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Summer Bucket List 2014: Enjoy All of the Best Long Island Fun this Season!

Family & Parenting, Travel & Local Attractions, Seasonal & Current Events

There's a lot to do on Long Island, so check out all of these great places to visit during the summer!

Summer is finally here and, luckily for Long Islanders, there are plenty of great ways to enjoy the beautiful warm weather and sunshine right here on Long Island! Whether you transform into a beach bum for the season; you're looking forward to enjoying hiking the local trails, going on camping trips, and making the most out of our beautiful natural resources this season; or you're bringing the little ones to see some of Long Island's iconic landmarks and attractions for the first time—this summer is filled with seemingly endless entertainment!

To help you make the most out of summer this year, we've put together our own Summer Bucket List, which features dozens of great things to do this season. We've got something for everyone—no matter what you call fun! Whether you're looking to plan a day of family fun, head out for a night on the town with that special someone, or enjoy some fun with friends this summer, we've got the scoop on the best entertainment and things to do right here, so that you can have an unforgettable summer this year.

Here's what's on our Summer Bucket List for 2014:

  • Hit the beach. The north shore is great for a relaxing day on the sound and the south shore is perfect for when you want to catch a wave.
  • If a day trip isn’t enough then spend a weekend! You can camp at several beaches, as well as other parks.
  • Head to a festival. Many towns have celebratory fairs on Main Street throughout the summer, and there are a lot of other festivals as well.
  • Check out Bayville Adventure Park, where you’ll find everything from bumper boats and mini golf to rock climbing and mazes!
  • Go Kayaking. The sound can be fun to paddle around in, and Long Island is also home to a number of streams and rivers that make the perfect place to bring your kayak or canoe.
  • Take a hike! Plenty of plants will be in bloom to make for a very scenic stroll.
  • Catch a live concert. There are several free “concert in the park” series across LI including, music at the Northport Gazebo. The Great South Bay Music Festival will run from July 18-20 this year.
  • There’s almost always something to see at venues like Nikon Theater at Jones Beach as well.
  • Go for a swim at a public pool. You don’t need to get sand in your shoes to enjoy the water, and if you’re feeling a little more adventurous you can take a trip to Splish Splash—Long Island’s very own water park!
  • Take the kids to a petting zoo or game farm. There will be plenty of baby animals to pet and feed in the summer.
  • If cars are more your speed, shoot over to a car show and admire some classic cars.
  • Head to the 17th Annual Long Island International Film Expo to see some great independent films.
  • Head to a farmers’ market and buy some fresh produce. You’re also liable to find some great local baked goods as well.
  • Spend a night (or a day) on the town. LI is full of villages like Huntington, Northport, and Greenport with a host of restaurants, boutiques, and unique shops.
  • Go go-karting at Karts Indoor Raceway and have a blast even if it’s hot or raining outside.
  • The Nautical Mile in Freeport is another great place to spend a day.
  • Play a round of mini golf to have some big fun!
  • Have a drink! There are a lot of great vineyards on the Island; you can visit your favorite or go on a tour of several wineries in the same day.
  • Pick your own fruit. Multiple farms on LI will let you pluck ripe berries right from the vine during the summer.
  • Head to the Bethpage Restoration, a “living museum” that replicates life on Long Island in the 19th century and is host to many special events.
  • Eat outside. Lots of places feature outdoor dining, including seaside seafood restaurants.
  • Catch a play. Long Island’s theaters are very active during the summer, as is Huntington’s Outdoor Theatre.
  • Long Island has also established a booming microbrewery industry, and many are even open for tastings.
  • Visit a local landmark like The Big Duck in Flanders, a historic piece of novelty architecture that houses its own gift shop.
  • Go the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor for a whale of a time.
  • The carousels in Garden City and Greenport have been going around for many years and make for a great place to take your kids.
  • Long Island is famous for its lighthouses, including the historic Montauk Point lighthouse which is noted as the oldest one in New York and the fourth oldest in all of the US.
  • Have some fishy fun at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center!
  • If you’d rather catch some fish than watch them, then you can charter a ride on a party boat and try to haul in the big one.
  • Take the family to Adventureland for a day of fun and ride the roller coaster, log flume, and other great attractions!
  • Check out the railroad museums of Long Island; there’s one in Greenport and one in Riverhead.
  • Admire some beautiful plant-life at an arboretum or nature preserve.
  • Stargaze on a cloudy day at the Vanderbilt or Cradle of Aviation planetarium
  • Cool down with a frozen treat from one of the Island’s ice cream parlors. There are also gelato, Italian ice, self-serve frozen yogurt, and even frozen custard shops to enjoy!
  • Watch a game! Summer is the time to watch the Long Island Ducks and New York Cosmos.
  • Watch the Perseids meteor shower. The Perseids are often the best cosmic show of the year, and they’ll be lighting up the night sky between August 11 and 12.
  • Take the kids to the Maritime Explorium in Port Jeff for hands-on, interactive learning.
  • Visit the Hamptons. They’re a popular tourist destination among out-of-towners, but you can drive over and enjoy all the Hamptons have to offer any day! Sag Harbor and Montauk are also great places to take a day or weekend trip.
  • Watch some 4th of July Fireworks. The summer’s biggest holiday is also the night to catch bright, booming fireworks displays!
  • Visit Museum Row for some educational fun. This strip in Garden City is the site of three different museums: The Cradle of Aviation, Long Island Children’s Museum, and the Nassau County Firefighter Museum and Education Center.
  • Take up surfing or wind surfing.
  • Go the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium to see numerous exhibits.
  • Visit a port town like Northport, Port Jefferson, Greenport, or Freeport and watch the boats at sunset.
  • Check out a butterfly house to study and admire the prettiest creatures the bug world has to offer.
  • Visit the new Adventure Park at Long Island, LI’s brand new home for zip-lining and rope climbing!
  • Celebrate the history and culture of the Shinnecock tribe at the 68th annual pow-wow during Labor Day Weekend, August 29th through September 1st.
  • Play a round of paintball—the perfect pastime for older kids and adults alike.
  • Enroll your kid in a summer reading program. Books will keep your child’s mind sharp and open whole new worlds to him or her. There are plenty of great reading options at many local libraries.
  • Visit the North Fork. In addition to wineries, the North Fork also features pristine beaches and great fishing opportunities.
  • Bring the kids to the Children's Museum of the East End for all kinds of fun activities and exhibits.
  • Put your skates on and head to a local roller rink for an afternoon of indoor fun.
  • Visit Fire Island. There’s a lot to do here, from beaches and lighthouses to fishing and dining.

What's on your Summer Bucket List this year? Let us know!

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