Affordable Family Activities on LI

Affordable Things To Do on Long Island: Admission Fees $6 and under!

This list was compiled by the Children’s Librarians Association of Suffolk County


Home Depot – Kids Workshop
Any Home Depot location
Hours: First Saturday of each month between 9:00am – 12:00 noon.
Fee: Free
Kids Workshop is an award winning program that has been offered at The Home Depot stores since 1997. The workshops are free, how-to clinics designed for children ages 5-12, available on the first Saturday of each month between 9am and 12 noon at all The Home Depot stores. Children accompanied by an adult, use their skills to create objects that can be used in and around their homes or communities.

Lowes Free Build and Grow Clinics
Free Build and Grow Clinics
Hours: Sign up for individual Build and Grow Clinics through the Lowes website.
Fee: Free
Build on your kid’s talent with regularly scheduled clinics designed just for children. Build and Grow Clinics will teach your kids how to safely complete a variety of projects.


Long Island Live Steamers

3 Smith Court
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Hours: 2nd and last Sunday of each month from the middle of May until the end of October from 10:30am – 3:00pm.
Fee: Small donation of your choice.
This railroad model club has made mini trains that you and your kids can ride on! There is also a picnic area, as well as train items for sale.


Grumman Memorial Park
New York 25
Calverton, NY 11933
Hours: Daily 9:00am – 5:00pm
Fee: Free
Grumman Memorial Park celebrates the many years that the Grumman Corporation (now the Northrop Grumman Corporation) had a Long Island presence. See actual planes like the F-14A Tomcat and the A-6E Intruder, all for free.


Nature Explorium @ The Middle Country Library
101 Eastwood Blvd.
Centereach, NY 11720
631-585-9393 x107
Hours: See website or call for the most current hours.
Fee: Free
An outdoor learning space for children and families. Whether they’re reflecting on a poem under a willow tree, climbing on a tree stump, or expressing artistic talent through song and dance on the Play It stage, children will discover the gift of nature.


Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium
1660 Route 25A
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Hours: Open daily 10:00am – 5:00pm (June – August Sat. & Sun. 10-6)
Fee: $6 Adults / $4 Ages 3-12 & over 65 / Free under 2.
The Hatchery is proud of having the largest living collection of New York State freshwater reptiles, fish and amphibians. Visitors are given a self-guided tour sheet and can purchase food to feed the hungry trout. Check their calendar for special events and programs.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum
Main Street PO Box 25
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Hours: Open daily from 11:00am – 5:00pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fee: $6 Adults / $5 Students ages 4-18 / $20 per family(up to 6 people) / Children under 4 & Military members are free. **Sundays 11am – 12pm is “pay what you wish”**
Features 19th century whaleboat, whaling history exhibits, scrimshaw collection, whale conservation exhibits, Family Activity Center, films, special events and changing exhibits.


South Shore Nature Center
50 Irish Lane
East Islip, NY 11730
Hours: The property is open 9:00am to 5:00pm every day from April through October. During the other months, it is closed on weekends.
Fee: $2 Residents; $4 Non-Residents
Includes 206 acres; 2.3-mile trail in salt marsh; oak and hickory forest; freshwater bottomland; indoor beehive, nature museum, saltwater fish tank, reptiles, butterfly garden; weekend family events.


Mitchell Park
115 Front Street
Greenport, NY 11944
Mitchell Park, described as the “jewel” of the Village of Greenport, is a four acre park located on the beautiful waterfront of the village. The park is home to the antique carousel that was donated by the Northrop-Grumman Corporation. It also has an ice rink, blacksmith shop, railroad museum, and more. See below for more information…

1920’s Antique Carousel
Mitchell Park
Off-Season Hours: Weekends and holidays, weather permitting.
Fee: $2 Adults & Children over 3; Under 3 are free, but must be with a paying adult.
Greenport’s Antique Carousel, built in the 1920’s and donated by the Northrop-Grumman Corporation in 1995 is located at Mitchell Park on Front Street in the Glass Carousel Pavilion. Bring the kids to ride the Carousel, or ride along and let the Carousel bring the kid out in you! Try to capture the Brass Ring and win a free ride!

Blacksmith Shop
On the dock, west of Claudio’s
Hours: June – September, Saturday & Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
Fee: $2
This is a replica of a working blacksmith shop.

East End Seaport Museum & Marine Foundation
3rd Street, in the former railroad station
Hours: Memorial Day – June 30 Weekends 11am – 5pm; June 30 through Labor Day open 7 days from 11am – 5pm; Labor Day through Columbus Day weekends 11am – 5pm.
Fee: Free (a $5 donation is suggested)
The museum boasts an array of exhibits on the maritime heritage of the area, including displays on the Greenport menhaden fishing industry, the oyster industry, lighthouse lenses, a model ship of the USS Ohio, and more. There is also a gift shop.

Ice Skating Rink
Mitchell Park
631-477-2200 ext. 2
Hours: Due to the fact that the ice rink is outside, it is directly affected by weather conditions. Hours of operation may be changed without prior notice due to ice conditions.
Fee: $5 Adults; $3 Children under 18 Weekdays. Family Night Fridays from 5pm – 7pm, $7 includes rentals. It is more expensive on the weekends; please refer to the website for more details.


Holtsville Ecology Center & Animal Preserve
249 Buckley Road
Holtsville, NY 11742
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9:00 – 4:00pm
Fee: Free
Features an exercise-trail fitness course; zoo and ecology center, featuring buffalo, mountain lions, eagles, children’s petting zoo; ecology exhibits and tours; free compost; greenhouses; picnic area. Contact for special events/programs.


Walt Whitman Birthplace
246 Old Walt Whitman Road
Dix Hills, NY 11746
Summer Hours: June 15th – Labor Day Monday – Friday 11:00 – 4:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm. Closed major holidays.
Winter hours (after Labor Day): Open Wednesday – Friday, 1-4;
Saturday – Sunday, 11-4; (Closed Monday, Tuesday, and major holidays)
Fee: $6 Adults / $4 Students / $5 Seniors / Children under 5 and members are free.
Visit the 19th century farmhouse with 19th century furnishings and unusual architecture. Interpretive Center exhibits: 130 Whitman portraits, original letters, manuscripts, artifacts, Whitman’s voice on tape, and schoolmaster’s desk. Guided tours, audio-visual show, library, museum shop/bookstore, and picnic area.


Lakeland County Park
Johnson Avenue
Islandia, NY 11760
Office/Restroom Hours: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Fee: Free
This fully accessible facility, designed for the disabled and their families, includes a nature trail-boardwalk over the head-waters of the Connetquot River, picnic area with gazebo, boardwalks, shuffleboard, basketball courts and fishing.


Seatuck Environmental Center
550 South Bay Avenue
Islip, NY 11751
Hours: Park & Trails – Wed. – Sun. 8:00am – 4:00pm; Nature Center & Gift Shop – Wed. – Sun. – 10:00am – 4:30pm; Closed Monday & Tuesday (Please check the website for changes)
Programs Fee: $8 Non-Members; $4 Members (Registration is required & can be limited)
The 70-acre property, which contains diverse wetland and upland forest habitats, is open for hiking, birding, etc. They offer programs for pre-school children, students, adults, and families. Browse upcoming education programs from their event calendar online.


Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society and Museum
Main Road (Route 25) at Cardinal Drive
Mattituck, NY 11952
Hours: Open by appointment Saturday & Sunday May – September
Fee: Free, donations appreciated
Buildings on the site including 2 houses (1799) and (1840), a schoolhouse (1846), milk house (circa 1850) and a farm outbuilding with 19th century farm implements and machine on display. Permanent exhibits include American Indian artifacts recovered in Mattituck and a collection of 19th century quilts.


The Longwood Planetarium
35 Yaphank Middle Island Road
Middle Island, NY 11953
Hours: Evening shows begin at 7:00pm. Call for individual show times.
Fee: Free
Located in the Longwood Middle School in Middle Island, NY, the planetarium offers high quality presentations on a variety of scientific and non scientific topics. Several programs are offered in non-English languages.


Children’s Maritime Museum
Waterfront, Adjacent to the Port Jefferson Village Community Center
Hours: Saturdays & Sundays 1:00 – 5:00pm
Fee: $5 per person, No Charge for Children under 1
Family Fun at CMM – Come explore and learn about Long Island: A Working Waterfront. Children can visit various centers, such as “Engineer a Water Wheel”, “Operate a Water taxi”, Design a Dock”, “Open a Store”, “Load Cargo”, “Bail a Boat”, and more. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Quogue Wildlife Refuge
3 Old Country Road
Quogue, NY 11959
Hours: Refuge Trails & Distressed Wildlife Complex are open every day from sunrise to sunset. Nature Center Building is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm.
Fee: Free
The center is a 305-acre expanse of protected land with over seven miles of trails where you can explore a variety of habitats including Pine Barrens, bogs, wetlands, a field and a tidal sanctuary. The main trail is wheelchair and stroller friendly and all of the trails can be enjoyed in every season. There is also a Distressed Wildlife Complex which houses animals that have been injured and would not be able to survive in the wild. Inside the Nature Center, you can observe wildlife through huge windows that overlook Old ice Pond, as well as visit a variety of exhibits, turtles, snakes, a touch table and children’s room.


Brookhaven’s Volunteer Firefighters Museum
Fireman’s Memorial Park
Route 25 (Middle Country Road)
Ridge, NY 11961
Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 10:00am – 3:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm. Closed on all holidays.
Fee: Free, donations appreciated
The museum is the restored 1889 Centre Moriches Fire House and contains two floors of firematic apparatus, photos, equipment, patches, old toys, badges and extinguishers. A second Truck House Building has six trucks including a 1956 85’ Seagrave Ladder, a 1943 Brush Truck and a Class “C” Racing Rig.


Long Island Science Center
11 West Main Street
Riverhead, NY 11901
Hours: September – June Saturday 11am – 4pm. Vacation weeks, please call for availability.
Summer Hours – Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am – 4:00pm.
Fee: $5 (Children under 2 are Free)
Hands-on science and technology museum with interactive exhibits of bubbles, magnets, structural engineering, archeology, bats; view mounted butterflies, Wireless Society exhibition about the history of wireless communication.


Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge
2595 Noyak Rd.
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
Hours: Refuge hours are ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.
Fee: Per Vehicle $4.00 Pedestrian/bicycle $2.00
The nature trail at Morton passes through upland areas and onto the beach. You can then follow the peninsula for almost 2 miles, travel an upland trail or visit a brackish pond (partial beach closure April 1st – August 31st). Saltwater fishing from shore is permitted (state regulations apply). Enjoy nature photography, wildlife observation, hiking, nature interpretation and environmental education. An information kiosk and restrooms are provided for visitor convenience.


Long Island Maritime Museum
86 West Avenue
West Sayville, NY 11796
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm.
Fee: $6 Adults; $4 Children & Seniors
The museum is located on the waterfront with a collection of over 10,000 objects and five historic buildings. Kids will discover the links between the Island’s maritime and natural histories. They will encounter some of the amazing sea creatures living in our local waters.


Benner’s Farm
56 Gnarled Hollow Road
East Setauket, NY 11733
Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, April, May & October 12pm– 4pm
Fee: $6 Adults; $5 Children, plus tax (includes food for animals)
Visit with the animals, walk through the nature trails, and enjoy the world famous swing in the woods! Each admission includes give a cup of feed for the animals.


Sweetbriar Nature Center
62 Eckernkamp Drive
Smithtown, NY 11787
Hours: Office: Open 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday; 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Preserve: Open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm every day. Vivarium: Open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm daily (In Season).
Fee: Free, donations accepted; butterfly house $3, Seniors and Children under 12 $2.
Includes 54 acres, hiking with views of Nissequogue River; butterfly house. Mock rain forest.Long Island Greenbelt Trail runs through the preserve. Wildlife rehabilitation with eagles, hawks, and owls.


Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum
100 Montauk Highway & Westgate Road
Shinnecock Rerservation
Southampton, NY 11969
631-283-6143 Ext. 14
Hours: Open Thursday – Saturday 11:00am – 4:00pm; Sunday 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Fee: $5 Adults; $3 Seniors and ages 5 – 12, Children under 5 are free
Museum houses 10,000 years of Shinnecock history that features “A Walk With the People”, containing murals and sculpted totems, a replica of a wigwam, a centuries-old birch-bark canoe, mounted animals, implements, jewelry, beadwork, weavings and photos of ancestors and elders. There is also a museum shop.


Avalon Park & Preserve
200 Harbor Road
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Hours: The park is open 365 days a year from dawn until dusk
Fee: Free
Avalon is a re-creation of the natural environment that greeted the first indigenous people to settle New York State. Its five distinct natural habitats populated entirely by native flora hold the story of our past, and quite possibly, the seeds of our future.

Stony Brook Grist Mill
Harbor Road off Main Street
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Hours: Mid-April through Mid-October, Saturdays & Sundays 12pm – 4:30pm (weather permitting)
Fee: $2 Adults; $1 Children
Long Island’s most completely equipped working Grist Mill, the Stony Brook Grist Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sample a slice of colonial life while touring a working grist mill.

Stony Brook Village Events
A list of family events in the village.


Suffolk County Farm & Education Center
350 Yaphank Avenue
Yaphank, NY 11980
Hours: Seven days a week 9:00am – 3:00pm
Fee: Free, but you must sign-in at Visitor’s Center
Visitors are able to see a century old working farm which still holds a tie to the past through the historic hay barn, while showcasing present-day agriculture. You can visit with the farm animals and even fed them with food purchased at the main desk.

Suffolk County Police Department Museum
30 Yaphank Avenue
Yaphank, NY 11980
Hours: Open Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Fee: Free
The Police Museum traces the evolution of policing in Suffolk from the 16th century Sheriff to the present day law enforcement professional. Featured are: interpretive displays such as the 1925 station house, Constable Miller’s 1915 Traffic Booth, the old Riverhead Jail and a talking 1960 Police Car and Police Booth depicting the first year of operations of the County Police. There is even a real police motorcycle that youngsters (and oldsters too!) can climb aboard wearing a police jacket and helmet to get the “feel” of what it’s like to be a motorcycle police officer or even get their picture taken while red lights are flashing or the siren is wailing!


Listed below are some quick ways to find out what is going on in your area. Always remember that your local library is a great resource for events in your community. Click the link below to find out where your library is located, go for a visit and get a library card.

Find Free Fun @ Your local Library

A modern-day treasure hunt where players hide and seek cached containers using GPS-enabled devices like smartphones or GPS navigators. This site will get you started.

A fun outdoor activity that combines treasure hunting with rubber stamping.

Suffolk County Chambers of Commerce
A listing of each town’s Chamber of Commerce website to see the events going on near you!

Free Summer Concerts
The list of free summer concerts is updated every year…usually a week or two before the start date. Listed are both Suffolk & Nassau County locations. You usually have to bring your own blankets and chairs. out a pass that is used for free admission to many of the local museums.


General Info:
Created by the Long Island Nature Collaborative for Kids, a national demonstration project of The Early Years Institute, this website allows families to search for parks in their area. Designed especially for young families, preschool programs and elementary schools, this inventory includes about 700 parks and preserves.

Suffolk County Community Pools

New York State Parks in Suffolk County

Parks By Town:

Babylon (Parks & Playgrounds):

Brookhaven (Beaches & Pools):

Brookhaven (Parks & Playgrounds):

Islip (Parks & Pools):

Riverhead (Parks):

Smithtown (Parks):

Southold (Parks & Beaches):


When it comes to visiting farms, it is hard to categorize a price since you can spend as little or as much as you want. Here is a sampling of the farms you can visit on Long Island that don’t have an entrance fee.

Pick-Your-Own Farms

Harbes Farm

There are always events going on each weekend…check out the site.

WEBSITES to find family friendly events in your area…

Explore LI

This is a Newsday site that has a listing of events going on all over Long Island.

Life on Long Island

Another site that lists events going on all over Long Island.

Macaroni Kid Blog
Entertain, Stimulate, Exhaust! Those three words sum up our Macaroni Kids’ mission. Each week they deliver the best in family events and activities in your local community. Check out the “Find Your Town” box and zero in on great local things to do this week with your family.

Long Island Neighborhoods Video Blog
This site has a list of free events coming up on Long Island. It also has short videos of the places the blogger has been to on Long Island.

Mommy Poppins Blog
Great site for family fun!

 This list was compiled by the Children’s Librarians Association of Suffolk County:

April 2014

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