Top 10 Children's Attractions on Long Island, New York

Long Island City Gantry Plaza Park at night

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Whether your kids enjoy splashing at a local water park or marveling at incredible airplanes, Long Island has no shortage of wonderful attractions for children; adults might even enjoy them, too! From free children's activities on the island to pay-to-play water and amusement parks, there's plenty to choose from on your trip to Long Island, New York, any time of year.

01 of 10

Go See the Big Duck

The Big Duck, Flanders, North Fork, Suffolk County, Long Island. A well-known Long Island landmark as well as a specific style of roadside architecture.

Barry Winiker/Getty Images 

Address
1012 NY-24, Flanders, NY 11901, USA
Phone
+1 631-852-3377

There was a time when mentioning Long Island immediately brought up visions of roast duck. In the 1930s, after importing Peking ducks from China, duck farmers on the island produced millions of these birds, and duck farms dotted the island. As a result, Martin Mauer and his wife Jeule commissioned a larger-than-life duck-shaped building in Riverhead. It's 20-feet tall and 30-feet long to attract passing drivers to buy real ducks at the store.

Duck sales are long gone from the "big bird," but after several moves, the Big Duck now is permanently on Route 24 in Flanders and roosts on the National Register of Historic Places. Kids (and their parents) will love this whimsical building, now a gift shop selling "duck-a-bilia."

02 of 10

Explore the Long Island Children's Museum

Children playing with a water table at the Long Island Children's Museum.

LIWriter/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

Address
11 Davis Ave, Garden City, NY 11530, USA
Phone
+1 516-224-5800

Take the kids to the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City, and spend a few hours or an entire day there. With 14 fabulously themed galleries and a 145-seat theater, you and the kids have a choice of fun activities.

Children can explore the two-story Climb-It structure with ramps going up and down in a spiral pattern. They can create giant bubbles in the Bubble Gallery, "fish" for the catch-of-the-day in at Sandy Island, play musical instruments, learn about animal habitats, and much, much more.

03 of 10

Learn About Aviation History at the Cradle of Aviation

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Michael Gray/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Address
Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Garden City, NY 11530, USA
Phone
+1 516-572-4111

Long Island's contributions to the history of flight are highlighted in this exciting, kid-friendly museum. From a world-class collection of aircraft to exhibits of Long Island's first flight in 1909, the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City entertains while it educates. Don't miss the sister airplane to Lindbergh's "Spirit of St. Louis" and the Grumman Lunar Module built in Bethpage in 1972.

04 of 10

Get Wet at Splish Splash Water Park

Entrance of the Splish Splash Water Park in New York.

Railroadwiki/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 1.2 

Address
2549 Splish Splash Dr, Calverton, NY 11933, USA
Phone
+1 631-727-3600

If you love getting soaked with cold water on a hot, humid summer's day, bring the kids to Splish Splash for exciting rides on a sprawling site filled with water-themed enjoyment.

Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Calverton's Splish Splash offers thrilling rides such as Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel of Terror, where you'll catapult down a 40-foot drop, soar high and complete 360-degree spins—all in total darkness!

Kids also enjoy rides like Alien Invasion that features raft racing down an enclosed tube, Barrier Reef's 80-foot speed slide, Dragon's Den's double tube ride, and many more thrilling choices.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Meet Furry Friends at Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park

Alpacas at the Long Island Game Farm

Long Island Game Farm

Address
489 Chapman Blvd, Manorville, NY 11949, USA
Phone
+1 631-878-6644

The Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park and Children's Zoo is a fascinating wildlife park and zoo in Manorville that has been entertaining families since the 1970s.

You and the kids can meet hundreds of animals including red kangaroos, alpacas, camels, peacocks, a giraffe, and even ring-tailed lemurs—the only ones born and raised on Long Island. Kids young and old love the petting zoo where children can gently touch and feed baby animals.

There are also carnival rides as well as pony rides, and guests can participate in close encounters with certain animals including the giraffe, wallabies, deer, and other baby animals.

06 of 10

Enjoy a Classic Amusement Park

Adventureland in Long Island

Martin Lewison/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Address
2245 Broadhollow Rd, Farmingdale, NY 11735, USA
Phone
+1 631-694-6868

Family-friendly amusement park Adventureland has entertained Farmingdale's children and young-at-heart since 1962. Kiddie rides such as the Little Dipper log plume provide excitement for those under 44 inches, whereas older kids and adult amusement park fans can try the Turbulence Coaster, Frisbee, and more. There are even water rides such as Adventure Falls, where you'll get splashed on those hot summer days, and there's also a traditional Merry-Go-Round and twirling Ferris Wheel to please the whole family.

07 of 10

Go Back in Time at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Address
1303 Round Swamp Rd, Old Bethpage, NY 11804, USA
Phone
+1 516-572-8400

Experience what it was like to walk through Long Island in the mid–1800s at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. This recreated old-time village brims with real homes and businesses relocated and restored on 209 acres. Visit a hat maker and a blacksmith, while volunteers in period costume explain how life was way back when.

The Restoration has special events year-round, including reenactments of historic baseball games, an annual rabbit show, an Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration on the Fourth of July, and more. There's even a seasonal farm stand in the parking lot, with sustainably grown produce for sale.

08 of 10

Bring the Kids to the Great Outdoors

Red-bellied woodpecker at Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center

Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center

Address
134 Cove Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771-2418, USA
Phone
+1 516-922-3200

The first Audubon Songbird Sanctuary in the United States, the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center in Oyster Bay, is a great place to stroll and look for birds. It offers programs for adults and children alike throughout the year and kids' Audubon Adventures in the summer.

The sanctuary features birds of prey such as owls and hawks, brought here after they were injured in the wild. View them in the many aviaries they call home. Staff occasionally brings them out for up-close glimpses.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Visit a Gold Coast Estate

The Vanderbilt Museum

Allan Montaine/Getty Images

Address
180 Little Neck Rd, Centerport, NY 11721-1145, USA
Phone
+1 631-854-5555

The Vanderbilt Museum sits on the former Gold Coast estate of William K. Vanderbilt II, who was the great-grandson of railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt. With a spectacular view of Long Island Sound, the Centerport mansion has a marine and natural history museum, a park, and a planetarium that offers regularly scheduled sky shows.

During the summer, the science museum presents concerts and other events, including the Arena Players Children's Theatre performances and the Arena Players Repertory Company's productions of Shakespeare's plays in the cobblestone courtyard of the mansion. There are also children's and adult workshops throughout the season.

10 of 10

Watch Sharks and Incredible Marine Life

Blue fish swimming in a tank at the Long Island Aquarium

KEN_S_NY/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Address
431 E Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901, USA
Phone
+1 631-208-9200 ext. 426

The whole family can enjoy Riverhead's Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center, which features a huge aquarium with more than 80 exhibits. The youngest visitors can enjoy Touch Tanks and scheduled shows in the outdoor amphitheater, while exhibits of colorful fish and a living coral reef enchant all ages.

Get a safe view of menacing sharks through a huge tank's glass walls, watch penguins waddle, sea lions swim, and other fascinating sea creatures. For an extra fee, sail on the Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat down the Peconic River into a beach on Flanders Bay for a close look at some sea creatures. 

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These Long Island Attractions Will Fascinate Your Kids