Historic Sites on Long Island Kids Love

Kids can experience 19th-century village life at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Photo by  Kenny Arena/courtesy of the museum
Kids can experience 19th-century village life at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Photo by Kenny Arena/courtesy of the museum
8/25/23 - By Jaime Sumersille

History is plentiful here on Long Island, from the oldest lighthouse in New York, the Montauk Point Lighthouse, to Teddy Roosevelt's digs at Sagamore Hill. Famous residents have included poets, presidents, and captains of industry.

This all adds up to an impressive roster of historic sites, many of which offer great photo opportunities and fun for kids–read on for our top picks. 

For more educational and historic places to explore on Long Island, check out our Museums and Art Guide for Long Island Kids.


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Historic Sites in Nassau County for Families to Visit

Old Bethpage Village Restoration – Old Bethpage

This pre-Civil War farm village is complete with original structures that were brought here from other parts of Long Island, including a church, general store, tavern, farm, shops, and homes. It hosts various fairs and festivals throughout the year, as well as Old Time Base Ball games on weekends. Recently, the historic grounds have even served as the setting for the annual Great Jack-o'-Lantern Blaze: Long Island.

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park – Oyster Bay

Offering outdoor theater, a sensory garden, and school programs, Planting Fields is rich in history, and it also serves as a public arboretum. Coe Hall, one of the original Gold Coast estates, boasts self-guided tours. Family-friendly events are scheduled throughout the year, including Arbor Day.

RELATED: Great Family-Friendly Museums on Long Island 

Enjoy tours of Sagamore Hill, the former home of President Theodore Roosevelt. Photo via Shutterstock.

Sagamore Hill – Oyster Bay

The home that Theodore Roosevelt built in the 1880s serves as an enriching spot to visit on Long Island. Explore the natural surroundings and become inspired by the legacy of one of America's most popular presidents. Tours are offered, as well as Youth Ranger activities. Picnic outdoors and stroll through the grounds to see forested areas, meadows, a salt marsh, and a beach. These areas are home to birds, small mammals, turtles, frogs, and insects.

American Airport Museum – Farmingdale

Take a historic flight back in history at this museum which boasts a squadron of operational World War II aircraft and spotlights the U.S.'s rich aviation history. Wander around this airport hangar and explore planes from the inside and out. Press all the buttons, pull every lever, and flip each switch. Being a one-level facility makes this spot stroller-friendly. During the annual Jones Beach Air Show, this spot serves as a hub for all of the aviation participants. Children ages 4 and younger are FREE.

Enjoy the gorgeous view from the Montauk Point Lighthouse. Photo by erin1rowell via Instagram.

Suffolk County Historic Sites to Visit with Kids

Hallockville Museum Farm – Riverhead 

A preserved Long Island farm homestead, Hallockville houses a slew of prehistoric artifacts, as well as historic farm buildings. Public tours are offered May 1-October 31. The annual Country Fair and Fiber and Fleece Festival are big draws for family farm fun.

Long Island Maritime Museum – Sayville

LIMM is dedicated to the research, preservation, and interpretation of the region’s rich nautical heritage and maritime history. Whether it’s boat building, shipwrecks, shellfish harvesting, or recreational boating that captures your imagination, it’s all captured in the galleries and the museum's many events and programs, including the annual Halloween Boat Burning.

Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum – Montauk

Completed in 1796, Montauk Point is the oldest lighthouse in New York State. Climb the seemingly countless steps to the top for a great view. Note: Children must be at least 41" to climb the lighthouse stairs. They will be admitted for FREE, but will not be allowed to climb the tower. Each summer the museum hosts a Lighthouse Weekend and during the holiday season, the lighthouse is adorned with colorful lights.

RELATED: Nature Centers Sure to Delight LI Kids

Learn all about farming at Sylvester Manor. Photo courtesy of the manor.

Sylvester Manor – Shelter Island

This former sugar plantation–originally established in the mid-17th century–now features an organic farm and a vibrant education center. Children will be in awe of the 19th-century windmill, which is in the process of being restored to working order. Events include tours, agricultural celebrations, and summer youth programs. The annual Farm & Sing Festival brings Long Islanders together to harvest fall crops and sing and dance.

Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site – Huntington Station

The birthplace of American poet Walt Whitman is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1819, some of the 19th-century furniture has been preserved. In addition to a visitor's center and picnic area, folks can embark on self-guided tours and hikes year-round.

This post was originally published in 2016 and has since been updated.

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