Forget, just for a day, the struggle to get kids to eat peas or broccoli. There’ll be no arguing with the kids when it comes to these food offerings, from “rolled” ice cream to customized doughnuts to milkshakes with a Pop-Tart sticking out of the top. Here are eight food excursions for families, including one to Hmart in Jericho, where it’s possible the kids might choose something healthful.
45 Atlantic Ave., Lynbrook; 516-341-0882, facebook.com/doughologydonuts
Kids create customized doughnuts at Doughology. “We handle the doughnuts behind the register,” says co-owner Jackie Stiansen, a former stockbroker who opened the store with her husband, a retired New York Police Department detective. Kids first pick a vanilla or chocolate doughnut. Then they choose from eight flavors of icing, including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, caramel, lemon and more. Lastly, they add three choices from a toppings bar that includes sprinkles, M & M’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Fruity Pebbles and more. “There are about 16 to 20 toppings and you create your own masterpiece of a doughnut,” Stiansen says. Customized doughnuts are $2.50 each.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Burn off some energy on the multilevel play maze at Fun Station USA, 40 Rocklyn Ave., Lynbrook; 516-599-7757, all-day passes range from $12.95-$17.95; funstationusa.com
Bar A Dessert
38 S. Ocean Ave., Patchogue; 631-730-8688, baradessert.com
Kids may be entertained watching this Thai-inspired “rolled” ice cream created before their eyes. An employee starts with an ice cream “batter” poured on what looks like a crepe pan. After spreading it around, the liquid freezes. A spatula is used to scrape the ice cream into rolls like a Yodel, and several are placed into a sundae cup. For the foodie kid, try the “Sesame Street,” which features Japanese kuki black sesame seed-flavored ice cream topped with mango and strawberry-flavored Japanese candies made from sticky rice, whipped cream and a toasted marshmallow on a stick.
For less flavor-adventurous kids, there’s Oreo Hero, with Oreo, chocolate and toasted marshmallow; Why Not Chocolate with chocolate and cherry flavors and Strawberry Shanty made with fresh strawberries.Each rolled ice cream costs $7.95, but kids and students with IDs get 10 percent off and earn another 10 percent off if they post a photo of their treat on social media, says owner Ansen Wang.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Walk over to the Patchogue-Medford Library’s children’s room, where the kids can play with puppets or a dollhouse, enjoy the train table or read children’s books. 54-60 E. Main St., Patchogue; 631-654-4700, pmlib.org
336 N. Broadway, Jericho; 516-513-5050, nj.hmart.com
Hmart can be a field trip of a shopping outing with the kids.
At Hmart, kids can choose Korean fried chicken at the food court, the produce section offers jackfruit and dragonfruit, and in the fish department they’ll see dozens of types of whole fish.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Check out the four-level adventure maze at Active Kidz Long Island, 200 Robbins Lane, Jericho; admission is $13 ages 2 through 12. 516-621-6600, activekidzlongisland.com
Manny’s Sweet Treats
156 Jericho Tpke., Mineola; 516-299-8099, mannyst.com
Manny’s milk shakes are literally over-the-top — sticking out of the top of the glass are items such as lollipops, cotton candy, Pop Tarts and more. Crazy shakes are called Guilty Pleasure, the Queen and the Royal, says owner Hector Carvalho. The Guilty Pleasure shake topping includes homemade doughnuts and brownies, Kit Kats and Pop-Tart; the Queen has cotton candy, a lollipop and gumballs; the Royal has birthday cake, cotton candy, Pop-Tart, assorted gummy candies and a lollipop. Crazy shakes are $12.99 each.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Bowl a couple of games at AMF Sheridan Lanes, 199 E. Jericho Tpke., Mineola; 516-741-3444, amf.com
Pictured: Kaleigh Darby and Madison Porcelain share the "Queen” -- a vanilla milkshake topped with cotton candy, lollipops, sugar rock candies, and whipped cream.
North Fork Chocolate Company
740 Main Rd., Aquebogue; 631-779-2963, northforkchocolate.com
Sunday is Sunday Funday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Fork Chocolate Company. A waffle bar and chocolate fountain let families make their own waffle creations topped with items such as strawberries, bananas and fruit syrups and dip pretzels, fruit, marshmallows and more into a three-tier chocolate fountain.
Kids can play board games such as chess and Candy Land and color at their tables. It’s $12.95 per person, with kids ages 2 to 8 paying $8.95.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Keep the kids busy at Safari Adventure, 1074 Pulaski St., Riverhead; admission is $11.50 for ages 1 and 2, $16.50 for ages 3 and older, infants and adults are free. 631-727-4386, thesafariadventure.com
Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery
17 W. Main St., Patchogue; 631-500-9300, smallcakespatchogue.com
How to choose from the 15 varieties of cupcakes baked daily? They’re set out like artwork on two-tiered cake trays that line the store’s glass counterfront. Caramel Crunch is a chocolate cupcake filled and iced with caramel and topped with sea salt and pretzels; Cannoli is a chocolate chip cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting and a miniature filled cannoli shell; Pink Vanilla is a vanilla cupcake topped with the store’s signature pink buttercream frosting; Hot Fudge Sundae is a chocolate cupcake filled with fudge and topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry.
Pictured: Brooke Reardon, 5, holds the Hot Fudge Sundae cupcake
Each cupcake is $3.75; cupcakes to go are packed in an individual pink box that looks like a present. Can’t decide? Visit on a Wednesday, when preselected four packs of miniature cupcakes sell for $5.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Visit more than 100 injured or non-releasable wild and farm animals at the Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve, 249 Buckley Rd., Holtsville, free but $5 parking fee beginning in May; 631-758-9664, facebook.com/brookhavenwildlifecenter
Seven Long Island locations: Manhasset, Rockville Centre, Bellmore, Commack, Garden City, Plainview and Stony Brook; chocolateworks.com
Kids make chocolate concoctions themselves at this franchise. They can choose from about 20 molds, including a lacrosse set, ballerina and smartphone, or they can make a giant chocolate bar. The milk, dark or white chocolate is heated and when it’s warm and liquidy, kids pour it into a mold at the chocolate station. That mold is placed temporarily in a freezer to harden. Then kids use squeegee bottles to decorate. “The kids often think it’s icing, but it’s actually colored white chocolate,” says Stephanie Solomon, who owns the Manhasset and Rockville Centre locations. If making the giant chocolate bar, kids can enhance it with candy such as Gummi Bears, sour warms and Red Hots. Other Chocolate Works locations include Bellmore, Commack, Garden City, Plainview and Stony Brook. Prices vary by venue and choices.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD In Rockville Centre, drop by the Tanglewood Preserve, 1450 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre, free (its Center for Science Teaching and Learning reopens in the fall); 516-764-0045, cstl.org; for ideas for other things to do with the kids, go to newsday.com/family
Spoons Ice Cream and Cereal Bar
3935 Merrick Rd., Seaford; 516-804-9280, spoonsli.com
Lots of kids love cereal and milk, and of course they also love ice cream. How about a combo of cereal and ice cream? At Spoons, they start with hard vanilla ice cream and then use a blender-like machine to pulverize a choice of cereals into the ice cream, winding up with a swirled, soft serve concoction. Customers can also choose to blend in toppings. The 18 cereal choices include favorites such as Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Cookie Crisp. Mix-ins include Heath Bars, Oreos and Reese’s Pieces. Spoons serves the ice cream with a spoon that changes colors based on temperature. “If the spoon is green to start, when it hits the ice cream the base of the spoon will turn purple,” says owner Sergio DeCiantis. “All the kids love it.” It’s $6 for two cereals or mix-ins; 75 cents for each additional choice. Spoons is expanding in May to 100 Covert Ave., Stewart Manor, and 4905 Merrick Rd., Massapequa Park.
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD The littlest ones might want to explore the play area at the Sippy Cups Cafe while the grown-ups relax, 3890 Merrick Rd., Seaford; $14 per child, $10 per sibling and $6 per crawler; 516-221-3814, sippycupscafe.com