Long Island

20 Things All New Parents on Long Island Should Know

We all agree: Long Island is a great place to raise kids. There are parks galore, plenty of fun things to do all year long, and no shortage of places that cater to children.

But things still can seem overwhelming when you’re a new mom or dad. We here at Mommy Poppins can help make your life easier with some of our favorite insider tricks that every new parent on Long Island should add to his or her arsenal.

Build an Indoor Obstacle Course for Kids in 7 Easy Steps

When beautiful fall days turn into gray, wintry ones that get dark at 4pm, you need ideas of things to do indoors, including sneaky exercise games for the kids. Or, why not build an obstacle course for your kids? They'll love the challenge of having to complete each task, and you'll love the energy it can burn off and time it will keep them occupied. The best part? You can build this one with things you already have around the house. So read on for our guide to building your own in seven easy steps.

50 Fabulous and Totally Free Events This Month for LI Kids

Who said nothing in life is free? Not us! In fact, we’ve come up with a list of more than 50 fun, family-friendly events happening all over Long Island during the next few weeks that won’t cost you a thing.

Of course, since it’s the season of ghosts and goblins, many of the happenings are Halloween-themed, including costume parades and trick-or-treating events. We've also included the many fabulous fall festivals going on this month, as well as story time and craft events, mommy-and-me classes, and more. And for added fun this season, check out our Halloween Guide and October Go List.

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for Long Island Kids

There's nothing like trick-or-treating here on Long Island, where kids can head to their favorite downtowns to fill up on treats from local businesses. Or to their own neighborhoods, where they know how to traverse every nook and cranny. Plus, kids probably have a good idea which houses to avoid and which ones to knock on twice for those sweet rewards.

Camaraderie among neighbors gives you a sense of community. But sometimes change is good.

So which Long Island neighborhoods are best for trick-or-treating? We prefer those that have houses close together, merchants who participate, are well lit, and have minimal traffic. Read on for our list of favorites.

Check out our Halloween Guide for more Long Island trick-or-treating fun, including these top events for kids and not-too-scary haunted houses and walks.

The Best LI Destinations for Kids to Learn About Diversity

It might be difficult for your wee one to imagine of a world outside of his or her Matchbox or Shopkins collections. However, teaching kids early on about different cultures can help them appreciate differences in people and traditions. These museums and historical sites offer educational information about the diverse cultures that make up Long Island.

For more Long Island spots brimming with information, visit our museum guide. From outer space to trains, there's an educational opportunity waiting to engage your family.

Weekend Fun: Spooky Fest, Flip Fabrique, Hay Maze, Fall Fairs

Don't get spooked: Many Halloween fests offer special events and days to preserve the thrills without giving your little ones chills.

This weekend check out Spooky Fest at the Center for Science Teaching & Learning, RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns along lighted paths at Old Westbury Gardens, the hay maze at Stew Leonard's, Not So Scary Days at Bayville's Scream Park or Halloween Village at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho.

The Day I Moved Into Target

As a mom, I live at Target.

No, really—I moved in a few weeks ago. A lot of moms are doing it. It just makes so much more sense than living in our houses, which we were constantly having to leave in order to go to Target.

"Gotta make another Target run!" I'd say, and my husband would tell me to "enjoy my mommy vacation." It was so funny—every time.

Free Indoor Play Spaces for Long Island Kids

When the weather is gray and chilly, it's easier to stay inside and hide. But for children that can be among the most boring things to do.

All across Long Island, there are play spaces and indoor playgrounds to keep your kids happily occupied. But how about some low-key kids spots hiding in plain sight? And better yet, how about FREE destinations? From malls to bookstores and libraries, there is plenty of FREE fun to be had for Long Island kids.

Enjoy these unique play destinations, but remember at most venues a parent/adult must be present to supervise children.

For more indoor fun, don't forget our guide to rainy day activities on Long Island.

2017 Long Island Bestie Guide: Enrichment Program Winners

Long Island families, you have spoken! We asked you to weigh in on the Long Island's Besties—the best family businesses across 24 categories ranging from restaurants, party places, swim schools and more. With all the great family fun experiences and resources on Long Island, it was hard to narrow it down to just one winner per category, but you were up to the task! In the pages that follow you will get to know our Besties, the most highly regarded Long Island businesses that live to serve, entertain, teach and enrich the lives of your family.

We can't thank each of our 236 finalists and their fans enough for participating in our contest. We'd also like to extend a special thank you to our Bestie Sponsors and our congratulations to the four lucky voters who were picked at random to enjoy some amazing prizes! You made our contest awesome and we love you.

And now, without further ado, Mommy Poppins proudly presents your guide to the best of family-friendly Long Island, the 2017 Long Island Besties! Because 24 is a lot of winners, we've divided them into three groups: Family FunParenting Resources, and Enrichment Programs. Enjoy!

Best Family Fun Winners | Best Parenting Resources Winners | Best Enrichment Programs Winners

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