Long Island

New Spray Park Splashes Into Elwood in Suffolk County

Get soaked and stoked at Long Island's newest water park, the Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Memorial Spray Park. A first in the Town of Huntington, this water play area is small in size, but pours out big fun. 

Check out more super sprinkler parks on Long Island here.

To splash into other watery fun, take a peek at our guide to Long Island amusement parks and water parks. For even more kid-friendly activities, check out our Summer Fun Guide and our recommendations for the best beach playgrounds as well as other top playgrounds and parks on LI

Why You Might Enjoy a Disney Cruise to Europe As Much As Your Kids

When my husband suggested a Disney cruise as a way to introduce our kids to Europe, I was doubtful. Our girls had yet to take a plane ride, and we were going to tackle the great cities of Rome, Barcelona, Cannes, Genoa, and others with them? Couldn't we just hit a theme park instead? Ultimately, though, I gave in, even as I imagined dragging a reluctant kindergartener through scenic city streets as she begged to watch "DuckTales" instead. 

8 Laser Tag Places for Kids on Long Island

Tag, you're it. 

The old-school game of tag has evolved to include lasers. You now can tell the kids to take the sibling rivalry into the arena. This competition-style game engages players both physically and mentally as they strategically attempt to tag the opposing team while not getting tagged themselves. But think fast … or tag, you're OUT.

There are some great spots to play laser tag in Nassau and Suffolk counties, so get ready to think on your feet and have some fun. And when the sun is shining, we've even included a spot where you can play outdoor laser tag. Many of these facilities offer other attractions such as go-karts, mini-golfarcades, bowling, rides, and more to get the whole family playing together.

For more ways to have fun indoors, check out our guide to indoor play spaces. There's always something great to do for families on Long Island and we've got the info you need at our events calendar.

Support Groups, Play Groups, and More for LI Special-Needs Families

Families of special-needs children encounter special challenges. The good news is, on Long Island there are quite a lot of resources available for support.

Many times these challenges are not anticipated. Although caregivers might get some relief from drop-off respite programs, other support services can be required. The firms and agencies below offer support programs ranging from personal care and training to financial services, and even playtime.

For more information, see our guide to special-needs services on Long Island, including a look at the region's top sensory gardens, inclusive playgrounds, and more.

Weekend Fun: Sailing, Beach Exploration, Outdoor Movies, Arts

This weekend, work on your sharpening your shark senses at The Whaling Museum. Or hop aboard the sloop Christeen and steer through Oyster Bay. Enjoy a day of fun at the Long Island Museum or catch a free family flick under the stars.

Head outdoors to the boardwalkbeach, pools, sprinkler parks, or perhaps to cool off at a water park. Jones Beach also just opened its brand-new splash pad.

Visit our Summer Family Fun Guide and our July GoList for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas and plenty of FREE events and activities. Our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. 

25 Fun (and Educational) Things to Do for Free with Kids this Summer

Summer is all about going to the beach, eating ice cream, exploring the outdoors, and having family-friendly fun—no "reading, writing, and arithmetic" allowed...Right? Well, it turns out that there's a whole world of educational fun to be had while your family enjoys summer, from exploring marine habitats at the beach to learning about science while making your own ice cream.

Whether your summer vacation takes you to the forests of Yosemite or the beaches of Mexico, here's a list of 25 ways to keep kids learning—while having fun—all through their school vacation.

Unlock Your Child's Love of Nature at Lavender by the Bay

“Live life in full bloom.”

That’s the motto at Lavender by the Bay, a 17-acre oasis of flowering plants that turns the normally green North Fork of Long Island into a most regal purple for three weeks in the early summer.

Situated on the Main Road in the Victorian-strewn community of East Marion, near Greenport, the farm draws visitors from as far away as New York City, who come by car or railroad; and from New England, who shuttle across on the nearby Orient Point ferry. Young and old, they are drawn by the aroma of fresh lavender and the opportunity to distance themselves from the essentials of modern living.

The blooming season ended Sunday, July 15 and will resume in late June 2019. You can visit the gift shop daily through the end of September and on Thurdays through Mondays through the end of October. In the meantime. feel free to glimpse our guide to gardens and petting zoos across Long Island.   

20 Easy (But Gorgeous) Hiking Trails To Do with Kids and Babies

By Shanti Hodges

Looking for a hiking trail near you? Great walking trails top our picks for fun summer activities and fall outings with kids. A hike is an opportunity for quality family time, exercise for kids, and of course, discoveries small and large, from bugs to waterfalls.

These getaway-worthy, family-friendly hiking trails are just a sampling of my favorite trails, highlighted in my new book, Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Adventures with Babies and Toddlers. As founder of Hike it Baby, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families get on the trail with kids, I’ve been fortunate enough to sample nature trails across the country, including at our best national parks and campsites, and even those extra-special, smaller local parks that often offer the best hikes for toddlers and families with little kids.

Now I’m sharing 20 of my favorites, from Connecticut to Florida to Washington state, that are perfect for your next day trip or family vacation. Most are easy loop paths, but I’ve included some moderate trails and top destinations, such as Mt. Rainer and the Badlands. Many of these hikes are FREE, too. The list also highlights family-friendly perks like bathrooms, and benches for a rest or a nursing mom.

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.

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