Ah, teens and tweens — they’re still your babies, but they’re at that age where they’d rather do some (as in pretty much all) things without you. Here are some of the Long Island venues that offer activities just for them.
The name of the game here is pingpong — in fact, Smash is Long Island’s only pure pingpong playspace, with tables available to either reserve in advance or walk in and grab. It doesn’t matter if tweens or teens are skilled at the game, as all are welcome to play — and while it does involve some dexterity, Pingpong is a good game for getting people on their feet without causing too much physical exertion.
Teens and tweens will need to move on by 8 p.m. when the venue goes strictly 18-and-overolder Monday-Thursday (and 21-and-overolder weekends), but before that time, one price ($20 weekdays, $35 weekends) is good for as many as seven people per table. That includes rackets and unlimited balls. Info: 2953 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown 516-629-5600, justsmash.com.
Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink
Ice rinks are generally one and the same from place to place: You have ice, you skate. The twist at this spot is its weekly Teen Night: From 8 to 10 p.m. Fridays, the only adults in the place are there to provide supervision. Guests can skate away under nightclub-style lights or chill in the heated lounge where there’s TV, free Wi-Fi and a wood-burning fireplace facing four couches — a perfect place to sip some hot cocoa, which is also for sale among other snacks and drinks. The price is $10 for residents outside Great Neck, $5 for skate rentals. Info: 65 Arrandale Ave., Great Neck; 516-487-2975, gnparks.org.
Bounce! Trampoline Sports
During Jump N Glow on the weekends, the whole place cranks up black lights, which bring out colors in wild neon fashion — especially if you’re wearing florescent fashion, but otherwise guests can try out the various trampolines and climbing attractions. After 8 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. No belly shirts, bracelets or leotards are acceptable; shorts must be at least thigh-length. Jumpers must be at least 48 inches tall and wear nonslip socks to take part. Thirty minutes of jumping is $17, $22 for an hour, $27 for 90 minutes or pay $32 for two straight hours. Info: 310 Michael Dr., Syosset; 516-762-1300, bouncesyosset.com.
ALSO TRY Sky Zone, Deer Park (111 Rodeo Dr.; 631-392-2600) and Mount Sinai (269 Route 25A; 631-619-9771). Both venues use black light during their “Glow” parties held Friday evenings (Mount Sinai does Saturdays as well). $30 for 180 minutes. Waivers are required at skyzone.com.
Pinot's Palette Bay Shore
Mainly a paint-and-sip spot for adults, the Pinot's Palette in Bay Shore offers public evening classes for unaccompanied teens as young as 13 (not every Pinot outlet does). Some subjects are simpler — which might have more tween appeal — while the slightly more abstract or harder projects could be better for more accomplished teen painters. Just make sure andto check events on the website, as some events are strictly 21 and upolder. Parents can feel free to drop off as staffers are always keeping an eye on the younger guests — guardians can even leave a cellphone number with the art teacher on-hand just in case. Session times vary daily between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.; prices range from $30 to $40 per painter. Info: 61 W. Main St., Bay Shore; 631-446-4777, pinotspalette.com.
Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Co.
The poetry-friendly Second Saturdays series is not a teen night but is very teen-friendly, and the hosts confirm lots of young folks take part. Each participant gets three minutes at an open mic, and performances can also include singing and instrument playing (no hate or prejudiced speech is permitted). The best way to get involved is to arrive early so to secure a slot to perform, the owner says. The hours are 7 to 9:30 p.m. No cover, but a hat will be passed around during some features, and attendees are encouraged to buy coffee or tea. Info: 1 Railroad Plaza, Bay Shore; 631-206-1616.
Unlike so many places in the Hamptons that shutter seasonally, this center for fun is good year-round and is loaded indoors and out with things to do. Warmer weather may be necessary to properly play the venue’s outdoor 18-hole mini-golf course, but inside there’s bowling, billiards and a full arcade. The Clubhouse even gives games such as cornhole and boccie — normally played in yards — their own indoor zone. Bowling: $20 per hour before 5 p.m. and $40 per hour after 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and $60 per hour Friday through Sunday for up to six people for one lane and as many games as they can complete; shoes are $5 each to rent. Mini-golf: $12 for children, $15 adults. Info: 174 Daniel's Hole Rd., East Hampton; 631-537-2695, ehitclubhouse.com.
North Shore Youth Council: Open Mic Night
Usually held at the Joseph A. Edgar school (except for an occasional night at Crazy Crepe in Miller Place), the NSYC Open Mic night gives tweens and teens a place to perform for their peers. Most come to sing or play instruments, but guests are more than welcome to simply sit and watch. Naturally it draws heavily from the Miller Place/ Mt. Sinai area, but it’s open to youth from all points. The nights are adult-supervised, and attendees can also play video games. Suggested donation of $3 to $5 covers cost of snacks and drinks. Info: Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School, 525 Route 25A, Rocky Point; 631-744-0207, nsyc.com.
LGBT Network Center
With a soft opening on April 8 (and a grand opening on April 15), the new LGBT Network Center will offer a community space featuring a cafe serving coffee and snacks and a variety of arts and culture programs. The center will be open to people ages 13 to 21. In addition, the events calendar will include live entertainment and open mic nights (times and days to be announced). Admission is free. Hours: 3 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 3 to 11 p.m. Fridays; hours will extend during the summer. Info: 125 Kennedy Dr., Hauppauge; 631-665-2300, lgbtnetwork.org.
ALSO TRY Coffeehouse at Pride for Youth (2050 Bellmore Ave., Bellmore, 516-679-9000, ext. 16, longislandcrisiscenter.org), which holds an from event 4:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday for people ages 13 to 20. A professional counselor is always on-hand for free, confidential chats, and the entertainment ranges from talent shows to guest speakers and live performances. First-time guests for the free event must go through a brief orientation and staff introduction, held at 8:15 p.m. Fridays.