By day, you can hit the beach or take a dip in the pool, but there's a whole other side to Long Island that comes out after the sun goes down. Fireworks shows, free open-air concerts, nightly entertainment on the boardwalk -- ExploreLI's 50 Best Things to Do This Summer series continues today with 10 suggestions for things to do after dark.
TAKE AN ART WALK
Go for a leisurely stroll to browse art. The Greenport Walk has expanded this year to include not only galleries, but stores and restaurants, 6-9 p.m. every third Saturday through September. The free event includes art shows, wine and cheese, and merchandise specials (631-477-6255, greenportgallerywalk.com). (July 18,2009)
SEE AN OUTDOOR MOVIE
How about taking in a movie at a venue where the view around you rivals what's on the screen? Arrive early and bring snacks and seating for the series of free movies at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson. Showtime is at dusk and there's hardly a more scenic setting to watch the sun go down and the big screen light up. Rain moves the screenings indoors to the Village Center (dusk Tuesdays July 10-Aug. 28, 631-802-2160, portjeffchamber.com).
HIT THE BEACH -- IN MELVILLE
For the second year running, Four Food Studio is making a "Sexy Mess" every Wednesday evening. For $44.44, diners can eat an unlimited number of steamed lobsters (along with salad, corn and potatoes) so long as they follow the rules: Everyone at the table must participate, no doggy bags, no coupons. This year, you can clobber your crustacean on Four's brand-new mini-beach, which faces Route 110, complete with sand, boardwalk and fire pits (631-577-4444, fourfoodstudio.com). (June 22, 2011.)
MUSIC IN THE PARK
Small town America comes resoundingly to life five consecutive Thursday summer nights in Northport. From July 12 to Aug. 2 (weather permitting), the Northport Community Band holds free 8:30 p.m. concerts from the picturesque bandstand overlooking the harbor. Bring a blanket or folding chair to hear programs that include pop and jazz to show tunes, patriotic numbers and classical pieces. Musicians are a homegrown mix of students, alumni, music teachers and townspeople. A treasured tradition at the final concert is Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" punctuated by real cannons (ncb.homestead.com). (August 27, 2010)
FRIDAY NIGHT CAR SHOW
There's nothing like a shiny car to bring out the little boy -- or girl -- in all of us. Swing by the Bellmore Long Island Rail Road Station 6-10 p.m. any Friday to see more than 300 autos from the '50s and beyond. Free for spectators -- if you want to display your car, that'll be $3, please (516-679-1875). (May 11, 2012)
SEE THE FIREWORKS
What's Independence Day without some fireworks? Festivities start early this year, with the annual TD Bank Celebrates America program at dusk June 30 at Eisenhower Park (516-572-0200). On July Fourth proper, the South Shore will be treated to a national-class Grucci fireworks show over the waters of Patchogue Bay (631-576-9817, grucci.com). (2010)
MAKE A PUB CRAWL
An 1888 fire shaped the corner of Route 25A and New York Avenue in Huntington. That's one of the tidbits you'll learn during a historic walking tour of Huntington village, led by town historian Robert Hughes. Hughes also stops at three pubs -- often Canterbury Ales, Meehan's and Finnegan's -- that have historical significance and offer drink specials. Tours start at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays through August from 228 Main Street. Reservations required ($10, 631-427-7045, huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org).
HEAD TO THE HUT
Experience a true summer night of outdoor fun at The Beach Hut -- there are several locations sprinkled along the South Shore from Copiague to Hampton Bays. At each, you'll find nightly live music set up on an outdoor stage. The crowd congregates at bistro and picnic tables over munchies such as crabcakes, fried scallops and grilled tuna while slurpin' on mojitos, lava flows and Fred's rum punch from the bar (thebeachhuts.com). (2011)
HIT THE BOARDWALK
Jones Beach stays active long after the sun goes down. Walkers and joggers have long made evening treks on the boardwalk, which has overhead lights. But many others come for the free entertainment -- every night at 7 (except Mondays), there are free concerts in the bandshell (Sunday Latin night is particularly packed). It's a great scene for people-watching (June 23-Labor Day, 516-826-5979, jonesbeachevents.com). (Aug. 10, 2011)
CHANNEL SOUTH BEACH
It's a little taste of Miami in Carle Place. The Chateau's "Body English Tuesdays" soiree is a weekly indoor-outdoor cocktail party for the sophisticated set. Well-dressed patrons spread out over a huge brick courtyard trimmed with faux palm trees, daybeds and lounge furniture. A DJ spins inside, where a large dance floor beckons (starts 9 p.m. June 5, 516-398-8777, bodyenglishtuesdays.com). (July 13, 2010)