall Country Fair

This annual fair takes place at Rock Hall, a pre-revolutionary war home, where there are farm animals, vendors, games, food, and more.

79. Point Lookout

In the off-season, check out the beaches located on Point Lookout, which itself is surrounded by water on three sides.

80. Hither Hills State Park

Located in Montauk, this is a great camping spot. There is a playground, fishing, picnic areas, and walking dunes.

81. The Hamptons

While it may be expensive to live in the Hamptons, it doesn't cost anything to visit. Check out the beaches in the off-season, gawk at the homes, and window shop the stores.

82. Cow Meadow Park

Located in Freeport on the water, this large park features handball courts, an updated playground, a fitness circuit, and water sports.

Heckscher State Park: 100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids
Explore the trails at Heckscher State Park.

83. Heckscher State Park

It's easy to get lost in Heckscher's wooded trails, so keep a map or GPS handy. It's also a popular camping spot.

84. Caumsett State Park

This is another state park with long and meandering trails. When you reach the shore, the views of the bluffs are spectacular.

85. Michael J. Tully Park

The park is in the Town of North Hempstead. It has a playground, spray park, basketball, and a dog park.

86. Holtsville Ecology Site

This is a hidden gem on Long Island. This free zoo has a petting zoo in the front, with goats, sheep, and alpacas. Heading to the back of the zoo, you'll find foxes, peacocks, an eagle, and even a bear.

87. Westfield South Shore

Do some window shopping at this local mall, then let kids burn off some energy in the play area one of our favorite free places to play with babies and toddlers on Long Island.

88. Kids Eat Free Deals

These local Long Island restaurants offer free meals for kids. Additional purchase may be required, and some limitations apply—but something free is better than nothing in our book.

89. Movies on the Harbor

Head to the lovely family-friendly town of Port Jefferson for an alfresco movie night come summer.

90. Rocketship Park

Another Port Jefferson fave: This local park, which is sure to inspire any space-lover's creative play.

91. Stew Leonard's

A trip to this grocery store is no regular shopping trip. See characters, nab samples, and keep an eye out for fun, free events like its annual trick-or-treat trail with costumed characters.

92. Marina Park

This romping spot is one of our favorite new playgrounds on Long Island thanks to its expansive jungle gym, ninja warrior course, and more fun attractions for kids.

Alive on 25 in Riverhead: 100 Free Things To Do on Long Island with Kids
Party the night away at Alive on 25 in Riverhead on Fridays in the summer months. Photo courtesy of the event

93. Alive on 25 in Riverhead

This event runs multiple Fridays in the summer. Main Street closes down, filling with people, vendors, activities, live music, entertainment, and more.

94. Hit the Beach

During the summer, the costs can multiply—but many of Long Island's sandy shores are free to visit during off-peak times.

95. Railroad Museum of Long Island Holiday Open House

Spend a winter weekend at the Railroad Museum of Long Island seeing model trains and visiting Santa.

96. Greenport

Located on the North Fork, Greenport is a quaint town with lots to see and do, including stunning views of the sound and a walkable Main Street.

97. Parrish Art Museum

Throughout the year, Parrish Art Museum offers different free programs for kids. Admission is always free for kids and everyone can explore the grounds fee-free daily, too.

98. Go Fishing

Take advantage of the sandy shores to drop a line at one of these local fishing spots.

99. Hit a Local Splash Pad

Fight summer's heat with a trip to one of these local splash pads, most of which are free.

100. Massapequa Strawberry Festival

Sample summer's sweet treat at this annual festival sponsored by the local historical society. Expect plenty of free kids' activities, raffles, entertainment, and—of course—strawberries.

Unless noted, photos by the author