End-of-Summer Fun: 25 Things to Do on Long Island Before School Starts
Why whine about summer winding down when you can embrace it, filling these last few weeks with engaging and entertaining family fun?
We've rounded up 25 of the best end-of-summer fun activities to do with kids on Long Island before they head back to school — from water playgrounds and outdoor pools to pick-your-own flower farms and fairs and street festivals.
For the best family events, browse our Summer Fun Guide or our guide to beaches, pools, and water fun for your last sticky summertime hurrah before school resumes. Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.
Must-Do Summer Activities with Kids Before School Resumes
1. Run Through Some Sprinklers
Hit the local splash pad one more time before the sprinklers are turned off for fall.
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2. Ride a Roller Coaster
3. Dine Al Fresco
Hit the waves at Jones Beach, where the water temperature in August is at a seasonal high. Photo by the author
4. Build One Last Sandcastle
Hit the beach one more time. Swim and lounge in the summer sun.
5. Grab Your Popcorn
6. Get a Dose of Dinosaurs
7. Explore a New Community
Climb the Fire Island Lighthouse for an amazing view of the sea. Photo by the author
8. Get a New Perspective
Climb a lighthouse before the ocean gets too rough and the breeze too chilly. Enjoy a host of family-friendly activities during Lighthouse Weekend August 7-8 at Montauk Point.
Our Backyard is a water-based play area for kids at the Long Island Children's Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum
9. Experience the Messiness of Nature
10. Pitch a Tent (or Park Your RV)
Enjoy the outdoors at these cool Long Island camping sites for a final weekend of summer outdoor fun.
11. Take One More Train Ride
Savor the last summer berries at Bhavana Berries on the North Fork. Photo by the author
12. Be a Farmer For a Day
Ride the epic water slides as a family at Splish Splash. Photo courtesy of the park
13. Swoosh Down a Water Slide
14. Dive Into Fun
Pick up a day pass for these fantastic outdoor swimming pools before the autumn chill arrives.
15. Don Your Captain's Hat and Life Vest
Explore Long Island via water by taking a family-friendly boat ride.
16. Visit Wine Country
Have a picnic at one of Long Island's many family-friendly wineries.
17. Have One More Adventure
Brave the ropes and bridges then zipline parallel to the beach, at WildPlay adventure park at Jones Beach.
18. Celebrate the Summer
Get your face painted, pick up a balloon, and enjoy carnival rides at some of the final summer street festivals, carnivals, and fairs on Long Island, including Alive on 25 in Riverhead, Promenade Nights in Great Neck Plaza, and Port Outdoors Dine and Shop in Port Washington.
Cruise the Jones Beach boardwalk, then go crabbing or fishing at Pier 10. Photo by the author
19. Enjoy the Beach Without the Sand
Attention mini-golfers: Go for a hole-in-one at the aquatic-themed Whale's Tale on Shelter Island. Photo by the author
20. Get on the Course
Putt-putt your way to a hole-in-one at these mini-golf spots.
21. Get Out of Town
Take a final summer-fueled day trip to see dinosaurs, parks, cute towns, ferries, and more.
22. Go Back in Time
Watch the "Old Time Base Ball Tournament" at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Players in vintage uniforms play the game following the rules from 1864.
23. Have a Party
Set up a backyard water park extravaganza for the neighborhood kids with games and plenty of splish splashing.
24. Decide Between Comedy Or Tragedy
25. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
This post is updated annually. Writer Kristen Markel contributed to this 2021 update.