Best of Port Jefferson for Kids: Playgrounds, Eats, Toy Stores

Things to Do with Kids in Port Jefferson, on LI's North Shore

With its playgrounds and parks with harbor views, a walkable Main Street lined with kid-friendly restaurants and unique shops, and plenty of things to do year round for the whole family, Port Jefferson would seem to have it all.

Located on Long Island’s North Shore, Port Jefferson is about 50 miles east of Manhattan and its port welcomes daily ferries to and from Connecticut. Whether spending the day or planning a fun night on the town, this picturesque harborside village offers something for everyone. To help you get the most out of your visit, we’ve rounded up the best of Port Jeff for you and your family.

And for more family-friendly fun on Long Island, check out our list of great family day trips and our guides to Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the East End. Or why not hop the ferry at Port Jefferson and visit Connecticut for a day?

Things to Do


A costumed dog parade headlines Port Jefferson's Harvest Fest. Photo courtesy of PortJeff.com

From its famed Dickens Festival in December and Boaters' Maritime Festival with pirate-themed activities in the summer, to Fourth of July and Halloween parades, Port Jefferson boasts a host of annual events, celebrating every season. With its views of Port Jefferson Harbor, Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park is a favorite of visitors and residents.There are walking paths, a 350-foot pier, a small beach, playground with water sprinklers, and a picnic area. In the warm weather, outdoor concerts and family movie nights are regularly scheduled. Once the weather chills, The Rinx is open for ice skating.

RELATED: Apple picking and farm stand fun on LI


Rocketship Park, built in the 1970s, received a $900,000 renovation that was completed in 2017. Photo by Thien Nguyen August

Recently renovated, Rocketship Park boasts a 4,000-square-foot playground with a newly designed jungle gym that resembles, no surprise, a rocket ship. There are also basketball and tennis courts, and a large picnic area. In the summer, the park's Little Red Barn is an ideal venue for children’s shows.

Speaking of shows, Theatre Three has a full selection of live productions throughout the year, from musicals to comedy and concerts.

For a unique treat, visit the Maritime Explorium, where kids can learn seemingly everything about nautical science in a series of hands-on activities and exhibits. Educational programs and birthday party packages are available.

To discover more of Port Jefferson’s rich history, check out the Port Jeff Village Center building at Harborfront Park, where you’ll find revolving displays of historic photographs and works of local artists.

RELATED: 10 great parks in Suffolk County

Where to eat


Enjoy the delectable Smores pancakes at Toast. Photo courtesy of Toast

From breakfast to lunch and dinner, there’s no shortage of affordable, family-friendly restaurants for you and your kids in Port Jefferson.

Toast is a good spot for breakfast (and beyond) and, of course, Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street is a family favorite for a quick on-the-go snack. The Tiger Lily Café offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian wraps, as well as salads and a full juice bar for smoothies. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course, dessert crepes are all available at Sweet ‘n Savory Creperie and Rice Pudding Bar.

For Mediterranean food, try Z-Pita for pitas, pizza, and seafood, and for fresh Mexican cuisine, head to Salsa Salsa for kid-friendly burritos. Coal-fired pizza, pasta, and salads are served at The Pie. For more Italian-style food, have lunch or dinner at Pasta Pasta, which offers gluten-free options. And be sure to stop by The Steam Room, where for 35 years visitors have enjoyed seafood, burgers, and more. 

If dessert is on your mind (and why wouldn't it be?), head to Roger’s Frigate for ice cream, homemade fudge, candy, and other sweet treats. Port Jefferson Ice Cream Café is another worthwhile spot for ice cream and other frozen goodies.

Where to shop

With an abundance of stores up and down Main Street and along the side streets as well, catering to almost every whim, there is every reason to shop 'til you drop in Port Jefferson.

Toys and games: If you’re looking for educational toys and games, head to Laine’s Way. The knowledgeable staff is ready and willing to teach kids (and parents) how their products work. Another fun store is Boardwalk Games, which sells old-fashioned—and newly fashioned—board and card games, as well as other toys and games that do not require batteries. Your kids will marvel at the many comic books at Red Shirt Comics.

Clothes and jewelry:  The Soap Box carries a large selection of bath and body products and other unique gifts, while Sea Creations sells “seashells by the seashore” along with jewelry, gifts, and more. At Breathe Inspiring Gifts, you’ll find unique jewelry, crystals, and other new-age gifts. The shop also offers kids’ and adult yoga classes. Cribs n’ Bibs has christening and communion outfits in addition to cribs and bedding. Need something for your pet? Head over to Fetch Doggy Boutique & Bakery for apparel, accessories, treats, and more. Of course, it’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays, so be sure to check out Once Upon a Christmas and The Red Sled.

Getting there

Port Jeff is situated on the north shore of Brookhaven Town. Routes 347 and 25A feed into the village and the Long Island Expressway (Exit 64) is about 10 miles south. The Long Island Rail Road's Port Jefferson station is less than 2 miles from the harbor area. Sailing time to and from Bridgeport, Connecticut via the ferry is about 75 minutes.

Top photo: Pirates rule at Port Jeff's annual Boaters' Maritime Festival. Photo courtesy of the town

location: 
Laine's Way
216A Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-474-5558
40° 56' 42.5004" N, 73° 4' 5.7396" W
New York
Boardwalk Games
101 W. Broadway
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-928-4263
40° 56' 48.102" N, 73° 4' 9.6744" W
New York
Red Shirt Comics
322 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-474-1701
40° 56' 39.768" N, 73° 4' 4.3932" W
New York
Cribs n' Bibs
116 E Main St, #A
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-331-3064
40° 56' 51.4608" N, 73° 4' 3.9036" W
New York
The Soap Box
18 Chandler Square
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-509-1424
40° 56' 46.0716" N, 73° 4' 9.3108" W
New York
Sea Creations
134 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-473-8388
40° 56' 43.7748" N, 73° 4' 7.5648" W
New York
Breathe Inspiring Gifts
116 E. Main St., #B
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-642-2377
40° 56' 51.4608" N, 73° 4' 3.9036" W
New York
Fetch Doggy Boutique & Bakery
301 E. Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-331-0965
40° 56' 47.1012" N, 73° 3' 59.7672" W
New York
Once Upon a Christmas
134 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-928-6357
40° 56' 43.7748" N, 73° 4' 7.5648" W
New York
The Red Sled
148 E. Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-331-3444
40° 56' 48.1524" N, 73° 4' 2.2368" W
New York
Toast
242 East Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-331 -6860
40° 56' 43.6704" N, 73° 4' 3.4392" W
New York
Dunkin' Donuts
122 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-473-7937
40° 56' 44.8944" N, 73° 4' 7.4928" W
New York
Tiger Lily Cafe
156 East Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-476-7080
40° 56' 47.7816" N, 73° 4' 1.8012" W
New York
Sweet 'n Savory Creperie and Rice Pudding
104 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-828-6053
40° 56' 1.6908" N, 73° 3' 15.624" W
New York
Z-Pita
217 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-476-7510
40° 56' 44.0412" N, 73° 4' 4.674" W
New York
Salsa Salsa
142 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-473-9700
40° 56' 43.5732" N, 73° 4' 6.636" W
New York
The Pie
216 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-331-4646
40° 56' 42.5004" N, 73° 4' 5.7396" W
New York
Pasta Pasta
234 E. Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-331-5335
40° 56' 43.98" N, 73° 4' 2.5176" W
New York
The Steam Room
4 E. Broadway
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-928-6690
40° 56' 48.84" N, 73° 4' 8.0112" W
New York
Roger's Frigate
99 Main St., A
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-474-8888
40° 56' 46.824" N, 73° 4' 8.3928" W
New York
Pt. Jefferson Ice Cream Cafe
Chandler Square
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-509-4981
40° 56' 46.3308" N, 73° 4' 10.4016" W
New York
Theatre Three
412 Main St.
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-928-9100
40° 56' 37.4172" N, 73° 4' 2.7552" W
New York
Maritime Explorium
101 East Broadway
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-331-3277
40° 56' 54.7188" N, 73° 4' 1.7904" W
New York
Pt. Jefferson Village Center
101 East Broadway
11777 Pt. Jefferson , NY
Phone: 631-802-2160
40° 56' 54.7188" N, 73° 4' 1.7904" W
New York