Summer fun for kids on Long Island
Flip flops. Lazy beach days. Ice cream. It can only mean one thing -- summer is here! Whether your kids are heading to summer camp or you're looking for things to do, no matter where you live on Long Island, there are vast resources for you to tap into for some fun, from an adventurous afternoon to family-friendly performances.
We rounded up some of the new attractions or updated events that have popped up on Long Island this year. From free concerts at beach and parks to water rides, zip lines and more, check out 15 fun things to do with your kids this summer.
Darlene Graham performances(Credit: Darlene Graham)
Darlene Graham, a popular children's singer who performs at libraries, parks and other venues throughout Long Island, will perform all summer. Her "Singing at the Beach" tour is an interactive sing-along show and will take place at Seamans Neck Park (Seaford) on Friday, July 11, at 10:30 a.m.; Rath Park (849 Fenworth Blvd., Franklin Square) on Monday, July 14, at 10:30 a.m.; Oceanside Park (3800 Mahlon Brower Dr., Oceanside) on Monday, July 14, at 1:30 p.m.; Newbridge Road Park (Newbridge Road, Bellmore) on Tuesday, July 15, at 10:30 a.m.; Levittown Veterans Memorial Park (Hempstead Turnpike and Shelter Lane, Levittown) on Tuesday, July 15, at 1:30 p.m.; Rock Hall Museum (199 Broadway, Lawrence) on Wednesday, July 16, at 10:30 a.m.; Shell Creek Park (Island Park) on Wednesday, July 16, at 1:30 p.m.; Uniondale Avenue Park (Uniondale) on Thursday, July 17, at 10:30 a.m.; Echo Park (Nassau Boulevard, West Hempstead) on Thursday, July 17, at 1:30 p.m.; Averill Boulevard Park (145 Averill Blvd., Franklin Square) on Friday, July 18, at 10:30 a.m. and Azalea Park (Azalea Road, Levittown) on Friday, July 18, at 1:30 p.m.
Price: Free; darlenegrahammusic.com
Battle of Mutiny Bay(Credit: Splish Splash)
Splish Splash Waterpark (2549 Splish Splash Dr., Calverton) opened The Battle of Mutiny Bay, a new water ride involving rafts outfitted with water-shooting cannons for riders to shoot at other boats. The people around the circuit will have fixed water cannons to shoot against the riders.
Price: $41 for over 48 inches tall, $31 for under 48 inches; splishsplash.com
Alice in Wonderland exhibit(Credit: Linda Rosier)
The Long Island Children's Museum (11 Davis Ave., Garden City) is hosting a traveling exhibit this summer: "Alice's Wonderland ... A Most Curious Adventure." Journey down the rabbit hole, "fall" through the earth (with both feet on the ground), test and experiment while at a Mad Tea Party, investigate geography in Digging to China and challenge Alice and the Queen to a game of Crazy Croquet.
Price: Free with museum admission ($12); licm.org
Free bowling(Credit: iStock)
The Kids Bowl Free program allows children two free games every day all summer. Simply register at kidsbowlfree.com and receive vouchers via email every Sunday for two free bowling games each day for the entire week. Most centers define kids as ages 15 and younger; bowling-shoe rentals additional, if needed. Click here for a list of participating bowling alleys on Long Island.
Erik's Repitle Edventures Discovery Center(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Erik's Reptile Edventures Discovery Center opened this summer at the Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park & Children's Zoo (Chapman Boulevard, Manorville). The new exhibit will display a collection of turtles, snakes, alligators and lizards. On select days this summer -- July 12 and 19, and Aug. 2, 4, 7 and 9 -- Erik Callender will give you a tour of the indoor exhibit; on other days, the center will be open during park hours for self-guided tours. Joining the park's giraffe, llamas and other animals is the David Rosaire & His Perky Pekes Show, which will run onstage all summer.
Price: Park admission of $18.95 per adult, $16.95 for children ages 3 to 12 and senior citizens 62 and older; 631-878-6644; longislandgamefarm.com
Indoor playspace(Credit: Jennifer Tippett)
A new, drop-in playspace in Huntington Village called Sandbox Playspace (51 Gibson Ave.) is geared to babies, toddlers and preschoolers. On Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kids can roam the different stations, which include kitchen play, a hardware store, a teepee, a wood slide, a flower market and a dress-up area.
Price: $12 per child; $8 per sibling (siblings up to 6 months, no charge); $6 single child younger than 6 months; rates decline with packages or memberships; sandboxplayspace.com
Brady Rymer shows(Credit: Jayme Thornton)
To celebrate the release of his newest album, "Just Say Hi!," Brady Rymer, a Long Island resident and Grammy-nominated artist, is on tour, making stops in Nassau and Suffolk. Brady Rymer & the Little Band That Could will appear at The Riverhead Fireworks Celebration (July 4), Greenport Carousel (July 29), Kidstock! in West Hempstead (Aug. 13) and the East Meadow Library (Aug. 22). Prices may vary depending on location.
Adventure Park(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
At the new Advenure Park (75 Colonial Springs Rd., Wheatley Heights), kids 7 and older can test their climbing ability along several rope courses. There are eight zip line trails, ranging from beginner to advanced; climbers must be at least 15 to try the hardest, double-black course dubbed Commando. Climbers must tackle what the park calls the elements that connect tree to tree, for example, balance or strength.
Price: $49 ($44 ages 10-11, $39 ages 7-9) for three hours of climbing; longislandadventurepark.org
Miniature golf(Credit: Rossa Cole )
A new, outdoor, nine-hole miniature golf course opened this year at the Children’s Museum of the East End (76 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton). In keeping with the museum’s mission, the golf course incorporates play with teaching kids basic principles of physics. Each hole has an informational sign that asks the golfer a question meant to teach a lesson specific to that hole.
Price: $5; cmee.org
Sky Zone(Credit: Sky Zone)
The indoor trampoline park trend continued this year with the opening of Sky Zone (111 Rodeo Dr., Deer Park), at least the third trampoline park to open since last year. It features toddler time, a specific period during the day when only children 5 and younger can jump, as well as dodgeball and volleyball leagues.
Price: $17.50 an hour, $12 for two hours and $15 for three hours; skyzone.com/deerpark
Long Beach summer movie nights(Credit: Warner Bros.)
Watching movies on the beach this summer? You bet! The Civic Associations in Long Beach recently announced the 2014 CityMD Saturday Nights on the Beach, featuring kid-friendly movie nights. Some of the movies include: "Back to the Future," July 5 at Lafayette Boulevard, 8:30 p.m.; "The Wizard of Oz," July 12 at Neptune Boulevard, 8:30 p.m.; "Jaws" (for the older kids), July 19 at Lafayette Boulevard, 8:15 p.m. and "Frozen," Sept. 13 at Neptune Boulevard, 6:30 p.m. More movies will be announced. Be sure to bring blankets and chairs; free popcorn will be available for all attendees as well as other goodies from various sponsors.
Yogi Beans(Credit: Yogi Beans)
A popular yoga-for-kids studio in Manhattan opened up in the Hamptons this summer. Yogi Beans offers classes for children and new parents at a pop-up studio at The Art Farm (739 Butter Lane, Bridgehampton). Babies and kids through age 10 will learn yoga poses that relate to nature with themes such as beaches and parks. Moms can enjoy classes such as Bye-Bye Bump Yoga, a Vinyassa flow workout to help new moms rebuild their post-baby core, and the Baby Bean Yoga class, allowing moms to bring their children to a sing-along class, which includes yoga movements, props and songs to entertain and stimulate their little yogis.
Price: Classes cost $45 for a drop-in; yogibeans.com
Kidville, a popular destination for children's classes, athletics and more, is coming to Wantagh (1183 Wantagh Ave.) in August. The new 4,000-square-foot Kidville will feature three classrooms, an indoor play space and a retail boutique. Developmental classes will include Rockin' Railroad music class, Big Muscle Builders, Run Wiggle Paint & Giggle, My Big Messy Art Class, Ballet Tea Party, Big Muscles for Little Babies, Wee Wiggle and Kidville Sports.
Price: Free trial classes will be offered during the first two weeks of Kidville's opening; kidville.com/wantagh
Museum of American Armor(Credit: Randee Daddona)
Picture real working tanks, jeeps, military ambulances, weapons, machinery and more from World War II. You can find them at the new Museum of American Armor at Old Bethpage Village Restoration (1303 Round Swamp Rd.). The 25,000-square-foot facility features a Sherman tank, a Stuart light tank, a 155-millimeter howitzer and reconnaissance vehicles that served as armored scouts.
Price: $10, $7 children ages 5-12, free for children 5 and younger; museumofamericanarmor.com
Marvel Universe Live!(Credit: Jeremy Bales)
You've seen them on the silver screen, now watch as Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America come to life in "Marvel Universe Live!" at Nassau Coliseum Aug. 21-24. Spider-Man and Wolverine join forces with these Avengers in an epic battle with Thor's evil brother, Loki, who is trying to clone the powers of the Cosmic Cube to destroy the universe. They'll have their hands full as they take on Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Red Skull, Electro and other villains in this live-action show.
Price: $55-$170, 516-794-9300, nassaucoliseum.com