Outdoor Fun

From beaches, parks, and preserves to arboretums, zoos, and gardens, below is a list of fun, safe, and kid-friendly outdoor destinations for you and your tot. Destinations are grouped by distance: “Local” — in Port Washington, “Pretty Close” — under a 30 minute drive from Port, and “Further Away, but Worth the Drive” — over a 30 minute drive from Port. A * means it’s a Port Washington Mama fav. Remember to check the Seasonal Page for a list of seasonal activities. If you have a favorite outdoor space that you think other families would enjoy, send me an email.



Blumenfeld Family Park – Landmark Park on Main Street

1 Main Street, Port Washington, New York

Kids love the two playgrounds and aqua park/spray ground, open during summer months at Blumenfeld Family Park. The Landmark building itself is a not-for-profit community center that hosts a number of cultural and educational events and houses the Parent Resource Center.


Flower Hill Park

Stonytown Road and Port Washington Blvd, Port Washington, NY

Great fenced in playground perfect for toddlers. New basketball courts and “spider web” climbing structure recently added, too.


Harbor Links

One Fairway Drive, Port Washington, New York

Harbor Links features a public golf course (both 18 and 9 holes), driving range, and a mini golf course that is great for the little ones.

Kostal Paddle

158 Manorhaven Blvd, Port Washington, NY
www.kostalpaddle.com | 516.967.9266

No experience necessary and fun for all ages, Kostal Paddle offers private lessons, group lessons, eco tours, sunset tours, and stand up paddle yoga.


Long Island Boat Rental

Inspiration Warf | 403 Main Street Port Washington, NY 11050
(516) 761-0840 | www.liboatrental.com

Boat rentals, captained boat rides, boating lessons, yacht charters and more!


Manorhaven Beach Park & Pool

33 Manorhaven Boulevard, Port Washington, New York

Recently renovated, the Manorhaven Pool Complex boasts a 25,000 square foot main pool with lap swim area, general swim sections, zero depth entry for children and beginners, as well as two giant water slides and separate kiddie pool with state of the art play features, like palm tree fountains. Manorhaven Beach Park also provides outdoor recreation activities, such as basketball, tennis courts, handball, horseshoe pits, and racquetball and bocce courts. Picnic areas, boat ramp, standup paddle-boarding, kayaking, skate park, and playground also available.
Summer and Daily Rates available for Manorhaven Pool available for Town of North Hempstead residents.


North Hempstead Beach Park (formerly known as Bar Beach)

175 West Shore Road, Port Washington, New York

Perfect for a nearby beach trip. Features include a white sandy beach, fishing pier, boat ramp, bathhouse and concession area. The park also offers a playground, basketball court, volleyball court, shuffleboard, horseshoe pit, picnic area and 1-mile promenade for residents who want to walk or jog along the waterfront. New nature trail also on premise. Special events include summer concert series with live music on Sunday afternoons. See event calendar for details. Parking fees apply year-round.
PW Mama Tip: If you plan on going more then two times, spring for the $40 parking permit.


Pine Street Park

Pine Street, Port Washington, New York

This neighborhood park offers a fenced in shaded playground, basketball courts, and a baseball field.
PWMama Tip: Great spot for little ones. The fenced in playground allows kids to run free without worry they’ll run into the street.


Sands Point Park and Preserve

127 Middle Neck Road, Port Washington, New York

One of my favorite places in Port – a beautiful preserve that spans over 200 acres of land. Great place to picnic, hike through wooded trails (including a kiddo dino trial), relax on the sandy beach, play at the Dejana Childrens Center outdoor classroom or explore the mansion formerly owned by the Guggenheims. Childrens programming and special events occur throughout the year, including Friday morning yoga, art classes and concerts.

$10 parking fee; $100 annual pass




Pretty Close

Alley Pond Environmental Center

288-06 Northern Boulevard, Douglaston, New York
www.alleypond.com | 718.229.4000

Alley pond offers picnic areas, playgrounds, hiking trails (don’t forget to pack bug spray!) and an environmental center that is fun for younger kids. The Adventure Center offers NYC’s largest ropes course, a zip-line, and a rock climbing wall. Children’s programs available for kids ages 18 months+. See website for details.
PW Mama Tip: There’s a driving range and mini-golf course directly across from Alley Pond. Fun way to split the day.

Bayville Adventure Park

8 Bayville Avenue, Bayville, New York

Best enjoyed by kids from 4 – 10, this amusement park is filled with fun activities including a pirate theme minature golf course, bumper boats, bounce dome, rock climbing, ropes course, adventure slides, fun house, arcade, ice cream parlor, and café.

2 Day Unlimited Ticket, $19.95 per day

Christopher Morley Park

2 Paper Mill Road, Roslyn, New York (on Searington Road before 495)

Features a fun playground with climbing apparatus, a boat basin for model boats, outdoor ice skating in the winter, Olympic-sized swimming pool with diving boards for the summer, a dog run, nature trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, paddleball courts, baseball fields, volleyball courts, and picnic areas. Also home to special events and weekly summer farmers market.


Clark Botanic Gardens

193 I.U. Willets Road, Albertson, New York

Clark Gardens features 12 beautifully manicured acres of labeled gardens, trees, ponds and streams. Open daily, year-round. Special events include their annual summer concert series and their “Spooky” and “Not So Spooky” walks in the Fall — one of my favorite activities as a kid.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

1660 Rte 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

CSH Fish Hatchery & Aquarium houses the largest living collection of NYS freshwater reptiles, fishes, and amphibians. Two aquarium buildings contain a diverse array of slimy, slithering creatures all housed in tanks set at toddler eye-level Outdoors, there are eight ponds and a number of “trout-rearing” pools where you can feed the fish and trace the stages of a trout’s development from a tiny minnow to a full-fledged adult.

$6 per adult; $4 per child (Ages 3 – 12) Children (Under 2) FREE
PW Mama Tip: It will take about an hour to wander around the Fish Hatchery — especially worth the trip when coupled with a visit to the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

Eisenhower Park

1899 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, New York

Offers a variety of activities and facilities for families, including mini-golf, an 18-hole public golf course, bocce fields, lighted tennis courts, a batting cage, a greenhouse, an indoor Olympic size swimming pool, and a water spray area with benches. There are fitness and jogging trails throughout the park and three playgrounds. The main playground by Hempstead Turnpike has been completely renovated and incorporates a climbing apparatus, slides, swings, fitness equipment and other attractions. Special events and entertainment include their summer concert series.


Nassau County Museum of Art

1 Museum Drive, Roslyn, New York

While the small museum offers interesting exhibits for adults, the real draw is the grassy fields and outdoor sculpture garden. Great place to bring a picnic blanket, let kids run around and explore or walk the gardens with a stroller. Art classes are available and family Sundays at the museum offer supervised art activities for youngsters.

PWMama Tip: I love to grab a snack from Diane’s Bakery & Cafe or Grace’s Marketplace in Roslyn and head over to the NCMA with a picnic blanket. It’s also a great place to go with a jogging stroller.


Old Bethpage Village Restoration

1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage, New York

Provides visitors with a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th century American village. The village includes a small farm, homes, general store, school, church, and even a saloon that serves root beer. Volunteers dressed in period costume help bring the village to life. Throughout the year, special events are held including a “Hands-on Saturday”, baseball games played according to 1867 rules, and a lantern-lit walk for the holidays. See website for details.
Adults $7; Children over 4 $5; Under 4 free

Old Westbury Gardens

71 Old Wesbury Road, Old Westbury, New York
www.oldwestburygardens.org | 516.333.0048

The former estate of John S. Phipps (director of U.S. Steel and Grace Shipping Lines) offers 200 acres of gorgeous gardens, landscaped grounds, and woodlands. Enjoy a long, leisurely stroll through the gardens, take a tour of the mansion, have a picnic, or enjoy one of their many special events and family programs. See website or call for details.

Planting Fields Arboretum

1395 Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay, New York

The former Gold Coast estate of the W.R. Coe family, this property has over 400 acres of rolling lawns, gardens, woodlands, and nature walks. Beautiful spot for a picnic. Kids will enjoy the Camellia Greenhouse and running through the grassy lawns, moms will love the flowers — especially the peony garden. The paved walkways are perfect for strollers or joggers (or jogging strollers;). Special events include outdoor concerts and family events. See website or call for details.

$8 Parking Fee


Queens County Farm

73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, New York
www.queensfarm.org | 718.347.3276

The Queens County Farm dates back to 1697 and is the only working historical farm in the City. General admission is FREE (except on special event days) and children can enjoy the historic farm buildings, livestock, greenhouse, orchard, farm vehicles and more. The Farm also offers programs for students in grades pre-K – 9. See website for details.

Queens Zoo

53-51 111th Street (at 53rd Avenue), Flushing, New York

Just off the LIE and Northern State Parkway, this zoo offers children the opportunity to discover American wildlife with animals such as bears, sea lions, pumas, coyotes, elk, eagles, alligators and bobcats. Across from the wildlife preserve is a petting zoo.

Adults, $5; Children 3-12, $1; Under 3, free

PWMama Tip: Purchase a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) membership and receive free admission to the Queens Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium for the year and a number of other money saving benefits, too!

Sagamore Hill

20 Sagamore Hill Road, Oyster Bay, New York

Features the home of Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 until his death in 1919. Tours of the home are offered five days a week. You can also enjoy 80 acres of beautiful grounds surrounding the house and the half-mile wooded loop trail that is perfect for a nature hike with toddlers.

$5 Admission Fee

Tanglewood Park & Preserve

1 Tanglewood Rd, Rockville Centre, NY
516.764.0045 | www.cstl.com

Located on a 17 acre preserve with ponds, streams, and enchanted woods, families can enjoy hikes, live animal exhibits, special events and more. A 1.5 hour Tiny Tots workshop is held Mondays throughout the school year for kids ages 18 months to 3 years with new themes each week. Science themed birthday parties available, too! Check website for details.

White Post Farms

250 Old Country Road, Melville, New York

Great place to take a baby or toddler. Youngsters love the petting zoo, bouncers, pony rides, train rides, and playground that includes big, wooden pirate ships, buses, tractors, and other forms of transportation to climb on. Special events include Fall Farm Festival.
PWMama Tip: Visit their website and print out a coupon before you go!

Further Away But Worth The Drive

Adventureland Amusement Park

2245 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, New York

Small, kid-friendly amusement park complete with bumper cars, swinging chairs, roller coaster, and more. Fun for toddlers to tweens.

Pay One Price Bracelet, $23.99 per person; Single Ticket Prices, $1.00 per ticket (3-5 tickets per ride). Group rates available.

Bethpage State Park

99 Quaker Meeting House Road, Farmingdale, New York

Home to one of the highest-ranking golf courses in the world, the park offers several hiking/biking trails, picnic facilities, playing fields, tennis courts, bridle paths, trails and cross country skiing trails.

Parking, $7


Big Apple Archery

17020 39th Avenue, Flushing, New York
www.bigapplearchery.com | 718.461.1756

For kids 8+ (and adults, too!). Under the watchful eye of experienced coaches, you can enjoy an afternoon of archery. Something different to do and especially fun for all of those Hunger Games fans.

Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY

The world’s largest metropolitan zoo, with some 6,000 animals representing about 650 species from around the world, this is a great outdoor escape for kids (and adults) of all ages. Terrific special exhibits and attractions as well.

PWMama Tip: Purchase a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) membership and receive free admission to the Queens Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium for the year and a number of other money saving benefits, too!

Brooklyn Bridge Park

334 Furman Street, Brooklyn, New York

A 1.6 acre destination playground with water play, swings, slides, and other innovative play equipment. The majority of materials used in the playgrounds are sustainably harvested or recycled. Special features include “Swing Valley” which includes traditional tot seats, twin swings, Tarzan ropes, and a 6-seated post swings, the “Water Lab”, “Sandbox Village”, “Slide Mountain” and more. The park also features bicycle routes, a beautifully restored historic carousel, fishing, boating, and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.


Caumsett State Park

25 Loyd Harbor Road, Huntington, New York

Spectacular views. Their is a flat 3.5 mile loop (great for a family bike rides or a jogging stroller) that culminates in a GORGEOUS view of the Long Island Sound. There’s a small bird sanctuary and horse stables which tots will love, and a beautiful stretch of pebbly beach where you can gaze across the sound and see views of Conneticut. Remember to bring a blanket for a picnic.

Parking, $8


Central Park Zoo

Fifth Avenue at 65th Street, New York, NY

A 6.5 acre zoo located in Central Park. Special exhibits include a 4D Theater, the Tisch Children’s Zoo, Central Garden and Sea Lion pool and so much more!

PWMama Tip: Purchase a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) membership and receive free admission to the Queens Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium for the year and a number of other money saving benefits, too!

Field Station: Dinosaurs

1 Dinosaur Way, Secaucus, New Jersey
www.fieldstationdinosaurs.com | 855.999.9010

This 20-acre exhibition is home to 31 life-sized animatronic (but very realistic) dinosaurs. This dino-lover’s haven exhibits the most contemporary advancements in paleontology and is the only park of its kind in North America. Open May – Nov.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Grand Central Pkwy., Whitestone Exwy bet. 111 St. and College Point Blvd., Park Drive E. Queens, New York

The site of the twentieth century World’s Fair, this park includes a zoo, art museum, a botanical garden, a science museum, and a baseball stadium. Tot’s will also enjoy the park’s six playgrounds or taking a stroll (or bike ride) along the Flushing Bay promenade.


Harbes Farm & Vineyard

715 Sound Ave, Mattituck, New York

Locations in Mattituck, Riverhead, and Jamesport. The Mattituck location offers wine tasting for the adults (always fun!) and corn mazes, hayrides, pig races, pedal cars, rubber duck races, and coordinated games for kids. Seasonally, they offer berry and pumpkin picking. See site for special events.

Long Island Adventure Park

75 Colonial Springs Rd, Wheatley Heights, NY

Family fun for kids (and adults) ages 7+, Long Island Adventure Park offers an aerial forest adventure that is fun, exciting and safe for all participants. They provide a harness and equipment and give you a safety briefing that demonstrates how to climb and zip line in the park. 8 separate trails of varying levels of difficulty are available.

Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park

638 Chapman Boulevard, Manorville, New York

This wildlife park and family amusement park has nature trails that lead to different collections of animals ranging from domestic to exotic including monkeys, giraffes, kangaroo, buffalo, parrots, alligators, ostriches, camels and more. An “Old MacDond’s Farmyard” offers a petting zoo for children with ponies, ducks, rabbits, chickens, and pigs. Also availabile are rides including the Spinning Teacups, Rio Grande Mini Train, and Antique Carousel.

Adults, $16.95+tax, Children 3-11, $14.95+tax

Long Island Live Steamers

Southhaven Park, Brookhaven, New York
www.trainweb.org/lils | 631.345.0499

For train lovers, enjoy their twice-monthly Sunday Public Run Days where visitors can find rideable steam, diesel and electric trains operating on eight acres of scale tracks. Facilities include a souvenir shop, snack bar, and shaded picnic area.

Luna Park Coney Island

1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

Luna Park is the new theme park in Coney Island that features rides, roller coasters, games and the world-famous Cyclone.

Vanderbilt Mansion & Museum

180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, New York

Be prepared to walk (and bring a stroller). The mansion, marine museuem, and planetarium are sprawled out over several acres. Set low to the ground (convenient for toddler viewing!), are the colorful exotic birds on display in the mansion. The planetarium holds frequent sky shows. Summer workshops are available for the pre-K set (starting at age 3) and from K-grade 3. See site for details.

Adults, $5; Children $2