Long Island

Things to Do in Southold Village With Kids

A trip to the North Fork offers vast opportunities. From nature explorers to foodie indulgers and self-proclaimed sommeliers, the village of Southold is hot, hip, and happening. 

Located in the heart of Long Island wine country, the village of Southold is the seat of government for Southold Town. But there is much more to it than that. In Southold, you can enjoy beaches, museums, nature centers, family-friendly eateries, fall festivals, and then some. 

Looking for more North Fork fun? Head east one village for must-try spots in Greenport. Staying over? Hop a ferry to Shelter Island and explore. And on the way home, check out the North Fork's gateway town, Riverhead.

Rad Women and Civil Rights Heroes: Children's Books for Right Now

By Gwen Glazer, recommendations librarian in the Readers Services unit of the New York Public Library.

Fred Rogers’ famous advice to "always look for the helpers" has never seemed more important. In the wake of recent events in Charlottesville and beyond, parents may be looking for ways to engage their children with the social justice efforts—and also to talk about positive examples of activism and leadership.

We put together a list of 13 books for a wide range of children, from picture books for toddlers to nonfiction series for middle schoolers. These books address some of the most familiar human- and civil-rights leaders, like Malala and Gandhi, as well as some lesser-known activists who deserve more attention. All of them inspired others to create change in the world around them.

Weekend Fun: Kites, Dragon Boats, Pirate Festival

The Long Island Children's Museum reopens after its annual two-week fixup with the traveling exhibit Heart & Seoul: Growing Up in Korea. You can also spend Saturday Mary Poppins-style at the Kite Festival in West Sayville, or watch colorful Port Jefferson Harbor come alive at the annual Dragon Boat Race Festival.

Celebrate the season with the ​Fall Festival at Hicks Nurseries, at the Long Island Garlic Festival, or perhaps a local vineyard. Apple picking is also in full swing. Check out these parks for an easy family hike, or head over to our Fall Fun Guide for more seasonal options.

Our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. And our September GoList offers up fun, family events for the entire month.

Don't forget to check out our local DEALS page, where you can score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for LI kids. Check back often as we're constantly adding more.

Obstacle Courses, Climbing Walls and Ninja Classes for LI Kids

Are your kids using the couch as a jumping-off point for back flips? There are several spots in Nassau and Suffolk counties that offer obstacle training, where your little ninja can test his or her balance, vaulting, tumbling and more. Let the little daredevils try out these indoor courses while keeping your walls scuff mark free.

In the meantime, check out our roundup of birthday party venues for active kids. For more indoor fun, especially for toddlers, see our list of the best indoor play spaces on Long Island.

Weekday Events: Street Fair, Apple Season, Movies

Backpacks, books, and buses, oh my! School is back in session across Long Island. But the fun doesn't stop just because classes have started.

There’s still plenty to do both outside and in. From apple picking to fall fairs and festivals, Long Island is hopping this second week of September. Remember to check out our September GoList and our Fall Fun Guide for the best in seasonal family entertainment.

Kid-Friendly Wineries on the East End

So many wineries on Long Island's East End welcome children and even pets, so it’s no wonder North Fork wine country has become a huge destination not just for couples and bachelorette parties, but for families as well.

From picnic areas to live music and annual events, we’ve rounded up a host of vineyards—many of which are family-owned and operated—that offer the most family-friendly experiences. In addition to wine, most tasting rooms offer light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, and some allow outside food and drink in designated picnic areas. Of course, kids must be supervised and pets must be on leashes. Be sure to check individual websites for specific rules and regulations. And be responsible if driving.

Autumn is an ideal time to visit East End vineyards as many celebrate the annual arrival of new vintages. As the weather gets cooler, it’s also a great time to check out other seasonal activities on Long Island, including apple picking and fall festivals. Happy autumn.

15 Long Island State Parks Worth a Visit

No matter what the season, and no matter where you live on Long Island, there’s a state park just waiting for you and your family.

From hiking in the fall to snow shoeing in the winter…from bird watching in the spring to camping in the summer, these gorgeous state parks have something special to offer Long Island families all year round.

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of parks we believe are worth a visit. An Empire Pass gives you access to any New York state park for the year, but be sure to look at each park’s website for additional vehicle and/or entry fees and restrictions. Of course, Jones Beach and Robert Moses state parks are prime oceanside getaways in the summer; these parks offer year-round entertainment.

For more family fun, see our September GoList, explore our suggestions for a fun weekend getaway, or check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

Weekend Fun: Festivals, Colonial Celebration, Grandparents Day

Festival season is in full swing with the Brookhaven Country Fair, the Dockside Family Festival and Hallockville's Fall Festival running all weekend long. Also, relive history at Raynham Hall Museum's Colonial Day. Boogie on down to Benner's Farm for its annual Fiddle and Folk Festival, or bring your kids' favorite grownups to the South Fork Natural History Museum for a free Grandparents Day celebration.

In the meantime, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. And our September GoList offers up fun, family events for the entire month.

Don't forget to check out our local DEALS page, where you can score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for LI kids. Check back often as we're constantly adding more.

Don't see a great event here? Add it to our calendar yourself.

Go-Kart and Slot Car Racing Destinations for LI Kids

Want to go for a spin? Then check out one of Long Island’s go-kart or slot car tracks.   

Parents of kids who love being in the driver’s seat will love what these high-speed destinations offer. Inexpensive and thrilling, they’re ideal for kids who refuse to take a back seat to anyone. Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines. 

For more indoor fun, see our guide to play spaces and fun zones. If your kids prefer to pedal, our guide to Long Island biking trails offers great rides in Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End.

Frozen the Musical Heads for Broadway: What You Need to Know

This winter in NYC brings an extra dose of snow and ice, but of the magical Disney variety. One of the favorite princesses of the last decade and ice queen extraordinaire, Elsa, and her sister Anna, will make their Broadway debut in New York City this February. If you're familiar with the Let It Go-cult of Elsa, then you probably already knew a Frozen musical was en route, but we're here to give you the scoop on what to expect, including ticket prices and for which ages this show is best.

Joining family hits The Lion King and Aladdin, the buzz is strong for Disney's latest musical adaptation. The official opening night is set for March 22 (preview performances begin in February), but tickets for Frozen went on sale this month, and of course, are already going fast (hey, it's never too early to consider holiday gifts the whole family can enjoy).

We're pretty confident this Broadway production deserves a spot on your family's 2018 bucket list if you're willing and able to go for this extra special splurge.

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