Ahh, winter wonderland. For families, it can feel more like winter, “wonder what to do.” Here are ideas for winter outings under $60, from indoor rope courses to roller skating to even spending some time frolicking on the beach:
Go surfing at Scott's Pointe
5835 Middle Country Rd., Calverton
Head to this adventure park where you can hang 10 all year in the indoor surf pool. The waves are made by four pumps that are 180 horsepower apiece drawing water from a 100,000-gallon holding tank that sits in a 5-foot deep concrete pit underneath the pool. A stainless steel structure is built on top of the holding tank that shapes the wave and over that is 4 inches of waterproof matting covered by a pool liner. Participants must be 46 inches tall to body board and 52 inches to surf standing up. Visitors can also try laser tag, mini golf, ax-throwing, ninja warrior course and soft-play area.
Cost General admission is $37.50; There is an additional fee for the surf pool of $30 (beginner) or $45 (advanced) for 30-minutes
More info 631-953-2133, scottspointe.com
Hang at The Park at UBS Arena
2400 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont
Two new outdoor ice-skating rinks at this park offer Long Islanders a place to chill. The rinks are the centerpiece of an open-air park that also offers a beer garden with picnic tables, lawn games such as corn hole, food trucks and grab-and-go snacks, multiple fire pits, carnival games including a dunk tank filled with foam cubes instead of water, an Islanders “Swag Shack” and VIP igloos. Of the two skating rinks, Northwell Pond is a covered rink made of natural ice; the other rink, UBS Pond, and is made from synthetic ice that isn’t cold to the touch. On game days, there's a session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and skaters can reserve a spot online in advance. Play carnival games for an additional cost.
Cost Free entrance; ice skating $20 per session ($10 skate rental)
More info theparkatubsarena.com
Go ax- and paint-throwing at Axe & Smash
10095 Main Rd., Mattituck
Painters will be placed in a room with a 14-by-14-foot wall canvas and given squeezable paint bottles and mess-protective gear. Creators have 30 minutes to blast neon paint in any direction — at the canvas, the walls, floors and anyone in the room — and since the room uses black lights, it makes for a glowing experience. Participants can keep their canvas and a staffer is on hand to help with instruction or guidance in creating a piece of art.
Cost Sessions are $36 per person (which includes the canvas, three paint bottles, safety goggles, shoe covers and a poncho). Solo and group sessions are available.
More info 631-292-0020, axesmashli.com
Play games at Pinball Long Island
48 W. Main St., Patchogue
With close to 100 games, this arcade has machines ranging in era from the '60s to today with themes focused on popular movies, bands and TV shows.
Cost $20; $10 for ages 10 and under covers an entire day of play
More info pinballlongisland.com
Try archery at Smith Point Archery
215 E. Main St., Patchogue
If you want to take up a new hobby, head over to this 39-lane indoor archery range. It’s kids night at 7 p.m. Mondays. An instructor leads children age 7 to 13 in target shooting and each child can take home their paper target showing where their arrows landed. There are also balloon games — kids try to pop balloons attached to the target.
Cost $40 cash per person for the hourlong session and includes all equipment. Call ahead to ensure the class is happening that week. The spot also offers private, group lessons and adult and youth leagues. Guests can play any day for $35 an hour.
More info 631-289-3399, smithpointarchery.com
Ride an indoor coaster at Urban Air Adventure Park
3147 Middle Country Rd., Lake Grove
The Urban Air Sky Rider Indoor Coaster at Urban Air in Lake Grove follows a winding track flying along 30 feet in the air. The indoor adventure park also offers trampolines, high ropes course, bumper cars, virtual reality and more.
Cost Admission starts at $19.99 for ages 5 and younger and ranges to $44.99 for all-day, all-access play. There’s no charge for spectating, and if a parent wants to play along they get half off the child's price.
More info Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance at urbanair.com.
Spray paint a masterpiece at Graff Lab Studio
1600 N. Ocean Ave., Holtsville and 12 Millers Lane, New Hyde Park
The studio specializes in family-friendly workshops where you can learn and practice the art of graffiti. Hosted by professional street artists, the 90-minute classes include over 100 stencils, more than 30 colors and participants will be given aprons and gloves to help stay paint-free.
Cost Public workshops starting at $60
More info 631-265-6508, grafflabstudio.com
Have a snow day at home
Kasel Krafts, a Garden City-based company, features sensory kits that inspire endless play and imagination. Founder Emily Kasel assembles each kit. It includes dough plus an innovative collection of themed figurines and cool crafts to build imaginary worlds. Kasel’s latest creation is the snow sensory play kit, available on the website. Kasel shares her recipe: ½ cup baby lotion or regular lotion, 1 cup cornstarch, 2-3 tablespoons glitter (optional) in the color of your choice; silver works well. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cornstarch and lotion until combined. Place it on wax or parchment paper. Knead the dough until it forms a dough-like consistency. It will feel sticky at first but keep at it. If after 10 minutes the dough feels too sticky, add a tablespoon of cornstarch. If it’s too crumbly, add a small amount of lotion at a time and knead it until it feels like snow. Add glitter to make it glisten.
Cost The snow kit costs $22. It includes a 5-ounce container of non-toxic sensory dough with snowflake charms and acrylic ice.
More info kaselkrafts.com
Join the Polar Plunge in Long Beach
Riverside Boulevard, Long Beach
Brave the chilly temps on Feb. 11 for the annual plunge benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation.
More info 212-957-9474, ext. 4583, wish.org/newyork
Lace-up some roller skates at United Skates of America
1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford
The skate park offers two-hour family roller skating or in-line skating sessions Thursdays through Sundays.
Cost $15 and $7 fee to rent skates.
More info 516-795-5474, unitedskates.com/seaford
Play a new board game at Main Street Board Game Cafe
307 Main St., Huntington
There’s more to family competition than just Monopoly. Try some of the more than 300 games in the collection at Main Street Board Game Cafe in Huntington — staff members can teach your family how to play. Love the game? You can buy it and take it home. There is coffee, desserts and soft drinks for sale if you want to grab a bite.
Cost A three-hour admission ticket is $15 and $10 ages 12 and younger.
More info 631-729-0060, mainstboardgamecafe.com
Take to the ice at The Rinx
101-A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson Village
40 Station Dr., Wyandanch Plaza
Glide along with the family at an outdoor ice-skating rink. Try skating on the harbor at The Rinx at Harborfront in Port Jefferson Village from noon to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday through March or The Rinx at Wyandanch Plaza from 4-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday through March.
Cost Port Jefferson Village: $13, $10 ages 11 and younger and skates rent for $7; Wyandanch: $8, $5 ages 17 and younger including skate rental.
More info Port Jefferson: 631-403-4357; Wyandanch: 631-643-2050, therinx.com
Go for a swim at The Nassau County Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park
Merrick Avenue, East Meadow
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t go swimming. The pool is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Cost For adults with a Nassau County Leisure Pass, the cost is $8 and $6 per child for ages 4-17. Children ages 13 and older must have their own Leisure Pass. For others, the cost is $22 and $14 ages 13 and younger.
More info 516-572-0501, nassaucountyny.gov.
Climb 182 steps at The Fire Island Lighthouse
Robert Moses Causeway, Bay Shore
The museum is open during the winter from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the tower open until 3:30 p.m. Climb the 182 steps and then explore the interactive museum and learn about the lighthouse’s history. The lighthouse is about a 15-minute, ¾ mile walk along a boardwalk from Field 5 of Robert Moses State Park.
Cost Climbing costs $10 per adult and $5 per child ages 12 and younger, with a 42-inch height requirement.
More info 631-583-5901, fireislandlighthouse.com
Play mini-golf at Children’s Museum of the East End
376 Bridgehampton Tpke., Bridgehampton
The eight-hole, outdoor course is open year-round and its included in museum admission. Indoors, there’s an interactive fire truck, farm stand and ice cream parlor for imaginative family play.
More info 631-537-8250, cmee.org
Go sledding at Bethpage State Park, Cedar Creek Park and Hempstead Lake State Park
99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale; 3340 Merrick Rd., Seaford; 1000 Lake Dr., West Hempstead
What kid doesn’t want to grab a sled as soon as the first flakes start to fall? Popular parks for sledding include Bethpage State Park, Cedar Creek Park and Hempstead Lake State Park.
More info Farmingdale: 516-249-0701; Seaford: 516-571-7470; West Hempstead: 516-766-1029, parks.ny.gov
Ready, set, race at RPM Raceway
40 Daniel St., Farmingdale
Get in gear and choose from 150 arcade games situated all around the racetrack featuring new innovative titles mixed in with old classics plus a racing simulator and virtual reality experiences. Throw in bowling and billiards for good measure to round out your day.
Cost Game cards can be purchased for multiple arcade plays
More info 631-752-7223, rpmraceway.com
Experience another type of skiing at Bethpage State Park and Blydenburgh County Park
99 Quaker Meetinghouse Rd., Farmingdale; Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown
So what if Long Island is flat? To try cross-country skiing, there’s no need for hills. At Bethpage State Park,, for example, cross-country skiing is permitted on the blue and yellow golf courses. In Suffolk, it’s permitted at Blydenburgh County Park dawn to dusk daily in Smithtown. It’s B.Y.O.E. — bring your own equipment.
Go bowling at AMF Wantagh Lanes
1300 Wantagh Ave.
The bowling alley features 42 lanes and includes an arcade with games like Pac-Man, Super Mario Kart and basketball. Grab a bite at the restaurant and bar area where you'll find pizza, burgers, quesadillas and more.
Cost Single games are $6.99 per person on weekdays, $7.99 per person on weekends and $5.99 for shoe rentals. The bowling alley also offers specials like $29 unlimited bowling and shoe rental from 8 p.m. to midnight on Fridays; $17.49 for unlimited bowling, shoe rental and an arcade card ($5) from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
More info 516-781-1460, amf.com/location/amf-wantagh-lanes
Hit the beach at Sunken Meadow State Park
Rte. 25A and Sunken Meadow Pkwy, Kings Park
Every so often, there’s a mild winter day. Seize the opportunity to go to the beach. Sunken Meadow State Park allows for a stroll on the boardwalk and a chance for the kids to frolic on the sand. Open sunrise to sunset daily.
More info 631-269-4333, parks.ny.gov
Take a spin on Nunley’s Carousel at Long Island Children’s Museum
11 Davis Ave., Uniondale
Discover the magic and take a ride on this iconic carousel, 12:30 to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Cost $4 with museum admission: $17
More info 516-224-5800, licm.org
Root for the Islanders at UBS Arena
2400 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont
Don some home-team regalia and check out a hockey faceoff at the UBS Arena at Belmont Park. The arena also features concessions selling burgers, street food, popcorn, pretzels, ice cream and more.
More info Tickets $40 and up; 516-460-8599, ubsarena.com
Look up at Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium
180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport
Visit the summer home of William K. Vanderbilt II that highlights Vanderbilt’s oceanic expeditions and circumnavigations of the globe. The property also includes a planetarium that offers a variety of shows for all ages, including a “Sesame Street”-themed show, a show that mimics the night-sky on Long Island led by an astronomy educator and Laser Taylor Swift.
Cost $10, $7 younger than 12; planetarium tickets start at $10, $8 children ages 12 and younger
More info 631-854-5579, vanderbiltmuseum.org
See the sharks get fed at Long Island Aquarium
431 E. Main St., Riverhead
At 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, it’s mealtime for the sharks that live at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, and an educator tells visitors about their lives. Some of the other fish that usually hide in that habitat may also make an appearance, lured by the food. The shark feeding is included with aquarium admission. Shark feedings also take place at 3:30 p.m. on Monday and Thursday.
Cost $45.99, $31.99 ages 3-12
More info 631-208-9200 ext. 426, longislandaquarium.com
Enjoy live shows at Theatre Three
412 Main St., Port Jefferson
The children's series at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson (412 Main St.) continues, featuring a stage musical production of “Jack and the Beanstalk” for matinee and evening performances Jan. 20 through Feb. 3.
Cost Tickets are $12
More info 631-928-9100, theatrethree.com
Glow for it at Pinot's Palette
2557 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow
The two-hour instructor-led paint sessions happen under black light using fluorescent paint, 8:30 p.m. Fridays and 9 p.m. Saturdays in January.
Cost Sessions are typically $47 per person
More info 516-390-8740, pinotspalette.com
Fly a drone at Long Island Science Center
Tanger One, Suite 401, Riverhead
Families can fly a drone through an obstacle course inside a 10-foot-by-10-foot cage at this science center. The space also offers virtual reality headsets, a robot programming area and more STEM activities, where it will be operating 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Cost $15 per person
More info 631-208-8000, sciencecenterli.org
Search for seals at Cupsogue Beach
975 Dune Rd., Westhampton Beach
The Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island boasts more than 28,500 seal encounters at Cupsogue Beach since 2006. Try one of the society’s seal walk excursions and your budding marine biologists may get lucky as well. Bring your cameras and binoculars for this 1.2-mile, 60- to 90-minute adventure. Hats, gloves and warm waterproof shoes are recommended as it can be windy by the water.
Cost Donation of $5 and $3 younger than 18.
More info 631-319-6003, cresli.org
Learn about the Hubble Space Telescope at Cradle of Aviation Museum
Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale
A new, interactive exhibit called “New Views of the Universe” has opened at the museum. It explores how the Hubble Space Telescope works. It includes images from the telescope including other planets and galaxies. It also introduces visitors to the new James Webb Space Telescope. The traveling exhibit is at the museum through April. Free with admission.
Cost $18, $16 ages 2-12
More info 516-572-4111, cradleofaviation.org
Go to an indoor play place
One minute they're cooking up a meal in the pretend kitchenette, the next they're putting out a blaze in the fictional fire station before taking on a rock climbing challenge. It's all possible at indoor preschool play centers with recreational spaces, mini cafes and sensory stations geared toward toddlers.
More info Try Once Upon a Treetop in Plainview, where admission for two-hour open play is $20 walkers and $15 crawlers; or La La Land in Babylon, where a play cafe and vet center will entertain kids for a $25 90-minute session.
With Lynn Petry and Cathi Turow