Summer is the perfect time to be outside, and we've compiled a list of the top 20 things to do on Long Island in the summer, including Long Island Ducks games, berry picking, outdoor music festivals and concerts, the Shinnecock Indian Nation Pow Wow, and a Pirate Festival at the Long Island Maritime Museum.
1. Get crafty.
With so much handiwork, the Harborfest craft fair at the Town Dock in Port Washington in early June is the perfect place for a family looking to admire (and create) crafts alongside musical performances and a pretty park on the Manhasset Bay waterfront.
2. Sail the high seas.
Arrr, Matey! Head to The Pirate Festival at the Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville, a weekend-long event in early to mid-June. Treasure hunts, a pirate costume contest, and lively live musical performances send everyone home yo-ho-happy. Check our calendar for info closer to the event.
3. Learn some history.
Amityville Historical Society’s Annual Heritage Fair in mid-June is a celebration of Amityville’s long and surprising history. Bring the whole family and enjoy trolley rides, food, music, and a host of enlightening activities geared toward kids.
4. Have an adventure.
Celebrate the start of summer near the end of June as Long Islanders have done for decades: at Adventureland Amusement Park in Farmingdale. Ride roller coasters, play in bumper cars, get chills in the Ghost House, and hang in the arcade. Check out our full list of amusement parks.
5. Work on your swing.
Go miniature golfing at Boomers Family Fun Center in Medford. Finish off the day racing in the go karts, practicing your swing in the batting cages, battling it out in the game room, or jumping on one of the kiddie rides with the littlest member of your family. We have a full list of mini golf courses in the area.
6. Go berry picking.
Pick your own berries throughout the summer at Patty’s Berries & Bunches in Mattituck or another berry farm on Long Island. This fun (and healthy) outing will leave your kids wanting to grow their own. See our list for more sweet locations nearby.
7. Go for a spin.
Take a spin on the historic Heckscher Carousel in Hempstead Lake State Park in West Hempstead. A timeless classic that only gets better with age, this carousel has a charm that families will find irresistibly fun. For more round and round, see our list of other carousels in the area.
8. Let out your inner cowboy.
Take a horseback riding lesson or ride a pony at Island Hills Stables in Middle Island. Island Hills offers lessons that encourage children to build relationships with the ponies on-site. For more details on Long Island horse stables, see our list.
9. See the sky light up.
Get a front-row seat for the Fourth of July fireworks via the Freeport Water Taxis. The kids won’t soon forget seeing the night sky light up directly overhead, reflecting off the water.
10. Quack for a cause.
Head to the One Million Dollar Duck Race at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches in mid-July to watch 7,000 small rubber ducks in a race for the top prize. They’re faster than you’d think! Cheer on your favorite quacker and stay for the family-style duck barbecue afterward. Proceeds from this event benefit the children with special needs who attend Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck.
11. Be a beach bum.
Head to a nearby beach, soak up some rays, and enjoy the cool ocean (just don’t forget the SPF!). Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh offers 6.5 miles of ocean beach and two swimming pools, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the precious summer months. Don’t go home without trying your hand at shuffleboard. For more beaches on Long Island, check out our round up.
12. Be a scientist for a day.
Hop aboard the Atlantis Explorer and become Scientists for a Day at the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center in Riverhead. Collect and analyze data on local marine wildlife, just like a real marine biologist would, throughout the summer.
13. Take the kids out to the ballgame.
Catch a Long Island Ducks minor league baseball game at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip throughout the summer. With individual game tickets being very well-priced (up to $15 each), a Ducks game is an affordable way to enjoy America’s pasttime with the family. Plus, members of the Long Island Ducks’ Kids Club (for ages 14 and younger) are invited to Kids Club Day, when they can tour the ballpark, run the bases, and meet some of the Ducks as well as the mascot, QuackerJack. More minor league teams can be found on our list.
14. Cuddle some cuties.
What kid doesn’t like critters? At the Animal Farm Petting Zoo in Manorville, yours will love spending time with, feeding, and yes, petting exotic and barnyard buddies. Find even more furry and feathered friends at these local zoos.
15. Take in some tunes.
At the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue’s Shorefront Park in mid-July, there is something for everyone. With more than 50 established and emerging performers, a petting zoo, arts-and-crafts stations, and other enticements, this festival is the place for music lovers of any age. Before you go, read about how to make the most of your child’s live music experience at nymetroparents.com/live-music.
16. Spend summer at Summerfest.
With a name like Summerfest, how could you not want to go? At the Sayville Summerfest in Downtown Sayville in early August, families will have a blast seeing the live musical performances, eating international food, checking out the car show, and much more.
17. Kick up your kilt.
The Scottish Games at Old Westbury Gardens in late August is a great way to learn about Scottish culture. Enjoy pipe bands, taste shortbread, peruse stained glass and other craft displays, and compete in highland games.
18. Cast a line.
Turtles, snakes, trout, oh my! Many Long Island parents have fond memories of going to the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium in Cold Spring Harbor on a grade-school field trip. It’s still around, and more interactive, educational, and fun than ever.
19. Scream for ice cream.
A hand-dipped cone is a staple of summer, and we think no place does it better than Gooseberry Grove on Main Street in Oyster Bay. With video games and a player piano to go along with the shakes, floats, and crazy number of homemade flavors, this is a kid’s ice cream paradise.
20. Join a pow wow.
Shinnecock Indian Nation Pow Wow, held at the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, allows visitors to learn about the culture of Long Island’s Native Americans. Traditional dances and a drum performance are only two of the entertaining, educational activities offered over the weekend-long festival, typically held in late August or early September. See our list for details on this and more cultural celebrations in the area.
More Seasonal Fun on Long Island