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Long Island Summer Activities: 30 Ideas to Keep Kids Active

Posted by Jordan Snider on May 30, 2024 9:29:00 AM

As the summer sun brightens the skies, Long Island transforms into a playground of endless possibilities for families. 

From the sparkling waters of the Atlantic to the lush, expansive parks, the area offers more than just stunning beaches — it’s a treasure trove of adventures waiting to be discovered.

Whether you’re splashing around in a water park, exploring historic sites, or enjoying a leisurely day at a farm, Long Island has something to delight every member of the family.

We’re partial to Long Island — after all, we operate several summer camps throughout the area, including

This summer, why not embark on a journey through some of the most family-friendly spots on Long Island? 

Our guide takes you from the thrilling heights of zip lines at WildPlay Element Parks to the historic grounds of Sagamore Hill and every exciting stop in between. 

Here's a look at 30 can't-miss destinations that promise to make your summer unforgettable!

1. Long Island Aquarium

Step into an aquatic adventure at the Long Island Aquarium, where the ocean comes to life right before your eyes! 

Perfect for families, this engaging aquarium offers a peek into the marine world through interactive encounters, educational exhibits, and thrilling experiences like shark dives. Dive deep into the mysteries of the ocean and learn about the efforts to conserve these incredible ecosystems.

2. Old Westbury Gardens

We can’t leave out a walk through the enchanting Old Westbury Gardens

This historic site not only offers breathtaking gardens and a majestic mansion to explore but also hosts various family-friendly events, including outdoor movies and lively concerts. It’s the perfect setting to relax, connect with nature, and soak in some culture.

3. Harbes Family Farm

Get ready for a day of fun and fresh air at Harbes Family Farm

From barnyard adventures to seasonal festivities like pumpkin picking and apple festivals, this farm offers a hands-on experience with agriculture. Enjoy pedal carts, pig races, and the taste of farm-fresh treats. It's a day out that the whole family will cherish.

4. Splish Splash Water Park

Looking to beat the summer heat? Make a splash at Splish Splash Water Park!

This water park spans 96 acres and is packed with water slides, wave pools, and a lazy river, offering endless fun for the whole family. From adrenaline-pumping rides for thrill seekers to gentle waves for the little ones, everyone can find their happy place here.

If swimming is more your child’s thing, then we can’t help but recommend our swim camps. From beginners to veterans, there’s something to challenge every swimmer!

summer swim camp

5. Long Island Children’s Museum

Discover a world where learning and fun collide at the Long Island Children's Museum

With over a dozen interactive exhibits ranging from arts to science, it's a place where kids can creatively express themselves and engage in playful learning. The museum offers workshops, art stations, and hands-on activities that inspire young minds.

6. Lavender By The Bay

A list of Long Island activities wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the enchantment of Lavender by the Bay.

Visitors can wander through 17 acres of vibrant lavender, learn about the cultivation process, and discover the various uses of this aromatic herb. The farm shop offers a range of lavender products, making it an ideal spot to unwind and take a piece of the tranquility home.

7. Cradle of Aviation Museum

The sky's the limit at the Cradle of Aviation Museum!

This extensive museum is dedicated to celebrating the advancements in aviation and space travel. With over 75 air and spacecraft, from hot air balloons to an actual lunar module, visitors can engage in a hands-on journey through the history of flight. The museum's planetarium and regular family science nights offer additional layers of educational fun.

8. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

Delve into the life of Theodore Roosevelt at Sagamore Hill, the former home of the 26th President of the United States. 

This well-preserved site offers visitors a chance to explore the Roosevelt family home, preserved just as it was during his time. The surrounding grounds and nature trails offer a scenic retreat, while ranger-led tours provide insights into Roosevelt's personal and political life.

9. Jones Beach State Park

Jones Beach State Park is a beloved escape with its expansive beaches and vibrant boardwalk. 

Perfect for a day of sun, sand, and surf, the park offers numerous amenities, including a theater, outdoor concerts, and a nature center. Families can enjoy the playgrounds, picnic areas, and even a pool, making every visit memorable.

10. Children's Museum of the East End

The Children's Museum of the East End sparks joy and curiosity through its interactive exhibits and playful learning environment. 

Children can immerse themselves in activities that range from role-playing in a mock village to constructing unique art projects. Regularly scheduled classes and workshops encourage creativity and exploration in a fun, supportive setting.

11. Adventureland

Thrills and laughs await at Adventureland, Long Island's destination for family amusement! 

Featuring a mix of classic rides like bumper cars and innovative attractions such as a spinning coaster, the park caters to thrill-seekers and families alike. Seasonal events and various food options ensure a full day of fun and adventure for visitors of all ages.

12. Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

Discover the wonders of aquatic life at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

As a former trout hatchery turned environmental education center, it offers interactive experiences like fish and turtle feeding. Educational programs and a museum featuring New York State freshwater ecosystems make it a must-visit for budding environmentalists.

13. Planting Fields Arboretum

Escape into nature's embrace at Planting Fields Arboretum, a historic estate where exquisite gardens and captivating greenhouses await discovery. 

Visitors can enjoy year-round beauty with vibrant seasonal displays and explore Coe Hall Historic House Museum for a glimpse into the Gold Coast era. The arboretum is not just a treat for the eyes but also hosts family festivals and educational programs that make every visit special.

14. WildPlay Element Parks at Jones Beach

Looking for an exhilarating outdoor adventure? Try WildPlay Element Parks at Jones Beach.

This dynamic park features a series of thrilling zip lines, challenging rope courses, and creative obstacle courses designed to push your limits and pump up the adrenaline. It's an engaging experience that encourages families to bond through activity and adventure, perfect for kids and adults alike who crave a bit of outdoor excitement. 

Whether you're swinging through the air or balancing on a tightrope, WildPlay offers a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Jones Beach.

For children with a vested interest in the activities at WildPlay, Future Stars circus arts camp is a fantastic choice. Kids will get the opportunity to take part in classic circus skills, build teamwork, confidence, and much more.  

fun at circus camp (1)

15. Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium

The Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium gives children the chance to venture into the fascinating world of astronomy and history — all at once. 

This unique establishment houses extensive maritime and natural history collections, a mansion, and a state-of-the-art planetarium that offers awe-inspiring shows. It’s an ideal spot for those looking to combine educational content with stellar entertainment.

16. Bayville Adventure Park

Set sail for fun at Bayville Adventure Park, a treasure trove of pirate-themed entertainment perfect for family outings!

This seasonal amusement park captivates visitors with its array of attractions, including pirate-themed mini-golf, exciting bumper boats, and an eerie haunted house that adds a touch of thrill. 
With activities suitable for all ages, from young children to adventurous adults, Bayville Adventure Park offers a lively and engaging environment where families can spend quality time together and make lasting memories.

If your child truly loves adventure, why not try an adventure camp? Future Stars offers an adventure camp where children get the chance to challenge themselves in all kinds of different atmospheres. 

kids on a break at adventure camp

17. Long Island Game Farm

Animal lovers rejoice — allow your child to connect with them at the Long Island Game Farm

This interactive zoo and wildlife park is home to hundreds of domestic and exotic animals. The farm provides a variety of educational shows, animal encounters, and hands-on experiences, making it a delightful visit for animal lovers of all ages.

18. The Adventure Park at Long Island

Challenge yourself and your family at The Adventure Park at Long Island, where you can test your limits on zip lines and climbing courses!

This aerial forest adventure is perfect for active families, offering a mix of obstacles that cater to all skill levels and promote teamwork and physical fitness.

19. Sweetbriar Nature Center 

It’s hard to beat the wonders of nature found at Sweetbriar Nature Center

This educational and interactive center offers families the chance to explore Long Island's natural habitats, including woodland trails, wetlands, and gardens. 

With hands-on exhibits, wildlife displays, and educational programs, Sweetbriar Nature Center provides a unique opportunity for children to connect with nature and learn about local wildlife conservation efforts. 

It's a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and environmental education for families seeking a peaceful and enriching experience.

20. Railroad Museum of Long Island

All aboard for a journey into the past at the Railroad Museum of Long Island!

With its extensive collection of trains and trolleys, the museum offers a fascinating look into the region's railroad history. Special event days often feature train rides, making it a hit for families and train enthusiasts.

21. Animal Farm Petting Zoo

The Animal Farm Petting Zoo is perfect for a day filled with fun and furry friends! 

This delightful petting zoo allows children and families to interact closely with various farm animals, exotic birds, and other wildlife. The zoo also features a playground, picnic area, and educational shows, making it perfect for a family outing.

22. Eisenhower Park

Explore the expansive Eisenhower Park, a central hub for outdoor recreation on Long Island. 

Covering over 930 acres, this public park offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Families can enjoy a day of golf on one of the three 18-hole golf courses, cool off in the swimming pools, or engage in various sports on the numerous fields available for soccer, baseball, and more. 

The park also features well-maintained picnic areas ideal for a family gathering or a casual outdoor lunch. With its vast size and diverse facilities, Eisenhower Park is a perfect spot for a day filled with fun and activity.

23. Parrish Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Parrish Art Museum

This museum focuses on American art with a particular emphasis on works from the Long Island area. It offers creative workshops and family art classes, making it a great destination for those looking to engage with art in an interactive setting.

Can’t get enough of art? Enroll your child at a Future Stars art camp! Kids explore their own art skills while developing brand new ones — all while making new friends in the process. 

kids painting at art camp

24. Nassau County Museum of Art

Let’s keep the art train going with the Nassau County Museum of Art!

Set on a sprawling estate, the museum showcases diverse art exhibitions and features a sculpture garden that visitors can explore. Family-friendly art activities and a welcoming atmosphere make it a cultural haven for all ages.

25. Nassau County Firefighters Museum

Learn about the courageous world of firefighting at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum

This interactive museum offers visitors a chance to explore the history of firefighting through exhibits featuring vintage gear and modern techniques. Children can try on firefighter gear and participate in fire safety activities, making it an educational and thrilling experience.

26. Bethpage Air Show

Experience the thrill of aviation at the Bethpage Air Show, an annual event that features jaw-dropping aerobatics and precision flying by military and civilian performers. 

Happening around Memorial Day weekend every year, this exciting air show is a fantastic way to witness the skills of pilots up close and is sure to captivate audiences of all ages.

For those interested in science and technology, why not check out a Future Stars STEAM camp? Campers can choose a particular interest, from robotics to 3D modeling and beyond! 

work in progress at steam camp

27. City of Long Beach

Discover the vibrant City of Long Beach, known for its beautiful beaches, lively boardwalk, and numerous family-friendly events

Whether you're looking to enjoy a concert, participate in beach activities, or simply stroll along the boardwalk, Long Beach offers a dynamic coastal experience that’s hard to beat!

28. Belmont Park

Feel the rush of excitement at Belmont Park, a premier destination for horse racing and the illustrious home of the Belmont Stakes. 

But there’s more to Belmont than just racing. The park hosts special family days where everyone can enjoy kid-friendly activities and explore the inner workings of the racetrack through behind-the-scenes tours. It’s a unique blend of sport and entertainment that’s sure to thrill visitors of all ages.

29. Montauk Lighthouse

Step into history at the Montauk Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in New York State!

Perched at the edge of Long Island, this iconic beacon offers a museum rich with maritime history and stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Families can enjoy educational exhibits inside the lighthouse, take memorable photos, and relax in scenic picnicking areas. 

It’s a perfect outing for those who love history, nature, and spectacular seaside views.

30 . White Post Farms

Discover the joys of farm life at White Post Farms, a family favorite that goes beyond the typical farm experience. Here, children can engage directly with various friendly farm animals in the petting areas or enjoy a gentle pony ride. 

The farm also hosts vibrant bird shows that dazzle visitors of all ages. Seasonal events, such as pumpkin picking in the fall, add to the year-round charm and make every visit a new adventure. It’s an ideal spot for families looking to create lasting memories surrounded by nature and animals.

Summer Camps are a Great Way to Keep Kids Active

All of these activities are sure to keep children active and busy this summer.

But we’d be remiss not to mention summer camps!

No matter your child’s interests, there’s a summer camp out there for them — it’s all about choosing the right one.

The Camp Comparison Checklist allows you to compare and contrast camp offerings in the area — keep track of prices, locations, and much more all in one convenient location. 
Download your free Camp Comparison Checklist today! 

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