Lisa Mancuso

Lisa Mancuso

Latest posts by Lisa Mancuso

Kid-Friendly Wineries on the East End

So many wineries on Long Island's East End welcome children and even pets, so it’s no wonder North Fork wine country has become a huge destination not just for couples and bachelorette parties, but for families as well.

From picnic areas to live music and annual events, we’ve rounded up a host of vineyards—many of which are family-owned and operated—that offer the most family-friendly experiences. In addition to wine, most tasting rooms offer light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, and some allow outside food and drink in designated picnic areas. Of course, kids must be supervised and pets must be on leashes. Be sure to check individual websites for specific rules and regulations. And be responsible if driving.

Autumn is an ideal time to visit East End vineyards as many celebrate the annual arrival of new vintages. As the weather gets cooler, it’s also a great time to check out other seasonal activities on Long Island, including apple picking and fall festivals. Happy autumn.

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

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?

Pick Your Own Apple Farms for Families on Long Island

With summer winding down, it’s time to plan some fun fall activities you and your kids can do together. How about heading to the East End for a day of apple picking? From small farm stands to orchards with dwarf trees sized just right for little hands to other family-friendly venues, there are plenty of places to choose from, and we've rounded them up for you.

Apple-picking season can begin as early as the end of August and continues through October. Be sure to check out each farm’s website for hours and bounty update. Happy picking!

Find more pick-your-own fun in our Long Island Farm Guide, including where to pick peaches or pumpkins, or feed the goats and sheep at area petting zoos and barnyards.

Top Mommy-and-Me Baby Classes on Long Island

From Zumba to yoga to cooking and art, there are plenty of ways to nurture your baby’s mind, body, and creative spirit. Not to mention your own. We’ve rounded up some of the best mommy-and-me classes on Long Island, ideal if you want to to stay fit or learn a new craft. You and your baby will have fun, meet other moms and tots, and, most importantly, spend precious time together.

Of course, classes are open to dads, grandparents and other caregivers. Be sure to check class websites for times, costs and registration details.

For more suggestions on inexpensive ways to entertain your kids, check out our guide to FREE activities on Long Island, including 50 Free Things to Do with Long Island Kids. Our classes and enrichment guide also offers a host of ideas to stimulate your child's learning.

Have fun.

Bounce Houses and Trampoline Parks for Long Island Kids

If you find your high-energy kids are bouncing off the walls, it may be time to head to one of the many bounce houses and trampoline parks found throughout Long Island.

From inflatable slides to obstacle courses and high-flying trampolines, these play spaces are a great way for kids to work off their energy and have some indoor fun when it’s too hot, cold, or wet to play outdoors.

Whether you’re looking for an impromptu bouncing session or want to schedule a birthday party, most of these venues offer a variety of play options. Just be sure to check out their websites for all the specifics.

And for more active fun indoors and outdoors around Long Island, check out our Summer Fun Guide and the Event Calendar

Top Pumpkin Patches and Farms for Long Island Kids

The leaves soon will start turning colors, and you might have noticed there’s a crispness in the air, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to go pumpkin picking. Happily, no matter where you live on Long Island there are places to find the perfect family pumpkins—whether you want to pick your own off the vine or have the picking already done for you.

All of these farms and pumpkin patches offer other family-fun activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, and more, so make a day of it. Pick-your-own farms are fun, but can get messy, so make sure kids are dressed appropriately. Look at individual websites for hours and costs since some activities are free while other attractions have added fees.

If you’re heading to one of the farms on the East End, why not stop at a kid-friendly winery or a pick-your-own apple farm? And, for more seasonal fun, check out our list of the best fairs and festivals.

Happy autumn.

Weekday Fun: Magic, Yoga, Movies, and Books

July’s not over yet. There are still plenty of fun things to do with kids this month, and we’ve compiled some of the best right here.

Check our JulyGoList for more suggestions of summertime activities happening this last week of July. Looking for some nighttime family fun on Long Island? See our guide to the best FREE outdoor movies and our list of great outdoor dining spots.

Here are our top picks for this week, including nature exploring and fitness classes.

Weekday Fun: Museums, Movies, Dancing, and Street Fairs

We’ve got plenty of things to do this week to keep your family busy and happy during the long summer days.

With temps in the 80s and 90s, now is the perfect time to check out our amusement and water parks guide. You’ll also find plenty of warm-weather activities in our Summer Fun Guide, and our July GoList is filled with new activities and exciting events the whole family will enjoy.

Here’s a roundup of our top picks for this week, including outdoor movies and street festivals.

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