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Long Island is home to a vast array of beaches that offer wonderful amenities for families with children. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach trip with soft sand and gentle waves for the kids or a beach with sports fields to play volleyball or have a catch, you can find it on our shores. Our list includes family-friendly beaches that are only a short walk to the car, and even include concession stands in case the kids get hungry. Some beaches are also New York State Parks, and allow for picnicking, camping, and fishing. Here is a guide to the best beaches for kids on Long Island:
At Jones Beach, families can park at Field 6, which has the shortest walk from a parking field to the water. Parents can pack kites to fly, or just bring the kids to the playground, which is lighted so they can play into the evening. Field 6 fills up quickly on the weekends, so be sure to arrive early to get a parking spot. For families with small children, head to Zach’s Bay for calmer waters that are still watched over by lifeguards. Jones Beach also offers other activities, including a band shell with live entertainment, mini golf, putt-putt golf, and basketball courts, as well as a myriad of concession stands. At West End 1, families can explore the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center – a free facility with hands-on children’s activities and displays.
Entrance between Nevada Avenue and Maple Boulevard, Long Beach
At Ocean Beach, families can take a cool dip in the Atlantic, or bring their bikes and ride up and down the 2.2 mile boardwalk. If the kids are hungry, food is readily available at “The Shoregasboard,” a food truck market that lines Riverside Avenue. The food trucks offer a variety of local foods, and are open 7 days a week. The market also hosts Magic Mondays during the summer, which features a magician every Monday at 5pm.
Nickerson Beach Park
880 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach
Nickerson Beach is one of the largest beaches for families to enjoy, with 155 acres of recreational land, and a half-mile-long beachfront. The beach also boats a “Fun Zone” that includes a playground, basketball courts, and a skate park with seven ramps of varying difficulty. There are also two soccer fields, a baseball field, and six beach volleyball courts.
Charles E. Ransom Beach
Bayville Avenue, Bayville
Pack up your buckets and shovels and make some sand castles on Charles E. Ransom Beach. This beach overlooks the Long Island Sound, and the short waves make it a great choice for parents with small children. If the kids are tired of the water, they can enjoy the nearby playground. Make sure you keep the sand at the beach and take advantage of the outdoor showers before you go.
906 Dune Rd, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
Cupsogue Beach offers the best of Westhampton with small waves and soft sand for children. There are nearby bathrooms, changing rooms, and shower areas so that less sand ends up in the car on the ride home. Family-friendly live bands also play outdoors at the Beach Hut Raw Bar and Grill for anyone to enjoy.
Hither Hills State Park
164 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk
Hither Hills State Park has a beach, picnic areas with barbecues, and a beachside campground for families to enjoy for an afternoon trip or for an entire weekend. Hither Hills also hosts many kid-friendly activities, including sand-castle contests for children that are held every Thursday beginning June 27 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and Weekly “Hoedowns” for family fun every Monday night from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Sporty kids can enjoy a game of catch on the softball field, or a bit of volleyball on the beach’s volleyball courts. In case you run out of sunscreen or forget the snacks, there is a general store on premises with food, toys, and beach essentials.
Route 25, Orient
Orient Beach, located on Gardiner’s Bay, is abound with soft sand and gentle waves. There is a large playground for children, and pavilions are available for parties for the kids. If you don’t want to pack lunch for the family, there are a variety of concession stands to choose from, so there will be something for even the most demanding palates.
Harbor Beach Rd., Mount Sinai
For families with kids that love the beach, but get bored quickly, Cedar Beach has plenty to offer. Pack the fishing rods and bait and teach the kids how to fish off of the nearby fishing pier, or let the kids loose on the playground located right on the beach. If the sun becomes too much for the little ones, take them on a stroll down the paved walkway through the woods to the nature center, which is free for visitors and offers touch tanks and other hands-on exhibits.
Crab Meadow Beach
Waterside Avenue, Northport
Crab Meadow is an easy-access beach with a parking lot close to the sand. This Sound beach has gentle waves and shallow water with lots of sandbars and tidal pools at low tide for the kids to play in. On the sand, there is a large playground with plenty of slides and swings. After hours of swimming and running, parents can take the kids to La Casa Café – a restaurant right on the beach that offers pizza and Italian ices for kids and seafood and Italian fare for parents.
Sunken Meadow State Park
25A Sunken Meadow Parkway, Kings Park
This Suffolk County mainstay offers a 3/4 mile-long boardwalk for running, biking, and rollerblading while overlooking the calm waves of the Long Island Sound. Sunken Meadow is an ideal location for a family picnic, and is in fact one of the largest picnic parks on the island. The beach also has a playground, fishing, a bridle path, and hiking trails of varying difficulty.
Know of a great beach for kids on Long Island that is not listed here? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.