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Free (or cheap!) for kids on Long Island in February
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 January.
Sculpture Art Caper and Exploration Activity Backpack at Hofstra University's Emily Lowe Gallery (Hempstead Turnpike, Hempstead) running weekly throughout the year starting Wednesday, Jan. 1 through 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.
Open Art Studio at John Drew Theater at Guild Hall (158 Main St., East Hampton) on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 2 and Feb. 23 from noon-5 p.m. Interactive craft projects for children in grades K-8.
Interactive Special Needs Resource Fair at The Mosaic School for Autism located inside of St. Francis de Chantal Church (1309 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh) on Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A special needs resource fair featuring speech, music and art therapists, cognitive skills providers, sports/activities coordinators, parent coaches, financial consultants, child and adult advocates, social program providers, special educators and behavioral counselors.
Mommy and Me at Chai Center (501 Vanderbilt Pkwy., Dix Hills) on Tuesdays through March 25 from 9:45 to 11 a.m. Stretch, sing, dance and bond with your child. Appropriate for children ages 6 to 24 months.
Celebrate Children's Dental Health Month at Family Service League, Iovino South Shore Family Center (1444 Fifth Ave., Bay Shore) on Friday, Feb. 7 from noon-4 p.m. Free dental screening for children ages 1-17 (come with a parent or legal guardian) along with activities including a cleaning and fluoride treatment, dental sealants, goody bags and more.
Jr. Ranger Workshop: Winter Wildlife Survival at Fire Island National Seashore (Fire Island) on Sunday, Feb. 2 from noon-1 p.m. Explore how wild animals survive the harsh winter months, learn how some Fire Island animals migrate south while others hibernate, recommended for children ages 8-12.
Eglevsky Ballet's Open Week at Eglevsky Ballet Company (700 Hicksville Rd., Bethpage) on Monday, Feb. 3 through Saturday, Feb. 8. New students of all ages and levels can attend one week of free classes, no registration is required. Check website for a complete schedule of classes.
Lunar New Year Celebration at the Holiday Inn Express (3131 Nesconset Hwy., Stony Brook) on Thursday, Feb. 6 from 6-7:30 p.m. Celebrate the Year of the Horse with performances from China, Japan, Thailand, India and more, sponsored by the Suffolk County Asian-American Advisory Board. The program includes traditional Asian dance, music and vocal performances.
Give Kids a Smile Dental Screening at Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center (431 E. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Suffolk County Dental Society will host a free children's dental screening with cleaning and fluoride treatment, dental sealants (if appropriate), puppet shows, Lionel Train exposition and a Tooth Fairy drawing contest.
Inclusive Sports Clinics at Hofstra University (Hempstead Turnpike, Hempstead) on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 3-6 p.m. A sports clinic hosted by Let All the Children Play Foundation for children and young adults with and without disabilities, held in the Fitness Center. Participants are invited to attend the men's basketball game at 7 p.m. Registration is required.
World of Birds with the Theodore Roosevelt Bird Sanctuary at Hicks Nurseries (100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury) on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. Families will learn about birds and how to identify common species through hands-on activities and listening to calls of common birds.
Toddler Arts and Crafts at Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center (Stewart and Cherry avenues, Bethpage Community Park in Bethpage) weekly Mondays and Thursdays starting Feb. 24 through April 3 with two sessions each day, 10-10:45 a.m. and 11-11:45 a.m. Parents can choose one class per week, per child; recommended for kids ages 2-4. Registration is required.
Celebrate Groundhog Day at the Maritime Explorium (101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson) on Saturday, Feb. 1 and Sunday, Feb. 2 from 1-5 p.m. Kids will construct their own shadow puppets and make them dance. Price: $5.
Under the Sea at the Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Enjoy aquatic-themed activities and crafts while learning about marine life. Price: $5.
Second Saturday: Re-Use It! at Hofstra University Museum: Emily Lowe Gallery (Hempstead Turnpike, Hempstead) on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Create your own sculpture made from recycled materials; registration is required. Price: $5.
Valentine's Day at the Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids will learn about the anatomy of the heart and the path of circulation while participating in a heart dissection at 1 p.m. Price: $5.
Be an Engineer at Long Island Science Center (11 W. Main St., Riverhead) on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids can learn what it takes to build a bridge, the physics of toys and boating, and then make toys to take home. Price: $5.
Explore, Learn and Play at 1750 David Conklin Farmhouse Museum (2 High St., Huntington) on Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Children ages 7-12 will participate in a house tour, museum-style scavenger hunt, crafts and a snack. Price: $5; registration is required.
Mad Hatter's Tea Party at Coe Hall at Planting Fields Arboretum (1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay) on Saturday, Feb. 22 and Sunday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A tea party and story telling along with ukulele music with Josh Kekoa Cho, watercolor workshop for children, bingo and make your own greenhouse craft. Price: $10; free for children 12 and younger.