35 family-friendly things to do this spring on LI
Now that spring is here, it's time to pack up the family and head outdoors for a fun-filled day. We found 35 kid-friendly things to do this spring on Long Island.
Walk through mazes at Old Westbury Gardens(Credit: Vincent Kish)
Old Westbury Gardens is home to a perennial and rose gardens, trails, lakes, picnic areas and more. There are also many kids' events, plus mini log cabins to play in; $10, $8 older than 62, $5 ages 7-17; free 6 and younger; 516-333-0048; Old Westbury Gardens.
Take a spin on the Greenport Carousel(Credit: Randee Daddona)
Check out the restored vintage 1920s carousel in the Glass Carousel Pavilion at Mitchell Park in Greenport; $2, $20 for 15 tickets; 631-477-0248 ext. 211; Greenport Carousel.
Zip-line at Adventure Park at Long Island(Credit: The Adventure Park at Long Island)
Zip lines – cables that kids, teens and grownups can ride from tree to tree – are featured at the Adventure Park at Long Island in Wheatley Heights (located within the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds at 75 Colonial Springs Rd.). The aerial forest ropes park will also include a series of “challenge bridges” between tree platforms. The zip lines and bridges are connected in a series of different color-coded "treetop trails" that range from introductory to advanced; $49 ($44 ages 10-11, $39 ages 7-9) for three hours of climbing; 631-983-3844; longislandadventurepark.org.
Go to a Long Island Ducks game(Credit: Ed Betz)
Take your kids out to a ball game and route for your home team at Bethpage Ballpark (3 Court House Dr., Central Islip). During the baseball season, ticket prices start at $11. Visit
Spend a day at Adventureland(Credit: Kevin P Coughlin)
With more than 20 rides, including roller coasters, a haunted house, Ferris wheel, bumper cars and more, there's plenty for kids and adults to do at Adventureland in Farmingdale. A new roller coaster coming to Adventureland this spring -- a caterpillar-style train made up of three separate cars fitting four people each. The cars can spin 360 degrees as they simultaneously race downhill; $27.99 pay one price; 631-694-6868; www.adventureland.us.
Venture on a seal walk(Credit: CRESLI)
At Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton Beach you can take about a 1 1/2-mile guided walk to see seals with CRESLI (Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island between May and November; $5 contribution for adults, $3 children; 631-244-3352; cresli.org/cresli/seals/sealwalk.html.
Stroll along the Connetquot River at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
The Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River is a botanical garden that runs along the Connetquot River, with five nature walks: pinetum, wildflower, rhododendron, bird-watching, swamp cypress and assorted trees; $8 per car; 631-581-1002; Bayard Cutting Arboretum.
Watch the ducks at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park(Credit: Newsday / Kathy Kmonicek)
Children enjoy watching the ducks at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park. There's also a handicapped accessible playground and a smaller playground for younger children, tennis courts, dirt paths, a basketball court and a baseball field; $3 residents, $10 nonresidents on weekends during the summer; 631-854-9699; Lake Ronkonkoma County Park.
Visit with a potbellied pig and more animals at Martha Clara Vineyards(Credit: William Perlman)
Mom and Dad can enjoy a glass of wine and then head over to the petting zoo to feed the animals at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead. You'll see a potbellied pig, donkeys, Highland cattle, llamas and horses. From June-October, you can take horse-and-carriage rides around the property; $1 to feed the animals; 631-298-0075; Martha Clara Vineyards.
Play with model boats at Christopher Morley Parks(Credit: Newsday / Daniel Goodrich)
There's so much to do at Christopher Morley Park in North Hills. There's a boat basin for model sailboats, tennis courts, a 9-hole golf course, playgrounds, jogging course, shuffleboard, baseball fields and more. During the summer, take a swim in the pool and in the winter, grab your skates and head to the outdoor ice rink; Call for fees $4-$20; 516-571-8113; Christopher Morley Park.
Head to a playground and petting zoo at Holtsville Park, Ecological Site and Wildlife Center(Credit: Newsday / Jim Peppler)
The Holtsville Park, Ecology Site and Wildlife Center in Holtsville features a large playgrounds, biking paths, an outdoor pool and a petting zoo; free; 631-758-9664; Holtsville Park.
Enjoy fresh baked goods and seasonal fruits at Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard(Credit: Newsday / Ursula Moore)
At Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard in Mattituck, you'll find a fruit and veggie farm stand in the summer, and a festival, corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin-picking and more during the fall. During the Barnyard Adventures, kids can learn about baby animals and participate in games and activities;
Spend the day at Cow Harbor Park(Credit: Barbara Lassen)
Pack a picnic and head to Cow Harbor Park in Northport, set on the water, which features a large playground; 631-261-7502; www.villageofnorthport.com/home/index.php/cow-harbor-day.
See llamas and kangaroos at The Animal Farm Petting Zoo(Credit: Newsday / Ana P. Gutierrez)
You can get up close and personal with exotic animals such as parrots, monkeys, llamas, camels, ostrich, kangaroos, reptiles and more at The Animal Farm Petting Zoo in Manorville. You can bottle-feed baby pigs and even get into a pen with baby goats. You'll also find playgrounds, picnic areas, pony rides, turtle train ride and a puppet show; $13.50, $11.50 seniors and children ages 2-16, free under age 2; 631-878-1785; www.afpz.org.
Ride the bumper boats at Bayville Adventure Park(Credit: Newsday / Danielle Finkelstein)
Visit Bayville Adventure Park in Bayville and enjoy a pirate-themed fun park with bumper boats, indoor rock climbing, miniature golf, ropes course, bungee bounce, train ride, 3-D Fun House, maze, video arcade and ice cream parlor. In the fall, it becomes Bayville Scream Park and during the holidays, it becomes a winter wonderland; $29.75 for a one-day unlimited pass; 516-624-4678; www.bayvilleadventurepark.com.
Feed a giraffe at the Long Island Game Farm(Credit: Kerrie Ferrara)
At the Long Island Game Farm in Manorville, kids can bottle-feed baby animals, hand-feed a giraffe and see kangaroos, buffalo, ostriches and zebras; $17.45; $15.45 ages 3-11; 631-878-6644; Long Island Game Farm.
Plan a family picnic at Eisenhower Park(Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan)
There's so much to do at Eisenhower Park: mini-golf, batting range, tennis, playgrounds, jogging trails, bike paths, model boating and more. Pack a family picnic and spend the day; 516-572-0348; Eisenhower Park.
Ride the bumper boats at Boomers Family Fun Center(Credit: Newsday / Marc Serra)
Plan an adventurous day at Boomers Family Fun Center in Medford and ride the bumper boats, carousel, roller coaster, go-karts and more. Or, climb up the 20-foot rock-climbing wall, play miniature golf or head to the batting cages for a fun day; $23.95 for unlimited rides; 631-475-1771; www.boomersparks.com/site/medford/.
Try horseback riding in Hempstead Lake State Park(Credit: Bruce Gilbert)
Spend an hour trotting along the bridle paths at Hempstead Lake State Park in West Hempstead. The stables are privately owned by Lakewood Stables; $40 for one-hour trail ride with a guide; 516-486-9673; Lakewood Stables; park information: 516-766-1029.
Enjoy an afternoon at Planting Fields Arboretum(Credit: Planting Fields Arboretum)
Pack up your family and head to the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay for a picnic lunch. Then, check out the nature trails, rose garden and head to Coe Hall Mansion for a self-guided tour; $8 per car; 516-922-9200; www.plantingfields.org.
Learn about farm animals at the Hallockville Museum Farm(Credit: Newsday / Randee Daddona)
The Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead shows what farm life was like on the North Fork from 1760 to 1930. There are many festivals throughout the year, such as the annual Fleece and Fiber Festival and Fall Festival with a petting zoo, hayrides and more; call for fees; 631-298-5292; Hallockville Museum Farm.
Step back in time at Old Bethpage Village Restoration(Credit: Old Bethpage Village Restoration)
Head back to the 1800s at Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Old Bethpage to find a Long Island community with 51 historic buildings. Check out the Layton General Store, District #6 Schoolhouse and Powell Farm with animals, carriage shed, smokehouse and more. Costumed staff members demonstrate crafts such as hat making, weaving and open hearth and wood stove cooking, plus military re-enactments; $10, $7 5-12 and older than 60, under 5 free; 516-572-8400; Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
Go see freshwater turtles at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium(Credit: John Dunn)
The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium in Cold Spring Harbor features the state's largest collection of freshwater turtles. You'll also see freshwater fish and amphibians; $6, $4 seniors and children 3-12, free for children under 3; 516-692-6768; www.cshfha.org.
Try a game of paintball at High Velocity Outdoor Paintball(Credit: Craig Ruttle)
If you're adventurous, head to High Velocity Outdoor Paintball in Coram, which features seven outdoor fields with scenarios including World War II, castle, Air Force, Western town, "Attack and Defend," trench warfare and woods; $25 a person, $10 groups of 20 or more, plus $20 for gun, face mask, air tank and unlimited compressed air fills; $30 for 500 paint balls, $10 for jump suit; 631-242-2096; High Velocity Outdoor Paintball.
Take a riverboat tour(Credit: Discovery)
Learn about the North Shore's wetlands ecosystem aboard the "Discovery" in Stony Brook. The 90-minute sightseeing tours aboard a 35-passenger pontoon boat are led by a naturalist. Trips leave morning, midday and at sunset and cost $22-$25, $15 younger than 6; 631-751-2244; www.wmho.org/wmhodiscoverycruise.asp.
Hit the Dino Trail at Sands Point Preserve(Credit: Dominique Magno)
This beautiful quarter-mile nature trail features a purple dinosaur, a springy, climbing station and more; $10 parking fee; 516-571-7900; Sands Point Preserve.
Check out an outdoor classroom at the Nature Explorium at the Middle Country Library(Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)
Outside this traditional library is an outdoor classroom, an all-natural environment for kids to play and learn. The Nature Explorium at the Middle Country Library in Centereach. This hands-on environment features areas for digging and playing with dirt, climbing and crawling with wooden logs, building with wooden blocks, art and music using natural materials, planting, and a water section; 631-585-9393; Middle Country Library.
Camp out under the stars at Wildwood State Park(Credit: Wildwood State Park)
The camp grounds at Wildwood State Park in Wading River features rest rooms, showers, grills, store (summer), fishing a hiking trail, sand volleyball court, basketball hoops and a ball field. In the winter months, you can go cross-country skiing; $15-$22 for tent sites, $27-$31 for trailers, $9 non-refundable reservation fee; 631-929-4314; Wildwood State Park).
Enjoy quality time with baby animals at Benner's Farm(Credit: Benner's Farm)
Benner's Farm in Setauket offers many workshops, festivals and special events during the year, including time to play, feed and care for the baby animals on the farm; $7, $6 ages 14 and younger; 631-689-8172; Benner's Farm.
Tee off at Tiki Action Park(Credit: Jennie Eckhaus)
Enjoy mini-golf, go-carts, a 40-game arcade and more at Tiki Action Park in Centereach; Mini-golf: $8.50, $6 for younger than 6 and older than 60; go-karts: $7 single rider, $8 double rider; 631-471-1267; tikiactionpark.com/.
Bike around Bethpage State Park(Credit: Bill Davis)
Spend a leisurely afternoon bike riding around Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale with your family. There are relatively few hills and kids of all ages routinely handle the paved path that meanders through the trees; $8 parking; 516-249-0701; Bethpage State Park.
Take a leisurely stroll through Tackapausha Museum and Preserve(Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile)
There are five miles of nature trails at Tackapausha Museum and Preserve in Seaford, along with educational programs and exhibits on Long Island wildlife, plants and more; $3 adults, $2 children 5 and over and senior; 516-572-0200; Tackapausha Museum and Preserve.
Take a paddle boat out at Belmont Lake State Park(Credit: Kirsten Luce)
Kids will love paddling with their feet on these colorful paddleboats at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon, which you can rent from May through October. A family of four can fit, two paddling and two who can sit back; 631-667-5055; Belmont Lake State Park.