Best bets this weekend on Long Island
Looking for things to do this weekend on Long Island? We've rounded up the best concerts, fairs and festivals, parties and cultural events going on around Nassau and Suffolk this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We've got you covered: Be sure to check back every Monday afternoon for an early jump on planning your next weekend.
Greek Festival(Credit: iStock)
Gyros, pastitsio, spanakopita, moussaka -- all the specialties of the Greek Isles are there for the taking at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul's annual Greek festival in Hempstead. You'll also find bouzouki music and dancing. Take a free tour of the cathedral and view the mosaics done in the Byzantine style and -- for the cooks in the crowd -- watch as contestants compete in a "Celebrity Chef Challenge." The Greek Festival takes place 6-10 p.m. Thursday, May 28; 6-11 p.m. Friday, May 29; 2-11 p.m. Saturday, May 30 and 1-9 p.m. Sunday, May 31 at 110 Cathedral Ave., Hempstead. Price: Free. For more information, call 516-483-5700 or visit stpaulhempstead.org.
Nassau County Strawberry Festival(Credit: Linda Karlin)
Ripe, fresh and juicy -- berries are the stars of the Nassau County Strawberry Festival, presented by the Lions and Kiwanis Clubs of the Bellmores. Expect a full carnival of rides, live bands, along with strawberry-centric food -- of course -- 6-10 p.m. Friday, May 29; noon-11 p.m. Saturday, May 30, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, May 31, at Nassau BOCES, 2351 Jerusalem Ave., North Bellmore. Price: $2 (free younger than 5). For more information, visit nassaucountystrawberryfestival.com.
Synchronized Swimming(Credit: Aaron Okayama)
It's a rare chance to see competitive precision swimming -- and frankly, it just sounds fun. Synchronized swimming teams from the United States, China, Ukraine, Finland and Chile hit the waters at the Nassau Aquatic Center in Eisenhower Park, East Meadow for a four-day tournament that's open to spectators from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30. Price: $10. For more information, visit usasynchro.org.
Nikon at Jones Beach concerts(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Nikon at Jones Beach kicks off the season at the iconic outdoor amphitheater by the beach. The season starts Friday, May 29 at 7 p.m., with the "Wheels Up Tour" featuring Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt ($32.50-$62.25), followed Sunday, May 31 at 6 p.m., by 103.5 KTU's "KTUphoria" dance concert ($10.75-$172) with a heavy-hitting set of headliners: Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Derulo, Ricky Martin, Prince Royce and Shaggy. For more information, call 516-221-1000 or visit livenation.com.
Long Island Orchid Festival(Credit: Maria Mucaria Stankowski)
The Long Island Orchid Society brings a room full of blooming plants -- from the common to the exotic -- to the three-day Long Island Orchid Festival in Oyster Bay. It's a chance to buy and learn about orchids native to tropical climates and -- most importantly -- how to keep them "happy." A lecture series discusses the numerous species and there's an art exhibit in the conference center as well. The festival takes place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, May 29, to Sunday, May 31 at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, 1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay. Admission: Free ($8 parking). For more information, call 516-780-5107 or visit longislandorchidsociety.org.
Glow Run 5K(Credit: iStockphoto.com)
Glow Run 5k is a nighttime run through the streets of Center Moriches that benefits the Center Moriches PTA. It is planned for Saturday, May 30, and starts at the high school on Frowein Road. A fun run begins at 7:30 p.m. and the 5K steps off at 8:30 p.m. Go to morichesbayrunningclub.com to register or the high school at 5 p.m. day of. $30; $25/person for teams of four or more; $10 fun run. 631-599-9462.
Simply Diamond(Credit: Simply Diamond)
Simply Diamond, a Neil Diamond tribute band headed by Brian La Blanc, comes to Suffolk Theater with all the Brooklyn native's classic songs at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Doors, bar and restaurant open at 6:30 p.m. $39. Call 631-727-4343 or go to suffolktheater.com for tickets.
New York Pet Expo(Credit: The Morgue File)
All things pet-related are offered at the New York Pet Expo at the Nassau Coliseum, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Look for live entertainment, pet-book authors, agility demonstrations, adoption events and pet-related vendors. Celebrity guests include Brett, Irwin and Wayde from Animal Planet's "Tanked." Admission is $13.25-$15.85 (free ages 5 and younger), $12 parking. 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
Carnivorous plants(Credit: Getty Images/ Adam Berry)
Learn about the wonders of carnivorous plants, such as the well-known Venus fly trap, pictured, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 30, at Downs Farm Preserve in Cutchogue (23800 Rte. 25). $10 (includes a carnivorous plant). Reservations appreciated, 631-765-6450, ext. 219, groupfortheeastend.org.
Southampton House Tour "Insider's View"(Credit: Southampton Historical Museum)
Take a self-guided tour of five homes in the village of Southampton and Water Mill, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 30. You'll see sites that are rich in history and architecture, including a 12-bedroom mansion and a 19th century farmhouse. Pick up a map at the Southampton Historical Museum. Price: $110 ($95 advance), includes a 4:30-6 p.m. champagne reception and photo exhibit at Rogers Mansion, 17 Meeting House Lane. For more information, call 631-283-2492 or visit southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org.
"From Shore to Shore: Boatbuilders and Boatyards of Long Island"(Credit: Dave Swenson)
Master boatbuilder Marty Sievers presents a program about boat-building in conjunction with the Suffolk County Historical Society's current exhibit, "From Shore to Shore: Boatbuilders and Boatyards of Long Island," 6 p.m. Saturday, May 30, 300 W. Main St., Riverhead. Price: $5. For more information, call 631-727-2881 or visit suffolkcountyhistoricalsociety.org.
Author Fair(Credit: Port Jefferson Library)
Calling all yet-to-be-published authors: The Port Jefferson Library hosts a local author fair 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 30, with some 35 authors and illustrators of thrillers, short stories, poetry, photography, nonfiction and children's books on hand to talk about their experiences. Free admission, 631-473-0022, portjefflibrary.org.
Vessel Safety Check(Credit: Morguefile)
The Glen Cove Harbor Patrol and a division of the Coast Guard provides free vessel safety checks 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31, at the Garvies Point Boat Ramp in Glen Cove. The inspection of large and small boats, paddle crafts and Jet Skis will follow federal, state and local requirements. 516-676-2004, glencove-li.us.
Fabulous Folk Series: Suzanne Vega(Credit: Westhampton Beach Performing Art / George Holz)
The "Fabulous Folk" series continues at Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington with singer and songwriter Suzanne Vega performing her signature works that focus on city life and ordinary people, 8 p.m. Sunday, May 31; tickets are $52-$57. For more information, call 516-767-6444 or visit landmarkonmainstreet.org.
Classic Rock 'n' Light Show(Credit: Clark Distribution)
The Classic Rock 'n' Light Show at the Vanderbilt Planetarium is back for the season. Music by the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones is played with visual sequences and special effects on the planetarium's 60-foot dome. Shows are 9 p.m. every Saturday through the summer. $9, $7 younger than 12. 631-854-5579, vanderbiltmuseum.org
Horseshoe Crab Moon(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
A beach walk has you observing horseshoe crabs as they come ashore during mating season, 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. Make a reservation and bring a flashlight to the Wilderness Visitor Center at the end of William Floyd Parkway on Fire Island. Admission is free. Call 631-687-4780 or visit nps.gov/fiis for more information.
Brookhaven Fair(Credit: Brookhaven Fair Productions/Kathleen Fordyce/ Kathleen Fordyce)
Farmingville's annual fair with rides, food vendors, games, entertainment is on -- and there are fireworks every weekend. Brookhaven Fair attractions include a giant Ferris wheel, a Las Vegas-style hypnotist show (10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays), plus a petting zoo. The fair runs Fridays, 5 p.m.-midnight; Saturdays and Sundays, noon-midnight, through June 14 at Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill, 55 Bicycle Path, Farmingville. Admission: $8 ($25 unlimited rides). For more information, call 631-920-2309 or visit brookhavenfair.com.
Portugal Day Parade(Credit: Newsday/ Alessandro Vecchi)
The Portugal Day Parade commemorates the death of Portuguese national literary icon Lus de Cames -- it's marked locally with a parade in Mineola celebrating the rich history and tradition of the Portuguese community in the area at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 31. Organized by the Daughters of Portugal, the parade kicks off on Jackson Avenue and continues to Jericho Turnpike with floats, music and dancing. Following the parade, Wilson Park hosts a concert with Portuguese pop singer Nucha, food vendors and festivities. Admission: Free. For more information, call 516-294-6356.
"Word Up: Long Island LitFest"(Credit: Newsday/ Harvey Birnbaum)
It's an all-afternoon celebration of great writing in a memorable setting. "Word Up: Long Island LitFest" debuts Sunday, May 31 from 1 to 5 p.m., at Sands Point Preserve's Castle Gould, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point, with a series of readings and book signings from the likes of Dick Cavett, Susan Isaacs and Arlene Alda. Admission: $20 ($10 parking). For more information, call 631-754-6363 or visit longislandlitfest.com.