This week your kids will be home from school and unless you want a week of cooped up children complaining, you will need ideas to keep them busy.
Well, we’ve made finding something to do a lot easier for you, here is a list of family-friendly activities for President’s week or whenever you have the kiddos home.
1. Take a Day Trip. Pile into the car and take a trip to your favorite spots or find new ones. Head out and explore the quaint shops and restaurants in Northport, Port Jefferson, or Cold Spring Harbor. Drive to the East End to see what’s happening in Riverhead, Greenport or Montauk. Don’t feel like driving, hop aboard the Long Island Rail Road and head into the city for the day.
2. Nature Fun. At Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown, kids can attend camp for the entire week or just for a day. Each day children will participate in different hands-on activities, crafts and wildlife presentations. Themes include How To Train Your Bearded Dragon, Even Animals Bundle Up, Frozen: NOT the Musical, Tropical Vacations, and Penguins, Polar Bears and Pikas.
3. Skating. Long Island has many indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks. Here are three rinks in Suffolk County:
Dix Hills Ice Rink — Dix Hills Inside the Adirondack-style, Town of Huntington structure is a fabulous rink with a concession stand. Public sessions on weekends run from 11:45 am to 1:45 pm, and again from 2 pm to 4 pm. There are open-skating sessions on Thursdays and Fridays from 3:45 pm to 5:45 pm, and a Friday session with a DJ from 8:15 pm to 10:15 pm. The rink offers an ice hockey rec league and skating lessons for ages from mommy-and-me to adult.
The Rinx — Hauppauge At this Town of Islip facility at Hidden Pond Park, enjoy two sheets of NHL regulation-size ice, party packages, skating schools, hockey camps, and snack bars. Be sure to check out its special events, including its Holiday Show on Ice in December.
Superior Ice Rink — Kings Park Public sessions at this modern facility are between 12:30 and 2:30 pm on weekends, as well as Wednesdays from 4:30-6 pm, and on Friday nights from 8:30 to 10 pm. The Friday-night session includes a DJ. Admission is $9 for adults; $7 for kids 11 years old and younger. Skate rental is $4. Parties are $175 for 10 children and include pizza, skate rentals, and paper goods. Check out the family-owned skate shop, where you can get your skates sharpened.
4. Indoor Mini-Golf & Karting. Now many indoor golf venues have cool features like glow-in-the dark courses. Try Monster Mini Golf in Deer Park. Or if you have older kids perhaps take them go-kart and slot car racing, here are a few spots in Suffolk:
Boomers Long Island — Medford
655 Long Island Ave.
The quarter-mile track features hairpin turns, banked curves, and straightaways. Each go-kart session runs for five minutes. The park also features a miniature golf course, kiddie rides, and an arcade with more than 50 state-of-the-art video games. Height requirements: 58 inches for drivers, 40 inches for passengers. Drivers must be at least 18 years old to ride with a passenger.
Country Fair Entertainment Park — Medford
3351 Route 112
Up to 25 racers per heat can compete on this course. Two mini-golf courses, batting cages, a driving range, and a sheltered picnic area are also on the grounds. Height requirements: 60 inches for drivers (55 inches for rookie cars); those under 55 inches can ride with a licensed adult.
Karts Indoor Raceway — Ronkonkoma
701 Union Parkway
This 27,000-square foot go-kart facility has two indoor tracks. Karts boast four different speeds. Drivers must be at least 52 inches tall; passengers must be at least 40 inches. Also enjoy a laser maze, rollerball, bowling, a game room, and a cafe on site. Memberships are available.
Port Jefferson Raceway — Centereach
1021 Portion Road, Suite 12
Kids can slot-car race for 15, 30, or 60 minutes on three tracks, each eight lanes wide. Weekly kids racing times are offered. The raceway also offers a Smart Kids program, where students with good grades earn free racing time.
Tiki Action Park — Centereach
1878 Middle Country Road
This outdoor track offers single and double go-karts (58-inch minimum height requirement for drivers, 40-inch minimum height requirement for passengers). Racers can get 30- or 60-minute unlimited passes. Weather permitting, Tiki Action Park opens for the season each March.
5. Hit the Lanes. Bowling alleys have been a long time favorite on Long Island, but many have changed over the years to keep up with the times. Most venues now include full-service restaurants and bars, high-tech video arcade and game rooms, and have themed nights with music. Check out these family-friendly bowling alleys in Suffolk county:
AMF — Locations across Suffolk
2183 Jericho Turnpike, Commack
5660 Sunrise Highway, Sayville
200 Landing Avenue., Smithtown
430 Sunrise Highway, West Babylon
40 Horseblock Road, Centereach
Parents can book a child’s bowling party online in minutes. Depending on location, there’s more to do than just bowl at AMF lanes, including arcades, billiards, and a pro shop. AMF alleys offer plenty of lanes and dining options, including pizza, healthy, grilled, and more.
Bowl Long Island — Patchogue
138 West Avenue
Sunday is family day at Bowl Long Island. From 9:30 to 1pm, families can enjoy specials and games for $3 per person. Kids as young as 4 can join one of the youth leagues or a family league that includes scholarships for junior bowlers and free coffee and bagels each week.
Coram Country Lanes — Coram
615 Middle Country Road
Here, kids can enjoy mini bowling, complete with pint-sized lanes and balls, ideal for kids ages 2 to 6. Youth leagues and programs are available for older kids. There’s a special every night of the week, and lanes can be reserved online.
East Islip Lanes — East Islip
117 East Main Street
From paint nights to youth leagues, this center has tons for kids to do. Youth leagues include bumper bowling basics, “Rock ‘n Glow,” and “Pee Wee & Me,” a league for adults and younger children. East Islip Lanes offers specials during school holidays, 25-cent games, and a “Burger Bowl” deal that’s great for families.
Farmingdale Lanes — Farmingdale
999 Conklin Street
This center has been family-owned for three generations. Families can get a fun pack that offers two hours of bowling and use of shoes for up to six people. It also offers a Kids Bowl Free summer program starting May 1 and continuing through Labor Day. Kids can join a youth league, where they can choose a bowling ball or bag/shoe package. “Cosmic Bowling” (glow in the dark) is offered on Fridays from 6pm to closing and Saturdays, 9:30pm to closing.
Port Jeff Bowl — Port Jefferson Station
31 Chereb Lane
From “Dollar Mania” days to paint nights, character meet-and-greets and school holiday specials, Port Jeff Bowl has family-friendly events covered. Kids can join a youth league, and there’s even a mommy-and-me program every Wednesday for caregivers with children age 3-5 years old. Contact the center for more information on its special-needs bowling program.
Strike 10 Lanes — Deer Park
849 Long Island Avenue
This alley offers “Bowlympics” competition for youth bowlers, and has a grill and lounge with big-screen TVs for adults and kids looking for a break from the lanes. On Friday and Saturday nights bowlers can enjoy Rock ‘n Bowl. On $2 Tuesdays everything cost $2, including shoes, games, food, and more.
The All Star — Riverhead
96 Main Road
Backlights, movies projected over the lanes, music, and glow-in-the-dark bowling make this East End experience extraordinary. Enjoy arcade-style games, skee ball, air hockey, basketball, and redemption-style games. An attached restaurant, Smitty’s American Grill, offers a full menu of appetizers, burgers, entrees, and desserts.
6. Hit the Local Library. We love reading in our house. Why not spend an afternoon perusing the shelves at your local library. Many libraries have Children’s sections with toys, puzzles and games, and most libraries offer free story times and other activities.
7. See a Movie. Take the family to a movie at one of these local theaters:
8. Fish Fun. Visit the Long Island Aquarium for a day of fun exploring underwater creatures, visiting with penguins, and learning about the Amazon rain forest.
9. Get Wet. Prefer to be the one swimming around? Dive into one of Long Island’s many family-friendly indoor swimming pools.
Brookhaven Aquatic Center — Mastic Beach
300 Mastic Beach Road
Brookhaven Aquatic Center is open seven days a week to residents and nonresidents of the Town of Brookhaven with a special family swim day on Sundays. Rates can be found here. The facility offers a 25-meter, heated indoor pool with programs including parent-and-child lessons, learn-to-swim programs for ages 4 and older, adult lessons, water aerobics, parties, special events, and more.
Suffolk County Community College Health Club — Brentwood Campus
1001 Crooked Hill Road
Enjoy the Olympic-sized swimming pool (25 meters) at the community college’s Brentwood campus. The pool is heated to 82 degrees and can be enjoyed by people of all ages (young children must be supervised by an adult). Swim lessons are held Saturday mornings at 9 am. There is also a lap pool. You do need to become a member to use the pool, but various membership levels are offered.
YMCA of Long Island — 5 locations in Suffolk County
Suffolk YMCAs do not offer daily passes to the pool. Members are free to use any of the six YMCA of Long Island facilities, including these in Suffolk: Bay Shore, East Hampton, Holtsville, Huntington, and Patchogue.
10. Use Your Hands. Enjoy hands-on science experiments, indoor and outdoor crafts, activities and more at these two Suffolk County spots.
Center for Science Teaching and Learning CSTL offers full-day programs during school vacations that get kids involved in hands on science experiments and explorations. Children have the opportunity to explore 17 acres of nature, visit our live animals, conduct experiments, and take part in science shows and demonstrations conducted by our staff of professional science teachers.
- Ages: 4 -12 years
- Camp Time: 9 am – 4 pm (after care available to 5 pm for additional $10)
- $60 per day/per child (Early Registration Ends 48 hours prior to first day of program)
- $70 per day/per child if registering less than 48 hours in advance of the first day of the program.
- No Refunds or Credits unless CSTL cancels the program
Activities May Include:
- Arts and Crafts
- Live Animals
- Animal Explorations in our Live Animal Exhibit
- Hydrogen Rockets
- Science Experiments and Fun Demonstrations
- Hike through the woods on our 17 acre preserve
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve Crafts and activities are scheduled for Garvies Point Museum throughout the winter break.
Tuesday, February 19th: Games of the Northwest and Totem Pole Craft – 10 am-4 pm.
Wednesday, February 20th: Games of the Southwest and Pottery Making – 10 am-4 pm.
Thursday, February 21st: Games of the Northwest and Pouch Game Craft – 10 am-4 pm. Face Painting – 10 am-12 pm and 1 pm -4 pm
Friday, February 22nd: Games of the Plains and Sand Art – 10 am-4 pm. Face Painting – 10 am-12 pm and 1 pm-4 pm
Saturday, February 23rd: Geology Day – 10 am to 4 pm. Learn how to identify rocks like a geologist. Enjoy hands on workshops, observations stations, painting crafts and more.
Each day will also include a short film, showing at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.