Exploring Port Jefferson, Long Island With Kids

Exploring Port Jefferson, Long Island With Kids

Get to know this family-friendly town on Long Island's North Shore!

Port Jefferson, located on Long Island's North Shore, is a picturesque waterfront location with plenty of things to do for kids and families. It is located about 50 miles east on New York City and is easily accessible by car, Long Island Railroad, or even boat. In fact, Port Jefferson is a top destination for boaters because it is one of two ports that have access from Connecticut and because the waters are so calm.

Families can take in a bit of history or take part in an education activity at the Harborfront Park, Port Jefferson Village Center, or Bayles Boat Shop, where they can learn about building and restoring wooden boats. There's also live theater year-round, plenty of great restaurants, and amazing festivals. Read on to discover our favorite things to do in Port Jefferson with kids:

Rocketship Park in Port Jefferson

This has to be one of the coolest playgrounds in the New York area let alone Long Island. Rocketship Park received a $900,000 upgrade and reopened last summer. The 4,000 sq. ft. park has two themed climbing structures, a basketball court, a tennis court, and a large area for picnics. The main climbing structure resembles a rocket ship, where kids can blast off with their imagination. The second structure resembles a pirate ship which is wheelchair friendly. There are also tons of musical and sensory features on the structure as well. There are two toddler play areas and the park is conveniently located just off of Main Street. There is parking and the playground is fully enclosed. Rocketship Park is located at Roessner Lane between Mill Creek Road and Barnum Avenue.

Festivals in Port Jefferson

Year-round families can experience the culture of Port Jefferson with one of its many famed festivals. The Dicken's Festival tops the list and happens each December. The town transforms into the Dickensian era with streets filled with characters such as Father Christmas, Dickens Mayor, Scrooge, the Town Crier, and chimney sweeps. The festival is free and suitable for all ages. The town also hosts Fourth of July and Halloween parades each year and during the summer many pirate-themed events can be found. There is also a year-round farmers market that takes place outdoors on Main Street during the warmer months. 

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Restaurants in Port Jefferson

There are tons of family-friendly restaurants in Port Jefferson, many of which can be found right on Main Street. Some great spots include Salsa Salsa for Mexican food, Toast which is great for breakfast and brunch, Gourmet Burger Bistro for a wide selection of burgers, and Tiger Lily Cafe for vegetarian options. You can find a full list of Port Jefferson restaurants on the town's official website.

Long Island Explorium in Port Jefferson

This museum of science and engineering is a great place to bring your kids for some exploration, fun, and learning. Current exhibits include Bailing Boat where using grains of rice, kids can compare volumes and solve rate problems and the Ship's Hull exhibit houses multiple types of materials where kids investigate structures and forces. At this exhibit there is a new science focus weekly. Kids can make ice cream, build boats, try to predict volume, build a compass, and more. The Explorium also hosts birthday parties and the Eastern Long Island Mini Maker Faire!

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