The biggest, the wildest, the coolest — these are the kind of things kids want to try. If you and your family want to see some of the unique things Long Island has to offer, here are some ideas.
While there is no "official" list, we'd love to know if you spotted more big thrills on LI. Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and if it proves true, it might just make our list.
To be fair, any pizzeria can whip up a pie of any size on a whim. That said, if you want a massive 30-inch pizza -- just for fun -- head to Nina's Pizza and Restaurant (487 Main St., Northport), where the Party Pizza is always on the menu. (Note for extra hungry kids: You'll have to wait at least 30 minutes when ordering. It takes that long to cook.) Owner Stepan Aslanian says kids have to hold slices with two hands. "They are shocked by the size of the pizza and get so excited because they have never seen a pie that size before," he says, adding with a laugh that "kids tell their parents the pie is as big as them." More info: 631-261-6822, ninaspizzanorthport.
A skateboarder's delight: Veterans Park Skate Park in East Northport (Bellrose Avenue between Larkfield and Old Bridge roads) is 18,700 square feet in size. The concrete concept has both vertical and street bowl areas and various handrails, ramps, stairs and other obstacles. Roller blades are also permitted. The town says that it's the largest municipal skate park in Suffolk County -- and possibly all of Long Island. More info: 631-351-3089, huntingtonny.gov.
There are a few antique carousels from which to choose in Nassau and Suffolk counties -- and all are very cool, no doubt about it -- but Nunley's Carousel (Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City) next to the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Museum Row can proudly boast it has the most animals. There are 42 total: 41 horses and one lion. More info: 516-572-4111, cradleofaviation.org.
Head to Melville to get above it all at Jayne's Hill in West Hills County Park (Sweet Hollow Rd.), the highest point on Long Island at an elevation of 401 feet above sea level. Huntington resident Joe Kaye, former assistant scoutmaster, says of the trails around Jayne's Hill that kids "always enjoy the honor of having hiked the highest point on Long Island." He says he remembers a time before trees blocked out the wide views that he'd "see from the North Shore all the way to the South." More info: 631-854-4423 suffolkcountyny.gov.
There may be a larger sow out there somewhere, but folks at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration (1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage) feel pretty confident that their lady pig Lulu is the biggest of her kind on Long Island, weighing in at a svelte 900 pounds. Info: 516-572-8401, obvrnassau.com.
The Island east of Queens doesn't offer much in the way of skyscrapers, but for a lofty view of the Great South Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, children (taller than 42 inches in height) can head to the outdoor gallery that wraps the structure just below the focal point of the 168-foot Fire Island Lighthouse (1 Burma Rd., Bay Shore, on the Fire Island National Seashore). There, staffers say it is the Island's highest observation opportunity. Dave Griese, executive director of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society and one of the lighthouse keepers, says kids who visit tend to say things such as, "Wow" and, "What a view!" They're right -- when weather conditions are right, one can see as far as the New York City skyline. More info: fireislandlighthouse.com.
International Delight Cafe in Bellmore (322 Bedford Ave.) features a colossal creation on its daily menu. Known as The World, it's a gelato sundae built from 3.5 gallons of gelato, four Belgian waffles and unlimited toppings. Staffers say they believe it to be the biggest gelato sundae on Long Island. Info: 516-409-5772, internationaldelig.wixsite.com.
If you and your kids are looking to go big while mini-golfing, the course at Sayville Falls Miniature Golf (30 Hanson Place) offers the longest 18 holes on Long Island, which means that the difference between the hole and the tee is greater than any other mini-golf course on Long Island. "It's not a course where every hole looks and plays the same," says manager Hailey Foster. "The length of the holes provides kids a chance to play multiple shots on the same hole." Kids can also feed the fish and turtles in ponds along the course, and check out scenery that includes waterfalls. More info: 631-256-5632, sayvillefallsminigolf.com.
Talk about a wild ride. Be prepared to drop 80 feet in three seconds. That's what children taller than 54 inches can do by way of the Cliff Diver at Splish Splash (2549 Splish Splash Dr., Calverton), the tallest water slide on Long Island. Info: 631-727-3600, splishsplash.com.
It doesn't hurt your chances when competing to have Long Island's longest neck to be a giraffe, but Clifford, a star animal at Long Island Game Farm (489 Chapman Blvd., Manorville, 631-878-6644, longislandgamefarm.com), stands at 17 feet tall and has a six foot-long neck. His approximately 19-inch-long tongue is pretty impressive, too. There's also Patches, the resident giraffe at White Post Animal Farms (250 Old Country Rd., Melville, 631-351-9373, whitepostfarms.com). Female giraffes don't usually grow as tall as males, so she's probably not going to steal Clifford's thunder -- but at over 10 feet tall is certainly a lofty lady.
The king of aquariums in Nassau and Suffolk counties is the Long Island Aquarium (431 E. Main St., Riverhead), with all sorts of singular aquatic displays and creatures to see. However, among its crown jewels is its coral reef tank, which staffers say "is the largest coral reef tank in the Western Hemisphere." Holding 20,000 gallons of water and hundreds of different species of marine life, some of the coral inside is more than 20 years old. Info: 631-208-9200, longislandaquarium.com.
Among the rides and thrill attractions found at Adventureland Amusement Park in Farmingdale (2245 Broad Hollow Rd., East Farmingdale) is the Turbulence Coaster, the only coaster ride on Long Island that consists of cars that spin independently, making each trip potentially unique. Customers must be taller than 48 inches in height to ride (or 44 inches with an adult). Meghan Yodice, 14, of Levittown says she likes "the way it angles . . . it makes you feel like you'll fall out, but of course you don't. It's got lots of ups and downs . . . it's really cool." More info: 631-694-6868, adventureland.us.
Lazerland (54A Motor Pkwy., Commack) gives laser tag players (ages 6 and older) a chance to test their skills as it states the largest laser tag arena on Long Island at 5,500 square feet. It is also the only multi-level arena as well. The arena can hold as many as 40 participants to take part in a single game. Info: 631-542-2215, lazerlandofli.com.
The Climb-it@LICM exhibit at the Long Island Children's Museum (11 Davis Ave., Garden City) is a two-story climbing sculpture open to children 42 inches in height and taller. Kids can move around inside and along the slender, curving slope (wrapped in netting to keep climbers safely on the path) that dips and rises. The ramp also surrounds the exhibit in order to give guests in wheelchairs or strollers a similar experience outside the piece (and parents the opportunity to follow and watch their children through the safety mesh). At 140 feet in length, the outer passageway is the longest accessibility ramp in Nassau County, according to the museum. Info: 516-224-5800, licm.org.
If your kids really want a special look at stars, planets and other celestial objects, the Custer Observatory (1115 Main Bayview Rd., Southold) features the three-meter Zerochromat Apochromatic Telescope, which staffers say is the largest telescope of its kind in the United States. It provides a look at planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, as well as the moon and a number of galaxies and nebulae. Saturday Night observing is open to all ages from 7 p.m.-midnight (weather-permitting) with guided tours of the view. Info: 631-765-2626 custerobservatory.org.
Take note: The Montauk Observatory, which is expected to be open by the end of summer 2018, will feature a research-grade Meade 20-inch RCX-400 telescope. The observatory understands it will be the most powerful one in a Long Island observatory. Once the set-up process is finished, it will be accessible via the internet by students, educators, researchers and the general public. Info: montaukobservatory.com.