East End

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.

8 Kid-Friendly LIRR Stops for a Fun Day Trip

Let’s face it. Traffic on Long Island is no picnic. In fact, sometimes the thought of taking a day trip to another part of this beautiful island makes us cringe when we think of the hours on the road and the challenge of keeping the kids in the backseat entertained.

But there is a another way to get from here to there…the LIRR! Taking the train is a convenient, fun way for families to get around the Island without the hassle of driving. From beach communities to charming downtowns to family-friendly museums, there are plenty of LIRR stops where families can hop off and explore the area for the day.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite family day trips reachable via the LIRR, highlighting the best attractions and sights in the area. All aboard!

Top Beach Playgrounds on Long Island

Long Island beaches offer the opportunity for memory-making experiences. Some of the best include those times spent frolicking on the playground to the soundtrack of crashing summer waves.

We've rounded up some of the best beach spots to play in Nassau, Suffolk and the East End. So pack a lunch and plan to spend the day enjoying these destinations. Make sure to snap pictures of the smiles from a fun day in the sun.

And remember Long Island has plenty of family-friendly beaches. While you're at it, why not check off a few activities on our list of 25 things we can't wait to do with Long Island kids this summer.

On a budget? See our list of 50 FREE things to do with kids on Long Island this summer. 

Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries, Blackberries, and More on Long Island

Summer is a great time to pick berries on Long Island. Bushes are low to the ground, and berries are small enough for little fingers to grasp. It's a great activity for kids of all ages, and, really, who can resist a bowl of fresh berries and cream?

Late July is peak season for blueberries and raspberries. Blackberries ripen in August. Be sure to call the farms before heading out to confirm picking hours and berry availability. Don't forget to check out our Pick Your Own Guide for more fruit-picking options in the tristate area.

Some tips: Some farms charge an entry fee while others charge by the ounce, so take note, bring cash, and be prepared. Don't forget sunscreen as the sun can shine brightly on these open fields. Dress appropriately; kids can get a bit dirty. And for health and safety reasons, pets are not permitted on farms.

The East End is the prime destination for summer berry picking on Long Island. While there, why not consult our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork and make a day of it? Or for more farm fun, check out our list of LI's top animal farms and petting zoos.

25 Great Things to Do in Montauk with Kids

If you're looking for a relaxing getaway, Montauk, on the extreme East End of Long Island, is the place to be. It seems to have something for everyone in the family, whether you crave excitement or exercise, or just want to read a book on the sand or tackle some waves.

From the western edge of the community to the lighthouse at Montauk Point, Montauk boasts more than 5,000 acres of parkland, a host of surf schools, fishing and camping adventures, and more. It's a welcoming destination with a host of diverse activities sure to entertain kids of all ages.

Stopping off in the Hamptons along the way? Check out our list of great East End activities for families and our guide to summer fun on Long Island

Top 30 Rainy-Day Activities in the Hamptons and North Fork

Not every summer day is perfect on Long Island’s East End. In fact, there are those days in July and August when Mother Nature just refuses to cooperate.

When those moments occur, parents have to get more creative in minding the little ones. The good news is that as the Hamptons and North Fork have become more year-round destinations, the entertainment options for children have grown.

It’s true: Even in the summer, the East End isn’t just about beaches and playgrounds. We have museums, art galleries, indoor play spaces, and more. So with that in mind, here are 30 ways to stave off rainy-day fever on the East End. And here’s hoping the clouds don’t linger too long.

By the way, paring this list down is no easy task. For more inspiration, see our comprehensive guide to the East End, including our list of 50 great things to do with kids on the East End this summer. If you need accommodations, see our list of the top kid-friendly hotels in the region.

7 Long Island Boardwalk Gems Kids Will Love

The best part of the beach isn't always sand and water. Sometimes, it's a quaint stroll along the boardwalk. And Long Island has plenty of these planked paths dotting its shores.

Gone are the splinter fears and potential pitfalls of yesterday; most Long Island boardwalks have been refurbished with less flammable, sustainable woods. These boardwalk spots offer something special for kids and adults alike. Best of all, besides a nominal parking fee for some, these are FREE. 

Here are a half-dozen of our favorite Long Island boardwalks, including a few you might not immediately associate with the ocean. From Nassau County to Suffolk and the East End, they are yours to explore.

For more seasonal fun, be sure to see our Summer Fun Guide, our list of the best beacheswater parks, and sprinkler parks and perhaps even our guide to LI beach playgrounds and outdoor music.

And for FREE summer fun, check out our list of 50 FREE things to do with Long Island kids this summer.

New Water Slides at LI's Splish Splash Are Sure to Thrill

Get wet 'n wild at Long Island's East End waterpark, Splish Splash, this summer with the addition of two new high-speed thrill rides, Riptide Racer and Bombs Away.

Looking for more ways to soak up fun in the sun? Check out these Long Island sprinkler parks, poolswater parks, slides and beaches. As always, our Summer Fun Guide has you covered for more seasonal fun. If you're looking for added inspiration, see our list of 25 must-do activities with kids on Long Island this summer; 50 great things to do on the East End with kids; and our guide to summer day trips in and around Long Island.

On a budget? Take a gander at our list of 50 FREE things to do with kids on Long Island this summer.  

Great Summer Fairs and Festivals for Long Island Families

Nothing says summer more than spending time as a family at a fair or festival on Long Island. It's a chance to be outdoors, spend time with the friends and neighbors, and make lasting memories.

Whether your family enjoys an old-fashioned street fair in your neighborhood or ventures nearby to see how other communities celebrate summer, these family-friendly events are sure to leave everyone smiling. Plus, many of these events are FREE to the public. That's why we've rounded up a list of the best fairs and festivals taking place in Nassau and Suffolk counties and on the East End in July and August. 

For more seasonal inspiration, check out our Summer Fun Guide and Events Calendar. And while you're at it, consider one or two of our 25 must-do activities with kids this summer. If you're on a budget, try a few of our 50 FREE things to do with LI kids before school resumes. 

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