Sophia Giron, of Massapequa, looks at the tulips at the...

Sophia Giron, of Massapequa, looks at the tulips at the Walled Garden in Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, April 2019. Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

Get ready for a bloomin’ good time this spring. Enjoy the annual spring awakening at farms boasting newborn goats, at a new rain garden buzzing with honeybees, and on Jones Beach’s breezy boardwalk and highflying zip line. While March 19 marked the official first day of spring, keep your calendars handy: April 1 is the traditional reopening day for many Long Island attractions. 

See the new kids (and piglets) on the block

Long Island Game Farm, 489 Chapman Blvd., Manorville

Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County Farm and Education Center, 350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank

Intern Wyatt Skopov-Normane bottle feeds a baby goat in the...

Intern Wyatt Skopov-Normane bottle feeds a baby goat in the goat nursery area at the Long Island Game Farm, June 2023. Credit: Tom Lambui

The spring baby boom is in full swing in the busy barnyards at Suffolk County’s agricultural attractions.

“In our nursery, we have mother goats that are going to be giving birth in April or May,” says Long Island Game Farm president Melinda Novak. The farm, founded in 1970, has plans for Memorial Day weekend relaunches of its renovated 300-plus-seat theater and its now “universally accessible” nature trail, improvements funded by a $500,000-plus Suffolk County grant, Novak says. Until then, the farm is open for weekend spring visits. 

Visitors to Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County Farm and Education Center can see baby goats and piglets outside with their mothers, weather permitting, says administrator Vicki Fleming. There are also opportunities to hand-feed goats and sheep at this working farm, where children can experience their first encounters with farm animals, Fleming adds.

MORE INFO Long Island Game Farm: 631-878-6644,; $26.95, $19.95 ages 3 to 12; open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends through March 30, then Thursday to Sunday beginning April 1.

Suffolk County Farm: 631-852-4602,, open daily, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., free. Baby Animal Day is May 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Explore a trendy new rain garden

Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens, Farmingdale State College, 2350 Broadhollow Rd.

The Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens will reopen for the season at Farmingdale State College.  Credit: David Guarino

Stroll through an iron gateway to walkways bordering themed gardens abloom with woodland wildflowers, flowering trees and bulbs — the latter including varieties of white, yellow and orange daffodils. Then make a beeline to the new rain garden on a patch of the sprawling 4 acres maintained by horticulture students and faculty. Rain gardens offer “an eco-friendly way of collecting runoff from rainfall to prevent flooding,” says Jonathan Lehrer, chairman of the college’s Department of Urban Horticulture and Design.

In the rain garden hives have been strategically relocated so the honey bees can forage nearby native Long Island pollinator plants. Visitors can learn what native plants thrive in home gardens and get the buzz on “concepts and techniques that a homeowner could utilize to mitigate environmental problems,” says Lehrer.

MORE INFO 934-420-2711,, Reopens April 1, 8 a.m. to dusk daily. Annual plant sale is May 7-9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Take a spring boat trip on the bay

The Captree Fleet, 3500 E. Ocean Pkwy., Babylon

The Captree Fleet is almost ready to hit the water.

The Captree Fleet is almost ready to hit the water. Credit: Tom Lambui

Captree’s fleet of 15 charter and open boats welcomes a new vessel this spring, specializing in Great South Bay pleasure cruises. Joseph Feliccia of the Captree Boatman’s Association says the full fleet “is usually at the dock and ready to sail on May 1,” with boats leaving on the hour for fluke, striped bass, porgies and other sport fish. Day trips resume in April, when the Captree Fuel, Bait and Tackle shop also reopens, selling bait and renting fishing rods a few steps from the Captree pier. 

MORE INFO 631-669-6464,; prices vary.

Take a historic house and garden tour

Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Rd., Old Westbury

Amos and Aesil Lee, of Roslyn Heights, enjoy a picnic...

Amos and Aesil Lee, of Roslyn Heights, enjoy a picnic lunch with their children Chloe and Jude on the grounds of Old Westbury Gardens. Credit: /Debbie Egan-Chin

One of the nation’s grandest historic attractions resumes tours of the Charles II-style mansion amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes starting April 1.

Outside, “trilliums, mayapple, andromeda and crocus will be blooming in April and dogwoods late April/early May,” says Paul Hunchak, director of visitor services and public programs. Inside, a “Secrets of the Service Wing” house tour reveals the lives of those who once worked in the mansion built in 1906. The Café in the Woods, a shady dining spot on the grounds, opens April 13.

MORE INFO 516-333-0048,, $8-$15. House and garden tours daily, except Tuesday and Saturday, starting April 1.

Stroll around the world via a greenhouse

Hicks Nurseries, 100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury

Hicks Nurseries in Westbury is hosting its 34th annual Flower and Garden Show from March 7-31. Credit: Howard Simmons

At this year's Flower and Garden Show at Hicks Nurseries, themed “Celebrations Around the World,” visitors can explore a variety of colorfully designed displays inspired by yearly celebrations in Brazil, China, Mexico, India and the United States. The show serves as a kickoff to spring. “The Flower and Garden Show acts like a bridge to the season,” says Eleni Roselli, Hicks’ director of marketing. “People can witness garden displays in full bloom. This gives them inspiration for their own garden.”

MORE INFO 516-334-0066,; free; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through March 31.

Get a jump on beach season

Jones Beach State Park, 2400 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh

Beachgoers play volleyball near sundown at Jones Beach in Wantagh,...

Beachgoers play volleyball near sundown at Jones Beach in Wantagh, June 2023. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Stroll, play and dine in the annual wave of early spring reopenings at the 2,400-acre maritime park. Power your boardwalk stroll with a snack at the Field 6 concession, which opens for the season on April 1. Get some exercise at the Boardwalk’s East and West games areas, open weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting April 6. Or ride a zip line through the spring air at WildPlay Jones Beach, which resumes its wild rides on April 19 ($19.99).

MORE INFO 516-785-1600,, free parking through April 5, then $8 on weekends.

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