Suffolk

Enjoy These Long Island Cafes With Kids' Play Spaces

A place for children to play and parents to connect with other moms and dads.

That’s exactly what Long Island play cafes offer. Enjoy these fun, safe venues for your child’s next play date: They'll have fun and explore, and you'll relax with a snack, catch up with your peers, or just relish some me time. Of course, parents are required to keep an eye on their children at all times.

For more seasonal fun ideas, check out our guide to indoor play spaces and our roundup of sensory play spaces on Long Island. And don’t forget our Winter Fun Guide for a host of ideas sure to keep your kids happily occupied during the winter months.

Indoor Swimming Pools for Families on Long Island

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

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 that are open to the public. 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 or similar to determine if it offers a community swim program. 

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

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; wear a helmet and proper snow gear to keep warm; and be extra careful after dark. Bring your own equipment to these snow-covered destinations and be ready for some fun.

Don't forget to check our Long Island winter fun guide for more seasonal entertainment ideas for your family, whether the weather outside is frightful, or delightful. There, you'll find information on skiing destinations, ice rinkshot chocolate spots, indoor play centers, and more.

Long Island Restaurants Where Kids Can Eat Free

Who says nothing is for free anymore? Not these kid-friendly Long Island restaurants, where kids occasionally can eat FREE and you can relax. It's ideal for families with picky—or not-so-picky—eaters who want to enjoy a nice meal without the aggravation of paying for food that goes untouched.

From pizza to pasta, fast food to waitress service, and pub fare to ethnic dishes, check out these locations the next time your family is looking for a stress-free dinner. Promotions change, so be sure to check first before you go. 

Bon appetit.

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

The holiday bells have jingled past, but winter is still in full frozen swing. It's the time of year when your teeny angels might start to sing a twinkly tune called "I'm bored." 

Luckily, Long Island has plenty of museums, arts and crafts classes, indoor play venues in Nassau and Suffolk,  and children's theater. Our list of 50 fun things to do indoors on Long Island, below, has all that and plenty more.   

Still eager for seasonal entertainment? Check out our Winter Fun Guide and daily events calendar for more inspiration. While you're at it, why not sample a few of our 100 must-do things with kids on Long Island? And for daytime escapes or overnight excursions, you won't do much better than these winter days trips on LI and beyond.

Enjoy!  

The Best Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Suffolk County

Play spaces made just for kids are our go-tos during Long Island's wintertime, or anytime it's cold, wet, or even hot out. So we've rounded up the best indoor play spaces in Suffolk County, from bounce houses and indoor playgrounds to more low-key spaces such as a natural play room and spots for art. There are fun zones loaded with action sports that are best for bigger kids, and plenty more just right for toddlers and preschoolers.

Many of these destinations also double as party spaces, so call ahead to make sure they're open for public play. And don’t forget your socks—many do not allow shoes or bare feet, even for adults. Then get ready to let your kids loose to play there instead of in your living room. Be sure to warm up before and after with some toasty hot cocoa.

And if you live in Nassau County, don't worry. We've compiled a similar list just for you. Whether you want to stay indoors or bundle up and enjoy the winter, check out our Winter Fun Guide for entertainment all season long. And for more indoor energy-burning, check out these indoor water parks for a warm getaway and our guide to sports centers and fun zones for kids across Long Island. 

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 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.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, there are plenty of 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.

7 Places to Have Afternoon Tea with Long Island Kids

When the weather is cold, enjoying a warm cup of tea with your favorite little person is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

From sampling a variety of tea flavors to tasting yummy miniature sandwiches and scones, these Long Island tea rooms offer a warm welcome in an elegant setting just in time for Hot Tea Month in January.

For more delicious fun with your little ones, check out our list of the best Long Island brunch destinations for families, or treat yourself to our roundup of the Island's most decadent dessert spots

Long Island Homes with Spectacular Christmas Light Displays for 2018

Entertaining the family during the holidays can be expensive, of course. Want an inexpensive option? Travel to view some of Long Island's most-decorated holiday homes.

Chances are, wherever you are on Long Island—from Port Washington to Port Jefferson—you'll find neighbors going all out to show off their decorating skills. These nifty displays include lights, nativity scenes, Santas, reindeer, misfit toys, and other beloved seasonal symbols.

We’ve traveled across Nassau and Suffolk to see what’s shining on local lawns, documenting for you our favorites for 2018. So get the family going, put the snacks in a sack, and be ready for some holiday music. Yes, some of these destinations offer seasonal tunes to get you and yours into the spirit. And come back often to Mommy Poppins to see what has been added to our gallery.

If holiday lights are your thing, check out these other spectacular LI displays. And for more seasonal fun, see our December GoList and guide to holiday fun on Long Island, where you'll find information on brunches and pictures with Santa, holiday performances, and more.

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, most 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 or these 30 things to do over holiday break with Long Island kids.

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