Long Island

2017 Long Island Bestie Guide: Parenting Resources 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 to party places, swim schools, and more. With all the great family fun experiences and resources on Long Island, it was hard to narrow 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 Besties 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 Fun, Parenting Resources, and Enrichment Programs. Enjoy!

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

The Best Halloween Events for Kids on Long Island

From costume parades to unique trick-or-treating neighborhoods and not-so-scary haunted houses and walks, there are plenty of fun, "spooktacular" happenings on Long Island this Halloween season.

Read on for our picks for Long Island children this Halloween, including museum events, enchanted forest trails, and even a boat burning that has become a seasonal tradition in one Suffolk County community. And don't forget to check out our Halloween Guide for more seasonal fun. 

Columbus Day Weekend Fun: Fall Festivals, Pumpkins

You can pack a lot of family fun into a three-day weekend during fall on Long Island.

Break out the family lederhosen and celebrate all things German at Nassau County's weekend-long Oktoberfest. Step up your fright game at Bayville Scream Park's Kids "Not So Scary" Days. Don't fret—it's toned down all of the Halloween-themed attractions for little eyes and ears.

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 weekend 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.

Not-So-Scary Halloween Haunts on Long Island for Kids

Looking to get spooked this Halloween?

Long Island is home to many haunted houses up to the task, ranging from child-friendly to down-right creepy. We've rounded up places offering fairly child-friendly haunted houses for your consideration. But keep in mind even the tamest of these can sometimes be too much for an imaginative child, so come prepared with a backup plan (or adult) if one child needs to leave quickly.

If you're looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of Halloween-themed fun happenings on farms across the Island. And for more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Halloween Guide, and don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

10 Nature Walks on Long Island to View Fall Foliage

Even now, the leaves across Long Island are turning beautiful colors. Luckily, Nassau, Suffolk, and the East End have some of the best trails around, ideal for looking at that gorgeous fall foliage.

So, strap on your hiking shoes, pack a few snacks, and head out to one of these hiking destinations that offer fresh air and splendid fall oranges, reds and yellows. For more kid-friendly activities, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide.

Weekday Fun: Open Play, Movies, and Pumpkins

Now that it’s October, it’s time to start thinking about Halloween.

All over Long Island, pumpkin patches are full, and there are corn mazes, hot apple cider, and fun houses for children to enjoy. Check out our Fun Fall Guide, where, among other things, you'll find our favorite apple-picking destinations.

Our October GoList is full of interesting adventures to try out with your children. And don’t forget to vote in our Bestie Awards balloting for your favorite hot spots across Long Island. Now on to this week’s fun:

October GoList: Best Things To Do with Long Island Kids

Ironic isn’t it, that the final day of October always seem to get a month’s worth of attention from families on Long Island.

We here at Mommy Poppins love Halloween – who doesn’t? – but we also know there’s plenty more to October than costumes, candy, and neighborhood parades.

There’s Columbus Day weekend and all its fall festivities for starters. Dogs have their days at one of Long Island’s premier outdoor destinations. There are even Oktoberfest celebrations for those who want to add a little oom-pah-pah to their monthly routines.  Did we mention foliage viewing, or some other great day trip?

Halloween has morphed from a single day into an entire month, hasn't it? But while sweet tooths might disagree, we believe October is about more than just jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating. So put the costume-making down for a few days and enjoy this wonderful month, where the transition to autumn is seen in all its pageantry.    

Meanwhile, remember our Long Island Events Calendar offers exciting family options as they develop throughout the month. You can always sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

Dozens of Fall Day Trip Destinations for Long Island Families

Autumn is the perfect time to take a day or weekend trip to one of the many family-friendly destinations on or off Long island. The weather is cooler, Mother Nature provides some beautiful scenery, and there are even get a couple of long, holiday weekends that give everyone an extra day to spend together.

To help get you on your way, we’ve put together a list of the top fall destinations for Long Island families this season. Some are close by, while others require a few hours in the car or a ride on a ferry. No matter where you go or how you get there, you’re sure to create some great memories.

For more travel ideas, check out our Fall Fun Guide.

Weekend Fun: Shopkins, Pumpkin Weigh-Off, San Gennaro

See which homegrown pumpkin tips the scale at the Hicks Nurseries Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Hang around afterward for its fall festival. Shoppies wobble onto NYCB Theatre this weekend for a unique Shopkins Live! theatrical performance. Have the kids run off some energy at the Tiny Titan Run, an obstacle course in Riverhead, or the first of the Kids Fun Run series in Bethpage.

Our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. And our September GoList offers other fun, family events for the final weekend 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.

Best Parks in Nassau County for Long Island Kids

With more than 70 parks and recreation facilities, Nassau County is literally full of places to play. Many of these parks have pools—both indoor and outdoor—great playgrounds, and winter skating. Others, which we feature here, offer some of Long Island's most unique opportunities for recreation. From a re-creation of a 19th-century village to an aerodrome field to castle-like mansions, Nassau County has plenty to offer.

Hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, and outdoor adventures can be had all across the county. Our guide to playgrounds and parks is a great place to start.

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