There are wonderful children's attractions on Long Island including an aquarium, a building shaped like a duck, an outdoor water park filled with rides and slides, and so much more. Take the whole family to one or more of these children's attractions and you'll all have a great time. Here's my list of the Top 10 Children's Attractions on Long Island.
Please check each attraction's website for current opening dates and times of operation.
You might also be interested in FREE Things To Do With Your Kids on Long Island.
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
There was a time when mentioning Long Island immediately brought up visions of roast duck. In the 1930s, after importing Peking ducks from China, L.I. duck farmers produced millions of these birds, and duck farms dotted the island. Two brothers, Martin and Julie Mauer, commissioned a larger-than-life duck-shaped building in Riverhead, 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 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."
The Big Duck
Photo © Long Island Children's Museum
Take the kids to the Long Island Children's Museum 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 will love exploring the two-story ClimbIt© structure with ramps going up and down in a spiral pattern. They can create giant bubbles in the Bubble Gallery, make "rain" in the outdoor Our Backyard gallery, play musical instruments, learn about Long Island and much, much more.
The Long Island Children's Museum also hosts children's birthday parties
for a fee.
Long Island Children's Museum
11 Davis Avenue
Garden City, NY
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
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 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.
You can also have your children's birthday parties
at the Cradle of Aviation Museum for a fee.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum
Charles Lindbergh Boulevard
East Garden City
Photo © Splish Splash
Love getting soaked with cool water on a hot, humid summer's day? Then bring the kids to Splish Splash for exciting rides on a sprawling site filled with water-themed enjoyment. The Travel Channel named it one of the Top Ten Water Parks. Open from Memorial Day till Labor Day, Splish Splash offers thrilling rides like 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 complete darkness!
Kids will also enjoy rides including Alien Invasion's rafts racing down an enclosed tube, Barrier Reef's 80-foot speed slide, and Dragon's Den's double tube ride and many more thrilling choices.
Before you go, check out Splish Splash Water Park, Long Island, NY - 10 Insider Tips
2549 Splish Splash Drive
This fascinating wildlife park and zoo in Manorville has been entertaining families for over 40 years. You and the kids will meet hundreds of animals including red kangaroos, kinkajous, cougars, peacocks, a giraffe, and even lemurs -- the only ones born and raised on Long Island. Kids young and old will love the petting zoo where children can gently touch and feed baby animals.
There are carnival rides as well as pony rides. Scheduled activities include shows like "Meet Jack the Giraffe," "Tiger Time!" and the "Alligator Jump-a-Roo" show at Jurassic Swamp.
Long Island Game Farm Wildlife Park & Children's Zoo
This family-friendly amusement park has entertained children and the young-at-heart since 1962. Kiddie rides like the Tubs of Fun circling around a huge clown provide excitement for those under 54".
Older kids and adult amusement park fans can try the Hurricane Coaster, John Silver's Twister and more. There are even water rides like Adventure Falls, where you'll get splashed on those hot summer days. And of course, there's a traditional Merry-Go-Round and twirling Ferris Wheel to please the whole family.
Visit the Adventureland website
for current prices and times. For everyone's good health, there's no smoking of any kind in Adventureland.
2234 Route 110
7. Old Bethpage Village Restoration
Experience what it was like to walk through Long Island in the mid-1800s. This recreated old-time village brims with actual homes and businesses, relocated and restored on 209 acres. Visit a hat maker and a blacksmith. 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 a seasonal farm stand in the parking lot, with sustainably grown produce for sale. The fruits and veggies are grown on the certified organic Restoration Farm
Old Bethpage Village Restoration
1303 Round Swamp Road
Old Bethpage, NY
Bring the kids into the great outdoors. The first Audubon Songbird Sanctuary in the U.S., the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center is a great place to stroll and look for birds. It offers programs for adults and children throughout the year, amd kids' Audubon Adventures in the summer.
The sanctuary features birds of prey like 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.
Visit nearby Sagamore Hill
, the former residence of Theodore Roosevelt, often referred to as his "Summer White House."The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center
134 Cove Road
Oyster Bay, NY
The Vanderbilt Museum sits on the former Gold Coast estate of William K. Vanderbilt II, great-grandson of railroad mogul Cornelius Vanderbilt. With a spectacular view of Long Island Sound, it has a marine and natural history museum, a mansion, a park and a planetarium offering regularly-scheduled sky shows.
During the summer, the museum presents concerts and other events, including the Arena Players Children's Theatre performances, and the Arena Players Repertory Company's performances of Shakespeare's plays in the cobblestone courtyard of the mansion. There are also children's and adult workshops. Please see the Vanderbilt Museum website for more information.
180 Little Neck Road
Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
The whole family will enjoy this huge aquarium with over 80 exhibits. The youngest visitors enjoy Touch Tanks and scheduled shows in the outdoor amphitheater. 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 watch 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. Atlantis hosts children's birthday parties
, and if you know someone looking for unique Long Island wedding locations
, Atlantis hosts receptions.
Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center (formerly Atlantis Marine World)
431 East Main Street