Long Island

Father's Day Weekend Events: Strawberry Fests, Summer Fairs

On Father's Day weekend, the peak of the strawberry harvest, the Mattituck Lions Club brings its annual Strawberry Festival to the North Fork, while the Historical Society of the Massapequas brings one to Nassau County. Dads get FREE admission to the Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck this weekend, too.

Celebrate Flag Day by exploring the meaning behind signal flags that ships used to communicate to each other at The Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor.

Build-A-Bear Has a New Pay-Your-Age Contest, without the Lines

Making a puffy, fuzzy DIY toy at Build-A-Bear is a great experience, especially for a birthday gift, but those bears are far from free. So it was no surprise last year that the company's big Pay-Your-Age Day (5 years old, get any toy for $5) resulted in lines not only out of the stores but out of the buildings—and lots of angry parents when lines were shut down. The good news? Build-A-Bear is doing the popular event again, but doing it differently this year.

New Private School for Pre-K Through 5th Grade Opening in E. Northport

Like most parents, Mimosa Jones Tunney and John Tunney, who own and operate popular Huntington restaurants Besito and The Shed, are passionate about their children’s education. When they couldn’t find a school they thought would best prepare their young boys, they decided to build their own.

The School House, located at 106 Vernon Valley Road in East Northport, is the result of the entrepreneurial couple’s dream to bring a new way of teaching to Long Island. Enrollment is currently under way for pre-K through fifth grade. The building, the former home of a local preschool, has been undergoing a renovation in recent months. Walls were knocked down, new windows added, and the result is a bright, open, sun-filled space where children can thrive.

Summer Day Trips for Long Island Families

While there are plenty of things to do on Long Island during the summer months, sometimes it's nice to change your routine and explore a different area. And how lucky are we, that there are so many kid-friendly destinations just a ferry, train, or car ride away? Families can spend the day exploring these locations and all they have to offer.

Here are a few of our favorite easy getaways from Long Island, including nearby Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York City, and upstate New York destinations.

And for what's happening back on Long Island, be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide.

Asheville with Kids: 40 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC, is a popular destination for visitors, including families, with so many fun things to do like the Biltmore Estate, a thriving food and arts scene, a Vanderbilt mansion with extensive grounds, and its kid-friendly local breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the plentiful hiking trails, waterfalls, and swimming holes. I frequently visit my sister’s family in Asheville and get to explore this charming Southern city with my young nephew, so I wanted to share the inside skinny on the best family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and what to do in Asheville with kids.

Find more family fun destinations in our Family Travel City Guides, and be sure to check our picks for North Carolina's best beaches for families.

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. Do you know several Long Island municipalities host outdoor summer movie series, where you can spread a blanket 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! 

How Can I Find Free Summer Meal Programs for Kids?

Many parents rely on the free breakfast and lunch available through the local school system to keep their kids' engines running—but what happens in the summer? Thankfully, there are still free meal programs available when school lets out.

Parents will find free breakfast, lunch, and sometimes afternoon snacks and more meals served up at certain parks, schools, community centers, hospitals, and elsewhere this summer. Many of the summer meal programs are federally funded through the USDA's Summer Food Service Program, but administered by local organizations, cities, or states. Read on for tips on how to find a free kids meal near you.

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlors Long Island Kids Will Love

Is there ever a bad time to enjoy ice cream? The answer is, of course, no. Ice cream is a comforting, delicious snack the whole family can enjoy. Get your bellies full of some scoops, a sundae, or a shake, and it all tastes better when made with homemade ice cream. 

From Nassau to the East End, we’ve rounded up some of Long Island’s best ice cream parlors that everyone in your family is sure to love. These destinations create yummy flavors from scratch and have a nostalgic feel that makes the experience extra special.

If ice cream is not your thing (we won't ask why), check out our roundup of other decadent dessert locations, or our guide to pick-your-own berry farms on Long Island. And for more dining inspiration, see our roundup of LI restaurants where kids can eat FREE.

25 Great Father's Day Activities for Long Island Dads

For all the wonderful things they do for their families, dads and grandads deserve some extra-special attention on Father’s Day. In case you haven’t made plans yet, we’ve put together a list of activities to do with dear old dad or grandpa that will let them know how much they're loved and appreciated.

So, whether he’s crazy for sports, loves to spend time outdoors, or enjoys creating things with his hands, we hope our roundup sparks some fun ideas to do on June 16. And for more family-friendly options this month, check out our JuneGoList and our Summer Fun Guide.

As always, check websites or call before heading out for potential weather-related cancellations. Happy Father's Day to all our dads and grandfathers.  

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