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.

Nature Centers Sure to Delight Long Island Kids

Long Island has an abundance of natural parklands and beautiful waterways to explore. We are spoiled by the many beaches to enjoy in the summer and hiking trails bursting with fall colors. These experiences are enhanced by museums and nature centers that help us learn and appreciate what we have here. Many of these destinations offer indoor and outdoor nature-based activities for children and caregivers.

When it's time to unplug and spend some quality time together, there's nothing like taking in some fresh air and connecting with nature and each other. So we've compiled this directory of nature centers with all the information you'll need for a fun family outing celebrating the great outdoors in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End

Looking for more ways to experience nature? Take a look at our list of family-friendly hiking trails and great bike trails for Long Island families. If you have a budding naturalist, check out the different ways Long Island kids can have fun and learn in outdoor classrooms

A Dozen Amazing Birthday Cake Bakeries for LI Kids

When it comes to your kids' birthdays, we here at Mommy Poppins have you covered.

Whether it's your child's first birthday or 10th, the steps are always the same: Find a theme, a venue, guest list, and of course, a cake. No party is complete without the perfect dessert ending, and extravagant themed cakes are becoming more popular than ever. We've scoured the Island to find the best custom cake bakeries.

Bon apetit. 

Patchogue with Kids: Fun Things to Do as a Family

Lying on the shore of Great South Bay, halfway between Montauk and Manhattan, Patchogue is a vibrant seaside community that boasts a walkable downtown area, a thriving arts and music scene, and a variety of good eats and treats. Restored and renewed areas have breathed new life into this village over the past few years, making it a haven for Long Island families.

Still got that day-trippin' itch? Explore our Visitors Guide to plan your next adventure.

11 Preschools in Suffolk County for Long Island Kids

You might get misty-eyed thinking about sending your little one off to preschool, but you know he or she is ready, and September is just around the corner. With so many options available in Suffolk County, choosing the right preschool can be overwhelming.

We’re here to help with our picks for preschools in Suffolk. While location might play a role in your choice, consider the school’s teaching philosophy and take some time to tour a few schools with your child.

Families in Nassau can check out our list of preschools to consider, and if you’re interested in Montessori preschools, we’ve got you covered there, too. Head over to our complete guide to Long Island preschools for even more helpful information.

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