End of Summer Bucket List: 27 Things To Do on Long Island Before School Starts

Thrill to a final run down the water slide at Splish Splash in Calverton. Photo courtesy of the park
Thrill to a final run down the water slide at Splish Splash in Calverton. Photo courtesy of the park

Our end-of-summer bucket list for Long Island kids will help you fill the last few weeks of the season with engaging and entertaining fun.

We've rounded up 27 of the best activities to do with kids on LI before they head back to school, from cooling off at water playgrounds and outdoor pools to enjoying pick-your-own flower farms or festivals and street fairs

For more of the best family events, browse our Summer Fun Guide or our Beaches, Pools, and Water Playgrounds Guide for your last sticky summertime hurrah before school resumes. And, of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

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An End-of-Summer Bucket List for Long Island Kids

1. Run Through Some Sprinklers

Hit the local splash pad one more time before the sprinklers are turned off for fall.

2. Ride a Roller Coaster

Visit Adventureland or test out the kiddie rides at the newly opened Legoland New York or another nearby theme park.

3. Dine Alfresco

Nosh outdoors at Long Island restaurants with great outdoor seating and enviable views, including these in the Hamptons.

RELATED: The Best Beach Communities on LI That Aren't in the Hamptons

End of summer bucket list on Long Island Jones Beach
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. Jones Beach is an awesome, family-friendly destination with so much more than sand. 

5. Grab Your Popcorn 

Catch a movie under the stars at Wantagh Park,  Heritage Park, or Tanner Park.

6. Get a Dose of Dinosaurs

Visit the new dinosaur exhibit at The Center for Science Teaching and Learning. When you are done, visit one of Rockville Centre's newest hot spots for kids.

7. Explore a New Community

Whether it's Lindenhurst, Huntington, Port Jefferson, or Garden City, family-friendly fun awaits. For an extra summery feel, stroll through these cute beach towns.

RELATED: The Best Camping Destinations on LI for Families

End of summer bucket list on Long Island Fire Island ligthouse
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 6-7 at Montauk Point.

9. Be a Scientist for the Day

Explore the seasonal Our Backyard exhibit at the Long Island Children's Museum while it's still warm outside. While you are there, have your budding scientists collect data on Monarch butterflies that real scientists will analyze during the Citizen Scientist sessions included in your admission.

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 or check out these family-friendly campsites a little further out of town.

11. Take One More Train Ride

Hitch a final ride aboard Long Island Live Steamers, a mini railroad for kids at Southaven County Park, or visit one of these other destinations for train-obsessed kids

RELATED: 100 Things to Do with Kids on Long Island Before They Grow Up

End of summer bucket list on Long Island berry picking
Savor the last summer berries at Bhavana Berries on the North Fork. Photo by the author

12. Be a Farmer For a Day

Visit one of the many farms on Long Island and pick ripe berriesflowers, or peaches.

13. Swoosh Down a Water Slide

Check out these water parks and epic pool slides, including the new high thrill slides at Splish Splash.

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

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 and fly down a zip line 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 and Promenade Nights in Great Neck Plaza.

RELATED: 50 Great Things to Do With Kids on the East End in the Summer

End of summer bucket list on Long Island crabbing at Jones Beach
Cruise the Jones Beach boardwalk, then go crabbing or fishing at Pier 10. Photo by the author

19. Enjoy the Beach Without the Sand

Stroll a Long Island boardwalk in flip-flops, sans hoodie. Or fish off a pier. Hang onto that summer vibe—you'll need it come November.

20. Get Out of Town

Take a final summer day trip to see dinosaurs, parks, cute towns, ferries, and more. 

21. Collect Seashells by the Seashore

Bring them home and make these seashell crafts.

22. Have a Party

Set up a backyard water park extravaganza for the neighborhood kids with games and plenty of splish-splashing. 

23. Decide Between Comedy Or Tragedy

Head to the Annual Shakespeare Festival at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. You can choose between Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, Troilus and Cressida, or Henry V this year.

End of summer bucket list on Long Island mini golfing
Attention mini-golfers: Go for a hole-in-one at the aquatic-themed Whale's Tale on Shelter Island. Photo by the author

24. Get on the Course

Putt-putt your way to a hole-in-one at these great Long Island mini-golf spots.

25. Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Cool down with an over-the-top ice cream creation from local parlors, or check out these other indulgent sweet treats.

26. Host a Sleepover

Kids will have a blast with these sleepover games.

27. Hop on the Ferry

Visit one of the many family-friendly destinations on Fire Island.

This post is updated annually. Writer Kristen Markel contributed to this 2022 update. 

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