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Go outside to enjoy spring festivals

Tulips bloom amid vendor tents at the Hofstra

Tulips bloom amid vendor tents at the Hofstra Dutch Festival on May 2, 2010, on the south campus of the university, on Hempstead Turnpike in Hempstead. Photo Credit: Hofstra University, 2010

With warm weather and clear skies finally a reality, this weekend could be the unofficial kickoff of the Island's outdoor festival season. From antiques and nature festivals to a carnival with midway rides and snack foods, get your fix at any of these weekend events. 

Arbor Day family festival

WHEN|WHERE: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, Oyster Bay. Rain or shine.

INFO: 516-922-8676,

ADMISSION: $15 per vehicle

FOOD: Provided by the Arboretum's Periwinkles Garden Café

Activities include musical performances by the Chamber Players International, tree climbing for children (with safety harnesses), crafts, a tree planting ceremony and mechanical bull rides. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of Coe Hall and the "Buffalo Bill, Wyoming and the Coe Family" exhibit.

ALSO TRY: Old Westbury Gardens celebrates Arbor Day all weekend with activities 11a.m.-3 p.m. featuring a nature scavenger hunt using a mobile app. Admission is $10 ($5 ages 7-17, 516-333-0048, oldwest Bring a used box of American-made crayons from 10 to 11 a.m. for a free child's admission.

Sheep to Shawl Festival

WHEN|WHERE: Noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Daniel W. Kissam House Museum, 434 Park Ave., Huntington

INFO: 631-427-7045, ext. 403,


Celebrate spring with sheep shearing, llamas, face-painting, children's games and musical entertainment. Also textile demonstrations, weaving, rug-hooking and lace-making. Tours of the museum will be available.

FOOD: Soft drinks, cider, snacks sold by Huntington village businesses

ALSO TRY: Take a free shuttle from the Sheep to Shawl Festival to the Huntington Tulip Festival, with hands-on children's activity booths, family shows and art exhibitions; 631-351-3099,

Dutch Festival

WHEN|WHERE: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Hofstra University, Hempstead. Rain or shine.

INFO: 516-463-6582,

ADMISSION: $5 (free ages 12 and younger)

Celebrate Hofstra's Dutch heritage -- thanks to founder William S. Hofstra -- with this spring festival that includes music, more than 80,000 tulips in bloom, a plant sale, children's activities and jazz performances.

"There is so much in bloom before, during and through about two weeks after the festival," says Fred Soviero, director of grounds, landscaping and the arboretum.

FOOD: Cookies, licorice, cheeses, coffee, cakes, Dutch braid sandwiches on pretzel twist rolls, bratwurst and Dutch crumb cake

Suffolk County Craft and Gift Show

WHEN|WHERE: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Long Island MacArthur Airport, Ronkonkoma; rain or shine

INFO: 516-442-6000,

ADMISSION Free ($10 for all-you-can-ride tickets)

This inaugural outdoor event will have more than 100 vendors, more than three-quarters of whom will be from Long Island. Rides include a child-safe mechanical bull ($5) and a rock-climbing wall.

FOOD Popcorn, cotton candy, pretzels, hot dogs and hamburgers

Wantagh Park Family Festival

WHEN|WHERE: 6-10 Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Wantagh Park, 1 King Rd.

INFO: 516-571-7460,

ADMISSION: Free; charge for rides ($25 pay-one-price rides)

This annual event is a traditional carnival with midway rides and a variety of family-friendly games.

FOOD: Funnel cakes, corn dogs, Italian sausage, gyros, steak sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, French fries, freshly squeezed lemonade


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