Free (or cheap) for kids on Long Island

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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.

“The Reptile Guy” at the Common Ground

Erik
(Credit: Newsday/Daniel Brennan)

Erik "The Reptile Guy" Callendar is slated to appear with some of his animals at the Common Ground space in Rotary Park (between Gillette and Candee Aves, Sayville) on Friday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Price: free. For more information, call 631-459-6603 or visit thecommonground.com.

Magic at Theater 294

Magician
(Credit: The Amazing Louie )

Magician "The Amazing Louie" will put on an all-ages show at Theater 294 (294 Farmingdale Rd., East Farmingdale) on Saturday, July 22 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Price: $5. Tickets available at the door (cash only); for more information call 917-825-7374.

Observing Endangered Piping Plovers

The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature
(Credit: Uli Seit)

The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center(377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton) is leading an all-ages event (on Sunday, July 23 at 9 a.m.) featuring conversation about, and observation of Piping Plovers and Least Terns; at the end of the program, children in attendance will receive Plover-related activities and games. Price: Free; for more information or to RSVP, call 631-537-9735 or visit sofo.org.

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Darlene Graham at Jones Beach Band Shell

Family music performer Darlene Graham will be putting
(Credit: Darlene Graham)

Family music performer Darlene Graham will be putting on a free show in the Jones Beach Boardwalk Band Shell (1 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh) on Tuesday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. Guests should consider bringing seating and snacks; for more information call 516-785-1600 or visit jonesbeach.com.

Lou Johnson the Magical Juggler

Lou Johnson the Magical Juggler will be performing
(Credit: Handout)

Lou Johnson the Magical Juggler will be performing at The Barn (behind Port Jefferson Village Hall, 121 W. Broadway, Port Jefferson) on Thursday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m. Price: free. For more information, visit portjeff.com or call 631-802-2160.

“Critters in the Creek”

Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge (2595 Noyack
(Credit: Michael E. Ach)

Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge (2595 Noyack Rd., Sag Harbor) is hosting "Critters in the Creek" on Saturday, July 29 from noon-2 p.m., which is designed to introduce guests of the refuge to the resident aquatic creatures. Price: Free (parking is $4 per vehicle); registration is required. To RSVP, call 631-899-4293 or email Bryan_Maul@fws.gov, visit fws.gov for more information.

"Madagascar," live

Plaza Theatrical Productions is putting on a performance
(Credit: Kaid Photography)

Plaza Theatrical Productions is putting on a performance of "Madagascar" at Memorial Park in Mineola (195 Marcellus Rd.) on Tuesday, Aug. 1. at 6:30 p.m. Price: free. For more information, call or visit mineola-ny.gov.

Garvies Point Day

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve (50 Barry Dr.,
(Credit: Newsday/ Johnny Milano)

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve (50 Barry Dr., Glen Cove) is hosting "Garvies Point Day" on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 10 a.m.-4 p.m., which is scheduled to feature bird-watching, a wildlife presentation, insect study, garden tour, mineral Identification session and face painting. Price: $5. For more information, visit garviespointmuseum.com or call 516-571-8010.

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Weekly sand castle contest

Hither Hills State Park (164 Old Montauk Hwy.,
(Credit: Gordon M. Grant)

Hither Hills State Park (164 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk) will be hosting an all-ages, weekly sand castle contest on Thursdays 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. until Aug. 31. Natural materials native to the beach are used for sculptures; prizes are to be awarded in various categories. Price: free. Visit parks.ny.gov or call 631-668-2554 for more information.

“Family Seaside Adventures” on Fire Island

The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society is hosting
(Credit: Linda Rosier)

The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society is hosting its weekly "Family Seaside Adventures" program on Wednesdays in July from 10 a.m.-noon. Targeted at kids ages 7-12, each session will feature a different Fire Island-focused theme; events meet at the Fire Island Lighthouse (Burma Rd., Captree Island, Bay Shore). Price: $5. Advance reservations are required; to RSVP or for more information, call 631-661-4876 or visit fireislandlighthouse.com.

Bow Tie Cinemas’ Summer Kids Series

Bow Tie Cinemas (989 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square;
(Credit: Ian J. Stark)

Bow Tie Cinemas (989 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square; 516-775-3257 and 116 Main St., Port Washington; 516-944-6200) are hosting "Summer Kids Series 2017" Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. until Wednesday, Aug. 16 (not including Tuesday, July 4), featuring free family movies. For more information, visit bowtiecinemas.com.

Sunken Forest tour

The National Park Service is offering guided tours
(Credit: Linda Rosier)

The National Park Service is offering guided tours of the Sunken Forest in the Sailors Haven section of Fire Island Wednesdays thru Sundays weekly from 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. until Sunday, Sept. 3. Participants will learn about this history of the forest, its ecology and the results of human impact; the group will first meet at the Sailors Haven Visitor Center (off the dock in Sailors Haven). Price: tour is free. For more information, call 631-687-4780 (weekdays), 631-597-6183 (weekends) or visit nps.gov.

The Travelin' Trunk Show

The Travelin' Trunk Show will take place every
(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).

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“Saturday Nature Explorers”

The Seatuck Environmental Association hosts its
(Credit: Ian J. Stark)

The Seatuck Environmental Association hosts its "Saturday Nature Explorers" class weekly on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-noon at the Suffolk County Environmental Center (550 South Bay Ave., Islip). The program is focused on what's currently happening in nature, and (weather-permitting) will take place outdoors; dress appropriately for the weather. Price: Free. Registration required; to RSVP visit seatuck.org. For more information, call 631-581-6908.

Visit the Catapano Dairy Farm

Catapano Dairy Farm (33705 North Rd., Peconic) will
(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.

"Movie Night Under the Stars" at In2ition Mercantile

In2ition Mercantile (1475 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale) will be
(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. until Sept. 29. 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.

Free Ice Cream Wednesdays at Bay Burger

If you're in Sag Harbor on a Wednesday,
(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

Featuring an evolving art collection of various media,
(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.

'Kid’s Workshops' at The Home Depot

The Home Depot hosts its
(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.

The 'Living Planetarium' Project 2017

Open to all ages, this daily event held
(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

The Lakeshore Learning Center (2079 Hillside Ave., New
(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.

Long Island Live Steamers

The miniature trains take passengers on a looped
(Credit: Yana Paskova)

The miniature trains take passengers on a looped journey around Southaven County Park in Brookhaven every other Sunday through the end of October. All aboard begins at 10:30 a.m. with the last departure leaving the station at 3 p.m. Price: Donations accepted. For more information, call 631-345-0499 or visit lilivesteam.org.

Sculpture Art Caper and exploration backpacks

Pick up a backpack and solve an Art
(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

Book Revue (313 New York Ave., Huntington) hosts
(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.

Kirk Park Beach

It can be downright expensive to park at
(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.

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