Cantiague Park, which opened in 1961, has enough activities to spend an entire day playing, swimming, eating, and more. Located in Hicksville, just off the Northern State Parkway and east of the Wantagh State Parkway, the 127-acre park was built to satisfy the needs of the county’s growing population.
I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the park before I visited, but once I arrived, I didn’t want to leave. There is so much to do, and you won’t know where to start.
All Things Golf
Once you enter the park at the main entrance, you will see the nine-hole, par-30 golf course on your right. The golf course is 1,878 yards and has holes that range from 150 yards to 272 yards. On the other side of the parking lot is the 18-hole miniature-golf course—that’s where my family and I started our day. Adults pay $8 with a leisure pass ($11 without), and $5 for children regardless of a pass. It’s the perfect activity to do with the entire family. Cantiague Park also has a driving range at which you can work on your game. The driving range includes 36 bays, a range of 270 yards to the far fence, and heated and covered tee stalls. Golfers can rent 40 balls for $5 or 60 balls for $7.
Sports, Sports, and More Sports
After a relaxing game of mini golf with my family, we decided to check out the athletic fields. The number of courts and fields at Cantiague Park is incredible; we couldn’t figure out where to start. Everything is a competition with my family, so what better way to show off our skills than by playing a game of knockout? We played two games before deciding we wanted to relax and watch the soccer game taking place on the turf field nearby.
Cantiague Park is home to five tennis courts that are lighted so you can play at night, six lighted handball/paddleball courts, and three lighted basketball courts, plus four lighted softball fields and four multi-sport fields (two are lighted for night play) on which soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and football can be played. All athletic fields must be reserved and users need to obtain a permit in advance. The park also has a batting cage, which is perfect for practicing your swing. There’s a fee of $4 for those who have a leisure pass and $6 for those who don’t have one.
The handball courts at Cantiague Park in Hicksville
Swimming and Aquatics at the Cantiague Pool
I couldn’t think of a better way to cool off on a hot day other than swimming at a pool that was named the best outdoor swimming facility on Long Island by News12 Long Island viewers. Cantiague Park has two water slides that fall into an Olympic-sized pool, plus a diving pool, a “kiddie” pool, a training pool, and an interactive water-play areaThere is a fee to use the swimming area, and price varies depending on residency. I definitely suggest taking the kids here for a day of swimming and playing on the waterslides. There are lockers, showers, and a refreshments area located near the pool for when you need that mid-day snack. There are lifeguards on-site when the pool is open (daily, 10am-6pm).
Picnic and Barbecue Area
Did someone say lunch break? The park has a picnic area with tables and barbecues open to the public. There are two reserved picnic areas, which you must call to reserve in advance, and one non-reserved family area. Grab your family and head over to this area to grill up some burgers, hotdogs, chicken, and more! When I headed over to the picnic area, I saw parents cooking while the kids played Frisbee on the field next door. Dover Catering is also located inside the park and can host your family picnic or party for you. It offers a golf catering menu and a barbecue catering menu.
Cantiague Park has three picnic and barbecue areas, two of which need to be reserved for use.
Cantiague Park has an indoor ice-skating rink that was renovated in 2010 and is open to the public. The ice-skating rink is open seasonally, Labor Day to June, and is a great place to take the family for an exciting day. You can rent skates, get them sharpened, or take lessons. There is an admission fee, and the price depends on residency. I’ll definitely be coming back to go ice-skating when the rink opens for the season.
Swings, Slides, and Endless Fun!
There is a specific area in the park that has playgrounds for children of all ages. There are different playgrounds for different age groups, which is perfect to ensure safety for all. Take a break from running around and let your kids climb the ladder and slither down one of the many slides at the park. There are also swings, tunnels, sand boxes, and more for your kids to enjoy.
One of the playgrounds at Cantiague Park
If you thought that was all the park had, you were wrong! Cantiague Park also has a gaming area near the playground at which you can play bocce or shuffleboard. There are also tables with inserted chess- and checkerboards (I beat my sister playing checkers, twice!).
Tips for Visiting
- Check the weather to see what type of day it is going to be—and pack the sunscreen and bug spray.
- If you plan on barbecuing, make sure to bring the proper lighting essentials, plates, silverware, and whatever else you may need for a great meal.
- Bring cash. When I was at the park, there was an ice-cream truck on-site, and I couldn’t resist. You will also need cash for Dover Catering, at which you can get food inside the park. Everything else takes credit card, besides discover card.
- Pack bathing suits, towels, dry clothes, and sneakers for the ultimate day at the park!
- I saw a handful of staff on-site during my visit, so if you need help finding a facility, don’t hesitate to ask.
Cantiague Park has everything to ensure the perfect family-fun day. I can’t wait to return to see what the next adventure will be like, and, yes, to also beat my family in basketball!
Main image: One of the baseball and softball fields at Cantiague Park in Hicksville
All photos by Julia Hyman