Rainy-day activities that can keep kids occupied for hours indoors are crucial when it's pouring, cold, or just plain yucky outside. We've found 25 things to do across Long Island that will brighten even the gloomiest of days. Our roundup includes Long Island’s top indoor play spaces, sports centers and fun zones, the latest museum exhibits, and the newest area attractions to visit.
For even more fun things to do, check out some of these creative indoor boredom busters, and be sure to keep an eye on our constantly updated Event Calendar for when it's time to venture outside again!
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Grab the kids and head to Liddle Bites in Long Beach for a snack and playtime.
Indoor Activities Across Long Island
1. Enjoy a Cup of Joe
Visit one of Long Island’s play cafés. which feature menus filled with sweet treats and beverages.
2. Let the Little Ones Bounce and Play
Book a session at an indoor fun center like Social Play Haus in Plainview and let little ones get all that extra energy out.
3. Ignite Your Child's Imagination
A STEAM-based venue like the Long Island Explorium in Port Jefferson offers plenty of hands-on activities and exhibits that are both fun and educational.
4. Aim for a Strike
Challenge your kids to a friendly game or two of bowling at Long Island's best alleys, where bumpers are optional.
5. Have Your Toddlers Work Off Their Energy
Instead of bouncing off the walls in your living room, visit one of the best play spaces for Long Island toddlers.
6. Find a New Favorite Novel
Reading is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Head to your local library to check out some book–and don’t forget about other perks available from libraries, including FREE museum passes.
7. Host a Cannonball Contest
Go for a swim…indoors, of course, at one of these family-friendly Long Island indoor pools.
8. Sample Something Sweet
Head to a Long Island candy shop and let your kids (and yourself) indulge.
RELATED: Great Family-Friendly Museums on Long Island
Thrill the kids with a trip to RPM Raceway for go-kart or slot car racing.
9. Enjoy Some High-Energy Fun
If you have a tween or teen, head to a go-kart or slot car racing destination.
10. Get in the Spirit of Sweden
Head to Ikea in Hicksville, where you can combine a day of shopping with exploring plenty of child-friendly areas inside the store. The store boasts a family-friendly restaurant and supervised play space, Smaland, which is open from noon-6pm every day.
11. So Many Museums, So Little Time
Head to Museum Row in Garden City, where the Long Island Children’s Museum, Nunley's Carousel, the Nassau County Firefighters Museum, and The Cradle of Aviation are all ripe for exploration.
Stop by Long Island Aquarium 's Ray Bay early in the day to feed stingrays before they sell out of their allotted feedings. Photo by Gina Massaro
12. Visit Some Sea Creatures
If marine life fascinates your children, check out the Long Island Aquarium, where something cool is always on display.
13. Learn About Our Island's Ecology
Visit the friendly resident animals at Tackapausha Museum and Preserve, a south shore nature sanctuary. It's open Thursdays through Sundays.
Try your luck at a number of arcade games at Round 1. Photo by the author
14. Grab Your Quarters
Long Island is host to a bevy of awesome indoor arcades.
15. You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream
Head to one of our great local ice cream shops for a sweet treat.
16. Close Your Kitchen
Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there’s no shortage of family-friendly restaurants on Long Island. Some even have times when kids eat for free.
17. Nurture Your Little Artists
Check out a local art studio that offers classes for kids.
18. Relax in the Theater
Sit back and enjoy a movie in the theater or check out a family-friendly flick from the comfort of your couch.
19. Lace Up Your Skates
Head to an indoor ice skating rink and practice your turns.
20. Try For A Hole In One
Gather your favorite foursome and play mini-golf at one of Long Island's indoor courses.
21. Visit New Heights
Climb the walls at an indoor rock climbing gym, like Melville's The Gravity Vault.
RELATED: 65 Indoor Activities for Kids on a Rainy Day
Swing for the fences at Topgolf in Holtsville. Photo by the author
22. Practice Your Golf Swing
For non-mini golf, head to Topgolf in Holtsville. Kids can try to knock down Angry Birds while adults can practice for their next game.
23. Captivate Your Little Listener
For a storytime section, visit The Next Chapter in Huntington on Mondays and enjoy letting someone else turn the pages for once.
24. Go Back to The Gilded Age
Visit the Vanderbilt Mansion, where you can take a tour, see animal exhibits from the former owner's extensive travels, and see an out-of-this-world show at the planetarium.
25. Watch a Kid-Friendly Performance
Get tickets to a kid-friendly show at the Engeman Theater in Northport, the Argyle Theatre in Babylon, CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale, or Merrick Theatre.
This post, originally published in 2017, is updated annually. Unless noted, photos courtesy of the venues