UPDATED December 2018: Looking for something fun to do with your kids on Long Island? We here at NYMetroParents pride ourselves on making sure you’re in the know about family activities in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Want to spend the day with your adventurous kids at an amusement park or ride a carousel? Or maybe you want to visit a museum or planetarium with your little smarty-pants. Or is your kid an animal-lover who loves seeing and learning about animals and marine life at nearby zoos and aquariums? Maybe you want to take a day trip and discover a venue in a whole new location nearby. Whatever family activity you’re looking to spend the day doing, we have you covered. You’ll find family activities on Long Island, including locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties, such as Farmingdale, Hempstead, Riverhead, Bellport, and Stony Brook.
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Indoor & Outdoor Play Spaces
Visit the newly renovated @Play Amusement—Long Island’s favorite indoor amusement park! Children of all ages can explore 30,000-square-feet of safe, clean, climate-controlled fun. @Play provides your family with arcade games, inflatables, bumper cars, roller coaster, a carousel, disco room, and laser tag! Kids will never get bored as they enjoy going from one activity to the next. @Play is easily accessible from Nassau, Suffolk, and the five boroughs of New York.
BounceU Farmingdale was voted “Best of Long Island” for Children’s Party Place, Camp, and Family Amusement Center. We provide the ideal combination of inflatable structures, a clean environment, incredible customer service, and non-stop excitement. We feature giant inflatable toys and a wide variety of activities for children and adults, including basketball, boxing, obstacle courses, and slides. We take pride in providing superior customer service. Visit us this summer for Open Bounce fun for all ages!
Movies & Theater
GATEWAY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER OF SUFFOLK COUNTY (THE)
215 S. Country Road, Bellport
631-286-1133, 631-286-0555, x5000
Since 1950, The Gateway has become Long Island’s home for Broadway-quality entertainment. What was once one of the top ten summer theatres-Robert Duvall and Gene Hackman began their careers here-has now expanded to include a five-show summer season of musicals, a summer Children’s Theatre series, Winter holiday season–plus special events throughout the year. Shows are presented at the 500-seat Gateway Playhouse in Bellport and the 1200-seat Patchogue Theatre. More than 300 students each year–from Montauk to Manhattan–receive professional-level training at The Gateway School for the Performing Arts.
STALLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook
With exciting performances all season long at Staller Center, Stony Brook University’s arts center is a go-to resource for Long Island families. Introduce your children to inspiring dance troupes, a theatrical circus, and music of all kinds. Educational outreach is also part of Staller Center’s mission. The Instrument Petting Zoo, Orchestra to the Orchestra, and Art2Go all encourage a love of the arts. Visit stallercenter.com and stallercenter.com/outreach for more information.
Museums & Planetariums
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY MUSEUM
112 Hofstra University, Hempstead
Free family fun at the Hofstra University Museum! More than just a museum! Engage! Pick up an Art Quest in the exhibition, Romare Bearden: Storyteller and solve puzzles related to Bearden’s art. Discover! Borrow an activity-filled Let’s Explore Backpack to explore the outdoor sculpture and take home your own artwork. Funding provided by Bethpage Federal Credit Union. Enjoy! Become a detective and use The Great Art Caper to solve a mystery about the outdoor sculptures on campus. All activities are for children ages 5-12 with an adult companion.
Zoos & Aquariums
LONG ISLAND AQUARIUM
431 E. Main St., Riverhead
631-208-9200 xH2O (426) or 631-208-9200 x125
This FINtastic destination features one of the largest all-living coral reef displays in this hemisphere, a 120,000-gallon shark tank, year-round sea lion shows, penguins, numerous touch tanks and more than 100 exhibits and interactive experiences, including Butterflies, Bugs and Birds, Shark Dive, Penguin Encounter, and Snorkel Adventure! There are plenty of special events on the calendar, for guests of all ages. Check our website for a full listing of the great activities you won’t want to miss.