Nassau

It's Farm-to-Table Fresh at These Great LI Farmers' Markets

There's something about a farmers' market that inspires even the pickiest eater to try something he or she otherwise would not. Perhaps it's the fun of meeting a farmer, the spectacle of all the bold, colorful displays of produce, or maybe it’s simply the freedom of an outdoor market filled with delicious aromas and live music.

Spring is the traditional opening of farmers' markets across Long Island. So we’ve rounded up markets from Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End sure to supply you and your family with delicious locally grown fruits and veggies, as well as inspiration for how to prepare them once you get home. Bring reusable bags so you and the kids can comfortably tote your bounty. Bring your appetite, too: You'll want to snack while you shop.

Times are as of May 2018. But be advised: Times and locations can change, and inclement weather can postpone markets. If you're traveling some distance, call ahead or check websites before heading out. 

For more outdoor activities as the weather warms up, check out our Summer Fun Guide.

The Best Beaches for Families on Long Island

Stretching along the north and south shores of Long Island are dazzling beaches known for their family-friendly vibes and natural beauty, and we don't mean just the Hamptons. Whether you have younger kids looking for tranquil shores or older kids looking to body surf, there is a Long Island beach for you. It's time to get ready for cool sea breezes and the feeling of sand between your toes.

At these Long Island's family beaches, you'll find picnic areas, swimming pools, and bathroom complexes along with food trucks and umbrella rentals. Use our guide to choose the best beach for your family's needs. These beaches are open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless noted. Prices listed are for summer 2018.

If you're in the mood to travel, check out our list of the best family beaches near New York City or our guide to the Jersey Shore area. For more family fun, see our guide to Long Island amusement and water parks.

16 Super Sprinkler Parks on Long Island

When the temperature rises, there’s nothing like jumping through a sprinkler to cool off. Long Island sprinkler parks are great places to take kids because unlike pools and beaches, sprinkler parks have low water depth and often a rubber-like surface. Just add sunscreen and let the adventures begin.

We’ve put together a list of super sprinkler parks that are open to everyone. We've even included a few parks open to residents only. Proof of residency and/or a membership pass can be required at those facilities. Fees vary, so check the websites or call before going.

For more aquatic fun, take a look at our guide to Long Island amusement parks and water parks. For other kid-friendly activities, check out our Summer Fun Guide, and our recommendations for the best beach playgrounds as well as other top playgrounds and parks on LI

7 Great Programs for Long Island Kids With Special Needs

Without doubt, people who are challenged with special needs can experience sadness, insecurity, isolation, and exclusion. With increased attention paid to autism, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, and other conditions, research and resources seem to be increasing.

Unfortunately, some of these programs are not publicized sufficiently to provide easy access for families who are faced with the responsibility of designing a quality life for their children. There are, however, several organizations here on Long Island that help those with special needs live their best lives possible. And, we’ve compiled a list just for you.

For more educational and developmental programs for Long Island kids, see our classes and enrichment guide or our Long Island Special Needs Guide.

Awesome Amusement Parks on Long Island

Feeling the need for speed and splash? Long Island amusement parks are ready for you and your thrill-seeking family. If your kids are eager to check out the latest rides and attractions, or you can’t wait to make new memories with your family at parks you enjoyed as a child, now is the perfect time to explore these local amusement centers.

For more entertainment inspiration, see our guide to Long island amusement and water parks or our guide to family fun on Long Island. Both are loaded with reviews of local and regional destinations sure to delight your child.

10 Great Stroller-Friendly Park Walks on Long Island

They might be too young for the playground, but Long Island babies (and their caregivers) can still enjoy our great parks.

Of course, not all parks are created equal, especially when it comes to taking your baby out for fresh air. Some parks are aesthetically beautiful, but the trails are rocky and covered in sand, making pushing a stroller nearly impossible. Others are smoothly paved, but have nothing for you and your little one to look at. From Nassau to Suffolk, here are our picks for Long Island walks with the best terrain and intriguing scenery—perfect for a day out with baby.

Check out these FREE attractions across Long Island for even more fun activities to do with your baby, or find more ways to meet new parents who, like yourself, might be eager to socialize. 

If you are looking to cool off after your walk, why not visit a nearby spray park

Botanical Gardens on Long Island for a Family Day Trip

The weather has turned warmer and flowers are blooming. It’s time to head outdoors and take in all Long Island has to offer…but we’re not talking just beaches, parks, and playgrounds.

On your next family excursion, why not head to one of the many beautiful botanical gardens and arboretums located throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties? These gorgeous spots are perfect places to enjoy a picnic, admire the surroundings, and learn a thing or two about the flowers and trees around us. The best part, unless noted, is that admission to most of these sites is FREE. 

For more warm-weather fun, check out our Spring Fun Guide and Events Calendar.

Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals on Long Island

Long Island is ripe with places where families can pick their own strawberries. Deciding where to go can be a challenge, so we've handpicked a few of our favorites.

Harvesting your own fruit is not only fun, but it connects you with the source of your food and supports local farmers. And it doesn't get fresher than picking fruit right off the vine. This is especially important for Long Island strawberries, which are sweeter and more delicate than most grocery-store varieties, and have a shorter shelf life.

Many of these farms are located on Long Island's East End, but there are a few festivals in Nassau or western Suffolk counties for families who don't want to travel quite as far. Either way, call ahead or check the farms' websites to confirm that fields are open and the strawberries are ripe.

Check out our guide to Long Island farms for more places where you can pick your own fruit and vegetables, and even meet some farm animals.

The Best Locations for a Family Picnic on Long Island

What better way to introduce kids to the beauty of dining alfresco than with a picnic. There are plenty of hot spots across Long Island offering an ideal picnic experience, including green meadows, beaches, grills, and plenty of open spaces. Here are some wonderful spots to kick off your shoes and enjoy the great outdoors. 

For more fun outdoor experiences with kids, visit our guide to Long Island's best family beaches or our roundup of LI's best parks and playgrounds. And don't forget our list of 25 things to do with kids in the summer or 100 things to do with kids on Long Island before they grow up.

In the meantime, bon appetit. 

6 Destinations for Train-Obsessed Kids on Long Island

All aboard! If your little one loves trains (and what kid doesn't?), you're in luck because Long Island is home to some of the coolest places for kids who want to explore everything about them. From model trains to small-scale rideable trains and even historic train cars, there's something for every enthusiast here. Kids young and old can get hands on and learn all about trains as well as the history of railroads on Long Island. For models and miniatures, check out some local model railroad clubs at FREE open house events held several times a year. 

Don't forget, you can always take a quick excursion on the Long Island Rail Road, where kids 4 and younger ride for FREE. Some sites below are open seasonally, so be sure to call or check the location's website before heading out.

And if your child loves learning, why not check out these historic sites on LI sure to delight children. Or visit an outdoor classroom, where natural history springs to life. For more fun in the area, check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

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