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What to do with the kids during holiday break on Long Island

The ice skating rink at the Tanger Outlets

The ice skating rink at the Tanger Outlets in Deer Park. Credit: Daniel Brennan

If you’ve had your fill of the holidays but still have to fill some gaps in your kids’ vacation schedule, here are ideas for things to do.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Head over to the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill for the Open Studio for Families from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each month features different materials and techniques. The event is for kids ages 4 and older. Free for children under 18. Adults are $12, seniors $9. 631-283-2118, 

Sunday, Dec. 23 (through Dec. 30)

Catch a kid-friendly show: There's "Beauty and the Beast the Musical" through Dec. 30 at The Gateway's production at Patchogue Theatre, 71 E Main St., Patchogue; $29.50 to $89;  631-286-1133,, and “The Big Bolt” through Dec. 30 at the Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City; $9 to $12; 516-224-5800, 

Monday, Dec. 24 (ongoing)

There’s nothing like skating outside, with or without a gentle snowfall to complete the scene. Check out these outdoor skating rinks: Tanger Outlets, 152 The Arches Circle, Deer Park; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2:30 to 5 p.m.; $10, free, 5 and younger; $4 skate rental; 631-940-9750,; The Rinx at Harborfront Park, 101-A East Broadway, Port Jefferson; noon to 8 p.m., but may close a little early for Christmas Eve; $4.50 to $10; skate rental $5.50; 631-403-4357,;  Grant Park Skating Rink, 1625 Broadway Ave., Hewlett; 1:15 to 3:30 p.m.; $6 to $22; skate rental $5; 516-571-7821,

Wednesday, Dec. 26

Brighten up a winter’s day with a homemade lantern at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport. In this drop-off workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, kids in kindergarten through third grade will learn why days are shorter in winter, observe the sun with a special telescope and make lanterns using repurposed materials; $20 per child; register at 631-854-5539; more information at

Thursday, Dec. 27

The tiny LOL Surprise Dolls, with their extravagant packaging, flashy outfits and outsize heads, have captivated many a child. Now, fans can meet a live, life-size LOL Diva from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Pixie Dust, 125 W. Main St., Bay Shore. $27.98 includes dressing up, dancing, pizza and a hair-bow craft session; 631-647-8777,

Friday, Dec. 28

Whether the "Aquaman" movie is a box-office tsunami or a wash, you can dive in for fun at The Whaling Museum & Education Center, 279 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor. The "Aquaman and the Sea!" event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. lets kids touch items from the briny deep like a shark jaw and a whale tooth, and create oceanic crafts including a sea horse puppet. $12 per child; $6 per adult; 631-367-3418,

Saturday, Dec. 29 (ongoing; call for schedule)

Join Audubon in its annual Christmas bird count, its long-running, early-winter survey of birds across North America and the Western Hemisphere. Long Island counts continue through December; Saturday, Dec. 29, birders are flocking to nine areas in southern Nassau from dawn to dusk. “Kids of all ages are welcome, but parents should be aware that this is a serious effort to count every bird seen, and some of the groups cover a lot of ground and move quickly,” organizer Patricia Lindsay says. Contact Lindsay at  for a location assignment. Backyard birders are also welcome to submit their data to Lindsay.  More information at

Sunday, Dec. 30

The “Frozen”-style Snow Sisters will host a party from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m at Once Upon a Sundae, 20 S. Village Ave. in Rockville Centre, with storytime, singing, dancing with the two princesses, pizza and a snowman sundae kids can make. $40; $35 for siblings; 516-208-6737 or message at; information at

Monday, Dec. 31

Head over to Stony Brook Village Center, Main Street, for Ward Melville Heritage Organization's Promenade of Trees, an annual tree-decorating contest in which contestants compete for a grand prize by bedecking more than 60 trees throughout the village. Free. 631-751-2244,

Tuesday, Jan. 1

Get the year off on the right foot with one of the free First Day Hikes being held at state parks around Long Island. For more information, check The lineup includes:  

10 a.m. at Bethpage State Park, 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale; meet at the picnic area parking lot by the restrooms; 516-249-0701.

10 a.m. at Sunken Meadow State Park, 1 Sunken Meadow Pkwy, Kings Park; meet at Field 4; registration required at 631-269-4333.

10:30 a.m. at Jones Beach State Park, 1 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh; meet at the Visitor Center; registration required at 516-780-3295 or 516-785-1600.

10:30 a.m. at Montauk Point State Park, 2000 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk; registration required at 631-668-3781.

11 a.m. at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Lloyd Harbor; registration required at 631-423-1770.

11 a.m. at Hallock State Park Preserve, 6062 Sound Ave., Riverhead; 631-315-5475.

1:30 p.m. at Connetquot River State Park Preserve, 3525 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale; meet at the main house; registration required at 631-581-1005.

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