Suffolk

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.

Great Bike Trails for Long Island Families

If it’s been a few months since that bike saw the outside of your garage, why not tune it up and welcome the warm weather with a family bike ride?

Head outside to explore some of the many bike trails Long Island has to offer. If you’re not up for taking on a mountain bike trail, then pack a lunch, bring some water, and head to one of the paved paths or boardwalks that offer easy and enjoyable rides for even the youngest cyclist.

Here are our top picks for the most family-friendly trails on Long Island. Depending on which trail you choose, it might be a good idea to bring along a first aid kit, a tire patch kit or extra tubes, and bug and tick spray. For more outdoor adventures, check out these LI hiking trails and our Spring and Summer Fun Guides. While you're at it, why not look into our 50 FREE things to do with kids on LI this summer or our top 100 things to do with LI kids. A good bike ride just might be on both lists.

Butterflies and Birds: Where You Can Interact with Them on LI

You know what they say: Birds of a feather flock together. Well, on Long Island they seem to flock to nature preserves, centers, sanctuaries, and farms. Flutter around our area and you can get up close with some beautiful butterflies, too. But don't just wing it — we have the skinny on hoo to see and where.

Need another animal fix? Visit our zoos and gardens guide. Many outdoor petting zoos operate on a seasonal schedule, opening in spring or summer, and closing in fall before the snow arrives.

12 Great County Parks in Suffolk for Kids

With so many family-friendly county parks dotting the landscape of Suffolk County, there’s no excuse not to visit at least one (or two or three) of these beautiful outdoor destinations. The problem is, which ones to choose?

To help you decide, we’ve rounded up some of the best parks for families. From hiking, biking, and horseback riding to swimming, picnicking, and camping, these have it all, and some have even more, including bird watching, boating, and other family-friendly activities. We could go on and on.

These parks are all worth the trip. But be advised, some require a Suffolk County Green Key for access during peak periods. 

For more outdoor activities with the family, check out our spring fun and day trips guides, and don’t forget our events calendar.

Where to See Cherry Blossoms and More Blooms on Long Island

After what felt like an extra-long winter, spring arrives and colors burst all over Long Island. These are perfect days to explore some of the Island’s family-friendly gardens and state parks, where displays of vibrant, eye-popping cherry blossoms—along with a host of other springtime trees and flowers—are in full bloom.

From the the Arbor Day Family Festival (April 28) at Planting Fields Arboretum to the annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival (May 6) at Stony Brook University, your kids get to experience the natural beauty of the season, explore the outdoors, and even learn about different cultures. 

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