February is a big month for the little ones, as they know the winter break means at least a week of school-free fun is in the works. However, not all the cool kids’ events take place during break week — here are three choice things to try before March 1.
Super Bowl Sunday at SIMPLAY
Super Bowl LII takes place on Feb. 4 and starting that day at 4 p.m. the whole family can take it in at the SIMPLAY (180 Commerce Dr., Hauppauge) interactive facility with several sport simulators — a great fit for perhaps the biggest sporting event of the year. “SIMPLAY has hosted a Super Bowl party every year since we have opened, broadcasting the game on eight 16-foot screens,” says co-owner Chuck Merritt. As for things to do, he says, “We have zombie dodgeball, baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball and carnival games programmed into the simulators for young children to play. These games are interactive for one or two players, so parents can join in on the fun.” Then again, if you’re looking to try something while the kids are on the sims, “We have a field goal kicking competition at half time on one of the simulators where each player gets to kick a real football into the screen. . . . That’s not something you can do in your living room.” And you don’t even need to miss the game, as the lounge area has three 4K TVs showing every down. Kids ages 14 and younger are $35; everyone older pays $45. The price includes appetizers, a buffet dinner and dessert. Call 631-617-6363; reservations are required and can be made through SIMPLAY.
Penguins & Pajamas Sleepover at Long Island Aquarium
Ever go to the Long Island Aquarium (431 E. Main St., Riverhead) only to find yourself fighting with the kids to leave? Well, on this occasion, they can stay . . . all night long. It’s a sleepover (Feb. 23 from 6 p.m.-7 a.m.), but sleep is only part of what guests get to do. The event starts with a penguin-powered presentation and leads to craft-making before snoozing — next to the venue’s 120,000-gallon shark tank, near a giant Pacific octopus or the “Best Buddies” clownfish and anemone tank. Once it’s wake-up time, everybody gets to take part in a continental breakfast. Open to all kids of all ages, and parents must stay. Sleeping locations aren’t guaranteed. Price: $65; kids 2 and under, free. Reservations required; call 631-208-9200, ext. 426.
Seal walks at Jones Beach
The aquarium is a great way to see sea creatures and marine mammals in captivity, but this time of year wild seals gather along Long Island shores. February is a solid time to spot one as their numbers are ramping up before peaking in March. Unfortunately, many spots to which they flock are not easily reached, but the Jones Beach Nature Center in Wantagh, right off Ocean Parkway (down Bay Parkway, west of Field One), is hosting four tours for all ages this month. On Sundays, Feb. 4 and 18 (1:30-3 p.m.) and Saturdays, Feb. 10 and 24 (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.), the center will lead walks along the seashore to try to spot the animals in their element. Price: $4; reservations are required. Call 516-780-3295. Make sure to dress warmly.