Lots of family-friendly venues are starting to open their doors for some evening fun. You still might need a sweater, but these spots offer good reasons to get the kids out at night now and in coming weeks.
CATCH FIREWORKS AT DUCKS GAMES
WHERE Bethpage Ballpark, 3 Court House Dr., Central Islip
The Ducks are an annual piece of Long Island’s evening fun fabric. Their lineups often feature a number of players who once starred at the major league level (former Mets Jon Niese and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are playing for the Ducks this year, and the team is managed by Wally Backman, a member of the 1986 World Series champs), and many games feature special promotions.
Going at night can be especially great if you go during a Fireworks Night, which hits the sky as soon as the game is over. They will be held June: 22 and 25; July 2, 3, 4, 20 and 24; Aug. 3 and 22, and Sept. 7 and 21.
WHERE TO EAT You would never need to leave the ballpark to eat with all its concessions, but if you do head to East Islip for restaurants such as Vinnie's Mulberry Street (42 W. Main St.; 631-277-9500, vinniesmulberrystreet.com) and Jackson Hall American Bar & Grille (335 East Main St.; 631-277-7100, jacksonhallbarandgrille.com). There’s also a Friendly’s (50 Montauk Hwy.; 631-581-2466, friendlysrestaurants.com) down that way as well.
INFO Box: $13, Field Box: $14, Club Seats: $15; parking free; 631-940-3825, liducks.com
LOOK THROUGH AN AWESOME TELESCOPE
WHERE Custer Observatory, 1115 Main Bayview Rd., Southold
The sky itself is the nighttime special! Kids of all ages can come Saturday nights from 7 to midnight (weather permitting) to see whatever planets, stars or other celestial objects the staff is targeting for the evening. The view is seen via a Zerochromat Apochromatic Telescope (the observatory says it’s the largest telescope of its kind in the United States). Guests also receive a tour of the facility and info on how the scope works.
WHERE TO EAT Greenport (see above) is five minutes away, but your kids will really be miffed if you don’t grab ice cream from Magic Fountain (9825 Main Rd., Mattituck; 631-298-4908, magicfountainlongisland.com), where flavors range from plain classics to wild seasonal experiments such as Honey and Lavender Oil, or the vegan Pomberri, made with almond milk, pomegranate juice and blueberry. (Seasonal flavors change; call ahead to see what’s serving when you’re nearby.)
INFO $5 suggested donation for adults, $3 for children; 631-765-2626 custerobservatory.org
CRUISE THE TWINKLING CITY SKYLINE
WHERE Lady Liberty Cruises, Town Dock, 347 Main St., Port Washington
Children ages 3 and older are good for the 7-11 p.m. “Evening Harbor Cruise,” which sails twice weekly this summer. Traveling between Port Washington and the Statue of Liberty, this four-hour jaunt not only offers amazing views of the statue and the lights of New York City, but also includes hors d’oeuvres and a buffet meal.
INFO Baby strollers, car seats and baby carriages are not permitted on board; Saturdays: $159, Fridays: $149, Thursdays: $139; 516-922-9214, ladylibertycruises.com
TAKE A HIKE IN THE DARK
WHERE Connetquot River State Park Preserve, 3525 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale
The preserve hosts early-evening walks on a mostly monthly basis — families will venture out with a guide to see what sort of native nocturnal insects, amphibians, birds and mammals come out as the sun sets. This is a dark experience, as lights would likely throw off the creatures that come out at night. But your guide will point out things to see and definitely sounds to listen for. The hikes are recommended for children ages 5 and older, but all ages are welcome.
INFO Scheduled walks: 6-10 p.m. June 15, 8-10 p.m. June 21; $4 per person; 631- 581-1005, parks.ny.gov/parks/8/details.aspx
RIDE THE GREENPORT CAROUSEL
WHERE Jess Owen Carousel House, Mitchell Park, 115 Front St., Greenport
Set to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2020, this antique ride features 36 horses (18 are hand-carved) and sleighs on which to ride. It's now open evenings until 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and then once the school year ends it goes daily until 9 p.m. straight through to Labor Day weekend. Its lighting scheme is fairly simple — it’s nearly a century old, after all — but with bright bulbs rounding the ride, projecting light that brings out the vivid colors of the horses, it’s got a warm glow that shines across the park.
WHERE TO EAT Greenport Village is loaded with restaurants, but Andy’s (34 Front St.; 631-333-2525, facebook.com/andysgreenport) features kid-friendly foods on its Little Slugger's Menu such as "mozzarella stick grilled cheese." Over at Front Street Station (212 Front St.; 631-333-2050, eatatfrontstreet.net), the restaurant places paper over the entire table so children can draw with crayons throughout their meals.
INFO $2 per ride; ages 3 and younger ride free with a paying parent or guardian to supervise the trip; 631-477-0248, villageofgreenport.org
PLAY ON THE LATE SIDE
WHERE Bayville Adventure Park, 8 Bayville Ave., Bayville
For those who’ve never sampled this classic spot, it’s got climbing attractions, a funhouse maze, mini-golf and an arcade, among other things to try. All the park’s outdoor attractions are already open for the season, and when the sun goes down, the lights come on — making the outdoor area a festive scene.
WHERE TO EAT The park owns the Shipwreck Tavern restaurant next door (10 Bayville Ave.; 516-628-2628, shipwreckpub.com), with a menu that leans toward seafood, and next to that, Breakers Sports Bar and Grill (2 Bayville Ave.; , breakerssportsbarandgrill.com) offers more of a pub-and-grill personality. Both are family-friendly and feature kids menus. Grilled food and homemade ice cream are available inside the park at the Beaches and Cream Ice Cream Parlor.
INFO Noon-9 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m. Sundays (summer hours yet to be announced); $31.75 one-day unlimited ticket, $39.50 two-day unlimited ticket; tickets for individual attractions are available for various prices; 516-624-7433, bayvilleadventurepark.com
ENJOY THE SCENERY
WHERE Hither Hills West Overlook, Montauk
Travel east to Montauk and stay to the left as NY-27A splits with Old Montauk Highway and then look for a large parking lot on the left with a sign that reads “Hither Hills West Overlook.” The view extends west for a great distance, and includes the Napeague Harbor on the right and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side of the highway. It’s one of the island’s favorite places to catch a sunset, and the view of the night sky is uninterrupted. When the moon is full and low in the sky, it’s simply one of the best vistas found anywhere on Long Island — photographers line up most evenings (and people using their cellphones, too) in attempts to capture an imagine of the sunset. .
WHERE TO EAT Located along a desolated and remote section of the highway, you'll have to continue into Montauk to find food. If you're looking for inexpensive food there, the place for it is John's Drive-In (677 Montauk Hwy., Montauk, 668-5515, johnsdriveinmontauk.com)
FISH BY MOONLIGHT
WHERE Island Princess Captree Fishing Boat, 3500 E. Ocean Pkwy., Babylon
Like people, some animals are also night creatures — and among them are striped bass, which prefer to feed at night. The Island Princess — which bills itself as “The Most Family Friendly Captree Fishing Boat” — will be hitting the Great South Bay between 6 and 10:30 p.m. for both stripers and bluefish nightly, and there’s no age restriction. Young or inexperienced anglers need not worry, as the crew will help everybody who’s still learning or just needs a hand. (Other vessels in the Captree fleet will be making night runs, too; call ahead or check online to see who’s running where.)
INFO $48; ages 5-14 $26 (attendees under 5 who can’t fish but come along for the trip are no charge); rods, tackle and bait are included, but guests may bring their own rods if desired; 631-587-6024, islandprincesscaptree.com