You're never too old for playtime. With the warmer weather comes open-air lounges that invite you to sit outdoors with a cool drink, or restaurant decks with water views and live music. Today we offer 10 ideas for grown-up outings this summer.
1. GO TO A CLAMBAKE
Reader pick submitted by Elena Calfa, 35, West Babylon
It's worth the weeknight drive to Southampton for Four Seasons' beach-inspired clambake, set up on a lush lawn as the sun sets. When you're done gorging on the buffet and raw bar, it's time to roast your own s'mores around a bonfire. This summer, it's happening Tuesday to Thursday evenings. Tickets are $42.50 (631-283-3354, fourseasonscaterer.com).
2. PLAN A PUB CRAWL
Bay Shore's Main Street is perfectly set up for a summer night stroll - with built-in pit stops. Start on the west side with drinks at the Half Penny Pub or The Playhouse, then walk east for dinner at, say, Smokin' Al's or sushi at Aji 53. From there, continue on to take your pick of specialty brews on tap at T.J. Finley's, or catch a live band at The Nutty Irishman. Wind down with a round of pool or darts at Hogan's Goat Pub.
Photos: The Nutty Irishman
3. DANCE ON THE BEACH
Teeming crowds of bikini-clad revelers pack the outdoor decks at Neptune Beach Club in East Quogue on summer weekend afternoons. The scene is loud - and energetic - but the drinks are cold and the DJ keeps everybody moving (cover, up to $20, 631-653-8737).
Photos: Neptune Beach Club
Video: Latin Night at Jones Beach
4. CRUISE THE BAY
The Moonchaser's "Bay Jam" series brings live cover bands aboard the 65-foot party boat for evening sails. This summer's lineup includes the Jimmy Buffett tribute band Barometer Soup (June 18 and Aug. 8). Cruises sail from Captree State Park in Babylon and include a dinner buffet with beer, wine and soda ($41-$70, 631-265-1848).
Events: "Bay Jam" concerts
5. HAVE BRUNCH IN THE SUN
Reader pick submitted by Rhonda Meigs Smith, 42, Hampton Bays
Tide Runners in Hampton Bays is perched right on the Shinnecock Canal. Its Sunday brunch, 12:30-3:30 p.m., includes steak with eggs and lobster Benedict. It can be enjoyed while sitting on an outdoor deck with views of the water and boats gently motoring by (631-728-7373).
Guides: Hampton Bays | The Hamptons
Blog: Hangin' in the Hamptons
Photos: Summer in the Hamptons
6. TAKE A CABANA - AFTER DARK
On Wednesday evenings this summer, kick back in a new South Beach-inspired open-air lounge at the Woodbury Country Club. Resplendent with comfy daybeds, illuminated tables and floor-lit palm trees, you'll have to pinch yourself to remember you're actually not on vacation. (516-692-6200, liquidwednesdays.com). A similar setting can be found Tuesdays at The Chateau's Body English outdoor lounge (516-918-2727, bodyenglishtuesdays.com).
Photos: Liquid at Woodbury Country Club | What they're wearing at Liquid
7. HEAR CALYPSO
Come summer, Prime's outdoor deck in Huntington oozes with appeal. Wind the weekend down on late Sunday afternoons, when a live calypso-reggae band plays until sunset. Order a Red Stripe Jamaican lager or opt for a frozen drink (631-385-1515).
Guide: Sit outside and have a drink
8. CHECK OUT A DAY BAR
Going on 40 years strong, the Boardy Barn is a classic Sunday afternoon destination for summer partying in Hampton Bays - particularly with the college crowd. Play it safe - North Fork Express is among local shuttle services that offer round-trip transportation for groups making a day of it ($20 cover, 631-728-9733).
Photos: Boardy Barn | Summer in the Hamptons
Guides: The Hamptons | New Hamptons restaurants
Blog: Hangin' in the Hamptons
9. RIDE TO OCEAN BAY PARK
Come summer, nightlife heats up at Ocean Bay Park on Fire Island. Hop the ferry and you'll soon be wandering among your pick of restaurants and pubs. Some, such as Flynn's, have daily happy hour, a free buffet and live music to make it all the more worthwhile. Just don't miss the last ferry back to the mainland (631-583-5000).
More: Fire Island ferry schedules
Guides: Ocean Beach | Fire Island
10. CATCH AN INDIE FLICK
Fans of independent films should take note of the Long Island International Film Expo, July 9-18 at the Bellmore Movies. Feature screenings, $9 each or $20 for a day pass, are held afternoons and evenings, and are typically preceded by short films (516-783-3199, liifilmexpo.org).