Riverhead

Top Pumpkin Patches and Farms for Long Island Kids

The leaves soon will turn colors and 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 plenty of pumpkin patches and farms brimming with pumpkins perfect for picking this fall. All of these venues offer other family-friendly activities such as corn mazes and hayrides, so make a day of it. Pick-your-own farms  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)!

Best Apple Picking Orchards for Kids on Long Island

Long Island's pick-your-own apple farms are scattered throughout the East End, making apple picking the perfect family activity to kick off the fall season. 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 pick apples around the island, 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 each apple farm’s website for hours and bounty updates. 

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.

Family-Friendly Hotels in the Hamptons and North Fork

If you’ve ever visited the Hamptons and North Fork on Long Island, you know there is lodging to meet just about every need. There are hotels near fishing resorts, country inns near golf courses and bed-and-breakfasts within walking distance of the North Fork’s celebrated wineries. Families visiting the East End have options, too, from chain hotels near kid-favorite attractions to mom-and-pop guesthouses with private beaches and pools. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite Hamptons and North Fork hotels, motels and guesthouses for families. 

Review: Holiday Show in Riverhead Lights Up the Season

Let the spirit of the season illuminate your heart at the new Holiday Light Show at the Long Island Sports Park in Calverton.

Uncrowded and located directly off the Long Island Expressway, the display is sure to enthrall kids and delight adults with its scintillating light creations, inspiring music, and overall holiday exuberance. And for more merriment, check out the Magic of Lights Show at Jones Beach, the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County light show, and these great things to do on Long Island with kids during the holiday season.

Your little ones might also want to visit a Nutcracker or another holiday show or perhaps travel along a nearby Polar Express train while the air is cold and light. 

Awesome Long Island Kids' Party Spots

Can you believe your kiddo is about to be another year older? Or that you already have another birthday party to plan?

Well, at least you can forget the stress of venue searching! We've rounded up some of the best party places across Long Island, offering everything from totally cool crafts and fun-filled themed bashes, to exciting museum and aquarium adventures, to action-packed gymnastics and rock climbing celebrations for birthday tots to tweens.

For more party ideas, take a look at our Long Island Party Guide or browse our directory for party places, entertainers, and supplies.

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!

Spirit's Promise: A Horse Farm and Rescue on LI's East End

It's My Little Pony turned real life at Spirit’s Promise Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation, a facility for abused, neglected or unwanted farm animals. It offers animals a renewed lease on life while providing a rewarding and educational destination for visitors. 

Want to get up close and personal with other animals? Peruse our list of animal farms and petting zoos on Long Island. Looking for more East End fun? Check out our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork.

New LICM4All App Helps Families Enjoy The Long Island Children's Museum Even More

The Long Island Children's Museum gets it: under the best circumstances, it takes planning to pull off a great outing with kids; if your child has special needs, even more so. That's why we think their new smartphone app isn't just smart, it's brilliant.

Designed specifically to support children with neurodiversities and physical challenges, the free LICM4all app aims to take the guesswork out of planning a visit to the museum. Before the trip, families can download the app from either the App Store or Google Play and create a totally customized schedule based on their interests, as well as their needs. Short videos offer a sneak peek into current exhibitions, while also showing kids what to expect — like that they may get a little messy at the Bubbles exhibit, or that they might have to wait their turn at the TotSpot. Meanwhile, the color-coded, sensory-friendly museum map identifies galleries that are quieter or louder, and a list of tips provides parents with helpful details on accessible parking, restrooms, service animals, and more.

15 Long Island State Parks Worth a Visit

No matter what the season, and no matter where you live on Long Island, there’s a state park just waiting for you and your family.

From hiking in the fall to snow shoeing in the winter…from bird watching in the spring to camping in the summer, these gorgeous state parks have something special to offer Long Island families all year round.

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of parks we believe are worth a visit. An Empire Pass gives you access to any New York state park for the year, but be sure to look at each park’s website for additional vehicle and/or entry fees and restrictions. Of course, Jones Beach and Robert Moses state parks are prime oceanside getaways in the summer; these parks offer year-round entertainment.

For more family fun, see our September GoList, explore our suggestions for a fun weekend getaway, or check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

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