The days are long, and the weather is beautiful — the perfect opportunity to spend the day in the park. Even better, there are all kinds of events to take advantage of. Here are some of the best local parks in in Westchester, Rockland, and Fairfield, Nassau, & Suffolk Counties to choose from.
Redding Park and Recreation
Concerts on the Green. Featuring jazz, folk, and rock and roll. Bring the family, blankets, and a picnic dinner. Sundays, June 14-August 30. 6-8pm. FREE.
Bruce Park Playground
Museum Drive, Greenwich. 203-869-5344. www.jlgreenwich.org.
La Leche League of Greenwich/Stamford Annual Picnic. At Bruce Park Playground, across from the Bruce Museum. Bring your blanket and a picnic lunch. Wednesday, June 17; rain date Thursday, June 18. 10am-12pm. FREE.
Quassy Amusement Park
2132 Middlebury Road, Route 64, Middlebury. 203-758-2913. www.quassy.com.
‘3-D' Fireworks to celebrate July 4th. FREE. Special viewing glasses sold for $1 to support Prevent Blindness Tri-State. Come early and enjoy the park, entertainment, food. Saturday, July 4. 10pm.
Kent Family Magic Circus. Magic, juggling, fire-eating, illusions for the entire family. Sunday-Saturday, August 3-16, daily shows at 1, 3, and 5pm; Friday and Saturday shows at 7pm. FREE admission to the park and shows. Fees for rides, water park, and food. Vacation Village Resorts Lakeside Theatre stage.
Curious George Meet & Greet. Saturday-Monday, September 5-7. 1:30-4:30pm. $30 per carload.
Concerts in the Park. Enjoy music from rock to folk. Bring a chair or blanket and picnic in the park. Fridays, June 19-August 28. 6:30–8pm. FREE. At the bandstand. 100 Pocono Rd, Brookfield.
Summerfest. Water balloon and egg tosses, sand castle building competition, ice cream and watermelon eating contest. Friday, July 24. 12-4pm. FREE, but you need to show your beach pass or pay the daily guest fee to enter the park for the day. Town Park Beach, Candlewood Lake Road, Brookfield.
Summer Concerts. Bring a picnic and a blanket and relax with family and friends. Thursday, July 16, Bookends Band; Thursday, July 30, The Jay Willie Band; Thursday, August 6, The Ken More Band. 6:30-8:30pm. FREE. Town Hall South, 3 Main Street, Newtown.
The Bronx River Parkway Bicycle
For the 35th year in a row, the Bronx River Parkway will be closed to cars from the County Center south to Scarsdale Road in Yonkers, a round-trip of 13.1 miles, for Bicycle Sundays. Joggers, walkers, strollers, bikes, scooters and skaters are welcome to join the fun. Visitors can choose from many points of entry and exit along the Parkway. Sundays, June 7 and June 14. 10am-2pm. FREE. Parking available at the County Center for $4. County Center, 198 Central Avenue, White Plains.
Larchmont. 914-834-4309. www.villageoflarchmont.org.
For generations, kids have loved climbing the rocks overlooking the Long Island Sound at this picturesque park. Walking paths, scenic views, sailboats, marine life, flowers and trees have made Manor Park the subject of countless paintings, sketches and photographs. Although privately owned, the 13-acre parcel of land is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
Route 100, Somers. 914-864-7286. www.muscootfarm.org.
Hop on a tractor-pulled hay wagon, ride beyond the farm complex to hay fields and the pond, and get a different perspective of the farm. Through October. No reservations required. $2 per person. Hayrides will not go out in wet or misting weather.
49 David's Way, Bedford Hills. 914-234-2197. www.rainbeauridge.com.
On Wednesday mornings, kids entering grades K-3 can interact with animals, do art and cooking projects, and work in their own garden. On Thursday mornings, 3- and 4-year-olds mingle with farm animals and participate in theme-related activities that incorporate books and stories into the nature program. Both eight-week programs begin the week of July 2. Call for fees and information.
Playland Parkway, Rye. 914-813-7010. www.ryeplayland.org.
Playland will have FREE musical concerts on select Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer beginning at 7:45pm. The park will also put on FREE fireworks displays July 3 and 4, and every Wednesday and Friday night during July and August. Fireworks begin at 9:15pm. Parking Tuesday-Friday $5, Saturday and Sunday and holidays $5.
Katonah Memorial Park
98 North Street, Bedford. 914-232-8017. www.katonahny.com.
S'Mores Night. S'Mores making kits will be available for sale. All proceeds benefit the refurbishment of the Katonah Shelter. Saturday, June 20. 6:30-8pm.
Trailside Nature Museum
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Routes 35 and 121 South, Cross River. 914-864-7319. www.trailsidemuseum.org.
Cartoons in the Park. Join Jim Jinkins, creator of Doug, PB&J, Otter, Stanley, Jojo's Circus, and Pinky, Dinky, Doo, in search of silly and strange creatures hiding in his fantasy photos of the park. Outdoor exhibit with guided walks and stories. Pre-registration required. Recommended for ages 6-12. Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14. 1-3pm.
High Tor State Park
415 South Mountain Road, New City. 845-634-8074. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
High Tor State Park offers picnic areas, swimming and hiking, and magnificent views of the Hudson River. The Long Path passes through the park just before the trailheads inland to the Catskills. The pool is open June 27 through August 16, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Call for hours and fees.
Rockland Lake State Park
Hook Mountain, off Route 9W. 845-268-3020. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Two Olympic-sized swimming pools and two kiddie pools, as well as picnic tables and grills, a car-top boat launch, and boat rentals. There are also hiking trails, a Nature Center, tennis courts, and golf courses, and anglers can fish in Rockland Lake. Swimming from late May to Labor Day. Boating from April through November. The Nature Center is open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Tallman Mountain State Park
Route 9W, Orangetown. 845-359-0544. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Operating as a day-use area, Tallman Mountain State Park has a marsh that is part of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, as well as a swimming pool with showers, running track, tennis courts, playfield, a walking trail, hiking, and picnic areas. Call for hours and fees.
Friends of the Nyacks, P. O. Box 120, Nyack. 845-358-4973. www.nyack.org.
Mostly Music Concerts. Musical performances held along the Hudson River. Sundays, July 19-August 16. 5:30-8pm. FREE.
195 High Avenue, Nyack. 845-348-8740. www.amazinggracecircus.org.?
Presented by Amazing Grace CIRCUS!, the tri-state's only year-round youth circus organization, on the great lawn of Memorial Park as part of the New York Quadricentennial Celebration of the exploration and discovery of the Hudson River. July 15-August 2.
Bear Mountain Park
Bear Mountain Park has got it all when it comes to summer family fun. There’s a large play field, shaded picnic groves, a dock on the Hudson for mooring small craft, lake and river fishing access, an outdoor swimming pool, a zoo, trailside museum, hiking, biking and a merry-go-round. The Perkins Memorial Tower at the top of Bear Mountain offers spectacular views. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day. Parking $6. Pool admission $2; $1 children 6-12. Zoo and Trailside Museums $1 ages 13+; 50 cents children 6-12. Pool hours: weekdays 10am-6pm; weekends and holidays 9:30am-7pm. Trailside Museum hours: Saturday-Sunday 10am-4:30pm.
Robert Moses State Park
Summer Run Series. A one-mile race on the beach is one in a series of Monday night races at various state parks. Awards ceremony and raffle prizes. Monday, June 29. 7pm.
Captree State Park
1 Rescue Road, Babylon. 631-669-0449. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Fall Harvest and Seafood Festival. Family festival with entertainment, boat rides, crab races, pony rides, and more. Thursday, March 12-Sunday, September 13. 11am-5pm.
Snapper Derby. Children’s fishing tournament with prizes awarded for the heaviest snapper caught in age categories: 7 years and younger, 8-12, and 13-16. Saturday-Sunday, August 15-16. 8am-4pm.
I Fish New York Salt Water Clinic. Children ages 10 and up will learn fishing techniques, ethics, regulation, seafood safety, and filet techniques. Rods, bait, and tackle provided. Saturday, October 3. 10am-2pm.
South Shore Fishing Classic. Fish the waters between the Moriches and Jones Inlets. Fishing tournament with giveaways and award ceremony. Saturday, October 17, 12pm; Monday, October 19, 1pm.
Belmont Lake State Park
625 Belmont Avenue, Babylon. 631-667-5055. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Summer Run Series. A 5K race in a series of Monday night races at various state parks. Awards ceremony and raffle prizes. Monday, July 13. 7pm.
Connetquot River State Park Preserve
Box 505, Oakdale 631-581-1005. www.nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Trees are Terrific. Learn what trees are and how to identify them with different activities and crafts. Ages 3-5. Tuesday, June 2. 10-11am and 11:30 am-12:30pm. $3.
Butterfly Detectives. Discover the world of butterflies. An indoor program will be followed by an outdoor walk. Saturday, June 6, 9:30-11am. $3.
Spring Hike. Notice plants and wildlife during their annual renewal. Saturday, June 6, 9:30-11:30am. $4.
Moon River Walk. Walk along moonlit trails in the evening air. Sunday, June 7, 7:30-9:30pm. $4, $3 child.
House Tours. Tour the South Side Sportsmen's Club Main House. Sundays June 7, 14 and 21, 1-3:30pm. $4, $3 child.
Dragons & Damsels. An indoor talk followed by a hike in search of insects. Saturday, June 13, 2-3:30pm. $4, $3 child.
On Butterfly Wings. Find and learn to identify butterflies. Ages 3-5. Tuesday, June 16, 10-11am and 11:30am-12:30pm. $3.
Nurturing Dads. Meet the nurturing in nature that care for their young. Celebrate Father’s Day with dad and make a craft he will cherish. Saturday, June 20, 9:30-11am. $3.
Firefly Fun. Discover the mysterious world of the firefly. Indoor activities followed by outdoor fun. Saturday, June 20, 7:30-9:30pm. $4, $3 child.
Plants and Their Uses. Learn about common plants in their habitats and how they are used. Saturday, June 27, 2-3:30pm. $4, $3 child.
From Fiddlehead to Fern. Enjoy a two-mile hike identifying various species of flowerless plants. Saturday, June 27, 9:30-11:30am. $4.
Bugs and Beetles. Search for these creatures, followed by activities. Ages 3-5. Tuesday, June 30, 10-11am and 11:30am-12:30 pm. $3.
Day Town Fair. Kings Park Chamber of Commerce is holding its 32nd Annual Kings Park Day. DJs, bands, dance performances, karate demonstrations, bike rally, clowns, face painting, craft fair, rides, raffles and give-away. June 20, 10am-4pm. Main Street parking lot across from fire department.
Heckscher State Park
East Islip. 631-581-2100. nysparks.com/parks.
Summer Run Series. A five-mile race in a series of Monday night races at various state parks. Awards ceremony and raffle prizes. Monday, June 8, 7pm. Heckscher Parkway Field 1. Reservations 800-456-2267.
Nissequogue River State Park and Marina
799 Saint Johnland Road, Kings Park. 631-269-4927. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Botany: From Beach to Forest. Discover plants, shrubs and trees and observe native wildlife while taking a walk from the river shore to the shaded forest. Saturday, June 6, 2-4pm. $4.
Nature Scavenger Hunt. Kids search high and low for the fascinating and downright silly things on a scavenger list. Saturday, June 13, 10:30am-12pm. $3.
Sunken Meadow State Park
Rte. 25A and Sunken Meadow Parkway, Kings Park. 631-269-4333. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Summer Run Series. A 10K race in a series of Monday night races at various state parks. Awards ceremony and raffle prizes. Monday, June 22, 7pm. ?
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
581 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown. 631-265-1054. nysparks.com/parks.
Are You My Baby? Learn how animals take care of their young, followed by a walk, activities and crafts. Ages 3-5. Thursday, June 11, 10-11am. $3.
Jr. Angler “Catch & Release” Fishing Tournament. Tournament for two age categories, 5-8 and 9-12, during two sessions. Rods, bait, and tackle provided. Prizes awarded. Pre-registration required. Space is limited. Saturday, June 13, 8:30-11am and 12:30-3pm. $12.
Shutterbug Walk. Take photos of the preserve scenery, close-ups of plants, insects or wildlife. Sunday, June 14, 9:30-11am. $4.
“Bugs Aren’t Bad,” Said My Dad. An indoor presentation followed by an outdoor observation of insects. Saturday, June 20, 10-11:30am. $3.
A Quail’s Tale. See baby quails up close and learn where they live, what they eat, and why they are being raised in the park, followed by activities and crafts. Ages 3-5. Thursday, June 25, 10-11am. $3.
Firefly Fun. Explore the dark and mysterious world of the firefly. Indoor activities and outdoor fun. Saturday, June 27, 7:30-9pm. $4, $3 child.
Flutterbys. Discover the world of butterflies and moths with costumes, puppets, and a trip to the butterfly garden. Sunday, June 28, 1:30-3pm. $3.
Cantiague Ice Skating Rink, West John Street east of Cantiague Rock Rd., Hicksville. 516-571-7056. www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Parks/Wheretogo/active/cantiague.html.
Theme Nights. The rink is open seven days a week. June 15, Under the Sea; June 12, Hawaiian Night. Ice rink fees are $12, $8 children, $3 seniors. Skate rentals are $4.
Bethpage State Park
Summer Run Series. A 5K race in a series of Monday night races at various state parks. Awards ceremony and raffle prizes. Monday, July 27, 7pm. 99 Quaker Meeting House Road, Farmingdale.
Hempstead Lake State Park
West Hempstead. 516-766-1029. nysparks.state.ny.us/parks.
Summer Run Series. A 4K race in a series of Monday night races at various state parks. Awards ceremony and raffle prizes. Monday, July 6, 7pm.
Jones Beach State Park
Fireworks Spectacular. Fireworks extravaganza above the shores of Jones Beach State Park simulcast to a musical array of patriotic songs. Saturday, July 4, 9:30pm.
Summer Run Series. A five-mile race in a series of Monday night races at various state parks. Awards ceremony and raffle prizes. Monday, August 3, 7pm. 1 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh.
Tanglewood Park and Preserve
1 Tanglewood Road, Rockville Centre. 516-764-0045. www.nassaucountyny.gov.
Live Animal Exhibit. An ongoing permanent exhibit, plus nature trails. Pack a picnic for a fun day. Closed Tuesday. 10am-4pm. $6.
North Hempstead Town Dock, Port Washington. 516-883-6566. www.pwguide.com.
Kiwanis HarborFest Evening Under the Stars. Big Band entertainment, food, fun for the whole family. Friday, June 5, 7pm. $25, $30 at door; $7 children. 516-883-6566.
Harborfest Dock Day and Craft Festival. Craft fair, schooner sails on Manhasset Bay, music, enviro-expo, nautical exhibit in the tugboat museum, pirates, local vendors, food court, model boat regatta. Sunday, June 7, 10am-5pm. FREE.
Memorial Park/Grist Mill Museum
Woods and Atlantic Avenues, East Rockaway. 516-887-6320. www.villageofeastrockaway.org.
40th Anniversary of Huckleberry Frolic. Completely restored after being burned to the ground, the 300-year-old Grist Mill displays 19th to early 20th century settings. See an old fire pump engine, period costumes, Indian and bay exhibits, and store reproductions. Saturday, June 13; rain date June 20. 1-5pm. FREE.
Mitchell Park Marina
Greenport. 631-477-2200. www.greenportvillage.com.
Trawler Fest 2009. Showcasing the ocean cruising lifestyle. June 20-28. Call for times and fees.
Deepwells Farm County Park
Rt. 25A Moriches Rd., St. James. 631-862-6080. www.co.suffolk.ny.us/departments/parks.
Arts and Crafts Summer Festival. Original art, ceramics, jewelry, stained glass, leatherworks, craft demonstrations, live music, tours of the historical mansion, and food. Rain or shine. Saturday, July 18, 10am-6pm; Sunday, July 19, 10am-5pm. $5.
300 Lincoln Street and Osborn Avenue, Riverhead. 631-369-1616. www.exploreli.com.
Polish Town USA 2009 Street Fair and Festival. Over 250 stands featuring Polish food, arts and crafts, reenactment of an old-fashion wedding, polka bands, and corn-husking contest. Street Fair, Saturday-Sunday, August 15-16, 10am-6pm. Polka Dance Festival includes bands, dance groups and dancing; Saturday, August 15, 5pm-midnight. Kids Fun Day, Sunday, August 16, noon-5pm. Street Fair FREE; Polka Dance Festival $13, $5 ages 12 and younger.
Fairfield Photo: Bruce Park Playground
Westchester: Photo: Bicycling at Bronx River Parkway
Rockland Photo: High Tor State Park Pool
NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation