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 September.
Long Island Family Festival at Tanner Park (Kerrigan Road, off Montauk Highway, Copiague) on Friday, Sept. 12, from 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 13, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Music, carnival rides, food, activities for kids, pet expo in the park and more; rain dates Sept. 26-28.
Arts in the Plaza at Kennedy Plaza (in front of City Hall on West Park Avenue, Long Beach) weekly Saturdays through Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families can check out handmade art and crafts by Long Island artisans, a free kids' art station, live music, cultural performances and a farmers market.
Bellmore Family Street Festival at Bellmore Train Station (Sunrise Highway and Bedford Avenue, Bellmore) on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 18 and 19, from 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Meet members of the military, arts and crafts, sports, a reptile show, petting zoo, car show, carnival and more. Street fair runs Sept. 20 and 21 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. (carnival until 10 p.m.); rain dates are Oct. 18 and 19. The fair is free; fees apply for rides.
Sculpture Art Caper and Exploration Activity Backpack at Hofstra University's Emily Lowe Gallery (Hempstead Turnpike, Hempstead) running weekly throughout the year, ending Sunday, Dec. 21. Times vary. Pick up a backpack and solve an Art Caper mystery by unraveling clues found while exploring the outdoor sculpture collection. Appropriate for children ages 5 to 10.
For the Kids of East Islip Carnival at Timber Point Elementary School (200 Timber Point Rd., East Islip) on Friday, Sept. 19 from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20 from 1 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. Kids and families can enjoy rides, games and food.
Fall Family Fun Festival at Hicks Nurseries (100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury) on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fun and educational activities for everyone in the family include children’s workshops, lawn and garden care seminars, pumpkin contests, hayrides, planting demos and more.
Bicycle Safety Day at Mineola Bicycle (475 Jericho Tpke., Mineola) on Sunday, Sept. 21, from noon to 3 p.m. This interactive skills course is for children ages 4 to 10 to learn about bicycle safety. When the course is completed. children will receive a feet-shirt and certificate. There will also be face-painting, tattoos, prizes and raffles. Children must be accompanied by an adult and provide their own bicycle and helmet.
Greek Festival on the Harbor at North Hempstead Beach Park (West Shore Road, Port Washington) on Friday, Sept. 26, from 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 27, from noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 28, from noon to 8 p.m. You'll find games, rides, Greek food, music, dancing and more. The festival is free; fees apply for rides and food.
Nature Art Class with Kathy Clark -- Clay Pendants at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge (340 Smith Rd., Shirley) on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon. An interactive workshop in which presenter Kathy Clark will assist with designing and creating clay pendants. Try different stamps and shapes, and finish them with paint. All materials will be provided. Recommended for ages 10 and up; must reserve.
Party in the Park at Blumenfeld Family Park (Main Street, Port Washington) on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. Carnival atmosphere featuring trackless train rides, games, face painting, inflatables and more; rain date Sept. 7. Price: $5 donation.
Fall Family Fun Day at the Suffolk Y JCC (74 Hauppauge Rd., Commack) on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families can enjoy a petting zoo, bounce houses, dance and sport games for children, a toddler obstacle course, arts and crafts and more. Price: $5 per family.
Down the Ways: The Wooden Ship Era Walking Tour at Setauket Dock East (Shore Road, East Setauket) on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m. Take a tour to explore the history of shipbuilding in Setauket; learn about shipbuilders, ship captains and more; presented by the Three Village Historical Society. Price: $5.
Long Island Karting Association at Nassau Coliseum (1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale) on Sunday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 14, from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. This family-oriented racing sport event is run by the Long Island Karting Association's board of volunteers and many members of the club. Held in parking lot 8. Price: $5.
Nature Discoveries: Wonderful Wildflowers at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, Oakdale) on Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Children ages 3 to 5 can enjoy short walks, activities and crafts; reservations are required. Price: $4 adults, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Insect Invasion at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit and learn about our six-legged friends. Join activities, make crafts and hold hissing cockroaches. Price: $5.
Walk Through History with Abraham Woodhull at Caroline Church of Brookhaven (1 Dyke Rd., Setauket) on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m. A walking tour designed for students, families and adults; presented by the Three Village Historical Society. Price: $5.
Harvest and Seafood Festival at Captree State Park (off Robert Moses Causeway, West Islip) on Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Families can enjoy local produce, boat rides, crab races, pony rides, inflatables, entertainment and more. Price: $8 parking fee.
Nature Discoveries: Tiny Turtles at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, Oakdale) on Tuesday, Sept. 23, from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Children ages 3 to 5 can enjoy short walks, activities and crafts; reservations are required. Price: $4 adults, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Prehistoric Hysteria at Caleb Smith Park and Preserve (Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown) on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.Children ages 5 and older can learn about fossils and make a souvenir to remember their trip; reservations are required. Price: $4 adults, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Falling for Fall at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop down to learn why the leaves change color and fall; participate in activities and crafts. Price: $5.