There are many places on the island to give your kids an introduction to the mission of Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, including crafts-centered events at the Whaling Museum and Education Center, the Long Island Children's Museum, the Children's Museum of the East End, and As You Wish Parties.
Animal lovers will also find plenty of activities to kindle their love for furry friends, from the Center for Science Teaching & Learning's Junior Zookeeper Workshop to animal mosaics, rubber ducks, and Father Goose. After all that learning, take in a lighthearted play about the ups and downs of friendship.
For more activities to fill the three-day weekend, pop on over to our January GoList or Winter Fun Guide to find more seasonal fun. And if you're keeping an eye on your wallet after the holidays, check out our list of 20 FREE Things to Do with Long Island Kids This Winter.
Of course, our Event Calendar is always loaded with fun daily events for Long Island kids. (Don't see a great event listed here? Add it to our Event Calendar yourself!)
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The Wizard of Oz — Bellmore
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to a theatrical performance of the famous story featuring music from the MGM movie. Watch Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion brought to life onstage, followed by a meet-and-greet. (Bring your camera.)
Create an Ocean of Motion — Port Jefferson
Teach kids about density and flotation at the Maritime Explorium using water, oil, Alka-Seltzer, and everyday household objects like sponges and marbles. Kids can take a bottle of flotation potion home with them to continue the exploring at home. FREE with admission
Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. — Bridgehampton
Stop by the Children's Museum of the East End for a craft inspired by the famous civil rights leader's "I Have a Dream" speech. FREE with admission
Saturday, January 14
Junior Zookeeper Workshop — Rockville Centre
In this drop-off program, kids can go behind the scenes at the Center for Science Teaching & Learning and get a hands-on lesson in animal care, including feeding, cleaning, and handling.
Storybook Walk — Quogue
Enjoy a "storybook walk" through the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Pages from Jan Brett's beautifully illustrated book The Mitten, a Ukrainian folktale, are mounted on posts along the walk; the refuge's librarian will read them aloud as kids move along the path. Afterward, visit the refuge's collection of slithery and furry residents. Who knows? Maybe one of them will find a home in your child's mitten...
Father Goose's Tales — East Hampton
See what happens when Mother Goose takes the day off and Father Goose must do all her chores—including the storytelling—in this vibrant shadow puppet show at Goat on a Boat.
Animal Mosaics — Smithtown
Here's a chance for your child to learn more facts about their favorite animal while crafting a version out of beautiful colored-paper mosaic tiles at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve. Kids can follow a pattern or design their own.
Rubber Duckie Party — Cold Spring Harbor
It turns out MLK Day isn't the only holiday this weekend. Who knew that today is National Rubber Duckie Day? Quack on over to the Whaling Museum and Education Center, where you can blow tons of bubbles, color duck feet, go on a rubber-duck scavenger hunt, and, of course, design your own rubber duck to float in the bath tonight.
Harbor seals may be spotted at Cupsogue Beach County Park. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Seal Walk - Westhampton
Join a South Fork Nature Center educator on a walk toward the ocean at Cupsogue Beach County Park, where at low tide you can expect to see some of these seals sunning themselves on the distant sandbar.
See all Saturday events.
Sunday, January 15
Paradise Garden Festival — Oyster Bay
Can't make it to an island paradise this winter? Well, head to Planting Fields Foundation's annual festival for a day of tropical plant life and cozy up in the warm winter garden. The day's events will include steel drumming and other live music, kids' crafts, and homemade food. FREE
Seatuck's Family Nature Club — Islip
Join the Seatuck Environmental Association to learn about seasonal birds, tremendous trees, and other signs of the season.
Princess Breakfast — Seaford
Dine with royalty at this regal buffet breakfast hosted by your child's favorite princesses on the United Skates of America ice rink. After brunch, enjoy dancing and a chance to meet and take a photo with Belle, Cinderella, Elsa, Anna, and Snow White. (Note: This is a non-skating event.)
Merrymaking in a Gold Coast Mansion — Roslyn Harbor
Arrive at the Nassau County Museum of Art dressed for a party inspired by the Frick family and learn about how kids entertained themselves before the era of TV and computers. Create a fancy hat and have your picture taken, then design a picture frame with gems before embarking on a museum-wide scavenger hunt, followed by a sweet treat.
The Bockety World of Henry and Bucket — Garden City
This humorous play tackles the ups and downs of friendship as told by best friends Henry and Bucket, who live in a "bockety" world of discarded objects. The play is performed by Ireland's Barnstorm Theatre Company.
See all Sunday events.
Monday, January 16
Dreaming with Martin Luther King Jr. — Garden City
Explore the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Long Island Children's Museum by creating a stained-glass collage to honor his vision.
Paint and craft on the theme of love at As You Wish's MLK Love Day Drop Off Mini Camp. Photo courtesy of As You Wish.
MLK Love Day Drop Off Mini Camp — Bellmore
Just because there's no school doesn't mean kids can't learn a thing or two while they have fun in the process. Drop off your kids at As You Wish Parties, where they'll create a cotton-ball painting and banner on the theme of love, inspired by the civil rights leader. There will be pizza and a dessert craft project (Rice Krispies treats or cupcakes) to round out the day.
The Amazing Ivan — East Islip
Kids of all ages will be spellbound by this magic show put on by the BroadHollow Theatre Company.
Dream Big Workshop — Cold Spring Harbor
After learning about the diverse cultures of local whaling crews at the Whaling Museum and Education Center, kids can design and sew a special "My Dream" pillow to remind them of MLK's dreams—and inspire their own.
Minecraft Build Challenge — Huntington Station
This FREE Minecraft workshop offered by the Microsoft Store gets kids of all ages to form teams and complete a challenge before the time runs out. Minecraft experience is preferable but not required. FREE
See all Monday events.
Top photo: At a CSTL Junior Zookeeper Workshop, kids can learn about animal care, feeding, cleaning, and, of course, handling. Photo courtesy of the Center for Science Teaching & Learning.