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Free (or 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 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.
Erik's Reptile Edventures, a live reptile show featuring lizards, snakes, toads, salamanders and more, will take place at Shell Creek Park (Island Park) on Friday, Aug. 1, at 10:30 a.m.; Terrace Gardens Park (27 Merril Place, Inwood) on Friday, Aug. 1, at 1:30 p.m.
Ludlam Park Teen Night at Ludlam Park (239 Ludlam Ave., Riverhead) on Wednesdays through Aug. 27, 7:30-11 p.m. Teens in grades 7 and up can play basketball, tennis, double dutch, flag football, dodgeball, listen to music and socialize with peers; there will also be a live DJ.
"Beauty and the Beast" at Clark Botanic Garden (193 I.U. Willets Rd., Albertson) on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. Plaza Productions presents a musical based on the classic Disney film; bring a chair and picnic. Rain date is Thursday.
Nature Tales at Seatuck Environmental Association (550 South Bay Ave., Islip) on Aug. 8 and Aug. 22, from 2-2:30 p.m. Children ages 18 months to 5 years, accompanied by a caregiver, can explore nature through books.
Mommy and Me Yoga at Ed and Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute (38B Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays) on Wednesday, Aug 6., at 10:30 a.m. Improve your physical strength while bonding with your child; recommended for kids ages 3-12.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge (340 Smith Rd., Shirley) on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 11 a.m. Kids in grades 1 to 5 can learn about feathers. Find out what they’re made of, how they grow and how they work, as well as a feather craft; reservations required.
Film: "Wizard of Oz" at Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater of Eisenhower Park (Hempstead Turnpike and Merrick Avenue, East Meadow) on Thursday, Aug. 14, at 7:30 p.m. The 1939 film featuring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan and Ray Bolger; rated PG. It's an outdoor movie; park in field #6 and be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket.
Children's Hands-on Milling at Water Mill Museum (41 Old Mill Rd., Water Mill) on Mondays and Thursdays in August, at 11:30 a.m. Kids will learn about the water-powered mill and its giant stone wheels and wooden gears that grind the grain. It's a free event, but donations are accepted.
Port Jefferson Children's Show: Cheryl the Circus Performer at Port Jefferson Village Hall (121 W. Broadway, Port Jefferson) on Thursday, Aug. 14, at 6:30 p.m. A family-friendly performance featuring a humorous clown.
Let's Play: Old Fashioned Toys at William Floyd Estate (245 Park Dr., Mastic Beach) on Friday, Aug. 15, from 11 a.m. to noon. Children can explore some classic games, including Jacob's Ladder, marbles, spin tops and more.
Felt Bird Craft-Black-Capped-Chickadee at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge (340 Smith Rd., Shirley) on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m. Children in grades 2 to 7 can make a felt bird ornament and learn facts about this bird’s behavior and habitat; reservations required.
Film: "Despicable Me" at East Quogue Village Green (630 Montauk Hwy., East Quogue on Monday, Aug. 18, at 8 p.m. An animated comedy starring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Benjamin Bratt; rated PG.
Camp Good Grief at Camp DeWolfe (408 North Side Rd., Wading River) on Monday, Aug.18 through Friday, Aug. 22. A summer program for children who have experienced a loss; features games, arts and crafts, group therapy, nature walks, kayaking and more. Call to register before Monday, Aug. 11.
Sculpture Art Caper and Exploration Activity Backpack at Hofstra University's Emily Lowe Gallery (Hempstead Turnpike, Hempstead) running weekly throughout the year, ending Sunday, Dec. 21. Times vary. Pick up a backpack and solve an Art Caper mystery by unraveling clues found while exploring the outdoor sculpture collection. Appropriate for children ages 5 to 10.
Bird Feeder and Bird House Building Workshop at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge (340 Smith Rd., Shirley) on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 1 p.m. An interactive workshop in which kids can build a bird house and bird feeder; reservations required.
Give Kids a Smile Day at Stony Brook University (100 Nicolls Rd., Stony Brook) on Tuesday, Aug. 26. Children ages 1-17 can receive a dental screening with a cleaning, fluoride treatment and dental sealants. Call to schedule an appointment; held in the School of Dental Medicine Dental Care Center.
Sand Castle Contest at Hither Hills (164 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk) on Thursdays in August from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Sculptors may use sand, water and any other natural materials native to the beach; registration required to enter the contest. Price: Free; $10 toll fee.
Explore the Shore at Maritime Explorium (101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson) on Friday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. Kids can create a seascape for their favorite sea creature. Price: $5.
Freshwater Fishing Clinic at Hempstead Lake State Park (Southern State Parkway, West Hempstead) on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A family event to learn about the aquatic environment featuring educational stations and open fishing; participants must register. Price: Free, but $8 parking fee.
Butterfly Gardening at South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (377 Bridgehampton / Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton) on Saturday, Aug. 2, at 10 a.m. Kids ages 6-8 can learn how to start their own butterfly garden, which local butterflies they may attract and find in the museum. Price: $7 adult, $5 children ages 3-12, free ages 2 and younger.
Garvies Point Day at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve (50 Barry Dr., Glen Cove) on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families can enjoy nature crafts, a butterfly garden tour, films and nature walks. Price: $5 for ages 5 and older, free younger than 5 with an adult.
Bubblemania Dance Party at The Whaling Museum and Education Center (301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor) on Sunday, Aug. 3, from noon to 3 p.m. A dance party featuring a DJ, dancing, face-painting, craft stations and more. Free ice pops will be served. Price: $6 adult, $5 children ages 4-18, $20 families.
Summer Science: Ancient Egypt at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Tuesday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can learn about the scientific advancements of Ancient Egypt, study mummification, make a hieroglyphic necklace and more. Price: $5.
Film Screening: "The Goonies" at Mulford Farm (10 James Lane, East Hampton) on Friday, Aug. 8, at 8:30 p.m. Enjoy an outdoor viewing of this adventure comedy; rated PG. Rain date is Aug. 11. Price: $5, free for ages 5 and younger.
Nature's Mobile Home at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve (Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown) on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Kids ages 5 and older can learn about the homes that animals live in to survive and observe many different animals. Price: $4 adult, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Explore the Science of Ice Cream at Maritime Explorium (101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson) on Wednesday, Aug. 6 through Sunday, Aug. 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. Children can explore the physics of phase transitions while making their own batch of ice cream. Ice cream batches will be made at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the ice cream making time that you would like to attend. Price: $5.
Long Island Karting Association at Nassau Coliseum (1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale) on Sunday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 24, from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. This family-oriented racing sport is run by the Long Island Karting Association's board of volunteers and many members of the club. Held in parking lot 8. Price: $5.
Nature Discoveries: Beat the Heat at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, P.O. 505, Oakdale) on Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 1:30 p.m. Short walks, activities and crafts for kids ages 3-5. Price: $4 adults, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Summer Science: Chemistry Week at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Tuesday, Aug. 12 through Saturday, Aug. 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn about states of matter, chemical reactions and more. Price: $5.
Noisy Bug Sing-Along: Lodo's Story Time and Nature Walk at South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (377 Bridgehampton / Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton) on Wednesday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. Kids ages 3-5 can join Crystal and her storytime puppet, Lodo the River Otter, as they chirp, squeak and buzz through songs as well as a short walk. Price: $7 adult, $5 children ages 3-12, free for ages 2 and younger.
Snapper Derby at Captree State Park (off Robert Moses Causeway, West Islip) on Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for each category: children ages 7 and younger, ages 8-12 and ages 13-16; no registration required. Price: Free, $8 parking fee.
Suburban Farming at Bayard Cutting Arboretum (440 Montauk Hwy., Great River) on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 10:30 a.m. Learn how farmers grow vegetables and raise chickens; reservations are required. Price: $4, $3 children, free for ages 2 and younger.
Camouflage Commandos at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve (Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown) on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 10 a.m. Children ages 5 and older will search for camouflage commandos. Price: $4 adult, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Kidstock at North Hempstead Beach Park (West Shore Road, Port Washington) on Sunday, Aug. 17, from 2 to 6 p.m. An open-air family festival featuring musical entertainment for kids and parents. Price: $10 parking fee.
Turtle Hatch Day at Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium (1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor) on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Families are welcome to celebrate the hatching of the baby turtles with refreshments and turtle crafts. Price: $6 adults, $4 for kids ages 3-12, free for ages 3 and younger.
Mad Scientist Lab at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve (Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown) on Saturday, Aug. 23, 10-11:30 a.m. Children ages 7 and older can participate in conducting several science experiments; reservations are required. Price: $4 adult, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Nature Discoveries: Darling Dragonflies at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, P.O. 505, Oakdale) on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 1:30 p.m. Enjoy short walks, activities and crafts for kids ages 3-5. Price: $4 adults, $3 children, $8 parking fee.
Nature's Nighttime Noises at Old Westbury Gardens (71 Old Westbury Rd., Old Westbury) on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Children ages 7-17 can take a guided walk through the gardens at night with Tamson Yeh, an entomologist, who will decipher the sounds. Price: $5 adults, $3 children.
Turtles, Snakes and Frogs, Oh My! at Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, P.O. 505, Oakdale) on Saturday, Aug. 30, 1:30-3 p.m. Learn about turtles, snakes and frogs, meet Myrtle the Turtle, as well as a hike to explore the habitats; recommended for kids ages 5 and older. Price: $4 adults, $3 children, $8 parking fee; reservations are required.