While most Long Islanders are dreaming of spring, consider taking in some of the wonderful winter experiences there are to be had on Long Island. There are plenty of activities that can only be enjoyed during the coldest months and can create memories that last a lifetime, such as going seal watching to see these big, beautiful creatures as they bask on the shores of Long Island - or maybe just doing something crazy, like making bets with your friends and then going to a local polar plunge to raise money for a good cause. Whatever you choose, these activities are only available through March, so get bundled up and get out to enjoy the last weeks of winter!
See Long Island’s Visiting Seals: One of the best parts of winter on Long Island is getting to spot seals on the beach before they migrate back up to Maine and Canada. These harbor seals and grey seals “haul out,” or climb up on sand bars or low shores and soak up the sun on bright mornings, or can be found popping their heads out of the water, curiously peering over at any humans in the area. Seal watching groups are your best bet to safely see these unique mammals and to learn all kinds of interesting facts about them, and seal walks can also be found on LongIsland.com’s Events Page.
Lace Up Your Skates One Last Time: Outdoor ice skating rinks provide an exhilerating experience, but they will be closing soon. The Rinx at Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson will be closing mid-March and reopening as a roller skating rink for the first time ever. The ice skating rink at Mitchell Park in Greenport will close the first week of March.
Learn to Tap a Tree: The prime time for maple sugaring is February and March, and though it is not particularly common or easy to do on Long Island, there are local events where you can learn from the experts on how to tap trees and turn sticky sap into syrup. Hoyt Farm will be hosting maple sugaring events every Sunday until March 8 – just be sure to dress for the weather, as demonstrations are held outdoors.
Park for Free at State Parks: Up until April, most state parks allow for free parking, so go for a brisk walk on the boardwalk at Sunken Meadow State Park, or stroll along the river and enjoy some fine pastries at the cafe at Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River.
Go for a Polar Plunge: Though the water is much warmer when it is closer to summertime, you can only go for a polar plunge in the winter! Check out these polar plunges coming up in March, each of which benefits a good cause, such as the Special Olympics and the United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Take Out the Sled One Last Time: Though you may be tired of sledding or taking the kids out to the same spot to sled with all of the snow Long Island has been hit with this season, try exploring some of the other spots on our sledding guide to shake up your snow day routine.