Guide To Family Fun In The Hamptons–2014

Photo by Sarah Merians
Photos by Sarah Merians

So Who Does Have The Best Black & White Cookie?

We’ll go with the Beach Bakery Café in Westhampton Beach (112 Main Street, 631-288-6552). But every trip out East should also include a visit to Briermere Farm in Riverhead for fresh fruit pies, which you can order in advance (4414 Sound Avenue, 631-722-3931). Levain in Wainscott (354 Montauk Highway, 631-537-8570) has decadent soft cookies—don’t go there unless you want to get hooked! Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton (43 North Sea Road, 631-283-9830) and Breadzilla in Wainscott (84 Northwest Road, 631-537-0955) are great picks, too. Dreesens at Scoop du Jour in East Hampton (35 Newtown Lane, 631-329-4883) is a Saturday morning destination—their doughnuts are baked fresh daily, often causing lines out the door. Sag Harbor Baking Company is where you’ll want to get your extravagant party cakes, but also be sure to pick up a few classic bakery treats like lemon squares and more black & white cookies, of course (51 Division Street, 631-899-4900). Another quaint, classic bakery is Ye Olde Bake Shoppe in Southampton (13 Windmill Lane,283-6553), which, according to one 13-year-old, has the best brownies ever! And if you have a bit of time on your hands, go to Gingerbread University (3225 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, 727-7309) and decorate your own gingerbread cookies. Pierre’s, the French restaurant in Bridgehampton, has a small shop next door selling top-of-the-line pastries. It’s the perfect spot for a coffee and a croissant (2468 Main Street, 631-537-5110).

And For Ice Cream I Should Take The Kids To . . . ?

You can’t beat Big Olaf in Sag Harbor (8 Wharf Street, 631-725-7505), which is located on the wharf and has outdoor seating. But there are plenty of other great spots: Carvel in Southampton (631-377-3892), Bridgehampton (631-537-2436) and Hampton Bays (631-728-8145); Scoop du Jour in East Hampton (35 Newtown Lane, 631-329-4883), Ben & Jerry’s in Westhampton (121 Main St, 631-288-5753) and Haagen Dazs in Westhampton Beach (103 Main Street, 631-288-1534), which is connected to Sugar Daddy’s toy store! For the best soft-serve, go to Hampton Chutney in Amagansett (6 Main St, 631-267-3131). The Montauk Ice Co. truck is always serving up delicious homemade gourmet ices (KirkPark, Montauk, 718-354-0616). And while the Fudge Company  in Southampton may be best known for their homemade fudge and water taffy, they also offer about 30 different flavors of ice cream with a number of toppings available during the summer (67 Main Street, 631-283-8108). And the Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton is the best scoop on Route 27—try the fresh peach (2391 Montauk Highway, 631-537-9885).

But Can You Get A Decent Slice Of Pizza East Of The City?

Absolutely! The lines for pizza at Sam’s in East Hampton (36 Newtown Lane,631-324-5900) tell you that the pizza there is worth waiting for. World Pie in Bridgehampton (2402 Montauk Highway,631-537-7999) also boasts a devoted following. For quick, family-friendly pie, try Conca d’Oro in Sag Harbor (103 Main Street, 631-725-3167). John’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Hampton Bays (125 West Montauk Highway631-728-9411) is a great place for pizza before heading to the movies. Paul’s Italian Restaurant in Southampton is also close to a movie theater (21 Hill Street, 631-283-1861). It’s always buzzing in the summer, with pizza on one side and casual American Italian cuisine on the other. And try Pizzetteria Brunetti in Westhampton Beach for more authentic Italian cuisine and possibly the best Neapolitan pizza around (103 Main St, 631- 288-3003).

What Restaurants Like Kids, And Serve Food That Kids Like?

BREAKFAST: Babette’s in East Hampton (66 Newtown Lane, 631-329-5377serves healthy smoothies and omelets. In Westhampton Beach, Bun & Burger (222 Mill Road, 631-288-9784turns out stacks of delicious blueberry pancakes. The Hampton Maid in Hampton Bays (259 E. Montauk Highway, 631-728-4166serves a country breakfast in a breezy screened-in porch with water views. The Hampton Coffee Company in Water Mill serves pancakes, waffles, and Mexican-inspired fare, with crayons while you wait and a hammock out back for swinging (869 Montauk Highway, 631-726-2633). And Hamptons insiders know that the Poxabogue Golf Course in Sagaponack serves breakfast all day. Take the kids and hit a bucket of balls at the driving range after (3556 Montauk Highway, 631-537-0025).

LUNCH:Don’t miss the Lobster Roll (or “Lunch” as it’s affectionately known) in Amagansett (1980 Montauk Highway, 631-267-3740). Its casual ambience is ideal for families. Rowdy Hall in East Hampton (10 Main Street, 631-324-8555)grills great burgers. Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen (2391 Montauk Highway, 631-537-9885) and Sip N’ Soda in Southampton (40 Hampton Road, 631-283-9752) are classic standbys for sandwiches and milkshakes. Barrister’s in Southampton (36 Main Street, 631-283-6206) offers a great kids’ menu. LT Burger in Sag Harbor provides families with a fun environment (board games!), great burgers, and even better milkshakes (62 Main Street, 631-899-4646). Before heading to the beach for the day, stop by Joni’s in Montauk for a fresh smoothie, or pack a picnic lunch choosing from any of her delicious organic, vegetarian, or vegan menu options (South Edison Street, 631-668-3663). And for a fun adventure, take the kids to Café at Malloy at the Westhampton Airport (335 Gabreski Airport, 631-288-2919). The menu is full of yummy comfort food and the kids will have fun watching the planes land and take off. Hit the Sagg Store for overstuffed sandwiches—eat outside or stroll to the beach (542 Sagg Main Street, 631-537-0233).

DINNER: The meatballs at Baby Moon in Westhampton are, we admit it, to die for (238 Montauk Highway, 631-288-6350). La Superica, a Mexican restaurant in Sag Harbor that faces the water (1 Main Street,631-725-3388), is a favorite place for kids who love fajitas. The Crow’s Nest in Montauk (4 Old West Lake Dr, 631-668-2077) keeps everything fresh and local, and their nightly fire pits and sunset views make for a perfect summer dinner spot. Kids and parents alike will go crazy for the mac ‘n cheese at the Meeting House in Amagansett (4 Amagansett Square Dr., 631-267-2764). You can dine in the sand at NavyBeach in Montauk (16 Navy Rd, 631-668-6868) or grab a taco at Rumba in Hampton Bays (43 Canoe Place Rd, 631-594-3544). And of course no list is complete without La Parmigiana in Southampton (4-48 Hampton Rd, 631-283-8030). This menu definitely has something for everyone. Town Line Barbecue promises a good time for all—your kids can be as noisy as they want in this rowdy setting. And picky eaters will like the hot dogs and fries (3593 Montauk Highway, 631-537-2271).

School’s Out, But I Still Want To Pack My Child’s Schedule—Who Do I Call?

Sportime in Amagansett and in Quogue heads up private and group tennis lessons (2571 Quogue-Riverhead Road in Quogue, 631-653-6767; 320 Abraham’s Path in Amagansett, 631-267-3460). Westhampton Beach Tennis and Sport offers both indoor and outdoor tennis lessons (86 Depot Road ,631- 288-6060). There’s always something fun to do at the Southampton Rec Center (1370A Majors Path, 631- 287-1511). Ross School in East Hampton (18 Goodfriend, 631-907-5555) has great programs all summer, including a very popular three-day clinic with the New York Knicks.

If you’re interested in classes for the preschoolers, try Music Together in East Hampton & Bridgehampton (631-680-1392; various locations) and Flip Flop Gymnastics in Westhampton (381-16 Riverhead Road, 631-288-2845).

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Photo by Sarah Merians

Lazy Days At The Beach Shouldn’t Last All Summer. How ‘Bout Some Camps. 

The Art Farm in Bridgehampton (739 Butter Lane, 631-537-1634) allows children to immerse themselves in a country experience and see what sort of creativity it brings out of them. Hudson Music Studios (Rock Camp) in Bridgehampton (2685 Montauk Highway, 908-230-6079) is great for beginner musicians or those looking to master the art. Rock Camp gives students lessons in the mornings and then teaches them music production, including Garage Band, in the afternoon. Hamptons Music Sessions in East Hampton (18 James Lane, 631-405-0166) offers classes in music theory, yoga, composition, and more for all kids in grades K-12 with plenty of time for recess, lunch, and snack times. Another great arts-based program is the East Hampton Art and Theatre Camp (Sag Harbor High School (200 Jermain Avenue, 631-653-4065) taught by professional actors working in NYC. It combines both musical theatre and studio art. New to the Hampton Country Day Camp (191 Buckskill Rd, 631-537-1770)this year is a “coaches in-residence” partnership with Basketball Stars of NY, NOGA Soccer, and East Hampton Indoor Tennis. Southampton Racquet Club & Camp in Southampton (665 Majors Path, 631-488-4700) combines all the fun of camp while giving each camper personalized attention toward improving their tennis skills. At Hampton Sports & Arts in East Hampton (175 Daniels Hole Road, 631-604-1727), campers can choose from a number of electives and concentrations from surfing to fashion design, and off-campus activities are offered as well such as kayaking and horseback riding. Future Stars in Southampton (1370 Majors Path, 631-287-6707) offers seven different all-day sports camps for ages 6-16 and is sure to bring out the competitive spirit in anyone.

It’s Raining. Now What?

Go bowling! For that, you’ll want to go to the All Star in Riverhead (96 Main Road, 631-998-3565). Or spend the day turning plain white sneakers into a charitable work of art at Studio Art in Watermill (670 Montauk Highway, 973-670-0572) with a new location in Westhampton coming this summer. And if you don’t already know it, the public libraries in the Hamptons are excellent, offering a morning story time at all locations and other awesome kids’ programs. Goat on a Boat Puppet Theater in Sag Harbor has weekly puppet shows for kids, along with a music series featuring some great NYC-based acts like Randy Kaplan (4 Hampton Street, 631-725-4193).

I Know All About The Beaches, But What About The Parks?

There’s plenty of town parks where the whole family can relax, play sports, or picnic. At Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor, kids can take tennis lessons or play basketball. There’s also a co-ed pickup softball game for adults and older kids on Sundays. Families love the expansive playground at Herrick Park in East Hampton (11937 Newtown Lane). In Southampton, go to Agawam Park (631-283-0247)—it’s on the water, its long lawns are perfect for throwing a Frisbee, and it has playground equipment.  Or for a more peaceful afternoon, go to Longhouse in East Hampton (133 Hands Creek Road, 329-3568). Walk through the gardens, check out the art exhibits, and if you really want to get peaceful, there’s meditation every Saturday morning.

If There Is A Bike (Kite, Boogie Board, Or Canoe) Shortage In The House, Who Can Help?

For bikes and kites, try Bike N’ Kite in Westhampton (112 Potunk Lane, 631-288- 1210), Sag Harbor Cycle Company (34 Bay Street 631-725-1110), Rotations in Southampton (32 Windmill Lane, 631-283-2890), Bermuda Bikes in East Hampton (36 Gingerbread Lane, 631-324-6688), Twin Forks Bikes in Riverhead (121 East Main Street, 591-3082) and Amagansett Beach and Bicycle (624 Montauk Highway, 631-267-6325). For kites, try Kites of the Harbor in Sag Harbor (75 Main Street, 631-725-9063). For surfing and boogie boarding, try Island Surf & Sport in Westhampton Beach (49 Sunset Avenue, 631-288-4155) and Espo’s Surf and Sport in East Hampton (57 Main Street,631-267-7873). Puff & Putt in Montauk (659 Montauk Highway, 631-668-4473) rents canoes, rowboats, sail boats, and pedal boats. From Main Beach Surf & Sport in Wainscott (352 Montauk Highway, 631-537-7873), you can launch a kayak into Georgica Pond and paddle around admiring the Georgica mansions.

Where Can Moms Who Love Shopping For Kids Clothes Get Their Next Fix?

Kiddie fashion picks include the Red Pony in East Hampton (74 Montauk Highway, 631-324-9500), Little Red Wagon in Westhampton Beach (128 Main Street, 631-288-9633), and Fahrenheit 4 Kids in Westhampton Beach (105 Main Street, 288-5724). Bean 2 Tween in Southampton has great accessories perfect for gifts for both newborns and those super fabulous “tweens” (79 Jobs Lane, 631-377-3639). Twist in Southampton (46 Jobs Ln, 287-7990) is also a popular spot for tweens and teens as well. Get all your camp goodies here!And you can pretty much get everything you need including toys and bath products at Shock Kids in Westhampton (99 Main Street, 288-2522), which can also be said for the TJ Maxx in Bridgehampton (1527 Montauk Hwy, 537-1591).

What Big Summer Events Are Not To Be Missed?

If you’re going to go for a run, might as well make it competitive. Plus, the Joe Koziarz 5K Run & Walk offers a “fun run” for kids in which all participants will receive a medal (July 19, Main Street (in front of the post office) Westhampton, 631-288-3322). Hampton Classic Horse Show is one of the largest and most anticipated horse shows in the US. It is host to the Young Jumper Championship year-end final (August 24 – 31, 240 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton, 631-537-3177). Swimmers of all ages are welcome to join in on the Montauk Ocean Swim Challenge. Swim for a half mile, 1 mile, or 5k. All proceeds this year will go towards the construction of an aquatic center at the Montauk Playhouse Community Center (July 26, Ditch Plains Beach (course end), (631-668-1124). Atlantic Vibrations is an outdoor screening of short noncommercial surf films made by filmmakers from West Hampton and Montauk (August 22, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, 631-283-2118). Shark’s Eye Tournament and Festival combines all the thrills of a shark fishing catch-and-release tournament with the joys of a festival like listening to live music and exploring all the vendors’ tables (July 12 & 13, 426 West Lake Road, Montauk,631- 668-5900)And Kids on the Green offers different musical performances and activities for kids at the Village Gazebo in Westhampton every Tuesday at 5:30pm.

What’s The Best Beach For Kids?

Everyone has an opinion about their favorite beach, and usually it’s one that’s pretty close by. But here are a few of our favorites:

OCEAN BEACHES: For boogie boarding head to Atlantic Beach in Amagansett, which has a snack bar and restrooms. Main Beach in East Hampton gets rave reviews for its colorful umbrellas and boardwalk. Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack and J. Scott Cameron Beach in Bridgehampton both have tidal pool areas where kids can skim board, plus snack trucks and restrooms. Coopers Beach in Southampton has a full restaurant and clean restrooms. Mecox Beach gets nods for shell collecting.

BAY BEACHES: Long Beach bay beach in Sag Harbor is popular for its great sunsets. It’s also known for its shallow swim areas great for wading and collecting shells. Fresh Pond in Amagansett is very shallow at low tide and knee-deep at hide tide. There is also a bathroom and an ice cream truck. In Hampton Bays, Meschutt Beach is ideal for running after hermit crabs and using mini fishing nets. There is also a small playground.

Where Can I See Some Cute Ducks?

Where else? At the lovely duck pond in East Hampton, off David’s Lane. You’ll also see muskrats and beavers. Also visit the Quogue Wildlife Refuge (3 Old Country Road, 631-653-4771)for excellent nature hikes and family activities. Agawam Park in Southampton is another great duck-spotting venue.

Enough With The Mansions. Where Are The Farm Houses?

We love apple and raspberry picking at Seven Pond’s Orchard in Water Mill (65 Seven Pond’s Road, 631-726-8015). Also try Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue (28700 Main Road, 631-734-6441, closed Sundays), where you can pick peaches, apples, and strawberries. Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck (715 Sound Avenue, Route 48,631-298-0700) and in Jamesport (Route 58,631-722-2022) offers children’s play areas and boasts the largest corn maze on Long Island. Pike Farm’s Farm Stand is a small wagon piled high with all the farm’s offerings, corn and tomatoes being their largest crops (82 Sagg Main Street).

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Photo by Sarah Merians

The Kids Are Getting Restless. Any Suggested Road Trips?

The Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead has sea lion shows, a huge shark tank, the largest live coral reef display in North America, a submarine simulator ride, a penguin pavilion, opportunities to feed the marine life, and much more (431East Main Street, 631-203-9200). Splish Splash Water Park in Calverton has a kiddie water park. Everyone will love “surf city,” a huge wave pool that sends waves when a bell rings. Also fun is the new show: Parrots of the Caribbean (2549 Splish Splash Drive, 631-727-3600). Explore the jungle tree tops and play Pirates on a treasure hunt at Bayville Adventure Park (8 Bayville Avenue, 516-624-5876). Or take the ferry to the North Fork. Once there, a must-do is the beautiful Greenport Carousel (Front Street in Mitchell Park, 631-477-2200), which even has a brass ring. Catch it and win a free ride! While in Greenport ride on Greenport’s Official Tall Ship, The Mary E, an historic 1906 schooner (Preston’s Dock,Main Street, 860-767-8269). Stock up on berries (pick them yourself) at Patty’s Berries and Bunches (410 Sound Ave, 298-4679). Then get a bite to eat at The Lunch Truck (57225 Main Street, Southold) before heading over to Love Lane Sweet Shop in Mattituck for some treats (125 Love Lane, 298-2276).

Where Can A Kid Get Some Culture Around Here?

The New Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE)
376 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike, 631-537-8250
The museum nurtures a child’s sense of wonder through workshops, classes, and exhibitions year-round. This summer there are classes in art, cooking, and other kids’ favorites. Be sure to check out performances by kindie music sensations Tim and the Space Cadets and Suzie Shelton coming in August!

Guild Hall in East Hampton
158 Main Street, 631-324-0806
Guild Hall offers Kidfest workshops during the month of August from 4-4:45pm. The Kidfest summer series also includes evening events such as plays and concerts including “Beauty and the Beast” performed by the National Marionette Theater.

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
76 Main Street, 631- 288-2350
Previously an old movie-theater, this space was recast as a performing arts center in 1997. The summer season provides week-long camps featuring different plays. (There’s even an A Cappella intensive!) Zoppe An Italian Family Circus will be performing at the Arts Center this summer from July 31 to August 3.

The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton
279 Montauk Highway, 631-283-2118
A hub of year-round cultural activities, during the summer between July 3 and August 11 they have five one-week day camp sessions for kids ages 6-11. The camp focuses on visual art in different mediums from pottery to photography and also includes some fun performances by visiting artists. There are also family-friendly performances and workshops all summer long for ages 4 and up.

Railroad Museum of Long Island
Griffing Avenue at the Tracks, Riverhead, 631-727-7920
This museum is perfect for train lovers of all ages. Explore the history of trains and how they came to be what they are today. Kids will love taking a ride on the World’s Fair Train around the museum’s 670-ft-long oval track.

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