Long Island

30 Things to Do Over February Break With Long Island Kids

No matter what you call it...February break, midwinter vacation, or Presidents Week, your kids will be home from school for a whole week and you need ideas to keep them busy.

Well, we’ve got exactly what you need: a list of 30 family-friendly events happening across Long Island during school break, February 18-22 (most private schools are also closed that week). Of course, we think these events are timeless enough to be enjoyed whenever your children are home.

From one-day and weeklong camps to outdoor ice skatingindoor swimmingmuseums, and aquarium events, our roundup of activities will get your kids up and out of the house. Some events might cost you, but plenty are FREE or low cost, so there’s no excuse to not try at least one.

And for more ideas, check out our list of camps and classes during February break as well as our February GoList and Winter Fun Guide.

Mall of America's Most Amazing Attractions for Kids of All Ages

Mall of America, located in the heart of the American Midwest in Bloomington, Minnesota, is nothing short of an indoor entertainment epicenter for kids. Sure, it has over 500 stores, but there’s way more to do than just go shopping at the country's largest mall (so big that it requires its own zip code: 55425).

From Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee, the Midwest is full of fun, interesting, and educational things that kids and their parents will love. Mall of America might possess a more commercial feel than some of the area's other travel destinations, but it also likely offers the most entertainment per square foot (5.4 million square feet to be exact) with some of the most popular kids' characters and brands on hand, including Lego, Nickelodeon, American Girl, and Paw Patrol. There's an indoor amusement park, aquarium, arcade, mini golf, and so much more, all within just a few minutes of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

Read on to check out our list of the top 25 amazing things that kids of all ages can do at Mall of America.

Free Things to Do With Kids on Long Island in February

February is a short month, but it's filled with long winter days and weekends—not to mention a weeklong school break—when your kids will be looking for something to do. Luckily, there's no shortage of family-friendly activities on Long Island this month, and many of them won't cost you a penny.

We're talking library crafts and storytimes, fun events that celebrate Valentine's Day (including a kissing booth photo-op) and the Super Bowl, a tennis expo, and much more. To help you plan, we've rounded up some of the best no-cost-to-you activities that will keep the whole family entertained.

For more things to do that are both fun and free, check out our guides to free attractions for toddlers and babies and restaurants where kids eat free, and our roundup of great spots for long winter walks. And don't forget our events calendar and February GoList.

Free STEM Summer Camp from Girls Who Code Opens Registration

Looking for more than mindless hanging out and screentime for your teenage daughter this summer? Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that aims to increase the number of women in computer science fields, is once again offering its FREE summer immersion program for girls entering their junior or senior year of high school. The 7-week STEM summer camp offering FREE coding lessons and more crucial skills will take place in select cities across the country, including the NYC metro area, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Chicago.

Keep reading to find out who is eligible, how to apply, and when and where the program is happening in summer 2019. Hurry, because the early application period for this FREE summer program is already open!

Weekend Events: Lunar New Year, Groundhog Day, Super Bowl

Six more weeks of winter or an early spring? See what Holtsville Hal has to say this weekend during Groundhog Day festivities at the Holtsville Ecology Site. Ring in the Year of the Pig at The Landmark on Main Street's annual Lunar New Year Celebration or at the Ward Melville Heritage Organization

Check our February GoList and events calendar for more inspiration. Our Winter Fun Guide will keep you tuned in all season long.

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Long Island Destinations for Delicious Hot Chocolate

When the snow starts to fly during a Long Island winter, a tasty hot chocolate can help to take the chill away.

Adults and kids across Long Island enjoy hot chocolate, especially when it’s topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, or both. And while you can make it at home, isn't it nice to get out of the house with the kids? It squashes cabin fever, and there’s no cleanup for you. With that in mind. here are 18 places across Long Island that serve up delicious hot chocolate and other tasty treats.

If hot chocolate isn’t your thing, why not try one of these spots for afternoon tea with the kids? See our guide to family-friendly restaurants for even more dining ideas on Long Island. And for more seasonal possibilities, check out our Winter Fun Guide and Long Island events calendar.

February GoList: The Best Things to Do With Long Island Kids

Pity little February. If ever a month were deserving of an identity crisis, it would be the shortest month on our calendar. The holidays have passed, spring is at least a month away, and your kids are almost guaranteed to get ill.

There’s no denying it: Even at 28 days, February is the most tedious month of our 12. And every four years we even add a day just to make the monotony linger.

The good news is 2019 is not a leap year. But before we fast-forward into March, let’s think about all February does offer Long Islanders.

  • There’s a weeklong school break right in the middle of the month.
  • A chance to show our loved ones how much we care, at Valentine's Day.
  • The best opportunity on our calendar to learn about cultural diversity.
  • A groundhog (really, a prairie dog) leads the celebration toward an early spring.
  • There’s even a football game on the first weekend that some consider Super.

February isn’t ideal. But we at Mommy Poppins recognize there’s still plenty to enjoy in these four weeks. You just have to look a bit more closely.

For example, Lunar New Year brings cultural celebrations to Garden CityEast Rockaway, Stony Brook, and Port Washington. And Sag Harbor's annual winter celebration delivers a fitting exclamation point to a short but fun-filled month.

Of course, our Winter Fun Guide offers plenty of inspiration for Long Island families coping with February cabin fever. And our Long Island Events Calendar offers exciting family options as they develop throughout the month.

Stay on a Houseboat in Amsterdam for a Total Family Vacation Win

Amsterdam is a wonderful city to visit on a European family vacation. The city is kid friendly with lots of fun things to do for families, including wonderful parks, engaging museums, and many delicious restaurants to try. It's also relatively easy to navigate with children in tow.

The city is full of canals, which is another plus for kids as they often love to watch the boats or even take a ride. One of the most special (and affordable) ways to visit Amsterdam is to stay on an actual houseboat instead of in a hotel. 

When you visit Amsterdam, you can’t help but notice these charming houseboats lining the canals and Amstel River. They look so cozy, and many even have gardens growing around them. Our family stayed on a houseboat in Amsterdam for a long weekend and found it to be a comfortable and fun way to visit the city with children.

The Best Indoor Play Spaces for Long Island Toddlers

While many indoor play destinations cater to a range of ages, some parents feel more comfortable when areas are designated for younger children. With that in mind, we've rounded up a list of fun and imaginative play spaces on Long Island geared to little ones. 

At most of these locations, children ages 5 and younger are the primary focus and can play freely without being knocked down or bumped into by older crowds. They also offer age-appropriate equipment and activities for toddlers.

If your little one enjoys spending time at one of these venues, why not celebrate his or her special day there, too? Many of these destinations also host birthday parties.

For more seasonal fun ideas, check out our list of 50 things to do indoors with Long Island kids as well as our guide to LI-based indooor play spaces and fun centers.

Tidying Up Kids' Stuff: 2 Easy Takeaways from Marie Kondo

While the world binge-watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and my social media feeds filled up with photos of freshly organized sock drawers, I didn't bother tuning in. After all, I'm already a Very Organized Person—the kind of mom who sorts her kids' toys according to category, and who may have an addiction to The Container Store. What could I possibly have to learn?

Then an image sprang to mind of me, huffily sorting papers on the kitchen counter while a hundred other urgent matters vie for my attention. When things get hectic, the piles of mail, magazines, kids' artwork, school forms, and other random papers crowding our countertops suddenly seem like a five-alarm fire. My husband calls it "angry organizing."

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