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International Mud Day, more places for kids to get messy on Long Island

Put on those rubber boots and head to the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center in Yaphank on Saturday, June 25, to splash in the huge puddles of mud the farm has created in honor of International Mud Day.

Mud Day is a time when kids worldwide are encouraged to get outside and get dirty. Can’t make it to the farm’s observance? Well, that’s not the only way to get messy this summer. Here are the details on the mud day event, and seven more opportunities to get your dirt on.

Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder

Scenes from a Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder, a
Photo Credit: Tough Mudder/Estrella Chacon

WHEN | WHERE July 23 and 24 at Old Bethpage Restoration Village, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage. The first wave will start at 9 a.m. both days; the last will be at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday
COST $20 per participant or spectator (children younger than 10 don’t have to pay to watch), or $50 per family (two entry and two spectator tickets, normally $80)
The Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder is a one-mile obstacle course mud run designed for adventure-seeking kids between the ages of 7 and 12. Participants must be at least 3 1⁄2 feet tall. The course features between eight and 10 obstacles that might include shimmying and sliding through a dark and muddy tunnel or swinging from bar to bar, like through a jungle canopy. The Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder is affiliated with the adult Tough Mudder Long Island events on the same dates.

International Mud Day

Scene at Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank’s 2015
Photo Credit: Suffolk County Farm and Educatio

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center, 350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank
COST $2 per person (children 2 and younger free); optional wagon rides $2 per person; animal feed $3 per cup
INFO 631-852-4600;
This is the fourth year the farm is marking Mud Day, which is officially a weekday — Wednesday, June 29, says Allison Grief, the farm’s education coordinator. “We set up a fairly large mud kitchen for the kids to play in and make mud pies,” Grief says. “We actually put out pots and pans and cookie sheets. And, of course, buckets and shovels.” Kids will add pine cones and leaves to their kitchen creations, she says. The farm also turns on its hoses to make a huge puddle for kids to run through. And it’s not just the kids who indulge, Grief says. “There are adults who will run with the kids and leave here covered in mud as well,” she says. Entry includes a visit to the farm’s Butterfly House, and kids can visit the barnyard animals and opt to take wagon rides.

Weekly sandcastle contest

Joseph Contino, 11, of Port Washington, and five
Photo Credit: Brittany Wait

WHEN | WHERE Registration is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Thursday from June 30 to Aug. 25 at Hither Hills State Park, 164 Old Montauk Hwy. (Route 27), Montauk, followed by the castle building.
INFO 631-668-2554;
Bring your buckets and favorite sculpting tools and get busy making a castle or a free-form sculpture. You’re sure to have sand sticking to your toes, knees and hands. Sculptors may also use other natural materials native to the beach to make their projects.
OTHER SANDCASTLE OPPORTUNITIES These Beach Hut locations offer sand castle competitions in August: Aug. 7 at Smith Point County Park in Shirley, 631-281-7788; Aug. 13 at Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton Beach, 631-288-7670; Aug. 21 at Meschutt Beach County Park in Hampton Bays, 631-728-2988. For more information on those, visit

Messy Afternoons at Children's Museum

Oceanside residents Bianca Schiabone (6) left, and Andrew
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

WHEN | WHERE 3:30 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City
COST Free with museum admission of $13, $12 per senior citizen 65 and older, children younger than 1 are free
INFO 516-224-5800;
Get up to your elbows in Oobleck, slime and clean mud made from soap, toilet paper and food dye. Swish it around, build what you can, and just have fun getting messy. Drop in when you want and stay as long as you like. The museum takes care of the cleanup.

The Color Vibe 5k Run

Julia Alestra, left, and Arianna Robles, both 8
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m. or noon on July 16 at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow; advance registration suggested because event may sell out
COST $10 per child age 1 to 12. Parents must sign release form. (Adults are $29.99 in advance, $40 day of run.)
Before the run there’s a Zumba warmup and a DJ. During the race, volunteers at four color stations along the route will toss colored powder onto runners. “It’s just a fun run to get as much color on you as possible,” says Tori Fica, marketing and community outreach specialist for the run. It’s a loop, and runners end back in the staging area with the DJ, where there are more color throws and festivities. The color should wash out of your clothes. “We don’t guarantee it, but the color does clean up pretty well,” Fica says.

The Giraffe encounter at Long Island Game Farm

New at the park this year at the
Photo Credit: Long Island Game Farm, Wildlife

WHEN | WHERE 11:30 a.m. daily at the Long Island Game Farm, Wildlife Park and Children’s Zoo, 489 Chapman Blvd., Manorville
COST $6 per person in addition to the park entry of $18.95 per adult, $16.95 per child, younger than 3 is free
INFO Limited number of tickets available each day, first come, first served at the gift shop; 631-878-6644,
New at the park this year is The Giraffe Encounter. Ticket holders mount a platform that brings them nose-to-nose with Clifford the Giraffe. An education staff member will share fun facts about Clifford the Giraffe and give the group healthy treats to feed him, such as lettuce or carrots. Feel his purple tongue and his lips on your hand. As for cleaning up the slobber afterward, the staff provides hand sanitizer and a hand-washing station.

Rock Hall Children’s Garden Club

From left, 7 year-old Damiana Vacchio, her 4
Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

WHEN | WHERE 4:15 to 5:30 Thursdays from June 30 to Aug. 18 at Rock Hall Museum, 199 Broadway, Lawrence
COST $65 per child; registration and prepayment required
INFO 516-239-1157;
Kids ages 5 to 10 will get seeds and gardening equipment and plant a variety of vegetables and herbs. They’ll learn how to maintain the garden and later enjoy their harvest. “As the plants grow, they get to eat snap peas, basil, tomatoes, radishes and string beans,” says Matthew Blum, museum docent.

Family Art Workshops

Family art workshops at the Pollock-Krasner House and
Photo Credit: Joyce Raimondo

Family art workshops at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton. Participants use their physical action to create an abstract painting on a canvas board; they should bring a smock or wear old clothes to paint in. “Be prepared to get messy because the paint does fly around,” says Helen Harrison, museum director. Pollock’s drips and drops 6/27 -- Take a tour of the house and studio of the famous drip painter Jackson Pollock and stick around for a workshop to create your own masterpiece, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton. The family-friendly program includes supplies — a canvas and all paints. Reservations required. ADMISSION $35 PHONE 917-502-0790 WEB By Joyce Raimondo ExploreLI/Lynn Petry xlijun21_Family-Krasner A family art workshop at the Pollock Krasner House features outdoor painting on June 27, 2015 in East Hampton


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