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Long Island places to take career-minded kids

Sometimes kids don’t just want to be kids. They want to be grown-ups — grown-ups with cool jobs like firefighters, astronauts or designers. Here are some places around the Island where kids can try on a few different hats.

If they want to be firefighters, try ...

Nassau County Firefighters Museum  WHAT This interactive
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Nassau County Firefighters Museum 

This interactive museum shows kids what to do in fires, such as how to crawl low in smoke. Also exhibits of antique and modern fire equipment. WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, and Mondays on holidays and school breaks. Open seven days in July and August. At 1 Davis Ave., Garden City. INFO $4 for children, adults over 62, volunteer firefighters and non-ambulatory visitors; $5 for other adults; 516-572-4177, ncfiremuseum.org.


IN PHOTO Giulia Tondi, 2, wears her firefighter gear on a visit to the Nassau County Firefighters Museum

If they want to be artists, try ...

Heckscher Museum  WHAT Kids can create artwork
Photo Credit: Heckscher Museum of Art

Heckscher Museum 

Kids can create artwork based on exhibits in the Central Gallery, use virtual paint on a 55-inch touch screen and shoot selfies with props and backdrops inspired by the exhibits. WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, with extended hours on the first Friday of the month and closed for exhibition change from Nov. 12 to 16. At 2 Prime Ave., Huntington. INFO $5 for students 10 and over; free for kids under 10; $8 for adults; $6 for seniors; 631-351-3250, heckscher.org.
 

If they want to be astronauts, try ...

Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center 

An exhibit on space exploration features an early Space Age rocket replica, a lunar lander, and a lunar simulator that trained the Apollo astronauts. WHEN | WHERE 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, and open Mondays that fall on holidays and school breaks, on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City. INFO $13 for kids up to 12, adults over 62, military personnel, volunteer firefighters and non-ambulatory visitors; $15 for other adults; 516-572-4111, cradleofaviation.org.

IN PHOTO Anabelle Shingler, 7, of North Babylon wears a space suit during a visit to the Cradle of Aviation.

If they want to be police officers, try ...

Nassau’s George F. Maher Police Museum displays memorabilia
Photo Credit: Nassau County Police Department

The Nassau and Suffolk police museums

Nassau’s George F. Maher Police Museum displays memorabilia such as weapons, vehicles and uniforms. The Suffolk County Police Museum has a replica of the 1925 Babylon Village station house, as well as a police motorcycle, helmet and jacket. WHEN | WHERE Nassau museum is open by appointment at 1490 Franklin Ave, Mineola; Suffolk museum has been closed spradically for repairs, so call before going, but otherwise 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the John L. Barry Suffolk County Police Headquarters, 30 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank. INFO Nassau: free; 516-573-7620, policeny.com/ncpd Suffolk: free; 631-852-6012, suffolkcountyny.gov.

If they want to work with cars, try ...

The Mighty Midgets Car Museum in Bellport hosts
Photo Credit: John Cerrito

The Mighty Midgets Car Museum

This museum exhibits a wide collection of miniature gas and electric cars and trucks. The scaled-down sizes are perfect for kids, some of which they can sit in, including a Corvette and a Formula 1 race car. WHEN | WHERE By appointment Mondays through Thursdays and noon to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, 287 Station Rd., Bellport. INFO Free for kids 5 and under; $5 for all others; 631-803-8588, mightym1dgets.com.

If they want to be farmers, try ...

Suffolk County Farm and Education Center  WHAT
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Suffolk County Farm and Education Center 

Open to the public, this century-old working farm is raising livestock and growing crops. WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily (weather permitting), but closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, At 350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank. INFO Free; 631-852-4600, ccesuffolk.org/suffolk-county-farm.
 

If they want to be scientists, try ...

The DNA Learning Center  WHAT Kids can
Photo Credit: Newsday/Jessica Earnshaw

The DNA Learning Center 

Kids can view exhibits on DNA research and check out a replica of Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,000-year-old hunter who was discovered frozen in the Alps in 1991. WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Call ahead to make sure the Ötzi exhibit is available. At 334 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor. INFO Free with no Ötzi tour on weekdays; tickets are required for a guided tour of Ötzi on select Saturdays; 516-367-5170, dnalc.org.
 

If they want to be pilots, try ...

The American Airpower Museum  WHAT Historic aircraft
Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

The American Airpower Museum 

Historic aircraft are the exhibits in this museum at Republic Airport. A tram ride allows visitors to see plane takeoffs and landings up close. WHEN | WHERE 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale. INFO Free for kids under 4; $7 for kids 5 to 12; $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; 631-293-6398. americanairpowermuseum.com.

If they want to be engineers, designers, app developers, programmers or architects, try ...

Makerspaces  WHAT Places with cool tech such
Photo Credit: Merrick Library

Makerspaces 

Places with cool tech such as 3D printers that allow people to meet, collaborate and invent at the Walter Mintz Digital Media Center at the Merrick Library and the Innovation Station at the Levittown Public Library. WHEN | WHERE Merrick: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays (fall to spring) at 2279 Merrick Ave., Merrick. Levittown: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays at 1 Bluegrass Lane, Levittown. INFO Open to all; fees vary to produce items (check with library); Merrick Library: Kids must be at least 12 and accompanied by an adult over 18; 516-377-6112, merricklibrary.org/makerspace. Levittown: Reservations required at reserve.is.levittownpl.org/Innovation_Station; kids must be at least 12 and accompanied by an adult 18 or older; preference is given to Levittown school district residents; 516-731-5728, levittownpl.org/innovation-station.

IN PHOTO Visitors watch a 3D printer at the Walter Mintz Digital Media Center at the Merrick Library.

If they want to be president, try ...

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site  WHAT Known
Photo Credit: Audrey C. Tiernan

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site 

Known as the Theodore Roosevelt’s Summer White House, this North Shore estate is stuffed with mementos of the 26th president’s time in office and his famed hunting exploits. WHEN | WHERE Daily from sunrise to sunset, with visitor center and bookstore open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays and tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, at 12 Sagamore Hill Rd., Oyster Bay. INFO $10 for the home tour; free for the grounds and visitor center; 516-922-4788, nps.gov/sahi.
 

If they want to be actors, try ...

Children's Museum of the East End  WHAT
Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of the East End (via Tiffany Stewart

Children’s Museum of the East End 

Children can pretend to be old-time shop owners at a turn-of-the-century general store with a replica soda fountain and costumes to wear. WHEN | WHERE Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and closed Tuesdays from Labor Day to Memorial Day, at the Children’s Museum of the East End, 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton. INFO $12 for everyone over 12 months; 631-537-8250, cmee.org.

If they want to be inventors try ...

The Long Island Explorium in Port Jefferson is
Photo Credit: Long Island Explorium/Lindsey Steward

The Long Island Explorium 

The center is dedicated to educating kids through STEM-focused workshops such as Build a Bubble Bot and Bridge Building. WHEN | WHERE 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson. INFO Free for children under 1; $5 for others; 631-331-3277, longislandexplorium.org.

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