Long Island

Horseback Riding Centers for Kids on Long Island

There are plenty of benefits for kids that take up horseback riding. Imagine your child bonding with one of these magnificent creatures while also improving his or her confidence by working effectively to communicate with the horse. With continued lessons and riding, kids can also learn responsibility, caring for their trusty steed.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the best equestrian centers in Nassau and Suffolk counties open to the public. These offer a variety of services, including pony rides, trail rides, weekly lessons, and even on-site birthday parties. When visiting one of the stables for pony or trail rides, it is important to dress appropriately. Helmets are provided. Boots are preferred, but sneakers are usually acceptable. Call ahead to check on rules and regulations.

For more outdoor activities, check out our guide to Long Island family fun and our seasonal activities guides, including our roundup of spring entertainment options.

9 Family-Friendly Hiking Trails on Long Island

In addition to its vast waterways, one of Long Island's other treasures is an abundance of hiking trails. A family could spend a whole summer exploring trails in Nassau and Suffolk counties and still not hike them all.

Hiking is a great way to spend quality time together, and it's also great exercise. So pack up some snacks and drinks, strap on your hiking shoes, and bring the family along for one of these hiking adventures.

For more family-friendly activities this season, check our spring and summer fun guides.

The Best Animal Farms and Petting Zoos on Long Island

Whether you are looking for a low-key petting zoo or an exotic experience with wild animals, there's no shortage of places on Long Island where children can interact with nature's noble creatures. If they want to, Long Island kids can do everything from feed a giraffe to visit with an alpaca, and even ride a safari train. 

Be sure to check our directory of zoos and gardens on Long Island, and peruse our pick-your-own guide for more local farm fun. Kids of every age will be delighted by these opportunities.

Beyond the Goody Bag: 10 Great Birthday Party Favor Ideas for Kids

Whether you love them or hate them, party favors are still a huge part of any child’s birthday celebration. I happen to love figuring out favors for these festive occasions, because it’s creative and challenging—something I can happily pat myself on the back for, if done successfully. For that to happen, it needs to be equal parts pleasing for the kids and their parents, and either edible, memorable, practical, shareable, or charitable.

Do yourself a favor and read on for 10 ultra unique ideas to take your little guy or girl’s goody bag from basic to brag-worthy.

For more unique ways to fete your youngsters, check out our list of free ways to celebrate and 10 sweet alternatives to birthday cake, or learn how to create a DIY photo booth for the big event. Planning to celebrate your little one's first birthday soon? We've got ideas for your soon-to-be-turning-one babes, too. Whatever you're looking for, we’ve got birthday hints in the bag.

Weekend Fun for LI Kids: Theater, Disney, Nature

Finish up spring break strong with an infusion of culture on Long Island stages. Watch the Moscow Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty or Plaza Theatrical Players take on Peter Pan in Bellmore. Matt the Music Man heads to Nassau Community College, and that wily Peter Rabbit is at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson. Minnie and Mickey are even traveling to Long Island for Disney Live's Doorway to Magic all weekend long.

Hop over to our April GoList to find more seasonal entertainment. Mark your calendars and complete some of our 50 great things to do indoors with Long Island kids. Pad your wallet with a list of FREE family activities this month.

Of course, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids. Don't see a great event listed here? Add it to our Event Calendar yourself. 

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Outdoor Classrooms Where Long Island Kids Will Love to Learn

Here on Long Island, kids who play outside also can learn outside. A number of venues in Nassau and Suffolk counties provide children with the opportunity to experience nature in an educational environment unrestrained by classroom doors.

For the most part developed by landscape architects, these nature-friendly learning areas encourage the use of the senses to help children develop a love of the outdoors. Access is generally FREE, but check websites to ensure that regular schedules are not interrupted by special programs.

Great Spring Day Trips for Long Island Families

The snow from a lengthy winter might just have melted and summer break is still a few months away. But you are already itching to get out and get away. A change of scenery does everyone some good, even if it’s just for a day.

Living on Long Island, we’re lucky to have so many amazing parks, attractions, and quaint seaside towns to visit. We’re also lucky to be within driving or ferry distance of New York City, Connecticut, and New Jersey. These areas offer even more fun and exciting experiences for the whole family.

The destinations we are highlighting take anywhere from one  to three hours (or more) of travel time depending on where on Long Island you live. Be sure to factor in traffic when traveling because we know what it’s like living here. Either way, relax and enjoy the scenery because adventure awaits.

For more ideas on warmer weather fun, head over to our Spring Fun Guide

The Best Free April Events for Kids and Families on Long Island

Spring is a great time to get out and do things … especially if those things won’t cost you a dime. To get you going, we’ve rounded up a list of FREE family-friendly events happening all across Long Island this month. From storytimes to summer camp open houses and outdoor fun, there is something for everyone to enjoy this month, come rain or shine.

For more events and activities to help your family enjoy all spring has to offer, check out our AprilGoList and event calendar.

Kids' Birthday Party Entertainers on Long Island That Come to You

Let's be honest, sometimes you can't bear the thought of planning another destination birthday party. So why not make it easier on yourself and plan one at home?

Don't let the home setting fool you—you and your little one have plenty of options from which to choose. From magicians to at-home spas and concerts in your living room, home birthday parties give parents and kids fabulous entertainment in comfortable setting. Not to mention it can be easier on mom and dad.

All of the options below service the entirety of Long Island. For more party planning help, check out our Long Island Party Guide.

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