Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Emma Cervone, Southampton

It is a gorgeous hot summer evening. A misty breeze from the ocean blows through your hair. Waves crash down as the orange-yellow sunset glazes the top of the flowing blue waves. Seagulls call out from the pink sky. You may be wondering where this is — a dream, your imagination, but no. This is just Gilgo Beach.

Gilgo Beach is located right off Ocean Parkway, in Babylon. Gilgo is great for catching a perfect wave while surfing, playing a volleyball game with your friends, or just playing in the sand.

Gilgo also has surf camps for kids throughout the summer held by Bunger Surf Shop. You can learn how to surf with pro surfers. You spend your morning and afternoon hanging out with surfers as they teach you the basic skills. For kids with learning and physical disabilities, there is an annual surf camp at Gilgo Beach in September, run by Challenger Athletics. Kids can have an amazing time hanging out and playing with other kids while catching waves with surf instructors.

Bunger Surf Shop also has a small boutique where you can buy bathing suits, wetsuits, beach sand, watches and surf gear. You can also get family photos done by a photographer of your choice. And it keeps getting better.

Gilgo Beach has a restaurant, Gilgo Beach Inn. You can watch a beautiful sunset right over Gilgo while enjoying a delicious meal, appetizer or snack.

Another popular activity is surf-casting for fish in the ocean. You can hang out on the beach while fishing for striped bass, bluefish and other saltwater species. Many anglers have been lucky to catch their evening dinner and have, on occasion, hooked a shark.

If you are lucky, you will be able to catch a glimpse of a piping plover. Don’t get too close, though, because  on the East Coast it is a threatened species and is protected, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says.  Specifically, piping plovers breed on Gilgo Beach and raise their chicks so you may sometimes see parts of the beach roped off to protect these areas.

If you are a photography buff, try Gilgo Beach. The beautiful sunsets during the golden hour, sparkling oceans and assortment of wildlife and shorebirds are stunning and give people some of the nicest things to photograph in the summer. You can also have family photos taken with the beautiful backdrop of the ocean or the dunes to create lasting memories.

Jeanette Merola and Janet Renganeschi's sixth-grade class, Udall Road Middle School, West Islip