Top 20 Places to Take Kids on Long Island
2021's Best Places for Kids on Long Island!
The best places to take kids on Long Island, based on KidsOutAndAbout's annual reader survey. But there is so much more to do beyond the favorite 20 places listed below: Take some time to explore our calendar and the rest of our lists, sign up for our fabulous weekly e-newsletter, and then get out and about! And be sure to investigate Everything That's Free!
Adventureland is Long Island's Amusement Park since 1962! Enjoy a fun and exciting day on rides, attractions, games, and more. Adventureland Amusement Park is only located 30 minutes east of New York City, at 2245 Broad Hollow Rd. in Farmingdale, New York and features over 30 fun and exciting rides and attractions. Adventureland has something for everyone with a variety of thrill rides, family rides, kiddie rides, and water rides.
2. My Local Library
Of course, the libraries on Long Island are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them #2 in best places to take kids this year!
3. Long Island Children's Museum
The Long Island Children's Museum offers 14 interactive exhibits plus live theater, art spaces and daily activities to provide hours of discovery for children of all ages.
4. The Animal Farm Petting Zoo
This 10-acre park is the perfect place to get close to nature and animals. You can pet and feed most of the animals. There are monkeys, parrots, llamas, deer, wallabies, reptiles, emu, cows, pigs and other animals. Bottle feed baby pigs and hand feed baby goats. Cuddle something soft in the Baby Barn. Free pony rides, Super Cow Musical Puppet Show, Super Slide, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Pony rides and Safari tour train additional. Birthday party, play date and group rates available. Open Spring through Fall - 11am-5pm every day, weather permitting. $15.95 for adults, $13.95 for children 2-16 & seniors. http://www.afpz.org/
5. Jump Town USA
Jump Town USA, a brand new 15,000 square foot bounce house party in Farmingdale, NY where children of all ages can play, bounce, slide and have an amazing time in a climate-controlled atmosphere. It is indeed, as our slogan states, the softest playground on Earth.
Inside Jump Town USA, you can also find Lil ballers were we offer many different options from sports training to Sports Parties as well as Mommy and me Yoga and Mommy and me Pilates. You can even combine a Jump Town USA party with a Lil Ballers party.
6. New York Mets
The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens. The Mets compete in Major League Baseball as a member of the National League East division.
7. Sky Zone
Jump into Sky Zone - the world's first all-walled trampoline playing court! Sky Zone features an array of fun, fit and low-impact activities ranging from Freestyle Jump, Ultimate Dodgeball and SkyFit fitness classes to birthday parties!
8. Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a non-profit, educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. Through exhibitions, educational programming and the foremost collection of technologically groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, visitors of all ages and abilities are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery.
The mission of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is to promote the awareness and understanding of history, science and service through its collections, exhibitions and programming in order to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth.
9. John W. Engeman Theater
The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport is Long Island's only year-round professional theater, casting its actors from the Broadway talent pool. Featuring Stadium-style seating, State of the art lighting and sound, and The Green Room Lounge.
10. Old Westbury Gardens
Old Westbury Gardens, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the former home of John S. Phipps, his wife, Margarita Grace Phipps and their four children. Completed in 1906 by the English designer, George A. Crawley, the magnificent Charles II-style mansion is nestled amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes. Westbury House is furnished with fine English antiques and decorative arts from the more than fifty years of the family's residence.
Today, Old Westbury Gardens welcomes visitors of all ages for guided tours of Westbury House, in-depth tours of the formal gardens, school visits, children's programs and events, family programs, museum exhibitions, classic car shows, indoor and outdoor classical and pop concerts, lectures, book signings, horticultural demonstrations and workshops, Scottish Games, botanical arts and gardening classes, and Master Gardener and Educator-led talks and tours of topics relating to horticulture, art, history, design and architecture.
11. Once Upon a Treetop
Once Upon a Treetop is an interactive CITY designed for imaginations young and old! Believe us - you have never seen anything like it on Long Island! We are proud to be the largest interactive, indoor playgound around!
A perfect play place for children from birth and up! Join us for Open Play, take an educational class ,or have a great one-of-a-kind birthday party!
12. Cultural Arts Playhouse
Founded in 1995 by owner Bruce Grossman, the Cultural Arts Playhouse of Syosset and now Wantagh is a year round regional, off-off Broadway style theater that has produced over 500 productions including educational and touring shows. Named by Long Island Press as one of Long Island’s Best Live Theaters, the theater serves more than 20,000 people each year with its professional adult productions, children’s theater performances, and theater education classes for ages 7-18. Along with its Musical Theater and Acting Academy (MTAA) and Young People’s Theater (YPT) more than 5000 students have had the opportunity to learn from the finest instructors in the New York area. With the over 150 years of combined experience of it staff, many of CAP’s students and performers have been able to use their CAP experiences and use the talents they have learned to do professional theater, recordings, television and film.
13. Alice Austen House
The Alice Austen House Museum promotes public awareness and scholarly study regarding the life and work of Alice Austen (1866 - 1952). Austen was one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers, and over the course of her life she captured about 8,000 images. Though she is best known for her documentary work, Austen was an artist with a strong aesthetic sensibility. Furthermore, she was a landscape designer, a master tennis player, and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car. She never married, and instead spent fifty years with Gertrude Tate. A rebel who broke away from the ties of her Victorian environment, Alice Austen created her own independent life.
14. Bayville Adventure Park
Offering pirate mini golf, bumper boats, arcade, rock climbing and more. Fun adventures for the whole family.
15. Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL)
The Center for Science Teaching & Learning’s (CSTL) expanded Dinosaurs! and Animal Adventure exhibit, featuring five new animatronic dinosaurs, is open and welcoming families and groups. Dinosaurs! And Animal Adventure is the only tourist and educational attraction of its kind on Long Island and a popular family-friendly attraction. The exhibit focuses on how animals adapt and survive, demonstrated through a unique intermixing of dinosaur models and live animals together. School children and families from the New York region and beyond are expected to visit this exhibit annually to experience more than 80 unique displays.
16. Children's Museum of the East End
This museum offers hands-on exhibits & educational programs aimed at kids, plus occasional events.
17. Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium
The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery closed its doors as a New York State fish hatchery on March 31, 1982. The following day it was reopened as a non-profit educational center by the Friends of the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, Inc. Its mission is to operate as an environmental education center and public aquarium that continues to raise and stock trout. We are proud to have the largest living collection of New York State freshwater reptiles, fishes and amphibians. The Hatchery is a fun place for your family to spend an afternoon together. Visitors can tour our two aquarium buildings and eight outdoor ponds, feed the hungry trout, and try our “Catch & Keep” fishing. Special events, such as Animal Passport Program and Hatching Turtle Day, offer the public an opportunity to learn more about the creatures that inhabit New York State’s natural environment.
18. Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center
The Nature Center is on a barrier island beach within Jones Beach State Park. An exhibit area depicts a variety of marine habitats including the South Shore Estuary Reserve, the seashore and the dune environment. There are lots of fun things for kids to do. Inside the center, children can feel live marine animals, look through a children's microscope or play in the kid's activity area. Outside the center, children can dig up whale bones in the Discovery Bone Cove, walk through the butterfly garden or view a shipwreck.
19. Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Old Bethpage Village Restoration is so much more than just a museum; it's a place to learn, enjoy, and be fully immersed in 19th century Long Island life!
Antebellum America was a place of numerous social, economic, and technological changes that have shaped our country into the great nation that it is today. Experience, for yourselves, that the future truly lies in the past!
20. Sands Point Preserve
The Sands Point Preserve on the original Guggenheim Estate embodies the grandeur and elegance that define the Gold Coast period of the early 20th century, when prominent American families built great mansions on large estates as summer retreats along the Long Island Sound. The Sands Point peninsula was the famed “East Egg” in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”
Today, the magnificent 216-acre park, including its historic mansions and the Phil Dejana Learning Center, is owned by Nassau County, NY, and is maintained and operated by the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Conservancy provides year-round educational and cultural programs, seasonal celebrations, mansion tours, fitness activities as well as private/corporate event services and film/TV location facilities.
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in three categories. Here were their choices.
Top Arts EducatorThe Well Seasoned Chef
The Well Seasoned Chef is a unique state of the art culinary facility conveniently located in Garden City, New York. We provide private cooking instructions, children's birthday parties and private and corporate events. We are currently booking through January 2021.
Top Sports EducatorGold Medal Gymnastics Centers
GMGC began in 1973. Our success over the years comes from our desire to give every student a quality learning experience. All our classes maintain a low student to teacher ratio and are taught by certified instructors. Gymnastics teaches not only athletic skills but also goal setting and achievement.
Classes are structured to build upper & lower body strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination. Our fun learning environments consist of a huge state-of-the-art gymnastics facility with fully equipped girls & boys gymnastics equipment, inground trampolines, a tumble track, numerous landing mats, inground foam pits, plus overhead spotting belts. All our facilities are cleaned and sterilized daily. Come visit for a tour!
Top STEM EducatorTanglewood Park and Preserve
An 11-acre park and preserve, Tanglewood provides a lovely nature trail and a beautifully renovated brick walkway surrounding a pond. The pond has been restocked with fish by the New York State Bureau of Fisheries and fishing is allowed (those under 16 years of age are not required to have a fishing license). Tanglewood also serves as home for the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, a nonprofit educational organization.