Long Island

Weekend Fun: Sailing, Beach Exploration, Outdoor Movies, Arts

This weekend, work on your sharpening your shark senses at The Whaling Museum. Or hop aboard the sloop Christeen and steer through Oyster Bay. Enjoy a day of fun at the Long Island Museum or catch a free family flick under the stars.

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

25 Fun (and Educational) Things to Do for Free with Kids this Summer

Summer is all about going to the beach, eating ice cream, exploring the outdoors, and having family-friendly fun—no "reading, writing, and arithmetic" allowed...Right? Well, it turns out that there's a whole world of educational fun to be had while your family enjoys summer, from exploring marine habitats at the beach to learning about science while making your own ice cream.

Whether your summer vacation takes you to the forests of Yosemite or the beaches of Mexico, here's a list of 25 ways to keep kids learning—while having fun—all through their school vacation.

Unlock Your Child's Love of Nature at Lavender by the Bay

“Live life in full bloom.”

That’s the motto at Lavender by the Bay, a 17-acre oasis of flowering plants that turns the normally green North Fork of Long Island into a most regal purple for three weeks in the early summer.

Situated on the Main Road in the Victorian-strewn community of East Marion, near Greenport, the farm draws visitors from as far away as New York City, who come by car or railroad; and from New England, who shuttle across on the nearby Orient Point ferry. Young and old, they are drawn by the aroma of fresh lavender and the opportunity to distance themselves from the essentials of modern living.

The blooming season ended Sunday, July 15 and will resume in late June 2019. You can visit the gift shop daily through the end of September and on Thurdays through Mondays through the end of October. In the meantime. feel free to glimpse our guide to gardens and petting zoos across Long Island.   

20 Easy (But Gorgeous) Hiking Trails To Do with Kids and Babies

By Shanti Hodges

Looking for a hiking trail near you? Great walking trails top our picks for fun summer activities and fall outings with kids. A hike is an opportunity for quality family time, exercise for kids, and of course, discoveries small and large, from bugs to waterfalls.

These getaway-worthy, family-friendly hiking trails are just a sampling of my favorite trails, highlighted in my new book, Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Adventures with Babies and Toddlers. As founder of Hike it Baby, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families get on the trail with kids, I’ve been fortunate enough to sample nature trails across the country, including at our best national parks and campsites, and even those extra-special, smaller local parks that often offer the best hikes for toddlers and families with little kids.

Now I’m sharing 20 of my favorites, from Connecticut to Florida to Washington state, that are perfect for your next day trip or family vacation. Most are easy loop paths, but I’ve included some moderate trails and top destinations, such as Mt. Rainer and the Badlands. Many of these hikes are FREE, too. The list also highlights family-friendly perks like bathrooms, and benches for a rest or a nursing mom.

The Best Ice Cream Shops Near Playgrounds on Long Island

Summer was made for ice cream and exuberant swoops down the slide in the toasty sun.

Here are our picks for magical treats near Long Island’s pristine parks and our favorite playgrounds. And while you’re thinking about sweet treats, check out our list of old-fashioned ice cream parlors on Long Island and the best candy shops for kids in our region. 

For more dining and dessert inspiration, see our guide to kid-friendly restaurants on Long Island, including information on outdoor dining, birthday freebies for LI kids, and more.

Enjoy.

5 Inspiring Firefighter Museums Near New York City

Kids love firefighters. And who can blame them? Brave men and women who drive around in shiny red trucks—and actually save lives—are kind of like real-life superheroes. And a chance to try on equipment, climb aboard fire trucks, and have questions answered by some of these superheroes themselves could be your little firefighter fan's dream come true. Luckily, the New York area is home to several museums dedicated to firefighters that are great for the whole family.

If you're looking for fun indoor activities to help you beat the heat (or the rainy day blues), here are some of the kid-friendly firefighter museums in our area where you and your kids can learn how firefighters do their jobs, plus how to prevent fires in your own home, and how to act in a fire emergency. 

11 NYC Neighborhoods to Visit With Your Family This Summer

Whether you're a New York native, a day-tripper, or a tourist from way outta town, summer is the perfect time to explore this action-packed city. And since there's certainly no shortage of warm-weather adventures for kids of all ages, we partnered with the Big Apple pros over at NYCgo to share some of the top can't-be-missed 'hoods worthy of a visit while the sun's out this season.

From sharks to new parks, make it a summer of adventure with these hot, family-friendly neighborhoods across all five boroughs!

New Splash Pad at Jones Beach is Sure to Delight

Let your kids spray away the heat and sprint away their energy against a sapphire horizon studded with beach umbrellas at Jones Beach State Park’s new splash pad. The facility is located at the Central Mall area by Parking Field 4 and opened in late June.

Toddlers, school-aged kids, and tweens will revel in their ability to push the round buttons and send water cascading through stalk-shaped pipes and pattering to the ground, where it gurgles up around their feet. 

This showery diversion is a great addition to Long Island's top sprinkler parks for kids and another reason why Jones Beach, in central Nassau, is one of our favorite Long Island beaches for families.

Weekend Fun: Music Festival, Theater, Talent Show, Flyover

Boogie on down to the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue this weekend. Disney's Imagination Movers will light up the stage on Sunday.

Marvel as musicians, dancers, vocalists, comedians, and acrobats perform on stage at Nassau's Got Talent. Have a slimey good time with the Lanyard Ladies at a crafting party and movie night, while mom and dad get a few hours off. Get tickled pink at the Smithtown Performing Arts Center, where Pinkalicious hits the stage all weekend long. 

Head outdoors to the beach, pools, sprinkler parks, or perhaps to cool off at a water park

Visit our Summer Family Fun Guide for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas and plenty of FREE events and activities. Our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

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