Long Island Summer Bucket List for Kids and Families

A summer must is Jones Beach
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Long Island Summer Bucket List for Kids and Families

There’s no better place to spend a summer day than Long Island. Whether you live here or are just visiting, there’s so much to do that you can find something new daily!

1. Besides the beautiful sand and gorgeous ocean, Long Island beaches have lots to offer! Jones Beach’s historic West Bath House area hosts paddle tennis, shuffleboard, pickleball courts, a great playground, miniature golf, and the delicious restaurant Gatsby on the Ocean.

2. Local town beaches have tons to offer, too! The Towns of Oyster Bay and Babylon offer great splash parks on their bays, nightly live music, and various waterfront dining options.

3. Looking for a different beach experience? At Baiting Hollow’s Reeves Beach, you’ll find the washed-up Friar’s Head shipwreck that superstorm Sandy uncovered, believed to be from World War I.

Don't forget to check out the firehouse at the Robert Moses Park
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4. Fire Island is a fan favorite. You can get there by ferry or foot. The leisurely walk starts at Robert Moses State Park Field 5 and hits its midway point at their famous lighthouse.

5. Local town park pools* are a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. We love visiting different ones to mix things up. Some pools – like Wantagh Park or Deer Park’s Geiger Park have water slides and splash parks. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Little Free Libraries. *Be sure to check residential restrictions in advance.

6. Check out one of Long Island’s many wineries. Many offer music and food trucks.

7. The North Fork’s Greenport is a great town. It’s filled with cute shops, dockside dining, an antique carousel, and live music on Monday nights in Mitchell Park.

Psst…check out New York City Summer Bucket List for Families and Kids 2024

 

 

There are amazing museums in long Island for families to visit during the summer
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8. With summer’s fickle weather, it’s good to have some indoor options up your sleeve. You can’t go wrong visiting Garden City’s Museum Row  and Long Island Children’s Museum, Nassau County Firefighters Museum, Cradle Of Aviation Museum).

9. Additionally, Long Island has great niche museums. For car and airplane buffs, check out Stony Brook’s Long Island Museum, which has carriages from the 1700s until modern times, and Farmingdale’s American AirPower Museum.

10. If your kids like museums with interactive play spaces, check out Cold Spring Harbor’s Whaling Museum and Bridgehampton’s Children’s Museum of the East End.

11. For geology fans, Glen Cove’s Garvies Point Museum & Preserve offers excellent Long Island and Native American history plus a huge display of gems and minerals.

12. West Sayville’s LT Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum is super cool for armed service buffs, as is Old Bethpage’s Museum of American Armor (filled with working military vehicles). You can even participate in one of their World War II re-enactments at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

13. If you love learning about animals, check out Bridgehampton’s South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center, Smithtown’s Sweetbriar Nature Center, Quogue Wildlife Refuge, or the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery.

14. All presidential buffs must visit President Theodore Roosevelt’s former home – Oyster Bay’s Sagamore Hill. After completing a fun scavenger hunt, your kids can even earn a Junior Ranger badge!

15. The triple threat of Gold Coast mansion turned art museum, beautiful park, and sculpture garden can be found at Huntington’s Heckscher Park and Roslyn Harbor’s Nassau County Museum of Art. Both offer creative family programs, and Heckscher Park has a great playground (and ducks!).

16. Long Island has tons of incredible playgrounds. Glen Cove’s Simpkins Park, Rockville Center’s Veterans Memorial Park, Port Jefferson’s Rocketship Park, and Lake Ronkonkoma County Park are great choices.

17. Check out one of Long Island’s gardens for a relaxing escape filled with beautiful flowers, trickling water, and ample fields for endless play. Farmingdale’s Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens, Floral Park’s Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary, and Old Westbury Gardens are great options.

18. Long Island offers many unique hikes in preserves, county parks, national parks, and more! Smithtown’s Blydenburgh County Park, Massapequa Preserve, Merrick’s Norman J Levy Park & Preserve, and walking to the very end of the North Fork at Orient Point County Park are good choices.

19. You can’t call yourself a Long Islander unless you have a photo with Flanders’ famous historic Big Duck. Created in 1931 for duck farmer Martin Maurer, it’s not only a Long Island staple but launched a new architectural style called “duck” architecture (coined by architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in 1968).

20. Don’t forget about public libraries! They’re filled with things to rent, children’s areas, and outdoor play spaces. Centereach’s Middle County Public Library is one of the best. Also, reserve one of your home library museum passes for complimentary admission to local destinations!

21. Lastly, while we don’t condone graffiti, it’s fun to have spontaneous photo shoots in front of it. Some of the best spots are Islandia’s Lakeland County Park, Glen Cove’s Welwyn Preserve, Muttontown Preserve, and Kings Park Psychiatric Center aka Nissequogue River State Park.

Have a great summer! Discover new things! Make sure you catch at least one beach sunset; extra credit if it’s at Jones Beach Field 10!