Family day trips on Long Island
You could be luxuriating on the beach when a craving for a lobster roll pulls you right off the blanket. Or staring into a tank full of sharks when you're suddenly bitten by an urge to tear into a gyro sandwich. Maybe you're lining up to putt when the growling in your stomach tells you a short stack of pancakes is in order.
Here on Long Island, where families love to play as much as they live to eat, there's usually something satisfying within reach of whatever your sport or activity may be. Much of the time, you may not even need to move your car.
Here's a rundown of family-oriented eat-and-play experiences available in Nassau and Suffolk, perfect when planning a fun day trip. -- Joan Reminick
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Cue Nine $$ | Billiards/Pool, Lounge, American, Steak, Burgers 2953 Hempstead Tpke. Levittown In this classy billiards parlor, two on-premises dining spaces showcase the New American small-plates menu of Marc Anthony Bynum. You can watch the games in progress as you tuck into such dishes as herbed gnocchi with wild mushrooms, shrimp and grits, cockles and mussels and house-smoked chipotle BBQ ribs. There's a kids menu as well.User rating
Golf Course at Bethpage State Park Seafood, Steak, American 99 Old Quaker Path Farmingdale After a round of mini-golf at Bethpage Miniature Golf (130 Hicksville Rd. Bethpage), head to Taste 99. Situated within the clubhouse at the Black Course of Bethpage State Park is the comfortable restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. On the menu: Pancakes for breakfast; burgers, Caesar salad or blackened chicken wrap for lunch; and French onion soup, seared Long Island duck and herb-crusted mahi-mahi.User rating
Malibu Shore Club $$ | Seafood, Raw bar, Salads, Burgers, Wraps, Sushi 1500 Lido Beach Blvd. (in Malibu Shore Club) Lido Beach MaliBlue is a restaurant and oyster bar within the beach club and is open to the public for both lunch and dinner. There's seating on a patio, not far from the beach and pool, and a menu that encompasses sushi, lobster rolls, burgers and wraps as well as such entrees as blackened flounder and grilled pork chop. For nonmembers, the cost of parking is included in the cost of the meal; if you eat there, you're free to use the beach and pool.User rating
Old Westbury Gardens Botanic garden, Performing Arts Center, Music 71 Old Westbury Rd. Old Westbury Cafe in the Woods, on the grounds of the Phipps family estate and formal gardens, is a charming outdoor cafe where French-born chef Mathieu Frey offers a changing roster of sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Open May to August, Wednesday to Monday for lunch, as well as on the evenings of "picnic pops" concerts. Hours change to weekends only in September and October. Kids will love exploring the gardens and checking out the family-friendly workshops and events.User rating
Planting Fields Arboretum Museum, History 1395 Planting Fields Rd. Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park Oyster Bay Take a tour of Coe Hall mansion or hike the six miles of nature trails. Then stop by Periwinkles Cafe, situated in the restored Hay Barn of the William Robertson Coe estate with an outdoor deck overlooking woods. It serves a repertoire of sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts, made on premises. Closed January, open in spring and summer Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; otherwise weekends only.User rating
Pop's Seafood Shack & Grill $$$ | New American 15 Railroad Place Island Park Spent the day at the beach? After soaking in the sun, check out this restaurant on Reynolds Channel with a man-made beach with seating at private cabanas, a fire-pit lounge and a deck with a retractable canopy, for rainy days. On the menu: a lobster and sweet potato salad, three kinds of lobster rolls, seafood fra diavolo and the necessary burger.
Sagamore Hill Museum, History, Kids Sagamore Hill Road Cove Neck After touring the 23-room Victorian home of Theodore Roosevelt, be sure to check out Gooseberry Grove (12 E. Main St., Oyster Bay). Kids will love this sweet shop which makes its own ice cream and candy, and also serves Hale and Hearty soups. Or, visit Bonanza (25 Shore Ave.) for homemade Italian ices, hot dogs and chili.User rating