Long Island

August GoList: Best Things to Do with Long Island Kids

They call them the dog days of August, when it might seem impossible to enjoy yourself in the hot and sticky outdoors of a Long Island summer

Nonsense, we say. In fact, we here at Mommy Poppins think there’s plenty to bark about in the final full month of summer.

This month, we’re highlighting street fairs and summer festivals, theater, cultural celebrations, and more. Discover nature at Garvies Point in Glen Cove, cast a line in Point Lookout, or perhaps return to a time when games were played minus the iPad.

Whatever you choose, cherish this month, because kids know what’s coming in September—back to school. This just might be your final chance to take advantage of our 50 FREE things to do with LI kids this summer.

In the meantime, check out our guide to FREE summer outdoor movies and concerts. And remember, our Long Island Events Calendar offers exciting family options as they develop throughout the month.

Fishing on Long Island: Where to Drop a Line with Kids

Ready to teach your little one how to cast a line? Fishing is a fun outdoor family activity with deep roots in Long Island's maritime history and culture.

Surrounded by the sea, kids on Long Island can drop a line in a number of waterfront communities, beaches, local piers, boats, and parks. We've rounded up a few of our favorite family-friendly fishing venues where you can test your skills and perhaps hook the catch of the day.

Looking for more summer seaside enjoyment? Make sure to visit these stunning Long Island lighthouses or Long Island boardwalks ideal for a family stroll.

LI Day Trip: Fun Things to Do With Kids on Shelter Island

As if a ferry ride itself isn’t enough excitement for your little ones, there’s plenty more to explore on Shelter Island. Nestled between the two forks on the East End of Long Island, this 27-square-mile island boasts family-friendly activities, spectacular views and a host of wildlife. Just a seven-minute ferry from Greenport or North Haven (near Sag Harbor) will get you there. The north ferry leaves you in Shelter Island Heights while the south ferry drops you off at the opening of Smith Cove. 

Our Hamptons and North Fork Guide is packed with family-friendly activities on Shelter Island and all of the East End of Long Island, including 50 ideas of what to do and where. Drum up ideas for other summer day trips to places like New York City, the Hudson Valley and more. 

Weekend Fun: Nature, Family Theater, Steam Trains

Love hiking? Love scavenger hunts? This weekend, enjoy a Hike & Seek at Connetquot River State Park Preserve that combines the two.

Start singing some show tunes as Hairspray continues at the Argyle Theatre in Babylon and Disney's Newsies comes to the Engeman Theatre in Northport.

Design a rocky shoreline with a lighthouse to keep ships safe at the Long Island Explorium. Unlock the science of how boats stay afloat, then test your skills by building your own boat out of recycled materials at Sands Point Preserve.

Head outdoors to the boardwalkbeach, pools, sprinkler parks, or perhaps to cool off at a water park. Jones Beach also just opened a 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. As always, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. 

The Best Places for Pancake Breakfasts on Long Island

Nothing would seem to get kids more excited about breakfast than pancakes. Thin, fluffy, smothered, or sugared, this delectable treat delivers a sense of warmth and hominess that can’t be topped.

We've rounded up our favorite pancake destinations in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and even one worth a journey to the East End.  And while you’re sampling these scrumptious local bites, check out our great outdoor dining spots for kids on Long Island and our lists of LI's best ice cream parlors and candy shops.

Hall of Fishes Reopens at LI's Vanderbilt Museum

The Vanderbilt Museum, a marine and natural history museum in Centerport, recently reopened its Hall of Fishes, a spectacle of restored flamingos, shore bird dioramas, and an undersea painting.

Add this museum to your summer bucket list and to your list of top educational destinations in Suffolk County. Check off more with our 50 FREE things to do with Long Island kids. Of course, our Summer Fun Guide, is a comprehensive guide to all things warm weather and family-friendly.

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.


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