Long Island

Planetariums, Observatories, and Eclipse Viewing on Long Island

A solar eclipse will swoop across the United States on Monday, August 21, causing total darkness to fall across a 70-mile corridor. Long Islanders won't make it into this path of total darkness, but you can still enjoy a celestial show to commemorate this once-in-a-century event.

Solar eclipse viewing on one of Long Island's beaches is a great option, and we've added some local viewing parties where you can see one of nature's rare spectacles with your family. For astronomy enthusiasts of all ages, we've got you covered with stargazing science programs to enjoy year-round.

Before the big day, check out our guide to preparing for the eclipse, including safety measures and viewing times.

Weekend Fun: Beach Feast, Art Fest, Pirates, Wii Contest

Shine bright at Lighthouse Weekend in Montauk this weekend, but beware of pirate visitors. At Garden of Eve farm in Riverhead, celebrate all things tomato while visiting resident farm animals, climbing a spider web rope, and much more. 

Check out our August GoList for the best family events throughout the rest of the month. For more seasonal activities, pop over to our Summer Fun Guide or our day trips guide. Check out our guides to Long Island playgrounds or amusement parks and water parks for more family adventures.

Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

Don't forget to check out our new 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 constantly adding more.

Top Mommy-and-Me Baby Classes on Long Island

From Zumba to yoga to cooking and art, there are plenty of ways to nurture your baby’s mind, body, and creative spirit. Not to mention your own. We’ve rounded up some of the best mommy-and-me classes on Long Island, ideal if you want to to stay fit or learn a new craft. You and your baby will have fun, meet other moms and tots, and, most importantly, spend precious time together.

Of course, classes are open to dads, grandparents and other caregivers. Be sure to check class websites for times, costs and registration details.

For more suggestions on inexpensive ways to entertain your kids, check out our guide to FREE activities on Long Island, including 50 Free Things to Do with Long Island Kids. Our classes and enrichment guide also offers a host of ideas to stimulate your child's learning.

Have fun.

The Solar Eclipse: Getting Kids Psyched and Watching as a Family

What's all too fleeting, potentially a bit hazardous, and absolutely something you need to experience with your kids? We're talking about the solar eclipse on August 21st, of course! For the first time since 1979, parts of North America will be treated to a total solar eclipse—a rare moment when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, temporarily blocking the sun. 

How dramatic the eclipse is will depend on where you are located geographically. People in the states that fall in a diagnonal line from Oregon to South Carolina are in the path of "totality," meaning they'll be exposed to a complete blocking of the sun. The rest of us will see a crescent shape as the moon partially blocks the sun from our view. Nevertheless, scientists and educators nationwide are encouraging everyone to plan to watch this astronomical phenomenon. So we tapped John Aviste, a civil engineer who runs the popular Edge on Science camps in New York and Massachusetts, to help us understand why—and how—families in all of Mommy Poppins' nine regions should witness the eclipse. Whether you've been preparing for this moment for years or are just catching up now, read on for some useful tips—from explaining eclipse science to little ones to ensuring that everyone's peepers stay protected.

Weekday Fun: Star Gazing, Magic Shows, Village Festivals

Indoors or out, these last few weeks of August offer a variety of weekday activities for families eager for a last blast of summer.

This week, relax under the stars and catch a flick, or grab a beach blanket and set out for a picnic. Whatever you decide, check out our August GoList and our Summer Fun Guide for more fresh ideas. For some fun FREE events, check out our list of 50 Free Things to Do With Long Island Kids This Summer. And remember to check out Events Calendar for new listings each day.

Here are some of our top picks for this week.

Final Summer Fun: 25 Things to Do on Long Island Before School Starts

Why whine about summer winding down when you can embrace it, filling these last few weeks with engaging and entertaining family fun? 

We've rounded up 25 of the best last-of-the-summer fun activities to do with kids on Long Island before they head back to their books, from water playgrounds and outdoor pools to FREE music and movies.

Check out our August GoList for the best family events throughout the month, and peruse our Summer Fun Guide and Beaches, Pools, and Water Fun guide for your last sticky summertime hurrah. Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

Places Where Long Island Kids Can Learn to Cook & Bake

It’s never too early to teach kids the importance of eating healthy, and what better way to do that than by showing them how to cook nutritious meals? (OK, fine, sweets-baking is also fun for kids.)

Not only will kids master important kitchen skills, these classes also improve fine motor skills, boost math comprehension (thanks to all that measuring), and encourage kids to try new foods.

We’ve rounded up more than 10 places that offer cooking and baking classes for kids in Nassau and Suffolk counties. So go ahead and encourage your future Emeril or Giada to get cooking! And for more enrichment programs, check out our Classes Guide.

Weekend Fun: Retro Gaming, Fishing Derby, Slime Fest

It's on like Donkey Kong at the Long Island Retro Gaming Exhibit. Show off your joy stick skills this weekend and teach your wee ones what gaming life was like before iPads. Or cast a line at the Snapper & Crab Derby off of Captree Pier. Let the kiddies make ooey gooey slime (and let someone else clean up after) at Slime Fest in Syosset.

Check out our August GoList for the best family events throughout the month. For more seasonal activities, pop over to our Summer Fun Guide or our day trips guide. Check out our guides to Long Island playgrounds or amusement parks and water parks for more family adventures.

Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

Don't forget to check out our brand-new 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 constantly adding more.

Blast Off at Port Jefferson's Redesigned Rocketship Park

Although not a new playground location, Clifton H. Lee Memorial Park, or Rocketship Park, in Port Jefferson is brand new. Opened to the public in late June, this playground has undergone a $900,000 renovation nearly two years in the making. It was worth the wait with many fun features for toddlers to big kids. So get ready to blast off to Rocketship Park with our playground review.

Long Island has so many playgrounds to enjoy. Check out our list of the beach playgrounds, and toddler playgrounds. And take advantage of what’s left of summer with our Summer Fun Guide.

For more fun things to do in Port Jefferson, check out our day trip guide to this kid-friendly North Shore community

Weekday Fun: Summer Fests, Sand Castles, Nature Hike

We may be counting down until a return to school, but there is still plenty of summer fun to be had on Long Island.

This week, families can enjoy street festivals, nature walks, movies nights, and more. So gather up your popcorn, blankets, beach chairs, even your dancing shoes, and celebrate all that August has to offer.

As always, check out August GoList and our Summer Fun Guide for the best in Long Island family fun. Our guides to Nassau and Suffolk counties and the East End offer the best in regional entertainment, and our Events Calendar is regularly updated with new and exciting events. Away we go.

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