Cool down with the family this summer at Calverton's Splish Splash Water Park. Photo courtesy of the park
Cool down with the family this summer at Calverton's Splish Splash Water Park. Photo courtesy of the park

25 Things We Can't Wait To Do This Summer With LI Kids

Summer fun is what most of us have been waiting for all year. Following last year's season of closures and cancellations, Long Islanders can once again hit summer hot spots like Adventureland and Splish Splash and culture hubs, like the Vanderbilt Planetarium, are also ready to welcome visitors again.

From swimming at beautiful beaches to taking a family-friendly road trip to the East End or exploring local parks and playgrounds, there is no reason you should have to hear the words “I’m bored!” from your kids this summer. To help your family get the most out of this season full of reopenings and reuniting, we’ve put together this list of 25 summer activities we can’t wait to do on Long Island.

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1. Dine Alfresco

Pack a picnic and visit one of these charming local picnic spots. Or, if you prefer, dine at one of these great, kid-friendly outdoor restaurants.

2. Peep Pop-Up Art

Gallery North's Annual Wet Paint Festival celebrates plein air painting at three locations this summer.

RELATED: Guide to Summer Fun for Long Island Families

Splash at the Geiger Lake Memorial Spray Park
Geiger Lake Memorial Park's spray area offers more than 20 play elements to keep kids entertained. Photo courtesy of Stalco Construction

3. Run Through the Sprinklers

There’s nothing like running through the sprinklers to make you feel like a kid again. Long Island has spraygrounds aplenty to visit; just heed residency rules before heading out.

4. Head East

Plenty of fun awaits on Long Island's East End, and we've found 50 things to do with kids in the Hamptons and on the North Fork.

5. Enjoy Pick-Your-Own Farm Fun

Blueberries, blackberries, and even strawberries can be had fresh from the farm this summer. You can also attend a strawberry festival in Mattituck or Massapequa, or visit the family-fun fields (and more!) at Riverhead's Garden of Eve.

RELATED: Super Fun Water Parks, Slides, and Pools on Long Island

Exterior shot of Legoland New York Hotel with Mini-Figures in the foreground
Everything is awesome in Goshen, where the sprawling Legoland New York is welcoming visitors. Photo courtesy of Legoland

6. Go West

There’s always something fun to do in NYC with kids. You can venture a bit further, though, for an epic day trip to the newly opened Legoland New York theme park.

7. Promenade in the Streets

Enjoy themed nights every Friday through mid-September in the heart of Garden City Village, when it closes to traffic and opens up for fun. Additionally, Riverhead's walkable downtown closes along Main Street on select Thursdays in July and August for a street fair that includes live music, vendors, food, entertainment, and more.

8. Enjoy Songs and Science Under the Stars

The Science Museum of Long Island is hosting biweekly Live at Five events at the Leeds Pond Preserve. Swing and sway to tunes and indulge in food truck fare as you explore the outdoor STEM-y grounds in Plandome.

RELATED: Drive-In Movie Theaters and Pop-up Outdoor Movie Nights on Long Island

Kids strapped into an Adventureland Ride
There are rides for every thrill level at Adventureland. Photo by Jaime Sumersille

9. Go for a Wild Ride

Get an adrenaline rush at one of these amazing amusement parks. Adventureland has unveiled a new ride and an amped-up arcade area.

10. Take a Dip

Cool off at one of these public pools that are open to everyone.

11. Cast a Line

Target your catch of the day at one of Long Island’s many family-friendly fishing destinations. Of course, the trout pond is always fully stocked at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery.

RELATED: Ultimate Summer Play List: 100 Fun Activities for Kids

Go kayaking in the Peconic River this summer
Rent a kayak and set off along the Peconic River. Photo by Jaime Sumersille

12. Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Spend some time on the water in a kayak, pedalboat, or canoe. Or join the Race to Save the Sea Turtles Paddle Battle LI along the Peconic River on Saturday, July 31.

13. Climb and Swing

You can’t go wrong with a visit to a playground or park to keep kids busy and happy. You can even make it a beach day with one of these awesome beach playgrounds. Or notch up the thrill level at Wildplay or The Adventure Park at Long Island.

RELATED: Water Parks Near NYC For Family Thrills

Boy on a mini-golf course in summer sunshine
Go for a hole-in-one at one of the mini-golf courses around Long Island. Photo by the author

14. Hit the Links

Whether you want to play miniature golf or take on a par-3 course, Long Island's got options. On a rainy day, Monster Golf or Glowgolf is your best bet!

15. Explore Birds, Beaches & Butterflies

Spend a Saturday this summer at the Garvies Point Museum as it hosts various family-friendly activities all season long.

16. Slip and Slide

Make your kids' day with a trip to a water park, where kids—and grown-ups—can cool off and have a blast.

RELATED: LI Boardwalks Perfect for a Family Stroll

Jones Beach shore illuminated by fireworks
Enjoy the sands—and the shows—at Jones Beach. Photo courtesy of NY Parks

17. Hit the Beach

The beach is synonymous with summer on Long Island; here's our rundown of the best beaches for families, as well as our picks for the best beach gear and hacks.

18. Enjoy an Old-School, Drive-In Movie

While the pandemic brought about a revival of drive-in movie theaters across Long Island last year, the fun continues this summer as well. Outdoor movies hosted by local municipalities make a return this summer, too.

19. Take a Hike

There are many family-friendly hiking trails just waiting for you and your family to explore. Or, try a bike trail. We're crushing on the lovely, waterfront Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway extension right now.

RELATED: Family-Friendly Boat Rides for Kids on LI


"Bug Light," near Greenport, is one of only a handful of offshore lighthouses that allows visitors. Photo courtesy of the East End Seaport Museum

20. Light it Up

Experience living history by visiting one of Long Island’s beautiful, historic lighthouses.

21. Celebrate Summer Saturdays

Enjoy yoga, hip hop, Zumba, a farmers market, music, theater, and more each Saturday this summer at Delano Stewart Plaza in Babylon.

22. See Art After Dark

On four evenings this summer and fall, downtown Riverhead transforms into a walkable art-after-dark experience.

RELATED: Nature Centers Sure to Delight LI Kids

Girl feeds a sheep at Harbes Family Farm
Interact with the "residents" at Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck. Photo courtesy of the farm

23. Feed the Animals

Petting zoos and game farms are wonderful places to interact with animals and even to feed some of the "residents."

24. See a Summer Concert Under the Stars

Grab a lawn chair or beach blanket and enjoy a family-friendly concert outdoors with your neighbors at Hoyt Farm, The Landmark on Main Street, Harborfront Park, and Eisenhower Park.

25. Immerse Yourself in Pop culture

Enjoy a one-stop-shopping event for all things pop-culture—comics, toys, collectibles, artwork, and more—at the Cradle of Aviation on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18. Check out the Cradle's retro, playable Arcade Age exhibit while you're there.

Bonus: Send them to camp. It’s not too late to sign up for a camp on Long Island. Whether your kids are into sports, science, or art, there’s a summer camp for almost any interest.

This article is updated annually.

Summer fun is what most of us have been waiting for all year. Following last year's season of closures and cancellations, Long Islanders can once again hit summer hot spots like Adventureland and Splish Splash and culture hubs, like the Vanderbilt Planetarium, are also ready to welcome visitors again.

From swimming at beautiful beaches to taking a family-friendly road trip to the East End or exploring local parks and playgrounds, there is no reason you should have to hear the words “I’m bored!” from your kids this summer. So, to help your family get the most out of this season full of reopenings and reuniting, we’ve put together this list of 25 summer activities we can’t wait to do on Long Island.

2021 State Parks Summer Run Series
Sunken Meadow State Park - 11:00 AM Pick
Huntington Summer Arts Festival
Heckscher Park - 7:30 PM Pick
Dances in the Park in Greenport Village
Greenport Village Waterfront - 7:30 PM Pick
Summer Drive-in Movie Series at Smith Point Beach
Smith Point County Park - 7:00 PM Pick
Town of Babylon Outdoor Movie Series
Tanner Park - 8:00 PM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides