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40 Things to Do Outdoors on Long Island with Your Kids

40 Things to Do Outdoors on Long Island with Your Kids

Use this as your spring bucket list of outdoor activities on Long Island for family fun!


The warmer weather is finally here so it’s time to head outside for some fun in the sun. There is no shortage of outdoor activities on Long Island to do with your kids. From fishing and fruit farms to amusement parks and festivals, here are some locations and activities you’ll want to check out this month. Think of this as your pre-summer bucket list. And if you visit any of these places, make sure to tag @NYMetroParents when you share your pics on Instagram!

1. Whale Watching with Captain Lout Fleet

Take a whale-watching tour with Captain Lou Fleet. You might also spot some dolphins, birds, and other wildlife, with a naturalist on board to explain it all.

 

2. White Post Farms

Pay a visit to Patches and Oliver, the resident giraffes at White Post Farms. While there, enjoy a train and pony rides, and feed the birds at Ronnie’s Birdie Landing.

white post farm petting zoo

3. Long Island Ducks

Cheer on the Long Island Ducks, the local baseball team that plays out in Riverhead.

4. Adventure Park at Long Island

Bring out your inner daredevil at Adventure Park at Long Island! Your family can climb and zip line through low- and high-ropes courses.

adventure park at long island ropes course

5. Splish Splash

Check out the 20 waters slides at Splish Splash. Two new additions for this year are Bombs Away and Riptide Racer.

6. Long Island Game Farm

Say hello to more than 200 animals at the Long Island Game Farm, the largest combined children’s zoo and wildlife park on Long Island. Its zebra, Zypher, is expecting!

7. Bethpage Air Show

Celebrate the official start of summer at the Bethpage Air Show on Memorial Day weekend. This year, capacity is limited, and tickets must be bought in advance.

 

8. Old Westbury Gardens

Pack a picnic and enjoy the 200 acres of gardens, ponds, and lakes at Old Westbury Gardens.

9. Adventureland

Hop on amusement park rides for kids of all ages at Adventureland. You can then cool off at the arcade and grab some food at the park’s family-style restaurant.

adventureland long island

10. Sweet Briar Nature Center

Visit the butterfly vivarium and reptile room at the Sweet Briar Nature Center. Don’t forget to also check out the Discovery Area, which includes a sandbox, a hobbit house, other activities where children can paint and make music.

sweet briar nature center duck

11. Planting Fields Arboretum

Explore the colorful gardens and greenhouses at Planting Fields Arboretum. While there, take a tour of historic Cole Hall.

12. Harbes Barnyard Adventure

Spend the entire day at Harbes Barnyard Adventure. Kids can get close to the animals at the petting zoo, play some games at the new sports zone, challenge themselves on the obstacle course, and even pretend to milk a cow!

13. Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve

Hike or bike through acres of woodland, meadows, rock shoreline, and salt marsh at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve.

14. Garden of Eve

Pick strawberries this spring at Garden of Eve. Its annual Strawberry Fest will be hosted in May and June. Just be sure to buy tickets in advance!

15. Bayard Cutting Arboretum

Surround yourself with nature at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. It has 690 acres of open spaces, woodlands, and gardens.

16. Bayville Adventure Park

Challenge the kids to a round of mini golf at Bayville Adventure Park. There’s also indoor rock climbing, bumper boats, a jungle tree top adventure, and more.

 

17. Waterdrinker Family Farm & Garden

There are plenty of photo ops at Waterdrinker Family Farm & Garden thanks to its annual tulip and sunflower festivals. Families can also enjoy a round of mini golf, the jumbo jump pad, and a visit to the petting zoo.

18. Gateway Drive-In

Watch a movie from the comfort of your car at the Gateway Drive-In, which boasts the largest outdoor projection surface on Long Island. All proceeds go to the Performing Arts Center of Suffolk County.

19. Wild Play Elements Park at Jones Beach

Swing through the air at Wild Play Elements Park at Jones Beach. There are three levels of obstacles that get higher and more challenging, including tightropes, cargo nets, ziplines, rope swings, swinging logs, and wobbly bridges



20. Animal Farm Petting Zoo

Pet, feed, and cuddle with the hundreds of rescued animals at the Animal Farm Petting Zoo. Your admission also includes the puppet theater, picnic areas, and playgrounds, along with a ride on the Safari Family Train.

animal farm petting zoo safari family train

21. Fire Island

Walk along the pristine beaches of Fire Island. Then explore the salt marsh on a guided tour and climb to the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on Long Island.

22. Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary

Walk the nearly 2½ miles of marked trails at the Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary. It’s a former dairy farm that has been transformed into a preserve with bird and butterfly meadows and a white pine-shaded ravine.

23. Jones Beach

Take a drive to New York’s most-visited state park: Jones Beach. In addition to the sandy beach and beautiful ocean, walk on the boardwalk or take a bike ride, play miniature golf, and more.

24. Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Preserve

Book a guided tour at the Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Preserve, then head over to the playground and picnic area.

25. Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Take a step back in time at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Your family will find out what it was like to live during the mid-19th century.

26. Long Island Children’s Museum

Get your hands dirty at the outdoor backyard at Long Island Children’s Museum. This interactive outdoor exhibition includes a weather boat, herb garden, strawberry maze, sunflower house, evaporating art easels, and water play area.

27. Sands Point Preserve

See a real-life castle at Sands Point Preserve. Built-in 1902, Hampstead House is a 100,000 square-foot castle inspired by Ireland’s Kilkenny Castle.

 

28. Montauk Lighthouse

Sign up for surf lessons in Montauk. Then visit the Montauk Lighthouse, which was built in 1796 and is a national historic landmark.

29. Lavender by the Bay

Walk through fields of lovely lavender—and buy some to take home—at Lavender by the Bay.

30. Country Fair Park

Ride the go-karts at Country Fair Park. Then round out the day of fun with mini golf, batting cages, outdoor laser tag, and more.

31. Caleb Smith State Park Preserve

There’s plenty of bird watching at the Caleb Smith State Park Preserve. Plus, the Nature Museum has been recently renovated and showcases natural history exhibits.

32. Long Island Aquarium

Sail on an interactive and educational adventure aboard the Atlantis Explorer. Conducted by Long Island Aquarium educators, you’ll travel down the Peconic River and into Flanders Bay. When your excursion is over, stop by to say hello to the aquarium’s resident penguins.

33. American Beauty II Cruises

Take a sunset cruise aboard the American Beauty II—or learn about the historic whaling village of Sag Harbor on a sightseeing tour.

american beauty 2 cruises

34. Belmont Lake State Park

Catch some fish at Belmont Lake State Park. There is trout fishing in the spring and bass fishing in the summer.

35. Nassau County Museum of Art

Marvel at the outdoor sculpture garden at the Nassau County Museum of Art. There’s also an arboretum, nature garden, and trails to explore.

nassau county museum of art

36. Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium

Teach the kids how to fish at Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium. Just be sure to make a reservation in advance.

37. Clark Botanical Gardens

Spend a quiet morning or afternoon at Clark Botanic Gardens. This 12-acre botanical garden was designed by Alice Recknagel Ireys.

38. Deep Hollow Ranch

Live like a cowboy at Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working ranch in the U.S. Families can ride horses on the trail to explore Montauk’s beautiful scenery (private guided tours are available).

39. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

See Teddy Roosevelt’s historic home at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Then explore the grounds and take a hike to the small nearby beach.

40. The Big Duck

Snap a photo in front of The Big Duck, which is recognized by the National Register of Historic places and has become a roadside attraction for many motorists driving out to the east end.

the big duck long island


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Author: Linda DiProperzio has written extensively on parenting issues for Parents, American Baby, Parenting, and Family Circle, among others. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. See More

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