End of Summer Bucket List: 27 Things To Do on Long Island Before School Starts
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
3. Dine Alfresco
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
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
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)
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
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
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.
Cruise the Jones Beach boardwalk, then go crabbing or fishing at Pier 10. Photo by the author
19. Enjoy the Beach Without the Sand
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
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
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.