630 Lido Blvd. Lido Beach, NY 516-431-6650
Walking into Lido Beach on a blindingly sunny day, I followed the sound of a woman's voice singing "Making Memories" by Frankie Laine. This led me to mushroom shaped canopies and long picnic tables crowded with happy seniors enjoying the cool shade and live entertainment over lunch and card games. My own grandparents jumped right in and started singing along to the keyboard accompanied duet of "It Had to Be You".
Lido Beach's Department of Senior Enrichment offers programs Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm. The area is well equipped with handicap bathrooms a few steps away and plenty of tent space to keep participants out of the heat.
Lido's attention to seniors makes it unique, but it has plenty to offer to the young as well. Lido's large picnic and barbecue area is great for summer parties, but tables must be reserved in advance. There are bocce, shuffleboard, basketball, volleyball, and handball courts as well. Every weekday afternoon free concerts are held under a large tent near the parking lot.
For kids there is a spray pool, storytelling and comedy shows, and arts and crafts lessons. The walk to the water is a bit long, so many people use the big carts on hand to tote their coolers and chairs, and sometimes even their children.
Residents of the Town of Hempstead can walk in for free and non-residents can walk in for a reduced price, but there are really no other parking options in the surrounding area.
Fishing is allowed before bathing hours, and there are special body boarding sections. While surfing is not permitted at this beach, travel a little further west to Lido West for great surf and a young athletic crowd.
Take Meadowbrook Parkway south to end, then Loop Parkway to Lido Blvd., right 1/4 mile to club on left
--Nina Marie RuggieroParking:
$8 Town of Hempstead residents, $25 non-residentsBeachfront:
10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends May 23-June 21, then daily June 22-Sept. 7.