Arianna Katz, 2, of Little Neck plays at the Long...

Arianna Katz, 2, of Little Neck plays at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Uniondale on Nov. 8. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Melissa Ball is 29 years old and has a vivid recollection of her first visit to the Long Island Children’s Museum when she was in grade school.

“I have a distinct memory of going on a field trip there and going to the bubble exhibit,” she says, where kids can form bubbles as big as they are while standing inside of them. Now, the first-grade teacher from Levittown takes her own son, Duncan, 2, to the  Uniondale museum where he has the same experience. “He’ll call it the bubble museum when we go,” she says.

New generations of families now visit the interactive, hands-on museum, which officially turns 30 years old Nov. 21. In honor of that milestone, the museum is throwing a birthday party called “Three Cheers for 30 Years” Nov. 19. And everyone is invited. Later in the month, the museum's admission will be slashed to celebrate.


The museum will have five activity stations that visitors can drop into between noon and 4 p.m. — and of course, one of the stations will focus on bubbles.

  • Hats off to LICM: Families will create festive, cone-shaped hats to wear. They can adorn with provided stickers and tissue paper.
  • Bite-Size Birthday Cupcakes: Families will decorate — and eat — mini cupcakes. Visit the museum cafeteria to decorate pre-iced, bite-sized, chocolate or vanilla cupcakes using confetti-colored sprinkles.
  • Send A Wish Bubble Wands: Families will create their own bubble wands to take home. “Our Bubbles Gallery is very central to the Long Island Children’s Museum,” says Ashley Niver, director of education. “It’s been our most popular gallery for years and something everyone associates with the museum.” Families will wrap two colors of pipe cleaners together to form a wand whose bubble-making top can be formed into a circle or a heart or any other shape. Creators will string the handle with plastic beads to make it rigid and easier to wave as they make their own bubbles. As users blow a bubble, they can pretend they are blowing out a birthday cake candle and make a wish.
  • Super Awesome Sand Art: “That’s a really popular activity,” Niver says. Kids will get 3D bottles they will fill with colored sand using funnels, and then they can take them home. A plastic top will screw onto each fun shape to keep the sand.
  • High-Five for 3-0: “We’re a hands-on museum,” Niver says. So, it’s fitting that a collaborative piece of artwork feature all the hands that have helped to build the museum throughout its 30 years, Niver says. Participants will each trace their hands on different colored paper such as hot pink and green (not skin tone colors) and add a birthday message on each one. They’ll be hung together, and the artwork will remain displayed upstairs after the party is over.


On the actual anniversary of the opening of the Long Island Children’s Museum the museum is rolling back its price to $5 per person, the original cost of admission when the museum launched in 1993.

“It’s a way for us to give a present back to the community that has supported us for thirty years,” says Maureen Mangan, museum director of communications.

Aimee Terzulli, 51, of Freeport has been a museum employee for the entire 30 years, starting as an intern when she was in college at C.W. Post, now LIU Post in Greenvale. “It started as a dinner table conversation with Long Island parents,” she says. “I just fell in love with what they were trying to do. Long Island was really hungry for this type of experience for their children. Now we see more than 300,000 visitors a year.”

And Terzulli is now vice president for program and visitor experience. “It’s been a journey, and such a powerful thing for me to watch,” she says of the evolution of the museum.

Emily Greaney, 32, an account executive from Huntington, sent her son, Archer, 19 months, to the museum with his grandmother recently. “I didn’t realize it had been open 30 years,” she says. Archer had such as great time that he’ll be back frequently thanks to Grandma. “She ended up getting a membership so he could go there all the time and he could play,” Greaney says.

Long Island Children’s Museum 30th birthday party

WHEN | WHERE Noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 19,, 11 Davis Ave., Uniondale

COST Birthday activities are free with admission of $17 per person ages 1 and older

Museum rollback

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 21

COST $5 per person ages 1 and older

INFO 516-224-5800,

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