East End

Quogue Wildlife Refuge: Get Up Close With Nature, Animals

The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is one of our favorite hidden Long Island gems. Set back from a curved road, the 300-acre nature preserve on the East End boasts FREE family fun via wildlife, water, and wonderment.

Continue to foster a love of learning outside with our favorite outdoor classrooms and nature centers. Looking for more ways to experience nature? How about a visit to one of our favorite places to interact with birds and butterflies on Long Island? Or consider our favorite family-friendly hiking trails and bikes trails for Long Island families. Of course, you can keep exploring with our guide to more day trips on and near Long Island.  

Dozens of Fall Day Trip Destinations for Long Island Families

Autumn is a perfect time to take a day or weekend trip to one of the many family-friendly destinations on or off Long island. The weather is cooler, Mother Nature provides some beautiful scenery, and there are even a couple of long holiday weekends that give everyone an extra day to spend together.

To help get you on your way, we’ve put together a list of the top fall destinations for Long Island families this season. Some are close by, while others require a few hours in the car or a ride on a ferry. No matter where you go or how you get there, you’re sure to create some great memories.

For more seasonal travel ideas, check out our Fall Fun Guide.

Pick Your Own Apple Farms for Families on Long Island

With summer winding down, it’s time to plan some fun fall activities you and your kids can do together. How about heading to the East End for a day of apple picking? 

From small farm stands to orchards with dwarf trees sized just right for little hands, to other family-friendly venues, there are plenty of places to choose from, and we've rounded them up for you.

Apple-picking season can begin as early as the end of August and continue through October. Be sure to check out each farm’s website for hours and bounty updates. Happy picking this fall.

Find more pick-your-own fun in our Long Island Farm Guide, including where to pick peaches or pumpkins, or feed the goats and sheep at area petting zoos and barnyards.

Bounce Houses and Trampoline Parks for Long Island Kids

If you find your high-energy kids are bouncing off the walls, it might be time to head to one of the many bounce houses and trampoline parks on Long Island.

From inflatable slides to obstacle courses and high-flying trampolines, these play spaces are great ways for kids to work off their energy and have some indoor fun when it’s too hot, cold, or wet to play outdoors. Whether you’re looking for an impromptu bouncing session or want to schedule a birthday party, most of these venues offer a variety of play options. Just be sure to check out their websites for all the specifics.

The sky might be the limit at these venues, but be advised that most of them require socks and some require completed parental waivers before participating.  

The Best Family-Friendly Hotels on Long Island

No one grooves on the magic of a hotel stay more than kids. The swimming-pool smell, the room-service abandon, and the I-must-have-done-something-right feeling sparks through them the minute the swoosh open the lobby doors.

With that in mind, we've put together our list of the best kid-friendly hotels in Nassau and Suffolk, and even added a few on the East End. So whether you’re frequenting local attractions or hosting out-of-town guests, these destinations are sure to delight teeny travelers and discerning grown-ups alike. Happy travels.

Kid-Friendly Wineries on Long Island's East End

With so many wineries on the East End welcoming children and even pets, Long Island wine country has become a huge destination not just for couples and bachelorette parties, but for families, too.

From picnic areas to live music and annual events, we’ve rounded up a host of vineyards—many of which are family-owned and operated—that offer the most family-friendly experiences. In addition to wine, most tasting rooms offer light snacks and nonalcoholic beverages, and some allow outside food and drink in designated picnic areas. Of course, kids must be supervised and pets must be on leashes. Be sure to check individual websites for specific rules. And be responsible if driving.

Summertime is the perfect time to visit an East End vineyard. And while you're out that way, check out some other family-friendly spots on the North Fork, including Lavender by the Bay, a family-friendly lavender farm in East Marion; Greenport village; and the Long Island Aquarium

Fishing on Long Island: Where to Drop a Line with Kids

Ready to teach your little one how to cast a line? Fishing is a fun outdoor family activity with deep roots in Long Island's maritime history and culture.

Surrounded by the sea, kids on Long Island can drop a line in a number of waterfront communities, beaches, local piers, boats, and parks. We've rounded up a few of our favorite family-friendly fishing venues where you can test your skills and perhaps hook the catch of the day.

Looking for more summer seaside enjoyment? Make sure to visit these stunning Long Island lighthouses or Long Island boardwalks ideal for a family stroll.

LI Day Trip: Fun Things to Do With Kids on Shelter Island

As if a ferry ride itself isn’t enough excitement for your little ones, there’s plenty more to explore on Shelter Island. Nestled between the two forks on the East End of Long Island, this 27-square-mile island boasts family-friendly activities, spectacular views and a host of wildlife. Just a seven-minute ferry from Greenport or North Haven (near Sag Harbor) will get you there. The north ferry leaves you in Shelter Island Heights while the south ferry drops you off at the opening of Smith Cove. 

Our Hamptons and North Fork Guide is packed with family-friendly activities on Shelter Island and all of the East End of Long Island, including 50 ideas of what to do and where. Drum up ideas for other summer day trips to places like New York City, the Hudson Valley and more. 

Unlock Your Child's Love of Nature at Lavender by the Bay

“Live life in full bloom.”

That’s the motto at Lavender by the Bay, a 17-acre oasis of flowering plants that turns the normally green North Fork of Long Island into a most regal purple for three weeks in the early summer.

Situated on the Main Road in the Victorian-strewn community of East Marion, near Greenport, the farm draws visitors from as far away as New York City, who come by car or railroad; and from New England, who shuttle across on the nearby Orient Point ferry. Young and old, they are drawn by the aroma of fresh lavender and the opportunity to distance themselves from the essentials of modern living.

The blooming season ended Sunday, July 15 and will resume in late June 2019. You can visit the gift shop daily through the end of September and on Thurdays through Mondays through the end of October. In the meantime. feel free to glimpse our guide to gardens and petting zoos across Long Island.   

The Best Ice Cream Shops Near Playgrounds on Long Island

Summer was made for ice cream and exuberant swoops down the slide in the toasty sun.

Here are our picks for magical treats near Long Island’s pristine parks and our favorite playgrounds. And while you’re thinking about sweet treats, check out our list of old-fashioned ice cream parlors on Long Island and the best candy shops for kids in our region. 

For more dining and dessert inspiration, see our guide to kid-friendly restaurants on Long Island, including information on outdoor dining, birthday freebies for LI kids, and more.

Enjoy.

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