East End

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms on Long Island

The Thanksgiving turkey has been consumed. You've completed your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Now it’s time for the next holiday ritual—finding the perfect Christmas tree.

From Cold Spring Harbor to Montauk, Long Island has close to a dozen tree farms, where enthusiastic families can cut a super-fresh spruce (or fir, or pine) at modest cost. These farms range from simple, roadside acreage to full-fledged holiday extravaganzas. So whether you prefer a quick tree-cutting errand or a day out in Santa’s wonderland, consider a visit to one of these outdoor emporiums.

These farms are all located in Suffolk County, where farmland is more abundant, and are listed below by town. As always, find more ways to celebrate in our Holiday Fun Guide.

New Light Show to Illuminate the Holiday Season in Riverhead

No one is more electrified by the spirit of the holidays than kids. This year, the Town of Riverhead is presenting a new holiday light show with dazzling displays sure to warm the hearts of everyone in your family.

If you are looking for a seasonal adventure that beats ambling through the neighborhood, this drive-through exhibit will saturate everyone with the holiday spirit. And for a full day of fun on the East End,  check out the Long Island Aquarium or the Railroad Museum of Long Island before your twinkly excursion.

You might also want to check out the Polar Express Trolley Ride, departing from the North and South Forks beginning November 23. As always, our November GoList and events calendar contain the best in holiday activities across Long Island.

Free Indoor Play Spaces for Long Island Kids

There’s no reason to stay home just because the fall season and the colder weather is upon us.

All across Long Island, there are play spaces and indoor playgrounds to keep your kids happily occupied. In fact, some of them are hiding in plain sight. And better yet, many of these kid-friendly spots are FREE. From malls to bookstores and libraries, there is plenty of FREE fun to be had for Long Island kids.

Enjoy these unique play destinations, but remember at most venues a parent/adult must be present to supervise children.

For more indoor fun, don't forget our guide to rainy-day activities on Long Island.

Not-So-Scary Halloween Haunts on Long Island for Kids

Looking to get spooked this Halloween?

Long Island is home to many haunted houses up to the task, ranging from child-friendly to downright creepy. We've rounded up places offering fairly child-friendly haunted houses and events for your consideration. But keep in mind even the tamest of these can sometimes be too much for an imaginative child, so come prepared with a backup plan (or adult) if one child needs to leave quickly.

If you're looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of Halloween-themed fun happenings on farms across the Island. For more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Halloween Guide and October GoList, and don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Nature Walks on Long Island to View Fall Foliage

The leaves across Long Island are starting to turn beautiful colors. Luckily, Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End have some of the best trails around, ideal for looking at that gorgeous fall foliage. And these lovely backdrops lend themselves to great family photos that will put you ahead of the game for upcoming holiday cards. Strike a pose and take some candid shots of the kids: Fall on Long Island is perfect for memory-making. 

So, strap on your hiking shoes, pack a few snacks, and head out to one of these destinations for fresh air and splendid fall oranges, reds, and yellows. For more kid-friendly activities, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide.

The Best Halloween Events for Kids on Long Island

From costume parades to unique trick-or-treating neighborhoods and not-so-scary haunted houses and walks, there are plenty of fun, "spooktacular" happenings on Long Island this Halloween season.

Read on for our picks for Long Island children this Halloween, including museum events, enchanted forest trails, and even a boat burning that has become a seasonal tradition in one Suffolk County community. And don't forget to check out our October GoList and Halloween Guide for more seasonal fun. 

Top Pumpkin Patches and Farms for Long Island Kids

The leaves soon will turn colors, and you might have noticed there’s a crispness in the air, which can only mean one thing: It’s time to go pumpkin picking. 

Happily, no matter where you live on Long Island there are places to find the perfect family pumpkins this fall—whether you want to pick your own off the vine or have the picking done for you.

All of these farms and pumpkin patches offer other family-friendly activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, and more, so make a day of it. Pick-your-own farms are fun, but can get messy, so make sure kids are dressed appropriately. Look at individual websites for hours and costs since some activities are free while other attractions have added fees.

If you’re heading to one of the farms on the East End, why not stop at a kid-friendly winery or a pick-your-own apple farm? And, for more seasonal fun, check out our list of the best fall fairs and festivals.

Happy autumn (and early Halloween)!

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.

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