Best parks for kids

Children have fun on the bike trails at

(Credit: Kirsten Luce)

Choo! Choo! On a sunny Thursday, Walter Poppe and Robert Steinberg were out with fellow railroad enthusiasts, rebuilding the train tracks at Southaven County Park in preparation for summer. The park offers train rides for kids -- and adults -- on a couple of Sundays each month during the summer.

"It's one of the best-kept secrets," says Poppe, president of the Long Island Live Steamers, the club that maintains the railroad on the county's land.

That's just one of the "secrets" of Long Island's parks. Here is the inside scoop on Southaven and other great park destinations for kids.

- Compiled by Beth Whitehouse

  • User rating 3
    Southaven County Park in Brookhaven. (June 16, 2014)

    Southaven County Park Suffolk, County park, Kayak/Canoe rental, Hunting land, Fishing, Paddling and rowing, Kids Victory Avenue Brookhaven Camping, fishing, canoeing, hunting, bridle paths and hiking trails. ...

  • User rating 3
    The lifeguards at North Hempstead Beach Park.

    North Hempstead Beach Park City and Town beach, Beach, Kids, Outdoors, Sports and recreation West Shore Road Port Washington The staff is friendly and the park offers basketball, volleyball, handball, shuffleboard, and bocce courts. ...

  • User rating 3

    Grant Park County park, Skating Venues, Inline skating, Roller rinks, Kids, Outdoors, Ice skating rink Broadway and Sheridan Avenue Hewlett This county park in Hewlett has an outdoor roller-skating rink. Bring your own skates or ...

  • User rating 4

    Northport Village Park Kids, Outdoors, Sports and recreation, Waterside, Performing Arts Center Main Street Northport This charming waterfront park has a nautical feel. It's small enough to be manageable, yet ...

  • User rating 3
    A child hangs from a bar in the

    Lake Ronkonkoma County Park County park, Running, Walking, Baseball, Basketball, Kids Lake Ronkonkoma The 223 acres park has two baseball fields, handball and basketball courts with an added ...

  • User rating 4

    Mitchell Park Kids, Outdoors, Sports and recreation 115 Front St. Greenport A grassy meadow on the water, the park's main attraction is the Greenport Carousel, built ...

  • User rating 3
    Beachgoers stand on the sand at Heckscher State

    Heckscher Park Park, Arts and Entertainment, Attractions, Outdoors, Kids, Sports and recreation 2 Prime Ave. at Route 25A Huntington With open spaces, picnic areas and athletic fields, this park also hosts events held by ...

  • User rating 2
    Jelani Hall of Roosevelt yells down the slides

    Cantiague Park County park, Kids, Outdoors, Sports and recreation 480 W. John St. Hicksville Parking is free for Nassau County residents at this county park, although a Leisure Pass ...

  • User rating 2
    Belmont Lake State Park is exit 38 off

    Belmont Lake State Park State park, Kayak/Canoe rental, Paddling and rowing, Kids, Outdoors, Sports and recreation Exit 38 - Southern State Parkway North Babylon This 459-acre spread surrounds a lake, with picnic and play areas nearby ...

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