Suffolk

Holiday Volunteer Opportunities for Long Island Kids, 2018

No matter their ages, most kids (and adults) can’t help but get caught up in the gift-getting, list-making, shop-till-you-drop frenzy of the holidays. In 2018, why not show your children how rewarding it can be to donate to needy families or to help make a sick child’s holiday a little brighter simply by volunteering time?

From fundraising to food drives to helping make wishes come true, we’ve put together a list of Long Island organizations looking for volunteers this holiday season as well as throughout the year. You can also check out the Long Island Volunteer Center, which is a great resource of nonprofits in your area. And don’t forget to check with your local houses of worship, which often need help with food pantries and soup kitchens, your child’s school or Scouting group, and your local library.

The importance of giving back to those in need is a wonderful lesson to teach your children, especially at this time of year. 

The Best Indoor Ice Skating Rinks for Long Island Kids

As days get shorter and winter beckons, it's time for spirited schoolkids, toddlers, and teens to get active at one of Long Island's awesome indoor skating rinks. This roundup of our favorite rinks features information on open-skate times, group and private lessonsbirthday parties, and sports leagues. 

Most of these rinks offer skate rental, but note that some are run by local municipalities that offer discounted fees for residents. Fees and times are as of November 2018.

Of course, if your family prefers to do its skating outdoors, be sure to check out our guide to Long Island’s best outdoor rinks. And for more seasonal fun, check out our winter fun list and our destinations for delicious hot chocolate.

Dough Life's Edible Cookie Dough Is Catnip for Kids

There's nothing quite like taking a giant bite out of a roll of cookie dough. It's delicious, but not something you'd like to see you child doing. At least not until now.

While eating traditional raw cookie dough comes with health risks, including salmonella, Dough Life's cookie dough is completely edible. Kids, and cookie dough-loving adults, can comfortably indulge in what once was a guilty pleasure. Read on and see how the cookie dough craze has come to Long Island.

If your kids have a big sweet tooth, check out these decadent dessert spots or old-fashioned ice cream parlors on Long Island as well.

Free Indoor Play Spaces for Long Island Kids

There’s no reason to stay home just because the fall season and the colder weather is upon us.

All across Long Island, there are play spaces and indoor playgrounds to keep your kids happily occupied. In fact, some of them are hiding in plain sight. And better yet, many of these kid-friendly spots are FREE. From malls to bookstores and libraries, there is plenty of FREE fun to be had for Long Island kids.

Enjoy these unique play destinations, but remember at most venues a parent/adult must be present to supervise children.

For more indoor fun, don't forget our guide to rainy-day activities on Long Island.

Caumsett State Park: A Jewel for Kids on Suffolk's North Shore

Parents with spirited kids know the value of time spent in nature.

Besides just being an awesome experience, nature and the outdoors are known to build immunity, lower stress, and reduce symptoms of ADHD. Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve near Huntington is a spacious waterfront parkland where tots can enjoy year-round fishing, hiking, picnicking, and more on Long Island Sound.

For more great things in and around Long Island's North Shore, check out our guides to Centerport with kids and family fun in Northport. For more outdoor fun, check out our guide to LI parks and playgrounds, including 15 state parks that are absolutely worth a visit.

Not-So-Scary Halloween Haunts on Long Island for Kids

Looking to get spooked this Halloween?

Long Island is home to many haunted houses up to the task, ranging from child-friendly to downright creepy. We've rounded up places offering fairly child-friendly haunted houses and events for your consideration. But keep in mind even the tamest of these can sometimes be too much for an imaginative child, so come prepared with a backup plan (or adult) if one child needs to leave quickly.

If you're looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of Halloween-themed fun happenings on farms across the Island. For more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Halloween Guide and October GoList, and don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Nature Walks on Long Island to View Fall Foliage

The leaves across Long Island are starting to turn beautiful colors. Luckily, Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End have some of the best trails around, ideal for looking at that gorgeous fall foliage. And these lovely backdrops lend themselves to great family photos that will put you ahead of the game for upcoming holiday cards. Strike a pose and take some candid shots of the kids: Fall on Long Island is perfect for memory-making. 

So, strap on your hiking shoes, pack a few snacks, and head out to one of these destinations for fresh air and splendid fall oranges, reds, and yellows. For more kid-friendly activities, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide.

The Best Halloween Events for Kids on Long Island

From costume parades to unique trick-or-treating neighborhoods and not-so-scary haunted houses and walks, there are plenty of fun, "spooktacular" happenings on Long Island this Halloween season.

Read on for our picks for Long Island children this Halloween, including museum events, enchanted forest trails, and even a boat burning that has become a seasonal tradition in one Suffolk County community. And don't forget to check out our October GoList and Halloween Guide for more seasonal fun. 

Family-Friendly Beer Gardens and Breweries on Long Island

Sometimes, even the most dedicated parents need a break. Craft beer has become increasingly popular in the past decade, prompting a surge in the opening of local breweries, gastropubs and restaurants. These family-friendly breweries and restaurants are a great compromise. Parents can wind down without having to find a babysitter, and kids can have fun in an exciting, new atmosphere. 

At these charming establishments, parents can enjoy a regular beer offering or a seasonal specialty. If wine is your drink of choice, however, don't miss our guide to kid-friendly wineries on the East End.

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