As parents, we're always looking for places where our kids can learn while also having fun. Happily, Long Island is home to several museums that cater to a younger crowd. In fact, many of these sites offer hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities for children of all ages to enjoy.
From air and space, to science and trains, these spots offer special exhibits and programs that will keep children actively engaged, entertained and educated. For more inside fun, take a look at our Indoor Guide as well as our Event Calendar.
Nassau County Museum of Art
1 Museum Drive, Roslyn
Family Sundays are offered most weekends and include tours and an art activity. Special monthly programs are also offered to attract families. An annual grand picnic is held each June, while Summer Art Lab sessions are offered during July and August. Daily passes and annual family memberships are also available.
Science Museum of Long Island
1526 N Plandome Road, Manhasset
SMLI is a not-for-profit science activity center located on the Leeds Pond Preserve in Nassau County. The Science Museum offers enrichment workshops for children on weekdays and during school vacations. Summer camps are also offered here. Birthday parties can be held on premise.
Heckscher Museum of Art
2 Prime Avenue, Huntington
The Heckscher Museum of Art offers an array of programs and resources specifically designed for families and children. Ongoing activities include create your own art station, a Detail Detective game as you explore the exhibits and Digital Action Painting on the museum's 55" digital touch screen. On various Sunday afternoons the museum hosts Heckscher Family Hour for kids ages 5-10 and their families. Summer Workshops and Vacation Workshops are also offered. Daily passes and annual memberships available.
Long Island Children's Museum
11 Davis Avenue, Garden City
LICM offers year-round, hand-on exhibits for kids. Additionally, an outdoor water play area is open during warmer weather. Weekly crafting activities are offered in the afternoons, as well as Messy Afternoons each weekend. The theater puts on live performances monthly. Daily and annual memberships available. Birthday parties are also held here.
Cradle of Aviation Museum
Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Garden City
A living museum that recreates Long Island's aviation history, the Cradle of Aviation is sure to delight your little flight and space enthusiasts alike. Planes are suspended from midair in this all glass atrium as you enter. Check out the IMAX theater for kid-friendly showings or the X-Ride Theater for riders 36" or taller. Annual events such as the Pumpkin Smash attract kids from all over Long Island. For young kids, there's even a separate play space. Daily and annual memberships available. Birthday parties are also held here.
Children's Museum of the East End
376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton
Elaborate, hands-on exhibit promotes imaginary play, learning, reading, building and more. An indoor play area offers play structures and soft foam gymnastic equipment. There's even a specialized play are for crawlers. An art room is ready for your little one's creations. Weekly classes for arts, crafts, cooking and more are offered. Head outside for some playground fun, a live performance in the half round theater or a round of nine-hole mini golf. Daily passes and annual memberships are offered.
Railroad Museum of Long Island
Griffing Avenue at the Tracks, Riverhead
Your little conductor will enjoy the indoor and outdoor tracks at this museum. An indoor 40-foot track allows visitors to operate individual part of the layout. Board several stationary trains on premise and check out the conductor's quarters, sleeping areas and more. Admission charge includes a ride on their World's Fair miniature train. The Riverhead location is open on Saturdays and Sundays only. The Greenport location opens Memorial Weekend for the season. During this time, visitors can hop aboard a train for a trip between the two east end towns.
Photo courtesy the Railroad Museum of Long Island