Every Fall, the east end of Long Island is inundated with tourists in search of the most gorgeous gourds and perfectly pristine pumpkins. Although the day is sure to be one for the family album, the car ride is enough to put the spookiness of the Halloween holiday to shame! Every parent has experienced a bored and cranky kid in the car because after an hour little Johnny has had it…and so have you. As you gear up this year give one of these tricks a try and it’s sure to turn your noisy car ride into a sweet treat!
I’ve found that although my cell phone is capable of doing everything just shy of driving the car for me, we have relied on it to keep the kids busy at doctors’ visits and even in restaurants before our food arrives. Unfortunately, there is not great Wi-Fi service on the road and then the only thing my Smartphone is good for is becoming a projectile for my son as he gets frustrated that he can’t watch his favorite movies. Now, before we leave for a long trip I download, at home via Wi-Fi, a few movies and television shows that they either haven’t seen yet or are trusted favorites. It’s cheaper than buying new DVDs for every road trip and if the family has multiple Smartphone’s, than the family has multiple quiet children.
Next, I pack a cooler and keep it at arm’s reach! Nothing helps a child sit still better than a favorite snack. I fill it with plenty of filling foods like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as finger foods that are fun to eat while watching a movie. I tend to stay away from sugary foods because the last thing I need is a sugared up child in a confined space. Also try not to load up on beverages or those potty training toddlers will have you stopping at every gas station from St. James to Jamesport!
“I Spy” is always lots of fun, but add a pair of colored glasses to the game and it’s a whole new world! You can pick them up at most dollar stores: blue, red or orange lenses. Your kids will have a blast playing with the glasses but when you say, “I spy something red,” it’s a whole new challenge!
Once you get to your destination, there will certainly be enough to keep the kids occupied and possibly even tucker them out enough for a nap on the way home – if you’re lucky! Some of our family’s favorites are Windy Acres in Riverhead, which has outdoor wooden jungle gym toys, and Gabrielson’s in Jamesport which has a fantastic corn maze and a restoration village. We always promise the kids that we will stop at Briarmere Farms in Riverhead for a tasty treat on the way home.
The fall is a great time for a warm apple cider and a cozy sweater but it’s also a great time to enjoy the culturally rich east end of Long Island. Don’t let your little monster scare you from enjoying the Halloween and Fall festivities, plan, plan, plan and you’re sure to avoid the haunting ride!
This Article was Written by Kristen A. Hoffman.
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