May GoList: Best Things To Do with Long Island Kids This Month

May GoList 2018, Long Island, New York: The Best Things to Do with Kids on LI

Short on syllables, long on possibilities.

That would seem to the story of May on Long Island, would it not? Though only three letters, May offers 31 days of family adventures, as outdoor activity becomes a reality and kids can see the end of the school year on the horizon.

So what makes May so appealing, notwithstanding the sunshine, of course?

Well, there’s nature, as in the Greenport Cherry Blossom Festival in the North Fork harbor community. There's the outdoors at state park celebrations across the Island. Add in a touch of multiculturalism and a spring festival or two and you see why we at Mommy Poppins greet this month with such enthusiasm.  

There’s also that one day a year when we say thank you to our moms and another when we remember our fallen veterans. Long Island restaurants see big crowds on Mother’s Day, so make reservations if you’re planning to take mom out for brunch or lunch. Memorial Day is, of course, the unofficial start of summer, especially on the East End—time for barbecues, beach parties, and more.    

With all that on tap, why belabor our introduction? Let’s get right to our list of the best in Long Island family entertainment this month.

As always, if you are interested in an event, click through for information on dates, times, and addresses. And see our Long Island Spring Guide for a detailed look at the best seasonal entertainment. Lastly, don’t forget to check our Long Island Events Calendar for more exciting family options as they develop throughout the month.

Stroll around Greenport this month to view its lovely cherry trees. Photo courtesy of the Village of Greenport

Greenport Cherry Blossom Festival — Greenport
Tuesday, May 1-Sunday, May 13
The North Fork destination, known as “Tree City USA” treats visitors (and locals) to two weeks of blooming cherry blossoms. Pick up a map at village hall and take a self-guided tour.   

I Love My Park Celebrations — Islandwide
Saturday, May 5
State parks across Long Island, including  Bethpage State Park, Connetquot River, Hempstead Lake, Heckscher, and others participate in the state’s annual celebration of these outdoor destinations. Join in park cleanups, tree and garden planting, habitat restoration, and more.

Israelfest — Port Washington
Sunday, May 6
Enjoy live music, dance, food, arts and crafts, and children's rides in the largest celebration of Israeli and Jewish culture on Long Island. The celebration, at North Hempstead Beach Park, begins at noon. 

Long Island Comic Book Expo — Old Bethpage
Sunday, May 6
Come to the Old Bethpage Village Restoration for collectible comics, face painting, toys, art, and more.

May Day Festival — East Setauket
Sunday, May 6
Join Benner’s Farm in a traditional Maypole celebration. Mingle with the farm animals and enjoy music and dancing.   

RELATED: Where to see cherry blossoms on Long Island

Sakura Matsuri at Stony Brook University celebrates Japanese culture and the arrival of spring. Photo courtesy of the festival

Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival — Stony Brook University
Sunday, May 6
This cherry blossom festival at the Charles B. Wang Center is also a celebration of Japanese culture. Enjoy taiko drums, kimono dress-up, and more.

Spring Celebration — Sands Point
Sunday, May 6
Sands Point Preserve hosts its annual celebration of the season. Glimpse the blooming flowers and budding trees and help in creating the plantings.   

Blooming tulips decorate Heckscher Park in Huntington Village. Photo courtesy of the office of Mark Cuthbertson

Town of Huntington Tulip Festival — Huntington Village
Sunday, May 6
Come to Heckscher Park (not Heckscher State Park) and enjoy more than 20,000 tulips in bloom as well as children’s activities, stage performances, art exhibits, and more. FREE

Mother’s Day Across Long Island — Islandwide
Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13
Show mom how much you love her on Mother’s Day weekend. Saturday events include painting at Key to My Art in Amityville; a sewing workshop at The Fashion Class in Merrick; and a tea party at Stew Leonard’s in Farmingdale. On Sunday, enjoy celebrations at
and Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck. And don’t forget our guide to the best Mother’s Day brunches and lunches on Long Island.

RELATED: Spring festivals for Long Island families 

Thrill to the acrobatics of Cirque de Soleil at Nassau Coliseum. Photo courtesy of the production

Cirque du Soleil: VOLTA — Nassau Coliseum
Thursday, May 18-Thursday, May 31
The acrobatic circus troupe returns to Long Island with a show rooted in action sports. The inspirational performance celebrates being true to yourself and fulfilling your potential.

Meet the resident animals at the Fleece and Fiber Fair at Hallockville Museum Farm. Photo courtesy of the museum

Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair — Riverhead
Saturday, May 19-Sunday, May 20
At Hallockville Museum Farm, kids can meet the llamas, alpacas, and angora rabbits that provide the fleece needed to make yarn and other fiber goods. Kids can watch knitters up close as they work on wearable pieces.

Thomas School of Horsemanship Spring Festival — Melville
Sunday, May 20
The spring carnival features pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, field games, STEM projects, and more.  

RELATED: State parks on Long island worth a visit

The Blue Angels will soar through the skies at the Bethpage Air Show. Photo courtesy of the event

Bethpage Air Show — Jones Beach State Park
Saturday, May 26-Sunday, May 27
The Air Force Thunderbirds, Navy Blue Angels, and the Army Golden Knight Parachute Team headline this start-of-summer tradition at New York’s most-visited state park. FREE with park admission.

Decoration Day at Old Bethpage Village — Old Bethpage
Saturday, May 26-Sunday, May 27
Take part in a special ceremony for those who died in defense of our nation. Enjoy vintage craft demonstrations, brass band concerts, a parade, and old-time baseball as it was played in 1864.  

Parade of Flags — Mount Sinai
Monday, May 28
On Memorial Day, marvel at a parade of state, national, territorial, local, and military flags at Heritage Trust. Demonstrate your love for our country and veterans at the FREE event.

Many Long Island communities sponsor Memorial Day activities, including parades. Check back for schedules and updates.