Suffolk

The Best Ice Cream Shops Near Playgrounds on Long Island

Summer was made for ice cream and exuberant swoops down the slide in the toasty sun.

Here are our picks for magical treats near Long Island’s pristine parks and our favorite playgrounds. And while you’re thinking about sweet treats, check out our list of old-fashioned ice cream parlors on Long Island and the best candy shops for kids in our region. 

For more dining and dessert inspiration, see our guide to kid-friendly restaurants on Long Island, including information on outdoor dining, birthday freebies for LI kids, and more.

Enjoy.

8 Kid-Friendly LIRR Stops for a Fun Day Trip

Let’s face it. Traffic on Long Island is no picnic. In fact, sometimes the thought of taking a day trip to another part of this beautiful island makes us cringe when we think of the hours on the road and the challenge of keeping the kids in the backseat entertained.

But there is a another way to get from here to there…the LIRR! Taking the train is a convenient, fun way for families to get around the Island without the hassle of driving. From beach communities to charming downtowns to family-friendly museums, there are plenty of LIRR stops where families can hop off and explore the area for the day.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite family day trips reachable via the LIRR, highlighting the best attractions and sights in the area. All aboard!

7 Long Island Boardwalk Gems Kids Will Love

The best part of the beach isn't always sand and water. Sometimes, it's a quaint stroll along the boardwalk. And Long Island has plenty of these planked paths dotting its shores.

Gone are the splinter fears and potential pitfalls of yesterday; most Long Island boardwalks have been refurbished with less flammable, sustainable woods. These boardwalk spots offer something special for kids and adults alike. Best of all, besides a nominal parking fee for some, these are FREE. 

Here are a half-dozen of our favorite Long Island boardwalks, including a few you might not immediately associate with the ocean. From Nassau County to Suffolk and the East End, they are yours to explore.

For more seasonal fun, be sure to see our Summer Fun Guide, our list of the best beacheswater parks, and sprinkler parks and perhaps even our guide to LI beach playgrounds and outdoor music.

And for FREE summer fun, check out our list of 50 FREE things to do with Long Island kids this summer.

Great Summer Fairs and Festivals for Long Island Families

Nothing says summer more than spending time as a family at a fair or festival on Long Island. It's a chance to be outdoors, spend time with the friends and neighbors, and make lasting memories.

Whether your family enjoys an old-fashioned street fair in your neighborhood or ventures nearby to see how other communities celebrate summer, these family-friendly events are sure to leave everyone smiling. Plus, many of these events are FREE to the public. That's why we've rounded up a list of the best fairs and festivals taking place in Nassau and Suffolk counties and on the East End in July and August. 

For more seasonal inspiration, check out our Summer Fun Guide and Events Calendar. And while you're at it, consider one or two of our 25 must-do activities with kids this summer. If you're on a budget, try a few of our 50 FREE things to do with LI kids before school resumes. 

The Best July 4th Fireworks Shows on Long Island, 2018

Red, white and blue: check. Daytime BBQ: check. Evening fireworks: Hmm ... 

On Fourth of July weekend, and before and after, families across Long Island gather for picnics, barbecues and, of course, fireworks. With that in mind, we've rounded up Independence Day fireworks happenings up and down Long Island, from Nassau to Suffolk counties and all the way to the East End. July 4 is a Wednesday this year, so fireworks celebrations begin as early as June 20 and continue past the weekend of July 7-8.   

Our list of Long Island fireworks shows will make you want to go fourth beginning from almost the time school lets out. And for more kid-friendly activities, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide and our Event Calendar.

Free Outdoor Movies for Long Island Kids This Summer

With the price of movie tickets for the family these days, there’s nothing better than FREE entertainment for the kids. Did you know that several Long Island municipalities host outdoor summer movie series, where you can spread a blanket on the lawn or prop up some lawn chairs and have a picnic while enjoying a family-friendly film?

At these outdoor community events you can enjoy a beloved film for a second time or catch up on a recent blockbuster without having to spend a dime on a movie ticket. Seating is first-come, first-served, so arrive early. Also, be sure to double-check the venue or organization's website or social media feeds for any potential weather-related cancellations.

Outdoor movies are just part of the summer experience on Long Island. You'll find more fun things to do with kids in our Summer Fun Guide, including FREE outdoor summer concerts. It's also a great time to hit a Long Island amusement park, water park, or one of our great family-friendly beaches

Until then, lights, camera, action! 

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts for Long Island Families

Not all summer entertainment on Long Island comes with a hefty price tag. In fact, some shows don't come with a price tag at all.

We've rounded up a host of FREE local outdoor concerts—all parents need to do is grab a lawn chair or picnic blanket and get ready to shimmy, shake, and smile with the little ones.

For more seasonal fun, be sure to check out our ideas for outdoor summer games and our picks for the best beaches for Long Island families. Our summer fun guide offers more ideas for getting the best out of the summer months. Enjoy.

Long Island Summer Camps With Availability — Yes, Even Now

If you haven't spent a minute thinking about summer camp this year, there's no need to panic. There are Long Island summer camp programs that have spaces available. Of course, if you've been too busy to book a camp for your kids, you might not have time to call around now. That's why we did the work for you. Here are several Long Island camps that as of early June still have spots for summer 2018.  There are over 20 locations across Long Island. To search by location, open the map at the bottom of the page. To find about more Long Island-based camps, check out our comprehensive Summer Camp Guide and Directory

The Best Fairs and Festivals for Long Island Families in June

June on Long Island is the unofficial kickoff of summer street fairs, festivals, and fun for the entire family. From food-focused events to arts and crafts, and nautical-themed festivals, there is plenty of fun to be found on the streets and in the parks of Nassau and Suffolk counties and on the East End in June. And, the best part: Admission to many of these events is FREE.

So check out our picks for the top June street fairs and festivals and be sure to mark them on your calendar. Click through the listings for locations, times, specific costs, potential weather postponements, and other information. As always, you’ll find more family-friendly things to do this summer in our June GoListSummer Fun Guide and our Long Island Events Calendar.

12 Things To Do with Your Long Island Baby Before They Turn 1

Those long nine months finally are over and it's time to enjoy all the moments you dreamed about. Baby is here, which means there are many memorable firsts ahead.

No matter the season, there is always something new to experience with your little one on Long Island. Whether it's a trip to the ocean, or a visit to the pumpkin patch, the first year is full of milestones. Get your camera (or phone) ready, because this list is full of Kodak moments.

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