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Great Long Island day trips for kids

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Maggie Flaherty, Merrick

There is still plenty of time left before school starts to go on some amazing adventures on Long Island. There are so many hidden gems that you may not know because you stick mostly to places near your home. If you can convince friends or family, here are some day trips I recommend that don’t break the bank to visit:

JONES BEACH This is a beautiful part of Long Island. Here you can surf, swim, surf-cast, splash-fight and anything else you could possibly think of doing on the beach, and all those examples are just in the water.

MONTAUK STATE PARK This end-of-the-island park has something for everyone. For the people who want to really get out there, they can go hiking, hunting or maybe do some fishing with family and friends. For the people who just want to relax, they can just sit back on the beach and stare at the incredible view of Long Island Sound, maybe watch the seals offshore. Don’t forget to visit the Montauk Point Lighthouse. You can even go to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the ocean.

LONG ISLAND AQUARIUM AND EXHIBITION CENTER You can take a boat cruise on the Peconic River and see all types of amazing animals and marine life like sharks, pet stingrays (with no point and no poison, so they are completely harmless to you), meet penguins, take a behind-the-scenes tour and go on a shark dive. The aquarium is in Riverhead.

CAMP HERO STATE PARK At this Montauk park you can swim in the Atlantic Ocean or go surf-casting, and you can also go horseback riding, hiking and bike riding on the trails in the woods, which leads to a pretty adventurous day, if you ask me.

SMITH POINT COUNTY PARK At this park in Shirley, kids of all ages can walk from the bay and the beach to learn about habitats and adaptation and get exercise.

AVALON NATURE RESERVE What makes this reserve in Stony Brook amazing is that it features artistic exhibits and miles of hiking trails.

Meagan Miller’s students, Ivy League School, Smithtown

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