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Families share their resolutions to explore Long Island

Robert and Melissa Hough, with daughters Cassidy, 2,

Robert and Melissa Hough, with daughters Cassidy, 2, and Madeline, 4 plan on visiting Jones Beach this year, a New Year's resolution to explore Long Island. Photo Credit: Beth Whitehouse

How about making a resolution this year that will actually be fun to keep? Forget dieting, exercising or charging fewer items on your credit card. Promise instead to explore Long Island with your family. Here are some families vowing to do something new - or repeat something they loved - on Long Island in 2010.

GO SLEDDING AT CEDAR CREEK PARK

Who: Jacqui Minars and children Samantha, 8, and Michael, 6
Community: Wantagh

You can't really ski downhill on Long Island, so sledding is the next best thing, in Michael's opinion. "You can go fast down the hills," he says. Then, of course, they'll have hot chocolate at home afterward, he says.

Where: Cedar Creek Park, 3340 Merrick Rd., Seaford, 516-571-7470, nassaucountyny.gov.

EXPLORE VANDERBILT PLANETARIUM

Who: Ken and Cathy D'Agostino with their sons, Nicholas, 9, Andrew, 4, and Michael, 10.
Community: West Islip

Ken wants the boys to experience the domed theater. "They're really into the stars," he says. While there, they'll take in the Vanderbilt Museum as well, checking out the marine life displays.

Where: Vanderbilt Museum & Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport. 631-854-5555, vanderbiltmuseum.org.

HANG AT HAMPTONS BEACHES

Who: Margaret Burch and grandson Curtis Mills, 3
Community: Baldwin

"I've always wanted to take him to one of the beaches in the Hamptons. I'm always going to Jones Beach, and it would be something different."

Where: Cupsogue Beach County Park, west end of Dune Road, Westhampton, 631-852-8111, co.suffolk.ny.us/parks.

GO TO JONES BEACH

Who: Robert and Melissa Hough, with daughters Cassidy, 2, and Madeline, 4
Community: East Meadow

"I haven't taken them to Jones Beach yet," Robert says. "They've only been to the local pool. They haven't been to the ocean. That's something I did growing up. Go into the waves, build a sand castle, go on the boardwalk."

Where: Jones Beach State Park, 1 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh, 516-785- 1600, nysparks.state.ny.us/parks. Field 6 is great for young children.

VISIT SAGAMORE HILL

Who: Cari Quinn with daughter, Casey, 15, and triplets Conor, John and Owen, 11
Community: Oyster Bay

Owen is doing a project on Theodore Roosevelt in his sixth-grade class, so he wants to see the home of the 26th president of the United States, who lived there from 1885 until his death in 1919. What does Owen think he'll see there? "Animal rugs and animal heads," he says. Brother Conor pipes in: "He was a hunter."

Where: Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, 12 Sagamore Hill Rd., Oyster Bay. 516-922-4788, nps.gov/sahi.

TAKE A TRIP TO SPLISH SPLASH

Who: Fernando Leon and son Alvaro, 6 months
Community: Huntington

"Several times, we've been invited by friends and family, but we never had the chance to go," Leon says. His wife doesn't swim, but that's OK - the family will likely spend most of the day in the kiddie section with Alvaro.

Where: Splish Splash, 2549 Splish Splash Dr., Calverton, 631-727-3600, splishsplashlongisland.com

VISIT THE LONG ISLAND CHILDREN'S MUSEUM

Who: Claudia Miletic and son Jason Dylan Miletic, 13 months old
Community: Malverne

"When he was crawling, I didn't want him crawling around the whole museum," Miletic says. In 2010, Jason Dylan will be able to walk through the exhibits.

Where: Long Island Children's Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City, 516-224-5800, licm.com.

TAKE A TRIP TO THE LONG ISLAND GAME FARM

Who: Susan Lo and daughter Ashley, 3
Community: Port Washington

"We usually go there every Mother's Day. Ashley likes to feed the animals; she likes the baby goats because they're small."

Where: Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park and Children's Zoo, Chapman Blvd., Manorville, 631-878-6670, longislandgamefarm.com. Reopens for the season in April, 2010.

GO HORSEBACK RIDING IN MONTAUK

Who: Kellyann Jackson and daughter Katie, 14
Community: North Bellmore

The Jacksons own two horses they board in Melville; they want to take them out to Montauk in their trailer and get their hoofs in the ocean. "A lot of my friends have done it, and they said it's fun," Katie says.

Where: Take a ride along the shore at the Deep Hollow Ranch, 8 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, 631-668-2744, deephollowranch.com.

TAKE THE FERRY FROM ORIENT POINT

Who: Mary Cavanagh and daughters Sarah, 12, and Gracie, 6
Community: Huntington

"We really haven't been on a boat that much," Mary says. The 90-minute ferry ride across the Long Island Sound to Connecticut sounds like fun to her. "They would like to be out on the water, I think."

Where: Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc., 41720 Main Rd. (Route 25), Orient, 631-323-2525, longislandferry.com

EXPLORE CAUMSETT PARK ON BICYCLE

Who: Steve Kinzelberg, with son Michael, 13
Community: Syosset

The duo has gone walking on the trail there, but the two vow to go back with their bicycles and ride the loop.

Where: Caumsett State Historic Park, 25 Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington, 631-423-1770, nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.

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