It's the dead of winter - not the best weather for outdoor activities - but the kids still want to run around and play. Fortunately, Long Island has its share of indoor family fun centers. Try a simulated roller coaster ride, engage in a family trivia competition, ride a carousel - all with a roof over your heads. Many of the locations have expanded hours this week while children are off from school.
229 Route 110, Farmingdale, 631-847-0100, funzoneamusements.com
Why it's fun: Fun Zone offers more than 200 games, including Lazer Tag and Bowlingo, which is a miniature bowling alley using balls about the size of a Skee-Ball.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: Rides are $3 each or between $14.95 and $18.95 for a pay-one-price bracelet. Game tokens are four for $1 and games are one to four tokens each. Additional charge for bowling, lazer tag.
Eats: Hop into the adjacent Nathan's.
FUN STATION U.S.A.
40 Rocklyn Ave., Lynbrook, 516-599-7757, funstationfun.com
Why it's fun: Strap into MaxFlight and feel like you're on a roller coaster. The orb twists from side to side and rolls upside-down. "It's pretty wild," says manager Donald Dalia. For the younger kids, there's an enormous maze painted with jungle scenes of a gorilla, panda and elephant. A kiddie train chugs underneath. If Mom and Dad get weary, check out the back-massage lounge chairs.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Check Web site for school holiday hours.
Cost: Unlimited ride bracelets $11.95 Thursdays and Fridays, $14.95 with bumper cars; $13.95 Saturdays and Sundays, $16.95 with bumper cars. Roller coaster is $5 per ride. Arcade games work on a card. Laser tag is $5 for a 10-minute game.
Eats: Food court offers wings, burgers, salads and pizza.
DAVE & BUSTER'S
261 Old Airport Plaza, Farmingdale, 631-249-0708
1504 Old Country Road, Westbury, 516-542-8501
1856 Veteran's Memorial Highway, Islandia, 631-582-6615
Why it's fun: Who's the master trivia buff in your clan? Find out as you all compete at the trivia game on the Million Dollar Midway, slapping the A, B, or C button and hoping you chose correctly. Other arcade games offer a virtual chance to paddle through roaring rapids or race a NASCAR entry at Daytona.
Hours: Farmingdale: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; Westbury, Islandia: open to midnight Thursdays, 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Cost: Purchase a power card for $2 and load any amount of money on it to play arcade games; half-price Wednesdays; limit of six minors per adult.
Eats: The Eat & Play combo at $15.99 includes a choice of eight entrees and a $10 game card, available Sunday through Thursday all day and Friday and Saturday until 5 p.m.
655 Long Ave., Medford, 631-475-1771, boomersparks.com
Why it's fun: Take a ride on the indoor carousel or try scaling the 20-foot rock-climbing wall. Arcade games that earn tickets toward prize redemption round out the fun. Once April hits, the outdoor attractions start to open; they include a roller coaster, miniature golf, bumper boats and go-carts.
Hours: Winter hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Check Web site for school vacation hours.
Cost: Rock climbing wall is $6 for three consecutive climbs; carousel is $2.50 per ride. Arcade game tokens are priced separately.
Eats: Hit the snack bar for burgers, chicken strips and pizza.