Flip-flops. Lazy beach days. Ice cream. Whether your kids are heading to summer camp or you're looking for things to do, no matter where you live on Long Island, there are vast resources for you to tap into for some fun, from an adventurous afternoon to family-friendly performances.
We rounded up some of the new attractions or updated events that have popped up on Long Island this year. From free concerts at beaches and parks to water rides, zip lines and more, check out fun things to do with your kids this summer.
At the Adventure Park (75 Colonial Springs Rd., Wheatley Heights), kids ages 7 and older can test their climbing ability along several rope courses. There are ten zip-line trails, ranging from beginner to advanced; climbers must be at least 15 to try the hardest, double-black course. Climbers must tackle what the park calls the elements that connect tree to tree, for example, balance or strength. For further details, visit longislandadventurepark.org.
Ride the rails
The miniature trains take passengers on a looped journey around Southaven County Park in Brookhaven every other Sunday from June 10 to Oct. 28. Public Run Days begin at 10:30 a.m. with the last departure leaving the station at 3 p.m. Price: Donations accepted. For more information, call 631-345-0499 or visit lilivesteam.org.
Catch a fish at Captree State Park
At Captree State Park, there are two fishing piers and a marina where you can set sail on fishing excursions, plus there's a playground and picnic area. For more information, visit Captree State Park.
Rent paddleboats at Belmont Lake State Park
Colorful paddleboats are a hit with kids, who may have an easier time working their feet than they would rowing a boat with oars. The paddleboats at Belmont Lake State Park in Babylon can fit a family of four, two paddling and two who can sit back and relax. Boats are available to rent for $15 (for up to 90 minutes) Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from noon-5:30 p.m. until Sept. 3; Monday through Friday from June 26 until August 31 from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (and more weekends after Labor Day until Oct. 8: 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). Renters must be at least 18 years of age; life preservers must be worn at all times. For more details, visit nysparks.com.
Ride bumper boats at Boomers Family Fun Center
Families can take a spin and get (a little) wet on the bumper boats at Boomers Family Fun Center in Medford. Drivers need to be at least 44 inches tall (passengers must be at least 40 inches tall; $9). The park also has a carousel, roller coaster, go-karts, a 20-foot rock-climbing wall, miniature golf and batting cages. For more information, visit boomerslongisland.com.
Enjoy old-fashioned ice cream
It's not summer without some ice cream. Old-fashioned homemade hard ice cream has been scooped since the 1950s at Snowflake in Riverhead, where flavors range from plain ol' vanilla to the more-inventive Peconic Swamp Thing. For more information, visit snowflakeicecream.com.
Bow Tie Cinemas’ Summer Kids Series
Bow Tie Cinemas (989 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square; 516-775-3257 and 115 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck; 516-466-2020) are hosting "Summer Kids Series 2018" Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. from Tuesday, June 19 until Wednesday, Aug. 15, featuring free family movies. For more information, visit bowtiecinemas.com.
Ride a coaster at Adventureland
Adventureland in Farmingdale debuted the "Mystery Mansion" this year, in which guests ride suspended in the air while spooky special effects and animatronics provide the entertainment. Along with the new attraction, families can enjoy rides such as a log flume, swings, the "Turbulence" coaster (pictured) and many more good for kids. For ticket prices and more information, visit adventureland.us.
Get roasted corn at a farm stand
In late August, sweet corn is ripe for taking at farm stands throughout the North Fork. Many of the farm stands offer other locally grown, fresh items, such as in-season fruits and vegetables, flowers and more. Some farms include outposts of Harbes (Jamesport, Mattituck), Lewin Farms in Calverton and Albert H. Schmitt Family Farms in Dix Hills.
Check out a Long Island Ducks game
Take your kids out to a Long Island Ducks ball game and root for your home team at Bethpage Ballpark (3 Court House Dr., Central Islip). Saturday night games typically end with a fireworks show. During the baseball season, ticket prices start at $12. For more information, visit liducks.com.
Play mini-golf by day or night
The outdoor, nine-hole miniature golf course at the Children's Museum of the East End (376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton) keeps with the museum's mission by incorporating play with teaching kids basic principles of physics. Each hole has an informational sign that asks the golfer a question meant to teach a lesson specific to that hole. Mini-golf is open daily, except Tuesdays, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for $5 per person. Check out dozens of other places to play mini-golf on Long Island.
Visit Bayville Adventure Park
Visit Bayville Adventure Park and enjoy a pirate-themed fun park with bumper boats, indoor rock climbing, miniature golf, rock climbing challenge, bungee bounce, train ride, fun house, maze, video arcade and ice cream parlor. ($31.75 for a one-day unlimited pass; $39.50 for a two-day unlimited pass. For more information, call 516-624-4678 or visit bayvilleadventurepark.com.
Feed a giraffe at the Long Island Game Farm
At the Long Island Game Farm in Manorville, kids can bottle-feed baby animals, hand-feed a giraffe and see kangaroos, bison, ostriches, zebras and more. For more information and tickets, visit longislandgamefarm.com.
Hike through the Sunken Forest
Take a stroll though the Sunken Forest within the Fire Island National Seashore, notable -- and quite rare, per the New York National Heritage Program -- for the canopied holly trees that result from being surrounded by salt water. The boardwalk makes for easy traveling through the forest, within a 50-acre preserve that also includes beach and dunes. Free guided tours are available through July 1st from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Take a riverboat tour
Learn about the North Shore's wetlands ecosystem aboard the Discovery in Stony Brook. The 90-minute sightseeing tours aboard a 27-passenger pontoon boat are led by a naturalist. Trips leave morning, midday and at sunset most until Sunday, Oct. 14. Visit Discovery Cruise for more information and for running dates.
Go berry-picking on the East End
There are about a dozen U-pick farms that welcome the public to wander the rows and pile their baskets full of strawberries throughout the summer. Patty's Berries and Bunches in Mattituck (pictured) is open from June through August and offers U-pick raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and snap peas as well as strawberries.
Catch a wave
From Jones Beach and Long Beach to Shelter Island, Fire Island, the Hamptons, Montauk and more, there are loads of beaches lining Long Island's coast, offering plenty of opportunities for kids to ride the waves, splash around and enjoy the dog days of summer. Many beaches have designated body-boarding and surfing areas as well.
Bowl for free
Kids Bowl Free will allow registered kids to bowl two free games every day until Labor Day. The final date varies from alley to alley; for more information on exact dates, participating locations and getting your child registered, visit kidsbowlfree.com.
Go see Darlene Graham
For upbeat music for the whole family, see Darlene Graham and The Shades of Green Band play songs like "Big Hugs for Mama" and "I'm Going to the Beach" for free at the Jones Beach Boardwalk Band Shell (1 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh; 516-785-1600 or visit jonesbeachbandshell.com) on Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. Graham will also make a free appearance on Friday, July 20 at The Common Ground at Rotary Park (46 Gillette Ave., Sayville; 631-459-6603, thecommonground.com). Graham will be making other appearances as well; check here for the full breakdown.
Dive into a pool
Dive into one of the six pools at Wantagh Park. You'll find a swimming complex featuring an Olympic-sized, diving, kiddie, training, slide and interactive pool (children ages 5 to 12). There's also a fishing pier, tennis courts, a game area with chess and checkers and a playground. Call for fees; 516-571-7460, nassaucountyny.gov .
Skate with your family for $1
Lace up your roller skates and head to United Skates of America in Seaford for a fun night out with your family. Kicking off Tuesday, June 26 and every Tuesday throughout the summer from 6:30-9:30 p.m., families can enjoy $1 admission and $5 roller skate or rollerblade rentals. Also this year, kicking off Thursday, June 28 and every Thursday this summer, families can skate for $2 and $5 roller skate rental from 6:30-9:30 p.m. For more information, visit unitedskates.com.