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What to do on Long Island when it rains

A woman walks as she is seen through

A woman walks as she is seen through a wet window during a rainy day at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City on Monday, May 04, 2009. Photo Credit: Newsday/Ana P. Gutierrez

Imagine that you’re sitting at home with nothing to do, no classes to wake up for, no work, Facebook is glitchy and you can’t stand the sight of a computer screen any longer. The rain isn’t going to let up for quite sometime and you need to break away from updating social-networking sites or watching re-runs of “Law and Order.”

Why not grab the keys and head to the car? It wouldn't hurt to jot down some of the following information and have a smart phone or GPS handy. These tips could keep you out of the rain but away from the house.

Museums: Go to the Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages located right in Stony Brook. If you’re a student at Stony Brook University and love art and horse-drawn carriages, this is the place for you. Also, this inexpensive museum could make for a low-key date for more mature couples. And if you’re an hour away and you want to hang in the Hamptons, take a trip to Guild Hall in East Hampton. First, find out which art exhibits are open or if there’s a film festival going on. Check out: top 10 museums on LI.

Roller skating: Glide back and forth on in-line skates surrounded by music and colorful flashing lights and a rotating disco ball. Head over to Hot Skates, an indoor roller and in-line skating rink on Merrick Road in Lynbrook. It’s $10 to get in, but those who just want to watch get in for free. After 7 p.m., admission is $11. Bring your own skates, or rent for only $3 extra.

Bowling: If roller skating or museums aren’t your thing, grab a couple friends and head to the 300 Long Island bowling alley in Melville. Partake of food, drink -- and on occasion musical acts. Comfortable chairs abound, and if it’s game day, this is the perfect place. Flat-screen TVs hang at each lane and over the bar to make it easy for fans to follow their favorite teams.

Coffee and tea house: Thirsty? Craving dessert? Along the trip to the bowling alley, roller rink or museum, you might want to check out Witches Brew  in West Hempstead. It’s open most days from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., but closed on Mondays. An alternative to Starbucks, this “goth alternative” has black walls, vintage armchairs next to rustic tables, candles scattered throughout the house and white lights hanging from the windows. Tea is the specialty, and the teapots complement the theme by looking like black cauldrons. Most teas are under $10 and sport unique names, like “Black Velvet” and “Witch Doctor”; there are also other specialty drinks. At night, there may be a line out the door, but today, drink up, take a bite of that Oreo cheesecake and relax. It's a cash-only establishment, so make sure to stop by the ATM.

Theater: It’s probably after 6 by now, so what’s left to do? Well, maybe you need a laugh or two. Head over to The Brokerage Comedy Club in Bellmore. The comedy shows are every Thursday at 8 p.m., open mic-night on the first Wednesday of each month and stand up comedy on Sundays at 8 p.m. If you happen to get in the car on a different day, take a trip to movie theaters in the area such as Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas, Island 16 Cinema de Lux, or AMC Loews Stony Brook 17

With the movie done, the day is pretty much over. Go home, relax, do some tweeting or update that Facebook status. Let everyone know how great today’s rainy day was.

More ideas:

Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center in Riverhead: The 120,000-gallon shark tank in the center of the aquarium and more than 100 exhibitions, a shark dive and pirate snorkel adventure will keep anyone busy on a rainy day.

Ultimate Gaga in Syosset: Obviously geared towards kids, with an admission of $12 per child, it’s the first of it’s kind in the country and more popularly known as dodgeball.

Karts Indoor Raceway in Ronkonkoma: Open all week, the facility has adult and junior raceways, two miniature bowling alleys, an arcade and snack bar.

Oil City Skate Park in Oceanside: Skate park featuring BMX biking, roller blading, skateboarding featuring a 6-foot half pipe, with the 12-foot vert ramp. Skaters must pay a onetime $15 insurance waiver fee; $12 first session, $7 additional sessions.


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