Nassau

Outdoor Ice Rinks on Long Island for Family Skating

Sure it might be cold this time of year. But if your kids like the outdoors there’s no reason not to enjoy one of Long Island's many outdoor ice skating rinks this winter.

From Nassau County to the north shore of Suffolk and out to the East End, we've put together a list of the top outdoor skating venues on Long Island. Most are inexpensive and offer skate rentals, as well as lessons for those still mastering their steps and stops. Weather permitting, most of these rinks are open until the beginning of spring. All are open to the public without significant restrictions, but keep in mind admission can be higher for nonresidents.

There are also some indoor rinks across Long Island worth a try. So if the weather is nasty or it’s offseason, families can skate all year long, even during beach weather.

Winter Fun List: 50 Things to Do Indoors With Long Island Kids

The holidays are done, but the winter is in full frozen swing, making it tricky to keep the kids entertained. Luckily, Long Island has plenty of museums, arts and crafts classes, indoor play venues in Nassau and Suffolk and children's theater. Keeping things indoors might seem restrictive, but winter-friendly (as in warm) can also mean fun.

We've put together a list of 50 fun things to do indoors with kids on Long Island. Be sure to check out our Winter Fun Guide and daily events calendar for more fun ideas.

The Best Family Sledding Spots on Long Island

Say it ain't snow. But it is.

Parents with kids eager to brave the outdoors don't have to leave Long Island to find ideal sledding spots. We've rounded up a host of places where you can challenge the local powder for FREE. Safety first though, so be sure to check surroundings for sticks, rocks, and more, and wear a helmet and proper snow gear to keep warm. Bring your own equipment to these snow-covered destinations and be ready for some fun.

Don't forget to check our January GoList and Event Calendar for more ideas on winter entertainment for your family, whether the weather outside is frightful, or delightful.

There's also plenty of seasonal fun in our Long Island Winter Fun Guide , from skiing to hot chocolate spots to FREE events all winter.

The Best Indoor Play Spaces in Nassau County

The chilly weather might force your little ones indoors, but they don't have to be confined to your living room all winter long.

After you've made your umpteenth indoor fort and your kids are climbing the walls, get up and out with our list of the best indoor play destinations in Nassau County. Most of these spots are affordable and accessible, and, where appropriate we've added age designations to guarantee a good time for all. 

No worries if you're in Suffolk County. See our list of the top indoor play destinations in Suffolk as well as our guide to fun spots and sports centers across all of Long Island

For even more inspiration, see our guide to winter fun on Long Island, including indoor and outdoor ice skating, museums, sledding, and more.

15 Free Things to Do With Kids in January on Long Island

With the holiday season winding down, your family might find itself with some free time on its hands. And what better way to spend that time than by doing fun, family-friendly things that won’t cost you a thing.

To keep your kids and your wallet happy, we’ve come up with a list of 15 FREE things to do with kids this month, including train shows, mommy-and-me classes and storytimes, and even a summer camp open house.

For more things to do that won’t bust your budget, check out our roundup of free indoor play spaces on Long Island, our winter fun guide, and our list of free and inexpensive kids’ ski programs in the Northeast. And don’t forget our January GoList and our events calendar.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Activities for LI Kids

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are among those rare times on Long Island when many family-friendly places are closed. But not everything is shut down.

As it turns out, there is quite a bit to do December 24-25. While some of your options are out of the house and may cost money, some free possibilities are listed in this roundup of activities the whole family can enjoy.

For more seasonal fun, be sure to check out our Long Island Events Calendar and Holiday Fun Guide. Plus, we have your best bets for things to do with kids over the holiday break, too.

Indoor Swimming Pools for Families on Long Island

If you haven't had a chance to get away this season and spend some time by the pool, there's still hope--and you don’t have to brave the crowds at the airport to do it.

Why not visit one of the many indoor swimming pools Long Island has to offer? We’ve rounded up some of Nassau and Suffolk County's most affordable and family-friendly indoor pools. Check out each location’s website for family swim schedules and rules, as well as information on lessons. And don't forget to take a look at your school district’s website under the “athletics” link to determine if it offers a community swim program. 

Find swimming lessons around Long Island, or for other kid-friendly activities you can enjoy in winter, check out our guide to indoor play spaces.

Long Island Destinations for Delicious Hot Chocolate

Winters on Long Island might not be as cold as we make them out to be. Still, when the snow starts to fly a hot drink helps to take the chill away.

Adults and kids can enjoy hot chocolate, especially when it’s topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, or both. And while you can make it at home, isn't it nice to get out of the house with the kids? After all, it squashes cabin fever and there’s no cleanup for you. Here are 13 places acrosss Long Island that serve up delicious hot chocolate and other tasty treats.

If hot chocolate isn’t your thing, why not try one of these spots for afternoon tea with the kids? See our guide to family-friendly restaurants for even more dining ideas on Long Island. And for more winter fun, check out our Long Island events calendar.

Momo's Clubhouse Opens an Indoor Jungle Gym for Kids in Syosset

Kids in Long Island's Syosset gained a brand-new play space this fall. Momo's Clubhouse opened in September, offering all-day drop-in play at its indoor playground, birthday parties, classes for toddlers and preschoolers, and even snacks and coffee for the parents.

We, of course, had to hear more! The bright indoor space is designed to promote imagination and creativity for ages 2 through 9, though there is a separate section (and lower pricing) for crawling babies, too!

Read on for our review of this new Nassau play space, and find more local indoor fun in our Long Island's top Long Island Play Space guide, including those just right for toddlers.

Where to Donate Gently Used Toys and Baby Gear on LI

If your kids are anything like most, their holiday wish lists are filled with requests for new toys. And once the holiday comes—and they're happily playing with their gifts—what do you do with all of the old toys that are cluttering up the house? Or all of the baby equipment that the kids have outgrown?

For safety reasons, fewer and fewer places seem to be accepting gently used toys. But before you put those toys out on the curb, consider these Long Island organizations that accept preowned toys and baby items provided they are clean, undamaged and in working order.

For safety reasons, charities do not accept cribs or car seats. However, many will accept strollers, bouncers, and even baby care items such as diapers. At this busy time of year, however, contact these charities to make sure they haven't reached their donation limits. One other tip: Ask your preschool child's school director, local library or church. Often, those institutions are willing to accept used toys and books from someone they know and trust. 

Looking for more ways to help your community? There are plenty of holiday volunteer opportunities for kids and families. And for other seasonal activities, check out our Long Island Holiday Fun Guide.

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