Long Island

Indoor Party Spots with Mega Play Spaces for LI Kids

Birthday parties at home are great when kids are tots and a few games in the backyard are all that you need. But as kids get older and invitations need to go out to all the kids in the class, a party venue makes things easier. Here then is our list of indoor party spots with the biggest and coolest play spaces sure to wow the birthday kid and the partygoers.

For more birthday party ideas, see our birthday party guide for Long Island kids.

Halloween Weekend for LI Kids: Parades, Parties, Pumpkins

This Halloween weekend, spook up some fun for the whole family. Carve a pumpkin and set it afloat at the the Great Jack o' Lantern Spectacular Sail at Belmont Lake State Park. Enjoy safe trick-or-treating in Long Beach, at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, or the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.

Do the monster mash and party like a ghoul at the Ghostly Gala at the Long Island Children's Museum, the Milleridge Halloween Village, the Halloween Festival at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai, or the Haunted Hatchery at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery.

Check out our Halloween Guide for more local fun, and be sure to keep an eye on the forecast this weekend. You may want to call, or check the venue's website, before heading out.

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Play Fair Returns to Javits Center with New Toys and Interactive Fun

The holidays are coming up fast, and your kids are eager to get to work on their wish lists (of course). But before anyone decides which gifts make the final cut, consider a trip to Play Fair, where the whole family can get hands on with the gotta-have-'em toys and new-to-the-market goodies that'll make this season one for the books!

Play Fair, which returns to the Javits Center on November 4 and 5 after its fun-filled debut last year, offers toy lovers of all ages an action-packed day filled with memorable performances by kid-approved favorites, special movie screenings, character appearances (including Chase and Marshall of Paw Patrol fame), tons of interactive games, and most importantly a chance to play with and buy the toys of tomorrow today. And as if that wasn't reason enough to snag tickets for your family, we have a special discount for Mommy Poppins readers.

The Gaming Studio: Technology and Coding for LI Kids

Get your gaming faces on and your digits ready. The latest technology-focused space on Long Island, The Gaming Studio, in Syosset, teaches real-world tech skills in an entertaining and productive environment.

For more enrichment opportunities, peruse our camps and classes guide. Want more birthday party ideas? Pop over to our Party Place. Plus, our STEM page is a central spot for all things science, technology, engineering and math.

Long Island Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving 2017

A Thanksgiving feast is usually prepared and served in our homes. But sometimes it’s nice to take a break from tradition. Drop the daylong prep for Thanksgiving and head out to one of these Long Island restaurants serving up a traditional turkey dinner. Who knows, maybe you can enjoy a Thanksgiving run, volunteer, or (gasp!) relax a little.

For those who aren’t fans of turkey, many of these restaurants offer regular menu items. so everyone can have what they prefer. Just be sure to call ahead for reservations.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! And for more tips and activities this season, check out our Long Island Fall Fun Guide.

Free Halloween Parades and Events for Kids on Long Island

Halloween is October 31, and events are happening on Long Island all week leading up to that celebrated day. Here are some fun and FREE Halloween events in which the family can take part. Kids (and grown-ups) love dressing in costumes, so attend multiple events to get the best use out of them.

Don’t forget to check your local library for any FREE Halloween events it may be hosting. And for more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Halloween Guide, our October GoList, and our compilation of the best fall fairs and festivals on Long Island. 

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book, The Polar Express, comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even token gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, or the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away, or consider a day trip to the Catskills or weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for this Santa's Paradise Express. Best of all, families can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with a sweet adventure sure to create lasting memories.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

New Sensory Room Opens at Long Island Children’s Museum

The Long Island Children’s Museum, part of Nassau County’s famed Museum Row in Garden City, is dedicated to providing fun, educational exhibits, programs, and performances to children and their families. But with its vast open spaces—it’s housed in a converted airplane hangar—bright lights, noise, and overexcited visitors, for some children a visit can be overwhelming.

With the needs of those children in mind, the museum in October 2017 opened a new sensory room. The dedicated space is the latest component of LICM4all, an initiative that helps the museum better serve all children and families.

Disney on Ice Brings Moana and Elsa Show to NYC Metro Area

A Disney on Ice show skates into the greater New York City area this November with some of the entertainment company's most popular female characters. This Dare to Dream production features Moana for the first time, but also Belle of Beauty and the Beast, Elsa and Anna of Frozen fame, and plenty more princesses.

The family show kicks off in the metro region at the Prudential Center in Newark, November 1-5. It then plays Barclays Center in Brooklyn, November 9-12, and finally at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, November 15-November 26.

Weekend Fun: Country Fair, Pumpkin Carving, Science Day

Sagamore Hill is ready to deliver information, education and demonstrations free to the public. at its very first Science Day.

And while the autumn weather is still gourd-ous outside, keep exploring and enjoying the great outdoors at the Family Fall & Halloween Festival in Massapequa or the Rock Hall Country Fair in Lawrence. Get crafty at Jones Beach, make a harvest wreath, or create a boo-tiful mini garden at Atlantic Nursery. Get dolled up for the Princess Masquerade Ball at Tots-on-Track or enjoy a leisurely family stroll through the village of Huntington during the Heckscher Art Museum's Art Walk.

Did someone says freebie? We've rounded up some free events for the family this month. It's not too early to make a plan for Halloween. Check out our list of Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat with Long Island Kids

Our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. And our October GoList offers other fun, family events for the final weeks of the 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 regularly adding more.

Also, it's time for our annual Besties balloting, and we want to hear from you. Weigh in on the best of Long Island at our voting page here. Your vote makes you eligible to win one of a number of prizes. See the prizes available here, and vote before it's too late.

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

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