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.
Catch a fish at Captree State Park
At Captree State Park, there are 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.
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 $20 (for up to two hours) 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sundays and holidays June 24-Aug. 30 (11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, holidays May 4-19, Sept. 7-Oct. 14). Renters must be at least 18 years of age; life preservers must be worn at all times. For more details, visit parks.ny.gov.
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 32-foot rock-climbing wall, miniature golf and batting cages. For more information, visit boomerslongisland.com.
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" (chocolate ice cream, brownie chunks, thread of rasberry drizzle ) and the "Peach Melba" (Peach ice cream with a raspberry/ white chocolate weave). For more information, visit snowflakeicecream.com.
Bow Tie Cinemas (989 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square; 516-775-3257) are hosting "Summer Kids Series 2019" Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. from Tuesday, June 25 until Wednesday, Aug. 21, featuring free family movies. For more information, visit bowtiecinemas.com.
New at Adventureland in Farmingdale, The "Lighthouse Drop Tower" (pictured) is a drop ride which doubles the height of the park's former "Drop and Twist" tower. Along with the new attraction, families can enjoy rides such as a log flume, swings, the "Turbulence" coaster and many more options good for kids. For ticket prices and more information, visit adventureland.us.
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.
This summer, Regal Entertainment Group is kicking off its Summer Movie Express with $1 admission to see a selection of family-friendly films on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Each week two movies will play on both days. Long Island theaters participating include Regal Deer Park Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX in Deer Park, the Regal Lynbrook & RPX and UA Hampton Bays 5 in Hampton Bays. View the full schedule of movies here.
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 $13. For more information, visit liducks.com.
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.
Watching movies on the beach this summer? You bet! Many of the civic associations in Long Beach are presenting the free 2019 Saturday Nights on the Beach, featuring kid-friendly movie nights. Some of the movies include "Jaws" on June 27 at 8:30 p.m. (Grand Beach), "The Goonies" on July 13 at 8:30 p.m. (Lafayette Beach), "The Greatest Showman" on July 27 at 8 p.m. (Riverside Beach), "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" on Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. (Grand Beach) and "Ralph Breaks The Internet" (pictured) on Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. (Lincoln Beach). Be sure to bring blankets and chairs.
Visit Bayville Adventure Park and enjoy a pirate-themed fun park with bumper boats, rock climbing, miniature golf, 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.
At the Long Island Game Farm in Manorville, kids can bottle-feed baby animals, hand-feed a giraffe and see bison, ostriches, zebras and more. For more information and tickets, visit longislandgamefarm.com.
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 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. May 18-Sept. 1 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Learn about the North Shore's wetlands ecosystem aboard the Discovery in Stony Brook. The 90-minute sightseeing tours aboard a pontoon boat are led by a naturalist. Trips leave at different times most days between May 16-Oct. 131. Visit Discovery Cruise for more information and for exact times and dates.
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.
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.
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.
Splish Splash water park (2549 Splish Splash Dr., Calverton) features dozens of water rides, a wave pool and so much more, including The Battle of Mutiny Bay (pictured), a water ride involving rafts outfitted with water-shooting cannons for riders to shoot at other boats. The people around the circuit will have fixed water cannons to shoot against the riders. And don't forget to ride Bootlegger's Run, New York state's first water roller coaster that reaches a top height of 235 feet and starts with a 47-foot (almost five-story) drop. Visit splishsplash.com for pricing and more information.
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" at the Tiki Joes at Meschutt Beach (90 Dunes Rd., Hampton Bays; 631-333-1538, tikijoesbeachclub.com) on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. Graham will also make a free 6:30 p.m. appearance on Friday, July 19 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 one of the six pools at Wantagh Park. You'll find a swimming complex featuring Olympic-sized, diving, kiddie, training, slide and interactive pools plus a fishing pier, tennis courts, a game area with chess and checkers and a playground. Call for fees; 516-571-7460, nassaucountyny.gov .
Lace up your roller skates and head to United Skates of America in Seaford for a fun morning with your family. Every Monday between July 8-Aug. 5 throughout the summer from 10 a.m.-noon, families can enjoy $2 admission and $5 skate rentals. For more information, visit unitedskates.com.