Long Island Family Fun in Winter

Where to take the kids for winter activities in Nassau and Suffolk counties

Cold Spring Harbor
••• Jake Pujals / EyeEm / Getty Images

Don't let the kids get cabin fever on Long Island. There is plenty to do in the winter without taking the LIRR into New York City. Below find activities like museums, holiday celebrations, and ways to become closer with the area's animals.

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    It's time to take the kids whirling and twirling on the ice. Visit one of these ice skating rinks in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the whole family will enjoy this winter pastime.

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    Take a Hike

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    If the kids are up for a long or short walk on a crisp winter's day, or for an invigorating foray through the snow, there are plenty of places in Nassau and Suffolk where you can enjoy nature during this season.

    Check out one or more of the following:

    • Garvies Point Museum and Preserve offers marked trails outdoors, but if you and yours are looking for a warmer experience, just wander through the indoor museum.
    • Caleb Smith State Park Preserve is a great place for an outdoor walk, but the kids can also enjoy a free, indoor museum with exhibits of wildlife specimens.
    • The Quogue Wildlife Refuge features seven miles of nature trails, but you can also register the kids for their nature workshops, which take place indoors.
    • The Sweetbriar Nature Center sits on 54 acres of woodlands, fields and more on the Nissequogue River. Take a winter hike or sign the kids up for one of the many nature programs inside.
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    Long Island Children's Museum
    ••• Courtesy of Long Island Children's Museum

    Kids of all ages will enjoy this hands-on museum with its many interactive galleries and a theater that features family-friendly shows.

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    Cradle of Aviation Museum
    ••• Courtesy of Cradle of Aviation Museum

    Focusing on Long Island's contributions to the history of flight, the Cradle of Aviation Museum will entertain the whole family in a warm, indoor environment.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Storytime for Kids

    Book Revue
    ••• Courtesy of Book Revue

    Need a cure for cabin fever? Then take the kids to Book Revue in Huntington, New York. Every Tuesday at 11 a.m., you can bring your young ones for a FREE story time and craft event, no registration required. For a list of their upcoming events, you can call their event hotline at (800) 552-9440.

    Barnes and Noble stores throughout Nassau and Suffolk offer FREE programs for kids. To find a store near you and to see the latest listings of events, please go to barnesandnoble.com.

    Too cold to leave the house? Then go to Barnes & Noble Online Storytime, where your kids can listen to authors reading their children's books aloud.

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    Christmas tree outside
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    From holiday festivals that include a visit from Santa Claus, to the glittering lights of a lovely menorah, wintertime brings Christmas tree and menorah lightings that will delight kids of all ages.

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    New York Islanders
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    Older kids will enjoy watching an exciting New York Islanders game, as the Long Island-based hockey team goes up against challengers from near and far.

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    Seal
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    Take a cruise to learn about the wildlife that swims in the waters surrounding Long Island. The cruises sail throughout the winter. Bundle up and view seals and more from the deck, of stay in the warm cabin and watch the wildlife through a window. You'll need to make a reservation in advance. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Cold Spring Harbor
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    Need a place to take the kids, but you're not up for a walk in the cold? The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum chronicles the story of the town's history as a whaling port.

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    Long Island Aquarium
    ••• Courtesy of Long Island Aquarium

    The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center boasts a wealth of live marine animals, including their ever-popular shark tank. (In the summer, you can see the outdoor exhibits.) During the winter, there's often a Breakfast with Santa event, as well as some family sleepovers.