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Free Things To Do With Your Kids on Long Island

Cost-free places to go with the kids on Long Island

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Whether you have an only child or a group of three or more in tow, there are wonderful, free places to take your children in Nassau and Suffolk. Here's a sampling of some great free things to do with kids on Long Island.

You might also be interested in Top 10 Children's Attractions on Long Island.

See also Free Things to Do on Long Island to read about more cost-free activities for adults.

And remember to check my Long Island blog on my site's  home page for updates and my monthly calendars of events for more info.

If you know of a free place that kids and their families will enjoy on Long Island, please email me at longisland@aboutguide.com. Thanks!

1. The Big Duck

Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro


Everyone's favorite "big bird," the Big Duck enchants young and old alike. Once a store that sold live Peking ducks, this whimsical building now functions as a "must see" gift shop featuring "duckabilia." The whimsical building is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The big happily roosts in Flanders and you can bring the family for a view of the adorable avian any time, but if you want to go inside the bird to shop, call first to make sure they're open.

The Big Duck
Route 24
Flanders, NY
(631) 852-8292

2. Take A Hike!

Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

It's absolutely free to take in all the beautiful sites of Long Island while walking trhough parks and other open spaces on Long Island. Choose from places like the Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary, Quogue Wildlife RefugeSweetbriar Nature Center, Garvey's Point Preserve and much more.

3. Children's Book Readings & Author Signings

Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

Book stores throughout Long Island, including Book Revue in Huntington, Barnes & Noble and Borders, as well as local libraries regularly schedule free book readings and author signings and more.

4. A Free Zoo on Long Island

Miniature Horses
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

The Town of Brookhaven/Holtsville Ecology Site, Park & Animal Preserve includes a zoo with free admission. It's open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week during most of the year, but the hours change with the seasons.

The Town of Brookhaven/Holtsville Ecology Site, Park & Animal Preserve
Buckley Road
Holtsville, NY
(631) 758-9664

5. Free Events at Stony Brook Village Center

This sprawling shopping center in Stony Brook often features free entertainment, including live music, art exhibits, seasonal fun and more. Visit their Events Calendar to see what's going on right now. Visit the Stony Brook Village Center website for directions.

6. Museum of Long Island Natural Sciences at Stony Brook University

While you're in Stony Brook, visit the FREE Museum of Long Island Natural Sciences at Stony Brook University. Associated with the Geosciences Dept. of SUNY Stony Brook, the museum seeks to promote natural sciences education. They offer science programs inluding lectures, exhibits, films and more to schools and the general public.

The museum is open all year, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. (Closed most NY State holidays.) Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

Other free Long Island museums include The American Guitar Museum and The African American Museum of Nassau County.

Museum of Long Island Natural Sciences at Stony Brook University
Earth & Space Science Building
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY
(631) 632-8230

7. Touring Long Island Neighborhoods

Sea Cliff House
Linda Tagliaferro

Take long, enjoyable walks with your family, touring picturesque neighborhoods like Sea Cliff, Northport, Cold Spring Harbor, Port Washington, Lloyd Neck, Oyster Bay and more.

8. Visit Long Island's Beautiful Beaches

Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

From the sprawling expanses of Long Beach to the powder-fine sands of Jones Beach, the surfing mecca of Montauk and more, Long Island offers miles and miles of Atlantic seashore. (Please note that in season, if you're not a resident of some of the beach towns, you'll be asked to pay to enter.)

9. Free Long Island Festivals

From the Fourth of July Festival at Sagamore Hill to the Oyster Bay Festival to the Cow Harbor Festival in Northport and more, Long Island offers some great outdoor events without an admission fee.

Check my Long Island blog and my Special Events & Festivals on Long Island for updated listings.

10. Grumman Memorial Park

Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

Are the kids interested in aircraft made right here on Long Island? Then a visit to Grumman Memorial Park is a must. This FREE park features displays of actual aircraft like the mighty F-14A Tomcat.

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