If you’re feeling a touch of spring fever, how about a spring fling cure in pursuit of the great outdoors? Here are three weekend events where you can relish an outdoor hobby with like-minded enthusiasts getting a jump-start on the season.
60th Annual Long Island Boat Show
WHEN | WHERE Noon-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. — 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. Sunday at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale
INFO 631-691-7050, nymta.com
ADMISSION $15 (free ages 12 and younger); free parking.
Rev up for the summer boating season at this longtime annual rite of spring, where watercraft from 20 boat dealers will be spread from the arena floor to the outdoor plaza. Guests can board and walk around parked watercraft ranging from an 18-foot skiff to a 39-foot Fountain powerboat, says Vincent Mazzone, events manager for boat show organizer, the New York Marine Trades Association in Amityville.
“The biggest thrill for the kids is to get to go on all of the boats,” Mazzone says.
The show also features a 75-vendors retail square showcasing the latest in boating electronics, accessories, engines, marine gear, inflatables and personal watercrafts. Never driven a boat? Try out your skills at a high-tech boating simulator.
The first 100 youngsters who arrive on Saturday or Sunday get a free life vest. A kids area includes face painting, balloon sculpting, hoops shooting and a video arcade with vintage PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong games. Animal handler “Nature” Nick Jacinto will entertain with a menagerie of kangaroos, monkeys, alligators, snakes, owls and falcons.
Spring Family Freshwater Fishing Festival
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at Belmont Lake State Park, West Babylon
INFO 631-444-0283, parks.ny.gov
ADMISSION $8 parking
Cast off spring fever at the annual festival that hooks you up with all you need for a freshwater fishing hobby.
Never caught a fish? Get tips from expert anglers, watch fly-casting demonstrations and talk to reps from local fishing clubs and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Kids can try their hand at a casting contest for prizes.
Then try your beginner’s luck in the 26-acre springfed lake — the odds of reeling in a keeper are good because the lake will be stocked beforehand with nearly 4,000 brown, brook and rainbow trout, and it already boasts a large population of yellow perch, according to state officials.
“You see a lot of joy on the children’s faces when they are catching fish, especially if it’s a beautiful day,” says AnnMarie Agostinello, director of recreation for the Long Island state parks region. The annual festival “is a great way to introduce kids to fishing,” says Agostinello, whose own children are former attendees.
If you don’t have your own fishing gear, loaner fishing rods will be provided, along with bait. Adults can fish hassle-free because freshwater fishing license requirement will be suspended (for the day) for anglers older than 16.
Long Island Cars Custom & Collectible Car Show
WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 7 at Belmont Racetrack (rain date April 14) in Elmont (enter at Gate 5)
INFO 631-567-5898, longislandcars.com
ADMISSION $9 (free ages 12 and younger)
Honk if you love classic cars. Hundreds of vintage and customized vehicles from as far back as the 1950s will be dazzling the crowds in row after and row on Belmont’s blacktop.
Street rods, vintage muscle cars (Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes), Cadillacs and even an antique 1920s Model A will be shown off and entered in a judging competition.
“Generations of families come with their cars,” says Phyllis Aquino of Oakdale, who with her husband, Frank Coppola, has been running the show since 1980. “Dad comes with his muscle car and the son has an import,” says Aquino.
Aquino says hundreds of swap meet vendors will be selling wheel covers and other auto-related merchandise.