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Free (or cheap!) for kids on Long Island in January

Kids can celebrate the New Year at Maritime

Kids can celebrate the New Year at Maritime Explorium in Port Jefferson starting Thursday, Jan.1 through Sunday, Jan. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m by learning about geometry and designing their own Times Square Ball.

Need weekend plans or something to do with the kids during the week? There are a ton of free children's events at local libraries, but we also found free and cheap things to do elsewhere this month. Whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow, here's a roundup of fun, budget-friendly events in January.

Free

Storytime at Downs Farm Preserve (23800 County Rte. 25, Cutchogue) on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. Children ages 2 to 5 will listen to a nature-themed story and create a craft. Reservations are required.

Student Arts Festival Part I: Grades K-8 at The Museum at Guild Hall (158 Main St., East Hampton) daily through January. The Student Arts Festival celebrates the young artists of the region and salutes their devoted art instructors, school administrators and their families who nurture their creative pursuits. Each year, schools from Bridgehampton to Montauk participate, features more than 3,500 works of student art that covers the gallery walls floor to ceiling salon-style. Check website for times.

Nature Club at Suffolk County Environmental Center (550 South Bay Ave., Islip) on the first and third Sunday of every month from 1 to 2 p.m. Programs are geared around the current season, including topics such as seasonal birds, trees and signs of the season. Registration is required.

Weekend Open Art Studio for Kids at The Museum at Guild Hall (158 Main St., East Hampton) on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Budding young artists can work independently and/or with an adult on a variety of interactive arts and crafts projects (that come with instructions). All materials will be supplied; recommended for children ages 5 and older.

Nature Tales at Seatuck Environmental Association (550 South Bay Ave., Islip) on the second and fourth Friday of each month from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Enjoy an exploration of the natural world through books, for children ages 18 months to 5 years, accompanied by a caregiver. Registration is required.

Movie Night: "Happy Feet" at Downs Farm Preserve (23800 County Rte. 25, Cutchogue) on Friday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. An animated comedy starring the voice of Elijah Wood; rated PG. The event is free but a family donation is suggested.

Nature Club at South Shore Nature Center (130 Bayview Ave., East Islip) on the second and fourth Sunday of the month, from 1 to 2 p.m. Programs are geared around the current season and include topics such as seasonal birds, trees and signs of season. Registration is required.

Owl Pellet Dissection at Downs Farm Preserve (23800 County Rte. 25, Cutchogue) on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 10 a.m. Students of all ages can learn about the eating habits and behaviors of the owl; reservations are required. The event is free but a family donation is suggested.

Cheap

Celebrate the New Year at Maritime Explorium (101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson) starting Thursday, Jan.1 through Sunday, Jan. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. Kids can learn about geometry and design their own Times Square Ball. Price: $5.

Deer Detectives at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, P.O. Box 505, Oakdale) on Sunday, Jan. 4 and Sunday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. Become deer detectives and put your knowledge to test outdoors; recommended for ages 5 and older. Price: $4 adult, $3 children, free for ages 3 and younger, $8 parking fee.

Video Game Tournament at The Drop Spot (655 Flanders Rd., Flanders) on Friday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. The Southampton Youth Bureau is hosting their annual video game tournament, compete with friends for prizes. Price: $5.

Celestial Celebration at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Jan. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn about the moon's phases, try some spaced-themed activities, learn about the solar system and make a moon chart. Price: $5.

Tracks and Traces at Nissequogue River State Park (799 Saint Johnland Rd., Kings Park) on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 1:30 p.m. Learn how to read the signs of animals hidden in the forest through hands-on activities, followed by a short walk, for ages 5 and up. Reservations are required. Price: $4 adult, $3 children free for ages 3 and younger, $8 parking fee.

Winter Model Train Show at Freeport Recreation Center (103 E. Merrick Rd., Freeport) on Sunday, Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Model train show and exhibition with operating layouts in all major scales; sponsored by The Great South Bay Model Railroad Club. Price: $5, free for children ages 12 and younger with an adult.

Solar System Game Show at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve (Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown) on Saturday, Jan. 17 at 10 a.m. Learn some facts about space, light snacks will be provided; registration starts two weeks before the event. Price: $4, $3 children, free for ages 3 and younger.

Tiny Tots: Let's Discover Nature at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve (Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown) on Thursday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 29 at 10 a.m. Hands-on activities for parents and children ages 3 to 5, with a different theme each day. Themes are spinning in space; moon myths and facts; roaming the rain forest; who's been walking in the snow; animal tales; and in like a lion, out like a lamb; registration starts two weeks before the event. Price: $4, $3 children, free for ages 3 and younger.

Ancient Egypt at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn about the ancient Egyptian civilization. Price: $5.

Bone-a-fide Fun at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find out how many bones are in the human body, compare your bones to other animals and make a skeleton. Price: $5.

Jack Frost's Science Lab at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, P.O. Box 505, Oakdale) on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. Join in for wintry experiments, recommended for children ages 7 and older; reserve by Jan. 10. Price: $4 adult, $3 children, free for ages 3 and younger, $8 parking fee.

Take a Bird to Lunch at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve (Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown) on Sunday, Jan. 25 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Families can enjoy a short bird watching walk, followed by making your own bird feeders (please bring an empty, clean, ½ gallon milk or juice container per child. Registration begins two weeks before the event. Price: $4, $3 children, free for ages 3 and younger.

Under the Sea Special at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Sunday, Jan. 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy aquatic-themed activities and crafts, and touch some marine animals. Price: $5.

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