Need weekend plans or something to do with the kids during the week?
There are a ton of free children's events at local libraries, but we also found free and cheap things to do elsewhere this month.
Whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow, here's a roundup of fun, budget-friendly events on Long Island.
Visit the Catapano Dairy Farm(Credit: Catapano Diary Farm)
Catapano Dairy Farm (33705 North Rd., Peconic) will open to the public on Saturday, April 1, and will be available to visit Fri-Sun throughout April, then open daily from May-Sept. (10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Guests may wander the farm and see the dairy goats, the two mini-horses, the farm's llama and its resident flock of chickens. The cheese shop offers free samples, various cheeses such as the farm's signature chevre will be for sale, as are fresh eggs, local honey, jams and other seasonal items. Guests arriving shortly before 4 p.m. can watch goat milking (starting June 1) in the milking parlor and watch cheese crafting in the cheese making kitchen through a viewing window. Price: admission is free. For more information, call 631-765-8042 or visit catapanodairyfarm.com.
The Travelin' Trunk Show(Credit: ThinkBIG! Theater Arts)
The Travelin' Trunk Show will take place every Saturday (at 10 a.m. and noon) and Sunday (11 a.m.) until Sunday July 30 at ThinkBIG! Theater Arts (42 South Ocean Ave., Patchogue). Each show stars "Ms. Heather," who uses improvisation, sound effects, music and costumes to describe her journeys around the world. Price: $10 per ticket for children; accompanying adults and caregivers are free. To buy tickets online, visit thinkbigtheaterarts.org; call 631-307-4042 for more information (there won't be shows on May 14 and June 18).
Free Cone Day at Carvel(Credit: Carvel)
Participating Carvel locations will be celebrating "Free Cone Day" on Thursday, April 27 from 3 p.m.-8 p.m., during which time all guests may receive a free junior (4.5 oz.) soft-serve cup or cone of either chocolate, vanilla or Cookie Butter-flavored ice cream. In addition, a $1 coupon book will be available to purchase, with all proceeds benefiting the American Red Cross. Limit one per person, toppings are an additional charge.
AstroFest 2017(Credit: Brittany Wait)
The Stony Brook University Astronomy Club is hosting its annual "AstroFest" on Friday, April 28 from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. at the Earth and Space Sciences Building of Stony Brook University (100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook). Guests will receive a guided tour of a campus-sized model of the solar system, use of the university's new solar telescope (as well as its 8" and 14" telescopes), scientific demonstrations, a photo booth, snacks, astronomy games and an appearance by Wolfie the mascot, among other doings. Price: free. For more information, visit sbuastronomyclub.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Astronomy Day at Custer Institute Observatory(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Custer Institute Observatory (1115 Main Bayview Rd., Southold) is hosting its annual Astronomy Day on Saturday, April 29 from noon-12 a.m. The event will include various scientific programs, a gravity bounce house, turtle show, an opportunity to visit the Native American Museum, rocket launches, drone flights and public observations through the institute's telescope, among other happenings. Price: suggested donation is $20 per family (includes 10 raffle tickets.) For more information, call 631-765-2626 or visit custerobservatory.org.
"Story Time and Craft" at Dolphin Bookshop(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
The Dolphin Bookshop & Cafe (299 Main St., Port Washington) is featuring a reading by author Darlene Gaffney on Sunday, April 30 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. She'll be reading from her book "Raffie Reads" (intended for children in grades preschool-2), and participating kids will also take part in a craft session. Price: free; books will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, call 516-767-2650 or visit thedolphinbookshop.com.
"Movie Night Under the Stars" at In2ition Mercantile(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
In2ition Mercantile (1475 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale) will be hosting classic shows and movies in its sustainable outdoor event area (weather permitting) every Friday starting at 7:30 p.m. from April 21 until May 26. Refreshments and snacks will be available; open to all ages. Price: admission is $3. Advance ticket purchase is available online at in2itionmercantile.com; call 631-699-8310 for more information.
Town of Brookhaven Bicycle Rodeo(Credit: Brittany Wait)
The Town of Brookhaven Highway Department is hosting its annual "Bicycle Rodeo" at Safety Town at Holtsville Ecology Site (249 Buckley Rd, Holtsville) on Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Children must bring their own bicycles and helmets, and will learn about riding safety and practice proper techniques. Price: free. For more information, visit brookhavenny.gov or call 631-363-3770.
Sign up kids to bake(Credit: Morgue File)
Bake Yourself Happy is a baking competition just for kids, and Wednesday, April 26, is the last day to register. Fifth-graders through high school seniors are invited to prepare and submit their home-baked entries (muffins, cookies and cupcakes) for exhibition and judging 3-5 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Hampton Bays Community Center. ADMISSION Free INFO 631-702-2425, southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau
Go to All Kids Fair(Credit: Debbie Bravo)
Kids rule during a full-day fair focused on products and services for children and their families. New this year at All Kids Fair: a petting zoo (noon-3:30 p.m.) and a bounce house along with about 80 vendors representing camps, college planning, after-school activities and party venues. The Food Network's "Chopped Junior" contestants Sophie Bravo, pictured, (10:30 and 11:30 a.m.) and Ally Kustera (2:30 p.m.) host food demonstrations; Chloe Wheeler, a former contestant on Telemundo's "La Vaz Kids," performs at 3:30. WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. next Sunday, April 30, Hilton Long Island/Huntington, 598 Broad Hollow Rd., Melville INFO 516-621-1446, allkidsfair.com ADMISSION $5 (free ages 2 and younger)
Be dazzled at the Gem and Mineral Show(Credit: Steven Sunshine)
See a large selection of products "produced by mother nature" at the Freeport Gem and Mineral Show. More than 25 dealers present beads, crystals, gems and minerals during a weekend show that also features prehistoric fossils and meteorites, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, at the Freeport Recreation Center. ADMISSION $5.50 (free ages 12 and younger with an adult) PHONE 631-271-8411 WEB kaleidoscopegemshows.com
Bethpage Street Fair(Credit: AlansFair)
The annual Bethpage Street Fair returns on Sunday, May 7 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. along Broadway, featuring vendors, food concessions, live music and bounce houses for kids. Price: Free. For more information, call 516-442-6000 or visit nassaucountycraftshows.com.
Jazz it up during Jazz Day(Credit: Maritime Explorium)
Not only will kids make their own musical instrument -- in this case, a sound sandwich -- to help celebrate National Jazz Day at the Maritime Explorium 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, but the Stony Brook University's instrument "petting zoo" will be stopping by at 2 p.m. to give kids a chance to handle a variety of musical instruments. ADMISSION $5 INFO 631-331-3277, maritimeexplorium.org
Sayville's Springfest 2017(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
The Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual SpringFest at Gillette Park (between Candee and Gillette Aves., Sayville) on Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The event will feature a bounce house, costumed characters, face painting and a petting zoo, among other doings. For more information, call 631-567-5257 or visit greatersayvillechamber.com.
Magic at Theater 294(Credit: The Amazing Louie )
Magicians Robin Channing, Thomas Solomon and The Amazing Louie (pictured) will put on a family-friendly show full of illusion and sleight-of-hand at Theater 294 (294 Farmingdale Rd., East Farmingdale) on Saturday, April 29 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Price: $8. Tickets available at the door (cash only); for more information call 917-825-7374.
Arbor Day Family Festival at Planting Fields Arboretum(Credit: Steve Pfost)
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park (1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay) is hosting its annual Arbor Day celebration on April 29-30 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Designed to raise awareness concerning the environment, this festival is scheduled to feature a petting zoo, plantings, live music, tree climbing and face painting, among other family-friendly activities. Price: $20 per carload. For more information, call 516-922-8678 or visit plantingfields.org.
“Kids Make Your Own Pizza” at Nick & Toni’s(Credit: WordHampton Public Relations)
Children ages 5-12 can get cooking at Nick & Toni's (136 N. Main St., East Hampton) every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. until Memorial Day, as the restaurant's pizza chef will be on-hand to help participants create their own pizza. Price: $10 per child; reservations are required. To RSVP or for more information, call 631-324-3550.
'Kid’s Workshops' at The Home Depot(Credit: The Home Depot)
The Home Depot hosts its "Kid's Workshops" on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m.-noon. Open to children of all ages and experience levels, the events are intended to provide hand-on learning, through instruction and demonstration. Price: free; for more information visit homedepot.com or call 1-800-466-3337.
Afterschool Ice Skating special(Credit: Kirsten Luce)
Newbridge Arena (2600 Newbridge Rd., Bellmore) will feature an Afterschool Public Skating special on Wednesdays and Fridays until the summer of 2017. Price: general admission is $6; Town of Hempstead residents pay $4. Children ages four and younger are free (with paid adult) and skate rentals are $4. For more information, call 516-783-6181 or visit newbridgearena.com.
Free Ice Cream Wednesdays at Bay Burger(Credit: Lily Landes)
If you're in Sag Harbor on a Wednesday, you can swing by Bay Burger (1742 Sag Harbor Tpke) for a free cup or cone of house brand ice cream with the purchase of any entree item. Available all year; call 631-899-3915 or visit bayburger.com for more details.
The Parrish Art Museum(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)
Featuring an evolving art collection of various media, the Parrish Art Museum (279 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill) also hosts a calendar of events. Its pieces and parties range in appeal from easy and entertaining to high-end, conceptual and challenging--but the Parrish is accessible to all, as children under 18, students with ID and museum members are always admitted at no charge, and free to all on Wednesdays (otherwise $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for guests of members). For more information, call 631-283-2118 or visit parrishart.org.
The 'Living Planetarium' Project 2016(Credit: Warren Barlowe)
Open to all ages, this daily event held in Northport Park (west end of Main St., Northport Village) always offers a lesson in astronomy, led by retired science teacher Warren Barlowe. Using a powerful telescope to view celestial objects, participants will learn why the Moon looks as it does, how to measure the sky and find planets like Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Venus -- and even spot the International Space Station when it's overhead. Question asking is welcome; dress for cold temperatures. Price: Free. For more information (and updates on possible weather-related cancellations or location shifts) visit sites.google.com/site/sidewalktelescopeviewing.
Free Crafts for Kids(Credit: Lakeshore Learning Center)
The Lakeshore Learning Center (2079 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park) offers its "Free Crafts for Kids" class every Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Participating children can create a basic craft; no registration required. Price: Free. For more information, call 516-616-9360 or visit lakeshorelearning.com.
Spot a seal(Credit: Daniel Goodrich)
Harbor seals claim some Long Island shorelines as their own from late November through early spring. Organized walks and boat cruises abound to spot them, but DIYers can simply show up at Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton on a reasonably clear-weather day and take a walk along the shoreline in hopes of spotting seals swimming or sunning. You’ll want to bring binoculars or a telescope. (906 Dune Rd., Westhampton Beach; 631-852-8111)
Sculpture Art Caper and exploration backpacks(Credit: Hofstra University)
Pick up a backpack and solve an Art Caper mystery while exploring the outdoor sculpture collection at the Emily Lowe Gallery at the Hofstra University Museum (112 Hofstra University, Hempstead; 516-463-5672) until 3 p.m. daily during the Lowe Gallery's open hours (Tues-Fri: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; Mon: closed). Children can explore the outdoor sculpture collection and take on solving an Art Caper mystery by looking for clues among the artwork. Price: Free. For more information, visit hofstra.edu.
Toddler Time at Book Revue(Credit: Book Revue)
Book Revue (313 New York Ave., Huntington) hosts this weekly event (Thurs: 11 a.m.-noon) in its art-themed kids section, featuring a story reading, singing, dancing and craft-making, as well as monthly musical appearances by guitarist Jeff Sorg (June 21). Price: Free. For more information, visit bookrevue.com.
Second Saturdays at the HUM(Credit: Hofstra University Museum)
Children ages 5-10 can explore art on exhibit at the Emily Lowe Gallery at the Hofstra University Museum (112 Hofstra University, Hempstead; 516-463-5672) every second Saturday thru May (Feb. 11, March 11, April 8, May 13; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). Once they've experienced the displays, visiting kids can then engage in a hands-on activity inspired by what they've seen. Price: $7 per child when prepaid; $9 day-of; $12 per child for two sessions when prepaid, $18 for three, $21 for all four. (Adult companions free.) Advance registration required; strollers not permitted. For more information, visit hofstra.edu or call 516-463-5672.
Kirk Park Beach(Credit: Ian J. Stark)
It can be downright expensive to park at a beach in the Hamptons, save for Kirk Park Beach (95 S Emerson Ave, Montauk; 631-324-2417, montauk-online.com, which not only features access to the Atlantic Ocean and restrooms, but offers free parking, charges no entry fee and is located within walking distance of Montauk's village area. Lifeguards on duty daily during the summer season from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.