Best of LI 2019 Pick Your Own Tree 541

Holidays are about tradition.  Decorating a Christmas tree is a favorite holiday tradition in many of our homes.  Why not make selecting your tree as much of a tradition as decorating it?  Bundle up and head to a local Long Island Tree farm to cut down your own tree this Christmas season.

Before you go, here are a few things that you should know:

  • What type of tree do you want?  Here are the 4 most common and their characteristics:
    • Douglas Fir -The most popular and versatile Christmas Tree, which we have the most of and grow very full;

    • Blue Spruce -Beautiful blue tinted tree with very strong branches for heavy ornaments, but spiny. Some are blue green while others are more straight blue;

    • Norway Spruce -Similar to blue spruce with strong branches and sharp needles but have beautiful dark green needles. Slightly less sharp than Blue Spruce;

    • White Pine -Strong branches, more “bushy” looking trees with very long needles.

  • If you are looking for a Blue Spruce or and White Pine, make sure to go early in the season as they tend to sell out early.
  • While some places provide handsaws and rope, not all provide both.  Make sure you know what is provided or pack both just in case.
  • Dress appropriately. These farms are all open fields and wind tends to make them much chillier than other areas. Make sure little ones are bundled up.
  • Not all places take credit or debit cards. Call Ahead or bring cash just in case.


Matt’s Christmas Tree Farm

Matt’s offers the following species: Norway, blue and white spruces, balsam and concolor firs. They provide you with everything you need to choose and cut the perfect tree. Bow saws, and netting are available.  Matt’s also offers trailer rides back with your tree and loading assistance.  Candy canes are given to each child.    Live trees in either pots or burlap balls available of  you may also choose to have a tree dug from the fields (weather permitting). Leashed dogs welcome. Cost: $12-$17 per foot.

WHERE 305 Weeks Avenue, Manorville

WHEN Open every day from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. except Tuesdays,  8:00 am to 4:30 pm

INFO (631) 875-1465

Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm

Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm is a family-owned business with thousands of trees to choose from. Cutting your own tree at Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm is a wonderful way to enhance your family’s holiday experience.  Mikes carries a good selection of Norway Spruce, White Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce and others. Saws are provided, balled and burlapped trees are also available.  All Christmas Trees (except Blue Spruce) $13 per foot, Blue Spruce $17 per foot.

WHEN Open Every Day from Day After Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

WHERE 323 Weeks Avenue, Manorville, NY  

INFO (631) 874-355;


Carter Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Farm

Have some old-fashioned holiday fun cutting your own fresh Christmas tree.  Carters has a variety of trees to select from including Scotch Pine, White Spruce, Blue Spruce, and Norway Spruce. Trees range in height from 3 to 9 feet tall.  Bring your own hand saw, or borrow one of theirs (no chainsaws permitted).  Pre-tagging is available, starting November 16 (trees must be paid for in full on the day of selection)  Tree wrapping is provided for most  trees. Be sure to bring a sturdy rope to fasten your tree to your vehicle.

WHEN Open Saturdays and Sundays, November 16th until December 22nd,  from 9 am – 4:30 pm

WHERE 123 North Country Road, Miller Place

INFO (631) 331-4699


Lewins Farms Baiting Hollow Nursery

Lewins offers 4 varieties of trees: Douglas Fir ,Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce and White Pine. Customers are permitted to bring their own saws or can rent one for a $5 deposit. Tractor rides are available out to the field and back to the front. Customers can also walk straight out to field and carry their trees back themselves. Trees wrapping is provided as well as the rope/twine for tying to cars. Securing the trees to the cars is the responsibility of the customer. Pre-cut trees and “live” balled trees are available at the front of Entrance.

WHEN Field Opens Friday after Thanksgiving, weather permitting, Open everyday but Tuesday for 2019 season, from 9 am to 4 pm

WHERE Located on Fresh Pond Avenue in Calverton / Baiting Hollow

INFO (631) 929-4327;


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These DIY Grinch Ornaments “Don’t Come from a Store” Give a gift that “Means a Bit More” 756

Still looking for the perfect gift for a friend, family member or colleague?  In honor of the new Grinch movie that came out this holiday season, here is our take on a fun DIY ornament that is so cute and adorable, you’ll want to steal em right off the tree!  These ornaments are fun & easy to make, look great, and are a gift that will be treasured annually by the receiver.  If you already have something for everyone on your list, why not start a new family tradition and make a new ornament together every year?  It is a great way to look back over time and bring back memories of Christmas past when you decorate the tree each year.

These easy to locate supplies can be found at your local Michaels or AC Moore, and with a prep time of 45 min, you can still find plenty of time to make them before Christmas!

You will Need the Following Supplies:

  • Clear Glass Ornaments
  • Ornament Glitter Adhesive
  • Fine Green Glitter
  • Green Feather Boa
  • Paint Markers: Black, Yellow, Red
  • Small Funnel
  • Hot Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Cup or mug to use as stand
  • Ornament hook

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Take the lid off the ornament and add a bit of glitter adhesive inside.  Just need enough for a this coat, maybe about 1/4 of the ornament.
  2. Rotate the ornament all the way around so the glitter adhesive covers the entire inside of the ornament.
  3. Then let the rest of the solution drain out back into a container.  If necessary, gently tap the sides a few time and try to get all the extra solution out.
  4. Next add the glitter into the ornament.  Again rotate the ornament around and shake as necessary so the glitter covers the whole inside.
  5. Put the lid back onto the ornament
  6. Next its time to draw your Grinch face
  7. Measure and cut a length of feather boa so it fits around the top of the ornament
  8. Finally add hot glue to the lid area and glue the piece of boa around the top

“It came without ribbons. It came without bows. It came without packages, boxes or bags. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.” – The Grinch.


Shop These Local Long Island Toy Stores 2019 432

Had enough of Cyber Week and shopping online? Small toy shops are the go-to destinations for those who prefer to shop brick and mortar stores for their gifts.  Shopping these smaller local stores gives a more personal shopping experience and patrons can find unique and fun gift ideas.  These shops often provide demonstrations and offer one-on-one assistance to ensure you select the perfect gifts.

At these local Long Island shops you will find everything from the hottest new toy trends to the classics, educational toys, party favors and much more:


Funky Monkey

Funky Monkey Toys and Books Is A Trendy, Funky, Cool Store That Will Keep You One Step Ahead! You should definitely plan to stop here if you’re looking for what’s new and hot, as they often get a hold of popular and trendy products before other stores. Watch for in-store and seasonally-themed events as well.

More information: 360 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale; 516-484-0966; Click here for more info



Fun Stuff Toys

Specializing in kids’ toys. Shop for creative, educational, developmental games, puzzles, and specialty toys.  Fun Stuff Toys has a friendly staff who hold playful demos on the latest and greatest toys. There are many seasonal and trendy toys, action figures, models, educational toys, riding scooters and mainstream items for children of all ages.

More Information: 3639 Merrick Rd., Seaford) 516-409-8697; Click here for more info



Stevenson’s Toys and Games

With two locations in the Hamptons, Stevenson offers a variety of main stream and rare toys.  They pride themselves on offering toys from around the world that are both fun and stimulating.  Some toys will rekindle memories from your own childhood; others are new and exciting.   Free gift wrapping on all purchases.

More Information: Southampton (631-283-2111) and East Hampton (631-527-7222); Click here for more info



M.J. Beanz Toys

At M.J. Beanz Toys you’ll find toys of the trendy and educational variety, as well as the traditional activity and coloring books, dolls, stuffed animals, puzzles and arts and crafts kits. There are also party favors and educational products.

More Information:  345 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Plainview; 516-827-7700; Click here for more info



G. Willikers

At G. Willikers seasonal gifts and trendy board games are the norm.  Here you can find educational toys, dolls, action toys, cuddly stuffed animals and items for babies and toddlers. Art tools and kits, outdoor riding toys and books are also mainstays.

More Information: 22 Forest Ave., Locust Valley; 516-671-3335, Click here for more info



Einstein’s Attic

At this store in the heart of Northport village, you’ll find more than just toys from major manufacturers, but also handmade and specialty items for dolls and collectibles. Educational and science toys are available too, as are seasonal offerings.

More Information: 79 Main St., Northport; 631-261-7564, Click here for more info



Funni Business

Toys are the main option of this playful shop notable for the large “Gumby” statue that stands in front of its window, but stock also includes seasonal and lawn games, as well as party favors, collectibles, retro toys, baby playthings, books and candy.

More Information: 30 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay; 516-922-3900, Click here for more info



Boardwalk Games

Boardwalk Games has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a child or a seasoned gamer, the store specializes in strategy games, jigsaw puzzles and chess sets. Boardwalk Games sells collectible versions of classic games. The store has a wide array of chess sets and variation chess games as well as a large selection of Monopoly sets.

More Information: 35 Creek Rd., Port Jefferson; 631-928-4263; Click here for more info


Matty’s Toy Stop

A family-owned operation, this local chain of stores has 4 locations serving the Long Island area.  Each locations has a variety of mainstream toys as well as educational items and playthings for babies. Rows of shelves filled with games, toys, books and puzzles, this store is a fun house for young kids.

More Information: Locations: 19 Covert Ave., Floral Park, 516-358-4010; 1350 Peninsula Blvd., Hewlett, 516-295-2555; 2138 Merrick Mall, Merrick, 516-771-4209; 284 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre; 516-634-0030; Click here for more info


Goldsmith’s Toys and Electronics

Recently reopened in a new space slightly down the block, Goldsmith’s is still well known for its large collection of rubber ducks; it also carries plush toys, beach and bath toys, books, art supplies, kites, puzzles and more. They carry a full line of Thomas the Tank Engine, Lego, Melissa and Doug, and Lionel Trains. Oh and Goldsmith’s also has electronics, just in case you need batteries, cables or a new phone charger.

More Information: 128 Main St., Greenport; 631-477-0466; Click here for more info


Learning Tower

LearningTower Toys features hard to find, innovative, high quality games and toys. Their mission is to provide children with quality products that foster personal expression and self esteem. Learning Tower features mainstream toys, but also focuses on interesting board games, collectibles, figurines and building toys. Be sure and explore its puppet section, which includes a wide selection of well-crafted options that range from finger fun to hand dolls that work best with practiced manipulation.

More Information: 4747 Nesconset Hwy., Port Jefferson Station; 631-928-2040, Click here for more info



Lakeshore Learning

Lakeshore Learning may not be a traditional toy store but it carries hands-on learning materials. Customers can open any product to take a closer look before making a purchase, and the store hosts free events for kids every Saturday. Some things you’ll find there: building sets, educational toys, science kits, math/reading games and art supplies.

More information: 2079 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park; 516-616-9360; Click here for more info


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