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Free (and cheap!) for kids on Long Island in August
Need weekend plans or something to do with the kids during the week? There are a ton of free children's events at local libraries, but we also found free and cheap ($10 or less) things to do elsewhere this month. Whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow, here's a roundup of fun, budget-friendly events in August.
Movie on the Lawn: "E.T." at Molloy College (1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre) on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Outdoor viewing of the class movie, which begins at sunset, typically between 8-9 p.m. Don't forget to pack a picnic and lawn chairs.
Children's Hands-on Milling at Water Mill Museum (41 Old Mill Rd., Water Mill) weekly through Aug. 12 at 11:30 a.m. Children will learn about the water-powered mill and its giant stone wheels and wooden gears that grind the grain.
Erik's Reptile Edventures, a reptile show where you'll learn about animals from around the world including snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodilians, toads, salamanders, arachnids and more will take place at Echo Indoor Pool Complex (Nassau Boulevard, at Roosevelt Boulevard, West Hempstead) on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 10 a.m.; Elmont Road Park (Elmont) on Aug. 1 at 1:30 p.m.; Rath Park (849 Fenworth Blvd., Franklin Square) on Friday, Aug. 2 at 10 a.m.; Hendrickson Avenue Park (Elmont) on Friday, Aug. 2 at 1:30 p.m.
Atom Smashing Fun at Brookhaven National Laboratory (William Floyd Parkway, Upton) on Sunday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Kids ages 10 and older can visit the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, a particle accelerator where physicists re-create the conditions of the universe. First come, first served.
Young People and the Arts: Lou Blanco at Manorhaven Beach Park (Manorhaven Boulevard, Manorhaven) on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 10:30 a.m. The "Make a Good Choice" program investigates peer pressure, bullying, tolerance and respect through fun, interactive songs and stories. Be sure to bring a chair and snacks.
Movie on the Lawn: "The Incredibles" at Molloy College (1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre) on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Outdoor viewing about a family with incredible powers. Movie begins at sunset, typically between 8-9 p.m. Don't forget to pack a picnic and lawn chairs.
Grown on Long Island Day at Suffolk County Farm and Education Center (350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank) on Friday, Aug. 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A countywide farmers market featuring locally grown products, farm animals, cooking demonstrations, wagon rides ($2), farm crafts, a scavenger hunt and children's games.
Outdoor Movie: Jack and the Giant Slayer at Newsday (235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville) on Friday, Aug. 9 at sunset. Adventure and fantasy starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane and Bill Nighy, rated PG-13. Rain date is Friday, Aug. 16; the event is free, but advance tickets are required.
Art in Action at Poquatuck Park (Village Lane, Orient) on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 5-7 p.m. Kids and adults alike can spend an evening making art. Permanent acrylic paint, brushes and white T-shirts provided, plus lemonade for kids and wine for adults. Must register; rain date is Aug. 11.
Magic Carpet Storytime at Dr. George S. King Park (Main Street, Bay Shore) Wednesdays through August 14 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Held at the band shell and presented by the Bay Shore-Brightwater Library, this kids event features stories, finger puppets and songs.
Film: "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" at Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater of Eisenhower Park (Hempstead Turnpike and Merrick Avenue, East Meadow) on Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Kids will enjoy an outdoor screening of this popular movie. Park in fields 6 and 6a, bring blankets and chairs.
Outdoor Movie: Oz the Great and Powerful at Newsday (235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville) on Friday, Aug. 23 at sunset. Adventure and fantasy starring James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff, rated PG. Rain date is Friday, Aug. 30; the event is free, but advance tickets are required.
Explore the Science of Ice Cream at Maritime Explorium (101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson) on Wednesday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 11 from 1-5 p.m. Make your own ice cream by exploring the physics of phase transitions. Price: $5.
World Gamer Nation at World Gamer Nation (66 Broadway, Greenlawn) weekly through Aug. 31. LAN service video games and events. Price: $7 an hour, $10 5-9 p.m. daily, Tuesday special $2.50 an hour. Call for hours.
Little Naturalists Story Time and Craft Circle Butterfly Discover at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park (1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay) on Sunday, Aug. 3 at 10:30 a.m. Families can listen to a reading of "From Caterpillar to Butterfly" and create caterpillar and butterfly crafts. Then, take a journey outdoors to find butterflies and learn more; for ages 3-6. Must register. Price: $8 parking fee.
Sand Castle Contest at Hither Hills State Park (164 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk) on Thursdays through Aug. 29 at 9:30 a.m. Two age categories (11-16 and 10 and younger) will be judged on sculptures using sand, water and any other natural materials native to the beach. Registration is held from 9:30-10:30 a.m., judging at 11 a.m. and awards given out at noon. Teams are limited to no more than 5 kids. Price: Free, $10 toll fee.
Children's Summer Performance: Robert Austin Magic Show at Belmont Lake State Park (Exit 38 on Southern State Parkway, West Babylon) on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. Magic and more for kids and adults alike. Price: Free, $8 parking fee.
Juggling Show by Ray Grins at Valley Stream State Park (Exit 15a off Southern State Parkway, Valley Stream) on Sunday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. and Hempstead Lake State Park (Southern State Parkway, West Hempstead) on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. A fun, interactive performance for families; be sure to bring lawn chairs or a blanket. Price: Free, $8 parking fee.
Summer Science: Creatures of the Night at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Tuesday, Aug. 13 through Sunday, Aug. 17 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy crafts and activities as you learn about the animals and birds that only come out at night. Price: $5.
Fun with Natural Dyes at Bridge Gardens (36 Mitchell Ln., Bridgehampton) on Wednesday, Aug. 14 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Visit the herb garden and bring your own pre-washed white T-shirt or bandanna and try dyeing by using materials from the garden. Price: $5; reservations are required.
Family Adventures: Moon River Hike at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, Oakdale) on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 8-10 p.m. Walk though the moonlit trails of the preserve; registration is required. Price: $4, $3 children, free ages 3 and younger.
Snapper Derby at Captree State Park (off Robert Moses Causeway, West Islip) on Sunday, Aug. 18 and Monday, Aug. 19 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Prizes awarded for each age category (winner need not be present), participants age 7 and younger, ages 8-12 and ages 13-16. Price: Free, no registration required, $8 parking fee.
Family Adventures: Turtles, Snakes and Frogs, Oh My at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, Oakdale) on Saturday, Aug. 31 from 1:30-3 p.m. Learn about these animals and then take a hike to explore them in the preserve; registration is required. Price: $4, $3 children, free ages 3 and younger.