Long Island Family - June 2024

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THERE IS STILL TIME TO ENROLL! This summer, see your young artists shine as they learn from the best professional teachers and artists in a magical woodland campus. Choose from 1-, 4-,and 8-week day programs for K–12 with 50 classes in music, dance, creative writing, chess, theater, recreation, and more! Bus transportation from NYC and Long Island included with tuition. www.usdan.org | 631.643.7900 Wheatley Heights, Long Island New Families Save Up to $200* with Code NYFAM24 *This discount is applicable towards 4- and 8-week programs only. Cannot be combined with other offers


May 18–Oct 27

June 2024 | Long Island Family 3
2900 Southern Blvd. Bronx, New York


Photo: Ana Gambuto | anagambuto.com

Cover Illustrator: Béatrice Hug

Makeup & Hair: Ammy Thitichaya Chan | ammychan.com

Kids: Lucient and

Lucient is wearing oldnavy.com pants Produced: Donna Duarte- Ladd

4 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024 JUNE 2024 NewYorkFamily.com CONTENTS FEATURES 26 | Giving Volunteer ideas for every family 30 | Summer Summer family bucket list for the season 34 | Mom Stories Millennial dads are stepping up 70 | Spotlight The scoop on Van Leeuwen SUMMER FUN GUIDE 38 | Family Road Trips 56 | Summer Experiences in and around New York 64 | Summer Fun All Season Long
6 | Editor’s Letter 8 | Ask the Expert Teaching your children about financial literacy 12 | Family Day Out Where to go strawberry picking 14 | Family Day Out The Bronx Zoo celebrates 125 years 16 | Camps Advantages of summer programs and specialty camps 20 | Education A guide to preschool and montessori schools 28 | Travel Visiting Barbados FAMILY FUN 68 | Calendar All the fun activities for June DIRECTORIES 24 | Preschool & Montessori Schools Guide 18 | Summer Programs & Specialty Camps Guide ON THE COVER
Shot on location at Van Leeuwen Ice
, Williamsburg, Brooklyn |
Opening soon near you at Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City, NY pg. 38 pg. 70 pg. 20 pg. 68 pg. 34
June 2024 | Long Island Family 5

Summer Fun Ahead

Summer is here, which means school break is on the horizon.

New Yorkers live for this season, especially our kids, who enjoy longer days, warm nights, ice cream (!), going Strawberry Picking (page 12), checking out the Animal Chronicles Exhibit at the Bronx Zoo(page 14), catching the Lion King on Broadway, and more.

Summer is our jam (pun intended), and we have a list of endless adventures for you and the family this season. From Epic Road Trips (page 38), Summer Experiences (page 56), and Fun (page 64) to our curated Bucket List(page 30), we’ve got you covered.

Even though school is out, it’s never too early to plan for your little ones’ next educational adventure. Delve into our allencompassing Preschool and Montessori School Guide (page 24) for a seamless transition.

June is also Father’s Day; our Mom Stories essay shares how Millennial Dads (page 34) are rewriting the script on fatherhood. To all dads, grandfathers, guardians, uncles, and stepdads of all generations!

Happy Summer!


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6 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024 EDITOR’S NOTE
New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC. Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2024 Queens Family Media, LLC
Nina Gallo Photography





Did we mention the world’s largest collection of toys, dolls, and games? Pack your bags and hit the road for an unforgettable trip in a destination full of surprises. With fun for every family, every season of the year, playtime tends to last a little longer in our backyard.

June 2024 | Long Island Family 7
© Rochester Lilac Festival/North Glow Photography, The Strong National Museum of Play, Loyd C. Heath, Seabreeze Amusement Park

Teaching Your Children About Financial Literacy

Like it or not, money is a huge part of our world and how we move about it. Teaching kids, especially young girls, about financial literacy is a huge step towards setting them up for success in the future.

And that’s what financial expert and founder of Inspired Capital Alexa von Tobel is striving them to do. In her new children’s book Growing Up Powerful: Money Matters, von Tobel aims to empower the next generation of financially savvy girls early on in their lives.

After spending 20 years of her career helping young adults fix their finances, von Tobel found that the financial world can be pretty unforgiving. So, she’s switching from helping young adults play defense with their finances to helping parents teach their children how to play offense.

We sat down with von Tobel to talk about how she talks about money in her own family, what pitfalls parents fall into when talking to kids about money and how we can empower the next generation of financially savvy kids.

How do you talk about money in your own home?

A study from the University of Michigan says that kids can pick up on the tone of how money is discussed as early as age five. With that in mind, von Tobel says she’s very thoughtful about how money is discussed with her family, which includes her three kids.

In von Tobel’s family, money is “a factual element of our lives,” she says, so it is discussed in a matter of fact, straightforward way.

“We talk about it with no anxiety and no stress on purpose,” von Tobel says. “And we clue our children into money decisions, but with a matter of fact, can-do attitude, upbeat tone.”

Von Tobel also says she talks about work and making money in a positive light.

Some parents talk about work in a negative light, and von Tobel says “that just creates this big, negative doom and gloom for the

concept of work.”

When you talk about work in a positive way, “you’re orienting earning money as being something that’s positive, that can be fun and exciting, that your job can be an alignment of your passions and your skill sets,” von Tobel says. “And so all of those are fun.”

By reorienting how she talks about money and work, von Tobel says money is looked at as a tool and nothing else.

“It is not meant to be ignored, it is not meant to be worshiped,” von Tobel says. “It is simply a tool that allows us to live our life.”

What are some pitfalls parents and families fall into when talking to their kids about money?

One common pitfall parents fall into is having conversations about money with young kids in ways they may have a hard time conceptualizing.

For example, von Trobel shared a story of her young daughter wanting a toy that costs $50.

“She doesn’t really have a concept of what

$50 is,” von Trobel says.

But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid conversations about money entirely with young children.

“You can start having money conversations, you just have to use very primitive ways of explaining things,” von Tobel says.

In the above example, von Tobel says she explained to her daughter that the toy she wanted cost, a “big pile of quarters,” and even though she didn’t have that many quarters today, she could get the toy for her birthday.

Parents also make the mistake of giving in to their children too often, von Trobel says, when it comes to buying things that they ask for.

“All you’re doing is making it hard for your child to learn willpower and boundary setting,” von Tobel says. “And so money is a big element of boundary setting.”

Teaching children about willpower and boundary setting when it comes to money also teaches them about supply and demand principles and the importance of delayed gratification, which comes into play with

8 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
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bigger financial decisions later on.

“Do you want to buy the smaller home today, or can you wait and save up and buy the much bigger home later?” von Tobel says. “It’s a muscle that you will practice and use your entire life.”

When should parents start teaching their children about financial literacy?

Teaching kids about financial literacy can start early.

“When you’re learning basic math, you’re capable of learning these principles,” von Tobel says.

One way to do this is by setting your child up with multiple piggy banks at home: a small one for quick purchases, a medium one for larger purchases and a big one for long-term savings (like a college fund, for example).

This teaches kids about how to save money and how to split up the money they earn and put it towards different things. Simple lessons early on can help children build good habits later on.

“Those principles are really important to lay the foundation,” von Tobel says. “And to talk about money in a completely unemotional, matter of fact way can transform a child’s life.”

While there may be a misconception that kids can’t think about money because it’s too complicated, von Tobel says “the math is not the complicated piece.”

“It’s the habit forming, it’s the checking in to make sure you ask good questions, it’s understanding delayed gratification, that is what’s important with money,” von Tobel says. “It’s a muscle that you need to practice and you need to build and you need to build it as early as you possibly can.”

As people get older, conversations about money start to include things

like salary negotiations. How can parents prepare their kids for these conversations at a young age?

The key to setting kids up for conversations surrounding being paid what they’re worth in the workplace, according to von Tobel, is to teach them to work hard for the things they want and that their hard work will be rewarded.

“Your hard work is valued and it is equally valuable to somebody else working hard,” von Tobel says. “It’s about making it an unequivocal fact that they believe in and recognize and know as a truth they can hold constant.”

When parents teach their kids to know for a fact that their work is just as valuable as anyone else’s, it sets them up to be able to advocate for themselves, in the workforce and in life.

10 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
Teaching children about willpower and boundary setting when it comes to money also teaches them about supply and demand principles and the importance of delayed gratification, which comes into play with bigger financial decisions later on. ASK THE EXPERT
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June 2024 | Long Island Family 11

Our Fav Strawberry Picking Spots

Summer is here, and one thing Long Islanders can count on is strawberry picking. The kids will love strolling about the fields; some farms even have animals to pet. There are even spots that serve ice cream and other treats!

Strawberry picking is one of the best ways to welcome the warm season and score some tasty berries to bring home. Check out our favorites!

Glover Farms

641 Victory Avenue, Brookhaven, NY (631) 286-7876

Glover Farms has been a Long Island staple since the 1950s. Specializing in strawberries, pumpkins, and friendly farm animals, this is the perfect spot for families to enjoy the summer and autumn months. The U-Pick strawberry season begins in early June, everyday from 10am to 5:30pm.

Lewin Farms

812 Sound Avenue, Calverton, NY 11933 (631) 929-4327

Lewin Farms was the very first pick-yourown farm in Long Island! Having grown just about every fruit and veggie you can name, it’s safe to say that these farmers are true experts when it comes to growing delicious produce. Strawberry picking season usually begins in late May, but seasons are subject to change due to the delicate nature of strawberries.

Patty’s Berries and Bunches

410 Sound Ave, Mattituck, NY 11952 (631) 655-7996

June is pick-your-own strawberries and sugar snap peas season at Patty’s Berries and Bunches in Long Island. And if you’re looking to see some of the most beautiful flower fields in New York, this is the perfect spot for you. Bonus points if you’d like to try some farm fresh ice cream. Pricing is currently $8.50 per

box. The farm promises to be open 7 days a week, rain or shine!

Wickham’s Fruit Farm

28700 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY 11935 (631) 734-6441

This family-owned farm is a perfect spot to spend the day picking strawberries. It is a 300-acre farm (one of Long Island’s largest!) and a great spot to pick and enjoy some local produce. Please note that this farm is closed on Sundays

Windy Acres Farm

3810 Middle Country Rd, Calverton, NY 11933 (631) 727-4554

This sweet farm has a local vibe, meaning it feels down to earth, and the kids will love strolling around the farm. There is a concession spot where you can enjoy donuts and beverages. There is a play area for the kids and a store where you can find vegetables and fruits.

12 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
June 2024 | Long Island Family 13 Seek for Yourself FIND YOUR HAPPY PLACE Explore a trail. Scale a mountain. Walk through living history. Take a stroll through Ulster County and discover the breathtaking beauty, eclectic culture, and endless adventure of Upstate New York. Plan your trip at VisitUlsterCountyNY.com ® I LOVE E NEW EW YORK loogo is a regiegistered t d trademark/service mark of the NYS Dept. of Economic Developmement, t, used wit w h pe permis m sion n

The Bronx Zoo Celebrates 125 Years

The Bronx Zoo, a beloved NYC gem for residents, is celebrating its 125th birthday this year. The zoo recently celebrated this milestone with a stunning ceremony featuring special performances by the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers and dancers from the Harambee Dance Company alongside drummers. There was an outpouring of community love and support at the ceremony, and we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of an exciting new exhibit, Animal Chronicles, which is now open to the public.

Animal Chronicles Exhibit

This new immersive exhibit is a quarter-mile ADA-accessible walk through 13 scenes of eco-friendly sculptures that highlight the zoo’s impact on its wildlife, how it’s helped save endangered species, how it created art that can connect any visitor to nature, and

the significance of continuous efforts to protect wildlife around the world.

Families will marvel at the incredible sculptures made from Spanish moss, palm

fiber, bamboo, riverstone, hemp, and more. They’ll also get the chance to learn about the wildlife that inspired these sculptures with digital storybooks accessible through QR Codes found throughout the trail.

Families can learn about some incredible Bronx Zoo stories, like ‘The Recovery of a River,’ about how the Bronx community banded together to clean up The Bronx River. In doing so, they welcomed back animals that had been missed for years, like beavers. Or

‘Over a Century of Saving Bison,’ which is about how the Bronx Zoo began working to help save Bison.

‘Animal Chronicles’ is guaranteed to be a family favorite this summer season and can’t be missed. The exhibit is now open to the public.

Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460

The exhibit is part of your admission and runs until Labor Day, September 2, 2024

14 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024

Lower Manhattan is the Whole World in One Square Mile

Surrounded by water on three sides, the iconic neighborhood is both where New York City began and a place with endless future potential. With some of the city's greatest hits like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and more, Lower Manhattan is perfect for families of all tastes and interests. Come experience the ultimate family travel destination this summer!

June 2024 | Long Island Family 15
downtownny.com @DowntownNYC

Advantages of Summer Programs & Speciality Camps

It is always around this time of year when we wonder: where did the school year go? Wasn’t it just September?! And yet, here we are planning and thinking about summer and the many summer camp options for our kids. With anything these days, there are tons of options for summer camp, ranging from day camps to sleepaway to immersive and engaging specialty camps. This range of specialty camps for kids is vast and expansive where kids can tap into specific interests as they “find their people,” have fun, disconnect from technology, express themselves, develop communication skills, work in teams, and/ or try something new! Below, we are sharing more about the advantages of some of these programs - covering STEM/STEAM camps, sports camps, and arts camps!

Advantages of Summer Programs and Speciality Camps

During the school year, kids are inundated with testing, non-stop activities and events, and as they get older, endless amounts of homework.

Summer is one of the precious times in their lives that is reserved for fun, relaxation, trying new things and making friends. Summer camps and specialty camps offer kids a way to tap into very specific subjects as they explore and learn more during an extended period of time that they may not have had the opportunity to do during the school year. These programs can even help to develop and/or enhance their social skills, leadership, responsibility, resilience, and so much more. Below, we are sharing more about the advantages of summer camps and specialty camps.


STEAM/STEM programs have become a

major focus in many schools with science technology, engineering, math, and the arts. These summer programs can help to foster and build a child’s confidence and self-esteem, teamwork, critical thinking skills, curiosity, problem-solving skills, and much more!

These summer programs are also focused on a range of fun, interactive, and engaging activities such as circuits, Minecraft, coding, robotics, game development, programming, animation, YouTube production, digital arts, video game design, 3D printing, and more.

These specialities can be super fun for kids as they help to make learning and the sciences so much fun, immersive, and exciting. This can help to enhance your child’s passion/interest in these subjects through hands-on applications. STEM/ STEAM programs offer another avenue for kids to tap into their imaginations as they explore using a range of science applications and technologies to create, design, and solve challenges.

Sports Camps

The benefits of sports are vast for kids. From working in teams to concentration to moving their bodies to communication, sports camps offer kids a way to further enhance

their confidence, develop new skills, think strategically, and even help with mental clarity. Sports can also help kids destress with the release of endorphins, make friends, and achieve goals. Over the summer, this can be a great way for kids to concentrate on one sport and/or explore multiple at a multi-sport camp. From football camps to baseball camps to soccer camps and more, there are so many ways for your child to stay active and have fun at a sports camp.

Arts Camps - Theater, Dance, Music, Visual Arts

In many schools, the arts are incredibly underfunded or non-existent. During the summer, kids can explore their artistic and creative side at an art camp. This can include a range of programs such as musical theater, dance, music, and/or visual arts.

Tapping into one’s creative side is an incredible way for your child to think creatively, express themselves, further develop fine motor skills, communicate, work in teams, and/or help with focus and concentration. Arts camps are also a great avenue to foster their imagination, develop a community, enhance social skills, boost their confidence, and have fun!

16 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024





Develop skills under the guidance of Long Island University NCAA Division I coaches. Open to students of all levels.

Develop skills under the guidance of Long Island University NCAA Division I coaches. Open to students of all levels.

Develop skills under the guidance of Long Island University NCAA Division I coaches. Open to students of all levels.



Develop skills under the guidance of Long Island University NCAA Division I coaches. Open to students of all levels.





July 8-July 12 (3-5 grade) | July 29 – August 2 (6-8 grade)


July 8 - 12 (6-8 grade) | July 15 - 19 (9-12 grade)




July 8-July 12 (3-5 grade) | July 29 – August 2 (6-8 grade)


July 8-July 12 (3-5 grade) | July 29 – August 2 (6-8 grade)




July 25 - 26 (3-5 grade) | August 26 - 27 (6-8 grade)

July 8-July 12 (3-5 grade) | July 29 – August 2 (6-8 grade)

July 8 - 12 (6-8 grade) | July 15 - 19 (9-12 grade)


July 8 - 12 (6-8 grade) | July 15 - 19 (9-12 grade)


July 25 - 26 (3-5 grade) | August 26 - 27 (6-8 grade)


July 25 - 26 (3-5 grade) | August 26 - 27 (6-8 grade)



June 24 - 28 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)


July 25 - 26 (3-5 grade) | August 26 - 27 (6-8 grade)

June 24 - 28 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)


June 24 - 28 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)



July 8 - July 11 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 18 (6-8 grade)


July 8 - July 11 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 18 (6-8 grade)

June 24 - 28 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)

July 8 - July 11 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 18 (6-8 grade)




July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)


July 8 - July 11 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 18 (6-8 grade)

July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)

July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)




July 8 - 12 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 (6-8 grade)


July 8 - 12 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 (6-8 grade)

July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)

July 8 - 12 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 (6-8 grade)


July 8 - 12 (3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 (6-8 grade)

July 15 - 19 (3-5 grade) | July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade)



July 15 - 19 (3-5 grade) | July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade)

July 8 - 12 (6-8 grade) | July 15 - 19 (9-12 grade)


July 15 - 19 (3-5 grade) | July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade)



July 8 - July 12 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)

July 15 - 19 (3-5 grade) | July 22 - 26 (6-8 grade)


July 8 - July 12 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)


July 8 - July 12 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)



July 22 - 26 ( 6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)


July 22 - 26 ( 6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)

July 8 - July 12 (6-8 grade) | July 29 - August 2 (3-5 grade)


July 22 - 26 ( 6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)


June 24 - 28 (3-5 grade)


July 22 - 26 ( 6-8 grade) | August 5 - 9 (3-5 grade)

June 24 - 28 (3-5 grade)



June 24 - 28 (3-5 grade)


July 8 - 12 ( 3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 ( 6-8 grade)


July 8 - 12 ( 3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 ( 6-8 grade)

June 24 - 28 (3-5 grade)



July 8 - 12 ( 3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 ( 6-8 grade)


July 8 - 12 ( 3-5 grade) | July 15 - 19 ( 6-8 grade)







*Ice Hockey will take place off site at Northwell Health Ice Center

*Ice Hockey will take place off site at Northwell Health Ice Center

*Ice Hockey will take place off site at Northwell Health Ice Center

*Ice Hockey will take place off site at Northwell Health Ice Center

June 2024 | Long Island Family 17


The Ailey School’s Junior Division alvinailey.org/school/juniordivision-ages-7-17

The Ailey School’s Junior Division offers a highly structured curriculum for conservatory dance training. Students in the Pre-Professional program (ages 7-17) participate in after school and weekend classes during the school year. Audition dates are June 11 (ages 7 & 8) at 4:30pm; (ages 9-10) at 6:00pm, June 12 (ages 11 & 12)* at 4:30pm; (ages 13 & 14)* at 6:30pm June 13 (ages 15-17)* at 4:30pm. Register today! *Students ages 11-17 should have previous ballet training.

LIU Post Campus

720 Northern Blvd., Brookville 516-299-2408 liu.edu/sports-camps recreation@liu.edu

This summer, Long Island University will host numerous athletic camps at both the Brooklyn and Long Island campuses. Students of all levels entering grades 3 to 8 will develop their skills under the guidance of NCA Division I coaches. Sports Include Baseball, Basketball, Cheer and dance, E-sports, Fencing, Field Hockey, Gymnastics and acrobatics, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Marching Band, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, and Wrestling.


Pre-Professional Program (ages 7-17) 2024-2025 School Year

June 11 (ages 7-8) at 4:30pm (ages 9-10) at 6:00pm

June 12 (ages 11-12)* at 4:30pm (ages 13-14)* at 6:30pm

June 13 (ages 15-17)* at 4:30pm

Oasis Day Camp LIU Post 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville 646-519-5066 oasischildren.com/liu-post/ liupost@oasischildren.com At Oasis Summer Camp, children will be given a lifetime of memories. This quality summer camp is on a beautiful 300-acre campus at Oasis LIU Post. Camper’s minds will stay as active as their feet! STEAM Programs at Oasis Day Camp include LEGO Minecraft, Scratch Coding, Sphero Robotic Bowling, and Virtual Reality Goggles. Plus, over 90 activities for kids 3-16: Sports, Swim, Enrichment, and Teen Travel. Kids gain confidence, compassion, self-esteem & individuality. Daily hot lunch,

snacks, and transportation options.

2024 Summer (Camp) Sessions at Old Westbury Gardens 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury 516-333-0048 oldwestburygardens.org education@ oldwestburygardens.org Old Westbury Gardens Summer Sessions offer young artists, explorers, and thinkers the chance to enjoy this 200-acre estate. Camps include ‘Fresh Takes STEAM Natural Art Camp,’ ‘Water Works STEM Camp,’ ‘Decade Detectives! Investigation Camp,’ and ‘Fresh Takes- Take

For more information and to register for an audition: AlvinAiley.org/School or email: juniordivision@alvinailey.org

18 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
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405 West 55th Street New York, NY 10019
The Ailey School
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The Ailey School Junior Division. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor Students ages 11-17 should have previous ballet training.

2! STEAM Natural Art Camp,’ each focusing on creative and scientific activities. Sessions run from July 15 to August 9, 9 AM-Noon, for ages 6-9.

TGA Premier Sports Summer Camp

73 De Sibio Place, Inwood playtga.com/ northernnassaucounty moronke@playtga.com

TGA is the #1 youth sports provider for golf, tennis, and athletics in the country, making it easy and fun for kids ages 5-15 years old to learn and play a new sport.

TGA of Northern Nassau County offers a weeklong summer camp where kids can learn the fundamentals of golf, tennis, and pickleball, and develop and hone skills in a non-competitive environment while building confidence, having fun, and making friends. TGA’s curriculum combines athletic skill development, academic

learning, and life lessons to provide an unforgettable camp experience.

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

185 Colonial Springs Rd, Wheatley Heights usdan.org enrollment@usdan.org

There’s nothing quite like Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts. This award-winning day camp provides young artists the freedom to joyfully express their creativity in a safe, welcoming environment. Offering 1-, 4-, and 8-week programs for K-12, Usdan brings together highly trained professional artists and teachers to collaborate with students in music, dance, theater, creative writing, and visual arts. Usdan is committed to making camp affordable and offers tuition assistance. Bus transportation from NYC and Long Island is included with tuition. ���������������

Long Island’s Newest Sports Program

Teach . Grow . Achieve

We focus on sports instruction as a vehicle for positive social interaction, sports science and individual growth and teamwork

Summer Camp & Sessions: June-Aug.


playtga.com/northernnassaucounty/ moronke@playtga.com

June 2024 | Long Island Family 19
Golf, Tennis, Pickleball FOR KIDS AGES 5-15

Preschool & Montessori School Guide

Isn’t it amazing how quickly you go from searching for all things baby and toddler to figuring out the course of your child’s education in just a few years! Incredibly - or overwhelming - there are so many educational avenues you can take for your child! Not only about education, school provides children with a structure for learning and play as well as a place to make new friends, develop cognitive skills, and simply learn all about what it’s like to have a structured day away from home. Below, we are sharing some of the advantages of a preschool and Montessori program to make your decision a little easier.

Advantages of Preschool

Offers consistent structure and routine. While you likely have a schedule with your child, traditional schooling, such as at preschool, offers a way for your child to have a structured schedule along with a day that revolves around learning. This includes a planned day where they learn reading, math, social skills, and play. It can also set the tone for their schooling as they establish an interest in learning.

Exposes kids to language and literacy. In preschool, children will greatly expand their language. This includes an opportunity for them to learn their ABCs, listen to books, expand their vocabulary, and even to start to read. This helps to further develop their cognitive skills and communication as they get ready for kindergarten.

Prepares kids for their school years. With the introduction of preschool, kids are able to fall into a routine of what it is like to spend a range of three-to-six hours away from home. This can potentially make it easier when they start kindergarten as they will have an understanding of teachers, making friends, school work and structured learning. Meet new friends. Your child may have had the same set of friends since they were a baby/toddler, which might have been some of your mom/parent friends. Going to preschool allows them to start to form their identity away from you and create friendships and bonds of their own. Throughout their time at school, they will have to navigate this terrain and starting early can help them to adapt and “find their people” with ease.

Serves all kids. One major benefit of a preschool program - especially a public one

- is that it serves all kids. No matter what a child’s socioeconomic status and/or background is. It provides an even playing field for learning, education, and social development.

Advantages of a Montessori Program

Another educational program to consider is a Montessori program. Created by Dr. Maria Montessori, the program follows various principles focused on independence, respect, freedom of movement, and more. Unlike a preschool, Montessori programs are child-led and offer a range of opportunities for independence.

Promotes independence . One of the principals of a Montessori program promotes independence. As a child-observed model, kids are encouraged and able to lead, explore, and learn through self-direction. This can promote confidence, independence, and a generally ease of trusting their instincts.

Kids can move freely. Another principal is focused on movement and allowing them to explore and move on their own. This enables kids to feel comfortable and relaxed in their classroom and move or get something whenever they need to.

Learning is focused on being positive .The Montessori program greatly focuses on making learning fun and positive for

children. This is believed to help cultivate and foster their inner curiosity, creativity, and natural motivation.

Promotes self-discipline . Typically, in a traditional preschool classroom kids will have to follow specific rules. However, in a Montessori classroom kids are led towards self-discipline where they can pick activities that align with what they want to - rather than what a teacher tells them to do. This may help your child with their confidence and independence.

Follows a work-cycle schedule . Unlike a traditional preschool, Montessori follows a three work-cycle. During this time, kids have three hours to work at their own pace and find activities of their choice. This is also a time for them to interact/socialize with their friends, put back activities, make plans, and more. This liberal approach to learning allows kids to also move around and not be seated for an extended period of time. Additionally, there is a focus on hands-on learning where children are guided to use tools and materials that engage and use the five senses.

Focus on outdoor activities . As a part of the Montessori program, kids will go outside and spend time in nature. This may include a range of imaginative nature-focused activities with sandpits, trees, water, a garden, and more.

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Give Your Child a Bright Future at Friends Academy

every parent knows that getting an early start on academic success is the blueprint for a fulfilling future. Instilling a love of learning in the youngest learners is key to setting a trajectory that leads to achievement and the freedom to make choices that will maximize a child’s chance to fulfill their unique potential. That’s why many New York area parents choose Friends Academy on Long Island as their children’s launching pad to a bright future.

Founded in 1876, Friends Academy has a rich tradition of academic excellence, which is elevated by its Quaker values. Situated in Locust Valley, the Friends Academy campus is organized around a lush, grassy quad that includes its renowned Upper, Middle, and Lower schools. The campus also offers the youngest students a theater space, a dedicated lower school library, and the school’s trademark Forest Program.

The Forest Program grounds all the school’s students in a deep understanding of the natural world. It utilizes a network of trails winding throughout the 65-acre campus to promote real-life experimentation, exploration, and innovation. This program transforms the Friends Academy campus into a living laboratory where students observe, draw hypotheses, create experiments, and engineer and test their theories through hands-on, student-driven learning.

Ranked first in Nassau County for private school, high school, and college prep, Friends Academy offers a 7-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, and 104 faculty members holding a Master’s degree or PhD. This focus on individual instruction by highly qualified teachers chosen for their academic attainments and their empathy goes hand-in-hand with the Quaker values that deepen the work and establish crucial academic building blocks.

Underpinning the Quaker philosophy is the belief that everyone has a unique voice and light, so each child at Friends Academy is known and honored for being their true, authentic selves. This valuecentered environment provides an ideal setting for social and emotional learning, while Friends’ strong liberal arts curriculum, which includes advanced studies

in literacy, science, and math gives Lower School students a solid base for their future educational endeavors.

Early Childhood learning is about giving children solid fundamentals for their future studies while preserving their joy, wonder, creativity, and openness to the world around them. Friends Academy offers an atmosphere that promotes a child’s whole development, drawing on the school’s Quaker roots to enhance their social and emotional learning. A huge part of the Friends Academy difference is its focus on a life of inquiry so that students can cultivate

important skills of self-advocacy and selfreflection, in and out of the classroom.

Best of all, enrollment in the Lower School at Friends Academy is an excellent way to ensure continued enrollment at its Middle and Upper schools. Families can learn all about what makes the Friends Academy Early Childhood experience unique by heading to friendsacademy.org. They can also request more information, arrange a campus visit, or attend an Open House. Visit friendsacademy.org or call 516-676-0393 to learn more and talk with a member of their Admissions staff.

22 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024 New York FamilY partN er

Since 1876, Friends Academy has set the standard of academic excellence on Long Island. We are the the #1 ranked private school on Long Island and an independent, college-preparatory Quaker school, serving age 3 - Grade 12.

At Friends Academy creating a culture of inquiry, engagement, and reflection begins in Early Childhood. Having your child begin their Friends Academy journey at this stage will give them the foundational skills to prepare them for the rigorous academic programs in the sequential divisions. Our Reggio Emilia-inspired Early Childhood program supports students’ curiosity and builds an exceptional academic foundation in literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional learning in student-driven curricular themes. Our Quaker values deepen this work and establishes essential academic and social building blocks.

June 2024 | Long Island Family 23
Let your life speak. We are Friends Academy. Learn more and schedule a tour! 270 Duck Pond Road, Locust Valley, NY 11560 516-676-0393 | friendsacademy.org

Buckley Country Day School

2 I U Willets Rd, Roslyn 516-627-1910


Buckley Country Day School’s mission, Opening The Eyes And Awakening The Mind, is at the heart of its curriculum, inspiring and preparing students for a lifetime of learning. Buckley accepts students as young as two years old in the Pre-Nursery program and admits students on a rolling basis. At its most fundamental, Buckley is an inclusive, diverse environment that nurtures the whole child and lays the foundation for success in high school, college and beyond.

Countryside Montessori School

354 Lakeville Road, lower level, Great Neck 516-466-8422


Countryside Montessori School offers children, 18 months to 6 years, a well-

balanced and enriched curriculum which includes traditional subjects, art, and music. Located on an estatelike setting with an outdoor playground and nature walks, as well as fully equipped and spacious classrooms, Countryside Montessori offers camp for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. There are morning academics for the older children and playtime for all children.

Friends Academy

270 Duck Pond Road, Locust Valley 516-676-0393 fa.org


The Early Childhood at Friends Academy creates a foundation of academic excellence based on a culture of inquiry, engagement, and reflection. The Reggio Emiliainspired Early Childhood program supports students’ curiosity, as educators embed the academic foundation in literacy, numeracy, and

social and emotional learning in student-driven curricular themes. Their Quaker approach deepens this work and establishes essential academic and social building blocks preparing all students for a lifetime love of learning.

The Hagedorn Little Village School

750 Hicksville Rd. Seaford, NY 11783 516-520-6000 littlevillage.org

The mission of The Hagedorn Little Village School(HLVS) Jack Joel Center for Special Children is to provide the finest educational and therapeutic programs to infants, pre-school and elementary school children with a wide range of developmental delays and disabilities. Staff strives to help each child they serve achieve their highest potential, educationally, emotionally and socially by creating a nurturing environment for the child

and a supportive framework for their families. Further information can be found on the website: www.littlevillage. org.

The Long Island School For The Gifted

165 Pidgeon Hill Rd., South Huntington 631-423-3557

lisg.org info@lisg.org

For over 40 years, The Long Island School For The Gifted has provided an accelerated experience for gifted children in pre-kindergarten through ninth grade, in a nurturing environment where they will be both intellectually challenged and socially comfortable. LISG helps gifted students develop the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed for life. Emotional, and social needs of the gifted child are addressed whilst building strong character as part of the commitment to developing the whole gifted child.

24 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
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June 2024 | Long Island Family 25

Volunteer Ideas for Every Family

For many families volunteering a cherished tradition for many families and it doesnt have to be only for the holiday as many organizations need help year-round with many offering numerous learning opportunities for children of all ages. It’s a chance for them to understand the joy and fulfillment of giving back to the community, develop essential life skills, and more. Volunteering is not just about work; it’s about discovering the right opportunity that resonates with your family’s interests and values. We’re here to give you some ideas on how you and your family can volunteer this week and continue to do it year-round.

Here are ways you and your family can volunteer!

Help a Neighbor

Volunteering can start right from home. It can be as easy as helping a neighbor. Build

community by supporting a neighbor with their garden, helping an elderly neighbor pick up groceries, or even making them care packages.

Helping a neighbor is a great way to introduce volunteering to little ones and the idea of building community. It’s also an opportunity for your family to unite, work towards a common goal, and strengthen your bond.


Volunteer in your local parks to contribute to the community. Parks are excellent places for families to volunteer because of their various volunteer roles. A typical group volunteer experience at parks is park beautification, which often means pitching in to plant trees and plants and help preserve nature.

Other park volunteer opportunities include assisting visitors, leading tours, taking photographs, and more. To find these opportunities, visit your local parks

department website. They often have a dedicated section for volunteering, where you can learn about the different roles available and how to apply.

Community Cleanup

Organize or join a community cleanup group. Community cleanups are not just about showing support and care for your community; they are about making a tangible difference. These group volunteer activities are focused on cleaning up local spaces that have either been neglected or vandalized. With a great group behind you, you can contribute to maintaining the beauty of your community and feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in your collective efforts. Your family’s contribution is significant and makes a real impact.

Participating in community cleanups offers an excellent opportunity for family volunteering; it gets your family outdoors and fosters connections with other families,

26 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024

enhancing the sense of community.

Animal Shelters

Is your family full of animal lovers? Volunteering at your local animal shelter is perfect for you. Local animal shelters regularly accept volunteers for several opportunities. Some volunteer opportunities your family can find at local shelters are cat identification & socialization, dog bathing, dog walking, rescue coordination, transportation, and more. Don’t worry if you need help with how to handle animals or if you’re concerned about allergies. Shelters usually provide training and guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of the animals and the volunteers.

Remember that age restrictions may vary depending on the organization and volunteer role. Check your local shelters’ requirements; some require volunteers to be at least 18.

Community Events

If you’ve ever attended a local event, such as a fundraiser or festival, the people helping set up are likely community members

volunteering their time. Volunteering at community events is a fantastic opportunity for families with older kids. High school students are frequently given opportunities to help set up events such as these for their schools, and it is an excellent way to learn about the ins and outs of events.

Students can find various volunteer opportunities like this and with themes closely aligned with their interests. Families can join in on the fun and volunteer for this together. Parents can build community within their child’s school, get to know other parents, and become part of the school’s community.


Volunteering to help support your local shelter is a direct way for your family to help the members of our communities who are the most in need. Volunteering your time at a shelter can mean helping with many different things. Families can assist in administrative daily routines, organize toy and clothing drives for other families in need, raise funds, or donate toiletries. Every shelter has its needs and will determine what best suits you

and your family.

Senior Center

Visiting the elders of our community is another excellent way to volunteer as a family. Many senior centers welcome volunteers to assist with daily activities and spend time with residents. Simply engaging in conversation is a form of giving back that is accessible to all, easy, and rewarding. Volunteering at senior centers ensures that the elderly members of our communities stay connected and informed and do not feel left behind. Families can engage in conversation, help with coordinating center events, go for walks, and more. Volunteering at a senior center is a great way to get involved today.

These are just a few ways your family can begin contributing to your community. So why not start planning your family’s volunteering activities today? Visit your local shelter, park, or senior center, or check out the volunteer opportunities on your school’s website. Together, we can make a difference in our communities.

June 2024 | Long Island Family 27
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Visiting Barbados

A family-friendly guide to this beautiful Caribbean island

I’m the kind of person that loves to be on the go, even on vacation, so you can only imagine how thrilled I was when I got to explore everything Barbados had to offer earlier this year.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about Barbados before this trip, other than it’s where Rhianna is from. But after only a four-day visit, it’s already on my “Must Visit Again” list. And if it’s not already, I recommend adding it to your travel bucket list.

Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean and among the safest Caribbean destinations for visitors, so you can have some peace of mind when planning your vacation. Its proximity to the equator means temperatures hover between the mid-70s and high 80s all-year round, making it the perfect choice for a tropical getaway at any point in the year.

You won’t have any problem putting together a stacked itinerary for your trip. When it comes to planning a vacation for the whole family, Barbados has something for everyone.

You can learn about history, relax on a beach, get in touch with nature and go on break-neck adventures all on one trip. And with a total area of just under 170 square miles, you can explore the whole island on your trip.

This was my first trip to Barbados, and I was not ready to head back home at the end of it. There’s definitely a return trip to Barbados with my family in my future.

Here’s how you can get the most out of a family vacation to Barbados.

Where to Stay in Barbados

Tourism is the primary industry in Barbados, so there’s no shortage of all-inclusive resorts and hotels for your family to choose from.

I stayed at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion in St. James, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. The 72-room resort provides a luxury experience in a close-knit, friendly environment. I was consistently blown away by the staff’s kindness, hospitality and commitment to the guest experience.

Whether you opt for an oceanfront guest room, a suite or a villa, you’re sure to find

a rooming option that’s a perfect match for your family’s needs.

All rooms at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion include a furnished balcony, perfect for enjoying a view of the beach or taking a relaxing afternoon nap, complete with the soothing sounds of waves crashing on the shore.

The easy access to the beach is one of the resort’s best features. It was incredibly easy to head down to the beach for an afternoon swim or just to relax under an umbrella.

If you’re looking for things to do in addition to laying on the beach, you’re in luck. You can take a moment to yourself for a yoga class or take a fitness class with the whole family; break a sweat in the fitness center; paddleboard, snorkel or just float in the water; take a dip in the pool and more. The best part is, all of these amenities are included in your stay at the resort.

There’s so much to do at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, it’d be tempting to stay at the resort the whole time. But that’s just the beginning of what Barbados has to offer.

Things To Do in Barbados Barbados truly has something for everyone. Here are some ideas for how to fill your family’s itinerary for your trip.

Sail on a Catamaran . Explore the water in a new way by taking a trip on a catamaran. And you don’t need boating experience to get in on the fun. Companies like Seaduced will give you everything you need to have a fun and relaxing time on the water.

Their two catamarans can accommodate up to 20 people and are manned by exceptional crew members, including a captain, first mate and professional chef. There’s more than enough room to lounge and get some time in the sun on board. And you can take your fun into the water, too. Seaduced catamarans come with equipment to snorkel with sea turtles, kayak, paddleboard or just float.

If playing in the water isn’t your speed, be sure to take advantage of the boats’ board game selection, TV and stereo system.

Wander Hunte’s Gardens. Hunte’s Gardens prides itself on being “the most enchanting place on Earth,” and I can’t say I disagree. Situated in what used to be a gully,

Hunte’s Gardens is an intricately designed and cultivated garden that allows visitors to get lost in the serenity of nature.

While visiting, you’re almost certain to run into Anthony Hunte, creator and keeper of the gardens. Enjoy refreshments at the garden’s top house before exploring the grounds at your own leisure.

There are countless rare exotic plants and various species of birds along the easy-tonavigate paths throughout the gardens. Be sure to grab a printed handout of some of the things you may find as you explore.

Take your time here. The garden is full of benches and seating nestled into the gardens, where you and your family can have a picnic or just relax. I’m a huge plant and nature lover, so visiting Hunte’s Gardens was probably the highlight of my trip and it’ll be first on my list of must-dos on any return trips I make.

Take an Island Safari . Nothing beats a private tour of Barbados, and Island Safari Barbados offers tailor made safari options

28 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024

that allow you to see all of the must-see spots on the island on a personalized itinerary.

You’ll criss-cross the island, passing beautiful shorelines and rock formations, historical sites and maybe even seeing some native animals like monkeys along the way.

Be sure to strap in and hold on tight. Island Safaris can be thrilling and bumpy rides!

Tour St. Nicholas Abbey. There are no nuns in sight at St. Nicholas Abbey– and that’s because it’s actually one of the oldest plantations in the Caribbean as well as a rum distillery. This is a perfect stop for any history buffs, rum enthusiasts or train fans in your family. A visit to St. Nicholas Abbey includes a tour of the property’s Great House and gardens, a look at the factory and distillery and a rum tasting.

And you can’t go to St. Nicholas Abbey without taking a ride on the Heritage Railway. You’ll journey through the plantation’s grounds on a steam locomotive, all leading up to Cherry Tree Hill, where you can get an unbeatable view of Barbados’s east coast.

Explore Harrison’s Cave . If you’re looking to add adventure to your vacation, look no further than Harrison’s Cave. One of the island’s greatest natural wonders, Harrison’s Cave is an active limestone cave with flowing streams, pools of crystal water and towering stalagmites.

Eager adventurers can take a spelunking adventure through the cave, where you’ll crawl through hidden passageways just like early explorers did. There are also tram tours that will take you through the cave, if you want to explore without the full spelunking experience.

If you want to give your kids a place to blow off some steam, check out the Eco-Adventure Park. Your kids will be able to zip line and tackle the Challenge Course.

Want a truly unique experience that will take your visit to Harrison’s Cave to the next level? Look into the Crystal Cave Affair, created by Fairmont Beyond Limits. This exclusive event includes an unparalleled fourcourse meal by Fairmont’s executive chef and

culinary team. It’s an experience truly unlike any other in the Caribbean.

Know Before You Go: Tips for


Protect Yourself From the Sun . The UV index in Barbados is no joke. It can climb up to over 11 at most points during the year, which is considered “Extreme” (for reference, New York usually caps out at an 8 during the summer months).

For UV values that high, the National Weather Service recommends applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every two hours. But from experience, I’d recommend reapplying more frequently than that, especially if you’re going to be on the water. Don’t forget to pack a hat and sunglasses!

Stay Hydrated . Being a tropical island, Barbados can get hot, especially in the middle of the day. Plus, the flight from the New York area to Barbados is about five hours, and you can get dehydrated on planes. Start drinking water before you leave for vacation, and keep drinking water when you arrive, especially if you have a lot of active outdoor adventures planned.

Even though vacation is often associated with soda for kids or alcoholic beverages for parents, mixing in water to stay hydrated will make a world of difference when you’re outside and on the go.

Know How Your Money Converts . If you’re like me, you may jump with surprise when you look at a price tag in Barbados and see a number that’s higher than what you’re expecting. Keep in mind that 1 Barbadian dollar is worth fifty cents in US dollars. Thankfully, that’s a super easy conversion! Cut any price in Barbadian dollars in half to get the price in US dollars.

Look For Ways to Expedite Your Airport Experience . The airport is probably the least exciting part of a vacation experience, especially when traveling internationally. Luckily, a number of resorts in Barbados offer Fast Track Service at the airport, helping you get to your vacation quicker.

All room categories at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion offer this perk, and it took so much out of the stress out of traveling (a huge plus for me, considering this was my first time traveling internationally by myself).

A representative from the Fairmont was there to meet me at the Grantley Adams International Airport as soon as I got off the plane. She helped guide me through customs and lead me to the car service that took me from the airport to the resort.

June 2024 | Long Island Family 29

Bucket List Summer on Long Island

Whether you live here or are just visiting, there’s so much to do that you can find something new daily!

1. Besides the beautiful sand and gorgeous ocean, Long Island beaches have lots to offer! Jones Beach’s historic West Bath House area hosts paddle tennis, shuffleboard, pickleball courts, a great playground, miniature golf, and the delicious restaurant Gatsby on the Ocean.

2. Local town beaches have tons to offer, too! The Towns of Oyster Bay and Babylon offer great splash parks on their bays, nightly live music, and various waterfront dining options.

3. Looking for a different beach experience? At Baiting Hollow’s Reeves Beach, you’ll find the washed-up Friar’s Head shipwreck that superstorm Sandy uncovered, believed to be from World War I.

4. Fire Island is a fan favorite. You can get

there by ferry or foot. The leisurely walk starts at Robert Moses State Park Field 5 and hits its midway point at their famous lighthouse.

5. Local town park pools* are a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. We love visiting different ones to mix things up. Some pools - like Wantagh Park or Deer Park’s Geiger Park have water slides and splash parks. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Little Free Libraries. *Be sure to check residential restrictions in advance.

6. Check out one of Long Island’s many wineries. Many offer music and food trucks.

7. The North Fork’s Greenport is a great town. It’s filled with cute shops, dockside dining, an antique carousel, and live music on Monday nights in Mitchell Park.

8. With summer’s fickle weather, it’s good to have some indoor options up your sleeve. You can’t go wrong visiting Garden City’s Museum Row and Long Island Children’s Museum, Nassau County Firefighters Museum, Cradle Of Aviation Museum).

9. Additionally, Long Island has great niche museums. For car and airplane buffs, check out Stony Brook’s Long Island Museum, which has carriages from the 1700s until modern times, and Farmingdale’s American AirPower Museum.

10. If your kids like museums with interactive play spaces, check out Cold Spring Harbor’s Whaling Museum and Bridgehampton’s Children’s Museum of the East End.

11. For geology fans, Glen Cove’s Garvies Point Museum & Preserve offers excellent Long Island and Native American history plus a huge display of gems and minerals.

12. West Sayville’s LT Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum is super cool for armed service buffs, as is Old Bethpage’s Museum of American Armor (filled with working military vehicles). You can even participate in one of their World War II re-enactments at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

30 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
June 2024 | Long Island Family 31 Come on a journey the whole family will love at the world’s largest Native American Museum! Experience the amazing culture of the Pequot people and learn about their distinctive relationship with nature, their challenges and their inspiring resiliency. Our story lives on… 110 PEQUOT TRAIL MASHANTUCKET, CT 860.396.6910 PEQUOTMUSEUM.ORG

13. If you love learning about animals, check out Bridgehampton’s South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center, Smithtown’s Sweetbriar Nature Center, Quogue Wildlife Refuge, or the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery.

14. All presidential buffs must visit President Theodore Roosevelt’s former home - Oyster Bay’s Sagamore Hill. After completing a fun scavenger hunt, your kids can even earn a Junior Ranger badge!

15. The triple threat of Gold Coast mansion turned art museum, beautiful park, and sculpture garden can be found at Huntington’s Heckscher Park and Roslyn Harbor’s Nassau County Museum of Art. Both offer creative family programs, and Heckscher Park has a great playground (and ducks!).

16. Long Island has tons of incredible playgrounds. Glen Cove’s Simpkins Park, Rockville Center’s Veterans Memorial Park, Port Jefferson’s Rocketship Park, and Lake

Ronkonkoma County Park are great choices.

17. Check out one of Long Island’s gardens for a relaxing escape filled with beautiful flowers, trickling water, and ample fields for endless play. Farmingdale’s Robert F. Ench Teaching Gardens, Floral Park’s Centennial Gardens and Bird Sanctuary, and Old Westbury Gardens are great options.

18. Long Island offers many unique hikes in preserves, county parks, national parks, and more! Smithtown’s Blydenburgh County Park, Massapequa Preserve, Merrick’s Norman J Levy Park & Preserve, and walking to the very end of the North Fork at Orient Point County Park are good choices.

19. You can’t call yourself a Long Islander unless you have a photo with Flanders’ famous historic Big Duck. Created in 1931 for duck farmer Martin Maurer, it’s not only a Long Island staple but launched a new architectural style called “duck” architecture (coined by architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in 1968).

20. Don’t forget about public libraries! They’re filled with things to rent, children’s areas, and outdoor play spaces. Centereach’s Middle County Public Library is one of the best. Also, reserve one of your home library museum passes for complimentary admission to local destinations!

21. Lastly, while we don’t condone graffiti, it’s fun to have spontaneous photo shoots in front of it. Some of the best spots are Islandia’s Lakeland County Park, Glen Cove’s Welwyn Preserve, Muttontown Preserve, and Kings Park Psychiatric Center aka Nissequogue River State Park.

Have a great summer! Discover new things! Make sure you catch at least one beach sunset; extra credit if it’s at Jones Beach Field 10!

Stacey Wallenstein is the founder of the parenting, lifestyle, travel, beauty, and food blog The Mint Chip Mama. Visit her website at themintchipmama.com and find her across all socials at @themintchipmama.

32 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
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Millennial Dads


new generation of parents considers renegotiating manhood

Agroup of Millennial mom friends gathered at a local New York bar to reclaim Mother’s Day. Weary from a day creating family magic for our children, each woman escaped during bedtime, leaving the fathers to manage the children’s nighttime shenanigans.

Today’s Millennial dads are able parents–not sometimes babysitters. Unlike previous generations with clearly defined roles for the nurturing homemaker mother and detached breadwinner father, American dads born between 1980 and 1996 are rolling up their sleeves to participate in the manual labor of raising children. While women still carry more of the burden of domestic life, according to Pew Research, today’s dads “spend more time engaged in housework and child care than they did half a century ago.” The Pew report inspired optimistic media headlines that boasted, “young fathers have nearly tripled their time with their children since 1965. Millennial men who live with a spouse and children are the most engaged fathers of any prior generation.

Young working dads even report an “equal desire to be at home raising children, while facing the same historic demand to provide financially for the household.” Today’s work-from-home policies blur the lines between professional and home life, causing working fathers and mothers alike to struggle to find balance. Much has been written about women’s struggle to have it all. This Father’s Day, I want to shift the narrative to the Millennial man. In my exploration for this spotlight, I quickly learned that the improvement in paternal engagement is encouraging, but does not tell the whole story of growing up male in America today. Diverse and evolving concepts of gender and family forms make modern manhood complicated. If, like me, you are raising little boys today to be good fathers of tomorrow, read on to understand the challenge of parenting in a world of

rapidly evolving rules and expectations.

The Curious Case of the Childless Millennial

While Millennial dads living with their kids are more active parents, according to a 2020 Pew Report, “only one third of American Millennial men live with a spouse and children.” Fewer Millennials are having children at all, let alone living with them. Compared with 66% of Gen Xers in 2003, 69% of Boomers in 1987 and 85% of the Silent Generation in 1968, only 55% of Millennial men and women live with a family of their own.

As a result, both male and female Millennials reside in more diverse living arrangements than past generations. With the age of marriage and parenthood rising, the rate of cohabitation with an unmarried romantic partner is higher for Millennials than other generations, the more striking household shift comes from the percentage of grown men living at home with their parents. In 2023, 18% of Millennial men still live with their parents, compared with 10% of women–a higher share of the population than any other generation when in their 20s and 30s. When demographic data on race and educational attainment are considered, the trend is even more stark. Millennial men without a college degree are especially likely to fall into this category (21%, compared with 12% of Millennial men with a bachelor’s or higher degree).

The decline of men living with a spouse and child juxtaposed with the rise of men living with their family of origin set my spidey senses flaring. The Millennial men who opt into parenthood are more deeply engaged than ever before, but a significant portion of men aged 28 to 42 are still sleeping in their childhood beds. Houston, do we have a problem?

Nature vs. Nurture

In my quest to understand the diverse experience of Millennial dads, I sought insight from Cornell University’s Psychology

professor Michael Goldstein. Specializing his research in parent engagement, which he defines as how humans respond to infant behaviors, Goldstein identified a difference in the way mothers and fathers relate to parenting. In studies conducted in the late 1990s, Goldstein observed men and women consistently reported different demand characteristics, the subject’s impressions about what the study is about. When men entered the lab, they were nervous, assuming the study was about them and their parenting competence. In contrast, the women thought that the studies were about the baby. Asked why he thought the parents differed in their response to the parent engagement studies, Goldstein opined that girls and boys are raised with different messages about caregiving. Little girls are taught to be mother’s helpers, learning to hold the bottle and tend to the baby. The messaging to newly minted big brothers is that babies are fragile and could be hurt by more high energy boys. While boys and girls’ energy levels do not differ biologically, the message demonstrates a profound difference in how we raise boys and girls to be caregivers.

Armed with this insight, I next sought perspective from Jett Stone, with a PhD in clinical psychology and a practice focused on men’s issues, Stone is literally writing the book on boyhood. Asked whether men and women are biologically different in their capacity to parent, Stone states “there is biology, but biology isn’t destiny.” More important is how men are socialized to be parents – or not. In his practice, Stone observes the Millennial men in his practice to be “anxious or unhappy in their co-parenting relationship, but unable to articulate why.” When nudged to go below the surface, we discover a common pattern of men who feel fatherhood is a “performance” with the wife as director. They fear failure in the role, but do not realize that they haven’t had the same role models or lifetime of rehearsal for fatherhood that women experience in relational play. Moreover, Millennial men,

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mom stories

raised during the divorce boom of the 1980s and 1990s often didn’t have a positive male role model at all, let alone one that presented a roadmap for an engaged working father. In Stone’s Connecticut and New York practice, he observes that most Millennial men never prepared for the idea of parenthood until their partners became pregnant, but they are motivated to set a new precedent of what fatherhood looks like.” Men want to care for their children in a way that their fathers and grandfathers would not consider. Today, fathers parent in dual earning families or where mothers are the primary breadwinner. The change in family structure creates a constant negotiation of household tasks and a culture shock for Millennial dads who must redefine what it means to be an engaged father.

Asked what mothers can do to help their husbands or co-parents grow into an engaged father, Stone advises to put aside the mom juggle for a moment. Undeniably, women are

carrying a huge load, but to have a productive conversation about the shared experience of parenthood, focus on the balancing act of fathering. Stone, a certified Fair Play Facilitator, uses Eve Rodsky’s method to help couples navigate daily caretaking negotiations with empathy and respect. He encourages mothers to “put aside perfection and let fathers develop confidence and competence by giving them space to parent in their own style.” Many new dads shut down and defer to mom because they appear to know more. Becoming comfortable with a partner doing things differently gives mom the space she craves and children the necessary model for engaged fatherhood.

The Masculinity Crisis in a Girl Boss Era

As Millennial parents rewrite the script on fatherhood, my thoughts return to the two thirds of the generation currently delayed in raising the next. When asked to weigh in on

the other side of the Millennial fatherhood story, Stone’s discussion turns to his experience working with Veterans. His early work with the Veterans Association shifted his professional focus to the experience of manhood. In practice with men traumatized from war, he became intimately aware of the current crisis of masculinity. In contrast to the positive attention given to girls during the four waves of feminism, there is something bleak about masculinity. Today’s men are facing a complex reckoning with dominance and fragility. While the feminist movement champions girls to be anything they want, today’s boys grow up with the mixed message that masculinity is a liability, but don’t be a sissy. The relaxing of gender norms that help men step into the role of engaged father simultaneously feels like an attack to men who no longer fit in today’s world or workforce.

In response to my query about Millennial absence in parenthood, Stone describes

June 2024 | Long Island Family 35

an “ambition gap.” As he puts it, “it takes motivation to want to go to college, get married and have kids.” On the conservative right, there is a sense that masculinity is maligned and that education strips men of their masculinity. Men suffer in an educational system that demands focused desk work from children who are not yet developmentally up to the task. As Stone concedes, “boys brains develop differently than girls brains.” Girls, better equipped for school at a younger age, are conditioned to have it all. In contrast, boys struggling to fit within the school paradigm are deficient. In generations past, when girls were succeeding in school, the expectation was still that they’d be a mother or maybe a secretary or teacher. Now, their dreams are bigger. As more women go to college and enter prestige jobs, their male classmates feel left behind and outside of the modern workforce. Women want to date men who are equal in education or socioeconomic status. These men feel unseen and out of their league. Like new Millennial fathers, these men lack a sense of identity and a roadmap for where they belong in the world.

A Work-in-Progress

Boys and men are still figuring out how to contribute to modern society. When considering the difference between the third of men who are live-in fathers and the two thirds that are not, access to education and high earning potential drive ambition to parent. Once in the role of dad, men can shut down from the struggle to be multidimensional as a provider and caregiver in a way that they weren’t socialized before. For the two thirds of men currently outside

of parenthood, time will tell. For men cynical about the future of manhood there is a risk withdrawal and numbing. How do we bring boys and men back from retreat? Stone says it begins with discussion. In his practice, Stone helps men talk about these issues with humor and empathy. He says, “men have a round about way to get to vulnerability, but once you get them talking, we can help to redefine their sense of purpose and identity in a rapidly changing world.

Finally, to the men of my generation that are changing diaper blowouts and waking up with cranky babies in the middle of the night, I want you to know that I see you. I see you cooking dinner and putting your dishes in the sink (consider the dishwasher?). I see you brushing baby teeth and washing little hands (consider clipping their nails?). I see you playing with dolls, wrestling on the floor and reading Goodnight Moon. I see you showing up every day at work and at home. I see you building the bridge as you run, creating a new model for parenthood for the next generation of men as you raise them without a script. And I am here for that.

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mom stories t he change in family structure creates a constant negotiation of household tasks and a culture shock for millennial dads who must redefine what it means to be an engaged father. Mommybites.com provides expertly curated resources for all parents in the New York area, including our most popular feature — our mom-generated nanny board — the best online source for parents to find vetted (by other parents), experienced nannies and childcare providers who want to work in New York City, Westchester, Long Island and Northern New Jersey. MommyBites.com We can’t wait to see you there! is now part of
June 2024 | Long Island Family 37 Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York. Visit newyorkfamily.com for daily stories and to sign up for our weekly newsletters!

Family Road Trips

Looking for road trip inspo this summer? Well, start packing now because we’ve got the perfect family adventures for you!

Road Trips are a great way to skip the hustle and bustle of traveling by plane (we all know how crazy that can get with kids). Plus summer in NYC gets busy with crazy camp schedules, so it can be tricky to fit in a long vacation.

Luckily, these roadtrip destinations aren’t too far from the city. There are some beautiful, action-packed places to visit in NY, NJ, Rhode Island and other surrounding areas. So pull out your family calendar and start planning for a summer getaway with these 2024 road trip ideas!

Dutchess County Fair, NY

Whether this is your first time visiting this famous fair or it's an annual outing your family awaited all year long, the Dutchess County Fair is among the world’s best fairs. You’ll love that it is family-friendly, with activities and adventures for all, and it is only a car or train ride away.

This year’s 178th fair runs from August 20th through 25th in Rhinebeck, NY. As the largest agricultural six-day fair in NY, there’s plenty for every member of the family to do–go on rides, eat great food and listen to entertaining music. The fair’s goal is to give visitors an appreciation for agriculture while educating them on where food comes from, all while having a blast!

Kids will love meeting farm animals like cows, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits and goats. With over 1,000 individual exhibitors, visitors won’t know what to do first. Explore 12 acres of livestock, milking demonstrations and sheep shearing, meet costumed storytellers from the early 1900’s, and shop artisanal goods and handmade crafts and quilts. Younger kids (ages 3-10) can visit a hands-on mock farm in the AgVenture Activity Tent while adults


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will appreciate the horticultural beauty of
garden displays. Be sure to purchase discount tickets to secure a spot at a great deal!

There’s no other state quite like Rhode Island, and when you’re here, you can feel it. This summer, go from outdoor adventures to immersive history to delicious dining all in one unforgettable family trip! We invite you to stop by the Ocean State and get on our wavelength. VisitRhodeIsland.com

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Photo courtesy Nicholas Millard

Frederick County, MD

Summer in Frederick County, Maryland is a treasure trove of family fun with activities that cater to all ages. Embrace the great outdoors with a visit to Catoctin Mountain where you and the family can hike to one of the most scenic overlooks in Maryland — Chimney Rock. For adventurous spirits, Tree Trekkers offers thrilling zip-lining courses and aerial adventures.

Historic railroading in Frederick is on full display with the Walkersville Southern Railroad, where families can ride historical trains through scenic landscapes.

Frederick County doesn’t shy away from educational fun. Monocacy National Battlefield offers trails and guided ranger tours sharing the forgotten story of an important Civil War battle that saved Washington, DC. Discover where Civil War history and science collide at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in the heart of historic Downtown Frederick.

And any visit to Frederick County would not be complete without a visit to one of its creameries. Grab a scoop or a cone at South Mountain Creamery or Rocky Point Creamery, and


County, NY

Embrace the thrill of endless adventures this summer. Nestled along the majestic Hudson River and boasting the loftiest peaks in the Catskill Mountains, the Great Northern Catskills has been a haven for adventureseekers for over a century.

For families, it’s a chance to immerse themselves in the serenity of old-growth forests or embark on a quest for hidden waterfalls. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or prefer a leisurely stroll, the trails of the Great Northern Catskills offer a haven for every type of explorer.

If the lake life is more your family’s speed, then ditch those overcrowded beaches and wander on the wild side. The Great Northern Catskills are famously known for some of the best paddling locations in New York State, making it a haven for avid anglers and boating enthusiasts alike.

you’ll taste the best ice cream Maryland offers — right on the farm in the rolling countryside, visitfrederick.org.

The mountain towns come alive excitedly as the sun sets on a picture-perfect summer day. Scents of buttery popcorn waft through the trees as our drive-in movie theaters roll on the silver screen.

Wander along the brightly painted pubs and retro eateries in the “Painted Village in the Sky” or grow inspired by the creative energy woven into American art’s birthplace.

The towns that give this county its unique character buzzes with local farmer’s markets, live music, and more. Soon, the warmer weather will roll in, and crowds of multi-generational families will celebrate their summer traditions.

The Catskills’ famous family resorts will open their doors and invite guests to wander the property, pick up a game of pickleball, or relax by the pool. So whether one’s looking to reconnect with nature, indulge in local flavors, or create unforgettable memories with friends and family - Let’s say this is just the place.

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The Kartrite Resort

Want an all-in-one destination that will guarantee endless family adventures this summer?

The Kartrite Resort located in the Catskill Mountains is home to NY’s biggest indoor waterpark and much more. Spend an entire day at the 11 waterpark attractions just a 90-minute drive from the city, then check into one of the new and modern resort suites to get some rest. All suites (available as 1, 2 or 3 bedroom) come with 4 passes for the waterpark for the day of check in and check out. Beyond the water fun, enjoy The Kartrite's 7 eclectic eateries and bars, arts & crafts, archery, goat yoga, pony rides and hiking. Plus, to escape the heat, head indoors to endless fun at Playopolis arcade, laser tag, ropes course, rock climbing, bowling, virtual reality and more. With an action-packed calendar of complimentary daily activities to state-of-the-art fitness facilities, scenic hiking trails on property and countless local attractions, there’s always something fun to do for all ages at The Kartrite. And if there is a special occasion coming up like a summer birthday or bar/bat mitzvah, exciting promotions and packages await!

Explore Western Mass

What do you get when you begin with the fantastically beautiful corner of classic New England, blend in dozens of unique attractions, swirl in some cool college vibes and top it all off with some of the most beautiful scenery in all of the northeast?

Western Mass, of course!

Long celebrated as a “triple threat” destination, the region bursts with top attractions, and provides ultra-easy access and superb dollar value. High-profile places like the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Yankee Candle Village, Six Flags New England, MGM Springfield and the Springfield Museums and its Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum are must-see attractions. Quintessential college towns and major events like the Big E, IRONMAN 70.3 Western Mass and Bright Nights at Forest Park - plus craft fairs, sporting events and the arts – are seasonal favorites.

With so much to experience, the real question becomes, how will you find time to do it all? You’ll need a few days to sample everything Western Mass has on tap. Mix history with family fun, pair cool cafes with the great outdoors, savor equal parts outdoor adventure and funky antiques. Surprises can be found region-wide!

Perfectly positioned where Interstates 90 and 91 meet, Western Mass is rightly regarded as the “Crossroads of New England,” and New York City is less than three hours from here. The region is also accessible by train and Peter Pan Bus Lines.

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June 2024 | Long Island Family 43 Make moments that matter in hip and historic Frederick County, Maryland. Wander historic downtowns with locally-owned specialty shops, galleries, and theaters. Venture outdoors in National and State Parks and experience our storied past at Civil War battlefields. Indulge in world-class restaurants and unwind at dozens of tasting rooms. visitfrederick.org Heighten YOUR SENSES

Mountain Creek

If your family craves outdoor excitement, then look no further than Mountain Creek. Located in Vernon Valley of Vernon, NJ, this four season resort has endless outdoor adventures that your whole family will enjoy. You can zip over mountain-top lakes, take in the view from the top of the mountain with a Sky Ride, and even learn to downhill mountain bike.

It’s not every day that you can mountain bike in NYC, so Mountain Creek is a great place to learn new skills and experience things you and your kids haven’t before. Your bigger kids might enjoy the Treescape Ropes Course full of rope walks, obstacles and other climbing elements. And if your family likes golf, there’s an entire 9-hole course at Great Gorge.

When you get too hot from all your excursions, cool off at the waterpark built into the side of a mountain where the water is spring-fed. Continue the thrills on the Colorado River Rapids or relax in the High Tide Wave Pool.

While only about an hour away from NYC, you can stay over for the weekend to take advantage of all the resort has to offer. The Appalachian is a beautiful hotel with slopeside accommodations–

Orange County, NY

Just an hour north of New York City, Orange County, N.Y., in the beautiful Hudson Valley, is the ultimate summer playground! Spring and summer offer non-stop fun that’s kidapproved. Epic thrills – restaurants for every craving - accommodations from rustic charm to sophisticated elegance – Orange County’s got it all!

Score big with the Orange County Family Fun Trail Passport to snag sweet deals at participating locations while racking up points for fabulous limited-edition prizes. Signing up is easy at orangetourism.org/family-fun-pass.

Think LEGOLAND ® New York Resort and super cool museums like the UFO & Paranormal Museum in Pine Bush or Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, with 650 motorcycles. Feeling adventurous? Swing by Adventureland NY for fun outdoors –including ropes courses, camping, and paintball. And don’t miss out on the farm scene – like One All All One Farm in Goshen, where visitors can book a tour or workshop – or hang with the animals!

perfect for a getaway! There’s a fire pit, gym, heated pool and hot tub, delicious food and more. After a long day of activities, coming back to The Appalachian is just what you need to relax and prep for another fun-filled day.

In Orange County, farm-to-table freshness rules! Farms and orchards offer the freshest eats and delicious goodies! Pick from places like Soons Orchards, Lawrence Farms Orchards, and more. Stock up on treats bursting with country goodness at Pennings Farm Market. Don’t

pass up the farm-fresh ice cream served at Bellvale Farms Creamery; it’s incredibly delicious when enjoyed with spectacular views from atop Mount Peter.

In the evening, wind down at a top-notch eatery, listen to live music, or catch a flick under the stars at the Warwick Drive-In Theater. So, for anyone down for a chill escape off the beaten path but still close to the action, Orange County is where it’s at. Check out OrangeTourism. org and make some memories with the family!

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June 2024 | Long Island Family Get lost in a Rockland moment. Within 30 minutes of New York City, discover river towns where quaint meets cosmopolitan, historic meets energetic. Paddle, bike, hike, golf, shop, play. Explore more than 32,000 acres of open space, including hundreds of miles of trails and some of the highest Palisades summits in the Hudson Valley. explorerocklandny.com @explorerocklandny @ExploreRC #RocklandMoment Let Rockland surprise you. And expect you’ll want to stay awhile. ®I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.

Rhode Island

Just over 3 hours from Manhattan, Rhode Island welcomes NYC families every summer with their plethora of family-friendly things to do. The state is 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, so there’s much to explore in just one trip!

If your family loves animals, head over to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, home to over 100 rare and fascinating species from around the world. Kids love petting the armadillos and seeing New England’s only Komodo dragon. They also have Food Truck Fridays through the summer and fall with live music and a playground.

Rhode Island also has over 400 miles of shoreline, so you definitely turn your roadtrip into a beach getaway. The beaches have playgrounds, picnic areas and yummy food options. Parents and kids will enjoy the beautiful bike paths, interesting museums and delicious ice cream shops. The Providence Children’s Museum is always a family-favorite!

Putnam County Fair, NY

The Putnam County Fair & 4-H Showcase, the country fair families love, is happening July 27th and July 28th at Veterans Memorial Park in Carmel, NY.

An easy car drive away, the fair draws thousands of visitors who enjoy food trucks, treats, vendors, games, demonstrations, exhibits, magic shows, inflatables, farm animals, pony rides, and entertainment. Listen to live music, check out the classic car show, and take part in the Duck Derby Fundraiser, which helps support the educational programs of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County. Free parking and admission.

By car or by train, take a day trip to Putnam County, where there’s always another reason to say, “I Love New York.” Visitputnam. org for more information about what to do and see in Putnam County. This project is supported by a grant awarded to Putnam County Tourism by New York State’s Empire State Development and the I LOVE NY Division of Tourism, visitputnam.org.

Plus there’s always something happening in Rhode Island that you can plan your trip around. In the summer, they have special

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events like the Bristol 4th of July Parade, Newport Folk Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, and more.
June 2024 | Long Island Family 47 orangetourism.org ® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission. Earn FREE Orange County NY Family Fun prizes by checking-in to the different locations on the trail. Simply sign-up and the pass will be delivered to your mobile device, no app download required. > Theme Parks > Inflate-a-park > Ice Cream Stands > Pick-Your-Own Farms > and so much more! > LEGOLAND® New York Resort > Ring Homestead Camp & Adventure > The Castle Fun Center > Pierson's Farm > Bellvale Farms Creamery EARN PRIZES!* Register for FREE Activities Include: A few of our destinations: Ring Homestead Camp & Adventure LEGOLAND® New York Resort BellvaleCreameryFarms The Castle Fun Center

Rochester, NY

Looking for the perfect family getaway this summer? Look no further than Rochester, NY! Nestled in the picturesque Finger Lakes region, Rochester offers many attractions and activities that promise to create unforgettable memories for visitors and their loved ones.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and become immersed in Rochester’s natural beauty. With stunning parks, lush greenery, and breathtaking waterfalls, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures. Embark on a scenic hike along the Genesee River Gorge with a stop at High Falls, a 96-foot waterfall in the city center. For thrill-seekers, a visit to the nearby Letchworth State Park, often called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” is a must!

With a visit to the Strong National Museum of Play, kids can unleash their imaginations in the interactive exhibits and play zones among the world’s largest collection of toys, dolls, and games. Then, venture to the Genesee Country Village and Museum, where people can experience life in the 19th century. With its authentic historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and immersive exhibits, the Genesee Country Village and Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past for the whole family to enjoy.

Summer is only complete with a visit to Seabreeze Amusement Park, where thrilling rides, refreshing water attractions, and entertaining shows await. From roller coasters to water slides, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy at this beloved amusement park.

When it’s time to refuel, Rochester’s vibrant culinary scene has something for everyone. From farm-to-table eateries serving fresh,

Rockland County, NY

Imagine a place that feels a long way from home yet is so close that visitors won’t have time to ask, “Are we there yet?” Within 30 minutes of NYC, Rockland County has many surprises.

With more than 30,000 acres of open space, Palisades-peak views of the Hudson River and NYC skyline, plus miles of paths for all levels of cyclists and hikers, there’s plenty of ground to cover when taking a family trip to Rockland.

Make a splash at the Rockland Lake State Park water complex, with a huge, gently sloping “zero entrance” swimming pool, diving boards, a “spray ground” and two giant water slides. A 3.2-mile paved trail that circles the lake is popular for taking laps on foot, bikes and rollerblades.

locally sourced ingredients to iconic diners dishing out classic comfort food, visitors will never go hungry in Rochester. And be sure to satisfy a sweet tooth with a visit to the iconic Abbott’s Frozen Custard—a Rochester tradition since 1902!

With its convenient location, just a short drive from New York City, Rochester is the perfect summer destination for families looking to escape the heat and reconnect with nature, history, and each other. Plus, Rochester offers a variety of family-friendly accommodations, from cozy bed and breakfasts to spacious hotels, ensuring a comfortable stay for everyone. So why wait? Start planning a Rochester getaway today and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Stop for a bite, some ice cream, or shopping at one of the quaint, historic river towns of Nyack, Piermont, Haverstraw, and Stony Point–all walking-friendly. Urban transplants have helped build a thriving food and art scene with a cozy community feel.

Explore Bear Mountain’s self-guided nature trails–perfect for family hikes and river views–and the Trailside Museum and Zoo, which features rescued animals native to the state.

Bring binoculars to stroll across the Bear Mountain Bridge,

celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Get weekend brunch at Restaurant 1915 at the Bear Mountain Inn or lunch at the Hiker’s Café.

The park’s indoor carousel features 42 hand-carved replicas of native animals, such as bears, foxes, and rabbits. Or schedule a real-deal horseback riding experience with lessons at Rebellious Stables.

On a sticky-hot or rainy day, have some indoor fun with Space Adventure Mini Golf and the world’s tallest indoor ropes course at Palisades Climb Adventure. Expect the unexpected when exploring Rockland County.

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The 555 Resorts World Dr. Monticello, NY 12701 www.thekartrite.com resort & indoor waterpark
An easy 90-minute car ride from NYC lands you here, The Kartrite Resort.
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The Sullivan Catskills, NY

For families seeking an exciting and adventure-filled summer getaway, a trip to the beautiful Sullivan Catskills is the perfect fit, with activities and entertainment to suit all ages. And it’s only 90 minutes from New York City! The breathtaking natural beauty and small-town charm of the Sullivan Catskills is punctuated by big experiences throughout the year, allowing for endless family fun in a picturesque setting bound to be the new wallpaper on your phone.

Parents never run out of ideas for keeping kids busy, happy, and most importantly, off their phones at the Sullivan Catskills. Splash the day away - rain or shine - at Kartrite Indoor Water Park, kayak or canoe down the Delaware River, get up close to the friendly farm animals at Buck Brook Alpacas and Arthur’s Acre’s Animal Sanctuary, spot and snap photos of eagles soaring the sky, tour Fort Delaware and learn about frontier life back in the day, hike Bear Mountain for unmatched views and so much more.

Forestburgh Playhouse, learn about Woodstock at the Museum at Bethel Woods or catch a concert under the stars.

Ready to book your family’s getaway to the Sullivan Catskills?

After a long day of adventure, hungry bellies will be grateful for the multitude of Catskill-icious culinary options, from plant-forward to celebrity chef steaks and everything in between. Traveling with a sitter? Parents can try their luck at Resorts World Catskills, check out

Smugglers' Notch, VT

The award-winning Smugglers’ Notch Resort is the ultimate family fun vacation destination. Known for its endless number of unique activities and wide variety of accommodations, perfect for families of all shapes and sizes, Smuggs has been bringing families together for generations.

The Resort features 8 pools, 4 waterslides, games on the green, miles of mountain biking trails, Farmers Market, Pickleball, Vermont Country Fair, fireworks display, magic shows, two championship disc golf courses, and oodles more of activities to enjoy!

Let’s not forget about their 26,000-square foot, two-story FunZone 2.0, featuring climbing walls, bouncy houses, laser tag, mini golf, and more! While the kids take on the warrior courses, mom and dad can enjoy a pina colada and watch the good times unfold. Of course, everyone will have worked up an appetite so the next stop must be the build your own sundae bar at ReFuel Café(guessing)?!

Pro tip: download the Sullivan GO App for your phone for access to information about attractions, events, lodging, eateries and more, making it easy to plan your itinerary and discover hidden gems you will want to return to again and again. To learn more about the Sullivan Catskills, visit sullivancatskills.com.

In addition to the never-ending activity options, Smuggs is truly an experience. There’s nothing like waking up to stunning mountain views. Whether they’re hopping on an e-bike, hiking with a llama or relaxing poolside, the non-stop fun allows families to make memories

that last a lifetime.

Plan to spend time in the heart of Vermont at Smugglers’ Notch. A day at the resort offers the ideal location for breathtaking scenic vista views combined with acres of landscape almost equaling the expansiveness of America’s national parks! Visit Smuggs.com.

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June 2024 | Long Island Family 51

Ulster County, NY

It’s that time of year when idyllic memories come flooding back of lazy, long summer days spent basking in the warm sun, skipping rocks across pristine water, or slurping down an ice-cold root beer float on a gentle summer evening while fireflies dance across the lawn.

Few places have as many cherished memories as summers in the Catskills. With majestic resorts along tranquil waters, streams full of aggressive trout, and Instaworthy vistas at every turn, Ulster County is the quintessential backdrop to create your nostalgic summer escape upstate.

Ulster’s trails, shops, markets, and starfilled night skies, feel tailor made for summer adventure stock full of all the makings of core memories. And with a plethora of lodging and delicious dining options, people find themselves coming back for more for years to come.

Plan a new summer tradition at visitUlsterCountyNY.com.

Warren County, NY

Lake George Area

More outdoor adventures coming your way with the Lake George Area in Warren County. This family-friendly oasis is filled with adventure for everyone.

Challenge your family to mini golf at one of the six courses. Your kids will love the different themes, from pirates to ‘around the world’ to even a storybook adventure full of wacky characters. Cool off with a sweet treat at Bon’s Ice Cream afterwards.

If you’re craving something more active, peddle your way in the Adirondack mountains on old railroad beds that have been turned into railbike adventures. On these guided tours you’ll get breath-taking views of the Hudson River and Adirondack forest.

And did we mention you can also experience the Wild West? That’s right! You can stay at a family guest ranch with trail riding, nighttime entertainment, a rodeo and more.

Little and big kids alike will enjoy the 70-year-old amusement park, treetop adventures and dinosaur trails. There’s truly something for everyone in Lake George Area.

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Wild West City, Sussex County, NJ

Wild West City is a western theme park located in the beautiful, scenic Skyland’s Region of Sussex County, New Jersey. A perfect day trip for families and couples, Wild West City has been entertaining audiences for over six decades with live actionpacked shows, train and stagecoach rides, demonstrations, historical exhibits, music, special events and an opportunity to mingle with cowboys and cowgirls in "Dodge City."

This year, Wild West City will take on a different theme during the season beginning with Spring Bonanza, then Summer Stampede, Fall Harvest and culminating with Haunted Wild West in October. Meet new characters in brand new mini skits. Be part of the action helping the marshal track down the outlaws. Grab a lasso and test your skills roping steer horns like a cowboy on the range!

Seasonal foods and beverages will be featured. Special evant weekends highlight the Civil War, National Day of the Cowboy, Native American Dancing and more! Visit Haunted Wild West in October!

Purchase tickets in advance online or consider a membership if you’ll be visiting often. Memberships include unlimited visits

throughout the 2024 season, admission to all special event days, bring a friend ticket, souvenir WWC Cup, discounts at food and retail shops and more! Visit wildwestcity.com.

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June 2024 | Long Island Family 55 the water is warming up, offering sunbathers and swimmers the perfect opportunity to dip their toes in the lake. Meanwhile, those who want to get lost in the woods will find countless hiking trails that lead to panoramic views from Adirondack summits. Need more thrills? Spend the day at a theme park or family fun center where there is no shortage of entertainment. PLAN YOUR TRIP TODAY! VisitLakeGeorge.com FOLLOW US: @LakeGeorgeArea Dive into classic SUMMER

Family Summer Experiences

Summer in and around New York is one of the best places to enjoy family-friendly experiences. Whether you live in a city or the suburbs, we have all these fantastic places that are either a car, train, and sometimes a ferry away. Lucky us! Check out the summer adventures just waiting for you to experience this season!

Alliance for Downtown New York

Although Lower Manhattan is one square mile in size, it is packed with many of New York City’s most iconic attractions. Families can marvel at the architectural beauty of the Brooklyn Bridge, take a ferry to the historic Statue of Liberty, and explore the vibrant Seaport District, among many other landmarks.

Navigating Lower Manhattan is a breeze. It is exceptionally walkable and boasts an extensive transportation network, including 13 subway lines, numerous bus routes, numerous commuter ferry routes, and ample bike lanes with bike-share stations. This makes it the most convenient neighborhood for transportation in New York City, ensuring you can easily reach any destination.

Surrounded by water on three sides, Lower Manhattan features some of NYC’s best ferry infrastructure, perfect for family outings. Regular ferries depart for Governor’s Island, the Statue of Liberty, and other picturesque destinations, offering unique perspectives of the city from the water.

Staying in Lower Manhattan offers the ideal base for a family New York City adventure. Centrally located, it can reach any part of the city within 20 minutes, avoiding the crowds typical of places like

Times Square. Unlike the busier districts, Lower Manhattan provides a more relaxed atmosphere without sacrificing accessibility. Plus, the neighborhood offers a variety of hotels catering to every budget, ensuring a comfortable stay -perfect for a staycation!

Whether you’re play tourist and want to spend the day seeing the sights or just want to enjoy all the city has to offer. Lower Manhattan has it all. Its strategic location and abundance of attractions make it the perfect choice for anyone looking to explore the best of New York City.

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Blue Man Group

Looking to laugh with the family and have your kids think you’re cool? Bring them to the famed Astor Place Theatre. Blue Man Group is comedy, theater and rock concert all rolled into one. Leave your expectations at the door and let three bald and blue men take you on a spectacular journey bursting with music, laughter and surprises. Featuring pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction, and hilarious absurdity, join the Blue Men in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages. A total of eight dazzling new screens have been installed to create a more immersive and engaging performance environment. Throughout the performance, audiences will be captivated by new, state-of-the-art video content accompanying the Blue Men and band.

Astor Place Theatre, 434 Lafayette St #1, New York, NY 10003, USA

Dave and Busters

From kids to grownups — everybody needs a place to let loose & have limitless fun. Dave & Buster’s has entered the chat. Pull up with the whole family experience that includes sea of 100+ arcade games in D&B’s epic Midway! Whether you’re letting the kids win or showing them that YOU STILL GOT IT, Dave and Busters has games for days! Virtual Reality, racing games, big-name titles, arcade classics, and more! The fun doesn’t stop at D&B.One thing they don’t play about is their food, so you know their all-new menu is filled to the brim with top tier, “leave-the-plate-clean” food. Whether you’re feeling snacky, fancy or something in between, they have all kinds of bites for all kinds of vibes! Grown-ups, this one’s for you! While the kiddos mash buttons & stack those tix, you can kick back with a cold one & watch the game on the big screen. From all the brew-skis to a proper glass of cab, their bar stays stocked.

Plus, if you are looking for a place to host your next birthday party, anniversary celebration, corporate happy hour, employee appreciation, or any other type of event in between, D&B’s professional planners will make recommendations for even the pickiest of palates. From groups of ten to two-thousand, Dave & Buster’s is the perfect place to make unforgettable memories with your friends, family, youth groups, or co-workers. From Chef-crafted banquets to unlimited video game play, they got all the details covered. Convinced? Pull up & spend a day the D&B way — with nonstop fun!

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June 2024 | Long Island Family 59

Land of Make Believe

Land of Make Believe Celebrates 70 Years of Family Fun. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a fun-filled day of affordable family excitement with rides, water slides, a safari adventure, river tubing, live theater, boardwalk games, and a host of other activities. For the ultimate “day vacation trip” Land of Make Believe checks all the boxes, and this year there is something extra special for children, teens and parents with the park’s newest ride, “Pirates Fury.”

The new ride takes family members of all ages on the high seas as the ship rocks back and forth as if they are enduring stormy waves in the ocean. For those “true pirates” that’s just one of many exciting adventures offered at Land of Make Believe, conveniently located on Route 80, Exit 12, and a short drive from Routes 31, 46 and 78. The iconic award-winning amusement park has been entertaining young children, teens, parents and grandparents for generations with an array of rides, attractions and activities for the whole family. In the past few years Land of Make Believe has expanded its “land and water” rides to include new thrill rides for young adults such as the Scream Machine 360, Safari Adventure, and the new spinning roller coaster. The expansive award-winning Water Park, with something for any age, has also added numerous challenging water slides. Land of Make Believe was selected as one of the most iconic amusement parks in America along with Disney World and has also been recognized by numerous organizations for its outstanding safety record. Land of Make Believe prides itself on being clean, safe, wholesome and affordable. It is unique to other amusement parks in

that it offers free parking and invites families to bring their own food for a picnic inside the park. Just minutes away from NYC, RT 80, Exit 12. LOMB.com.

New York Botanical Garden

Wonderland: Curious Nature transforms the New York Botanical Garden’s 250 acres through the sights, settings, and scents of the classic Wonderland stories. Step into a colorful botanical experience that grows curiouser and curiouser as you encounter many beloved Wonderland characters across the grounds.

Find larger-than-life mushrooms, an outsized chessboard, a shimmering lookingglass, and more. Inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, discover thousands of vibrant flowers in imaginative horticultural displays that highlight the lush, blooming gardens of the Victorian era. Continue to dive into Alice’s world in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library—learn about the novel’s historical context and modern interpretations, including the stories of mind-altering plants, which were muchstudied during the Victoria era and continue to be the subjects of cutting-edge scientific research today.

You'll go mad over their programs, including Wonderland character encounters each weekend during the run of the exhibition, a Fantastic Fungi Weekend in the fall, Alice dress-up, and even more programming for families. Of course, there will be food that is so good

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that it’s almost nonsensical! Enjoy the Unbirthday Snack Truck with crumpet ice cream sandwiches, the Rose Court with refreshments inspired by the Queen of Hearts, and afternoon tea parties at the Hudson Garden Grill. nybg.org
June 2024 | Long Island Family 61

Urban Air

Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park is the best place for indoor family fun! From little ones to adults, there’s something for everyone! Spend a day with the family and see why it’s the best place for jumping, climbing, riding, playing, and more. Urban Air is open for Open Play and birthday parties seven days a week, 365 days a year! Take the next birthday party to new heights at Urban Air! Voted #1 for Best Kids’ Birthday Parties, Urban Air is the ultimate party spot for your birthday celebration! All parties include a party host, balloons, plates, napkins, utensils, and much more to make it a stellar party! An Urban Air Birthday Party is one of the best birthday parties because it is fun for all ages and takes the stress out of hosting a birthday party at home.

Urban Air Brooklyn is located at 4422 2nd Ave between 44th & 45th Street—just five blocks away from Industry City and Costco. The facility features Trampolines, a Warrior Course, Spin & Flip Zone Bumper Cars, Tubes, Soft Play Playground, Virtual Reality, and more! No reservations are required. There are other locations in New Jersey. Urban Air South Hackensack is 10 minutes away from the GWB.

Urban Air Avenel is 7 miles away from the Goethals Bridge. Urban Air Milltown is near East Brunswick, New Jersey. Adventure for the whole family is near you this summer! Call 347-732-5438 to start your adventure today.

Westfield World Trade Center

Nestled in the heart of Lower Manhattan, Westfield World Trade Center is a vibrant destination, perfect for families seeking a blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment. With over 85 shops and restaurants, there’s something for the entire family to enjoy. Conveniently connected to most subway lines and the PATH, Westfield World Trade Center offers easy access from all corners of the city, making it an ideal spot for a family day out. During the summer, the venue hosts free family-friendly outdoor movie screenings on select Saturdays in July and August, creating memorable experiences under the stars. For creative kids, the interactive and working art studio provides a space to paint and draw. On select dates in July and August, this studio becomes a hub of artistic exploration and fun. The center’s iconic architecture offers a unique backdrop for exploration, with its impressive design captivating visitors of all ages. Every Monday and Thursday, the Oculus floor transforms into an open-play piano area, inviting children to express themselves through music. This hands-on activity encourages young musicians to share their talents in a welcoming environment. On Fridays, the Smorgasburg outdoor street food market sets up shop, offering a delectable variety of treats to delight every palate.

Families planning their visit or a day close to home can enhance their experience by downloading the Westfield app at Westfield app. This handy tool allows visitors to plan their trip, ensuring they make the most of all the exciting activities and amenities available.For more information and to start planning your visit, please visit Westfield

World Trade Center. With its diverse offerings and convenient location, Westfield World Trade Center promises an unforgettable family outing filled with fun, creativity, and delicious food.

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Broadway is Back!

Day trip adventures to see THE LION KING on Broadway

there is something so incredibly special about taking a trip into the city with your family to see a Broadway show. From getting dressed up to finding nearby restaurants to hit before or after a show, there’s a certain excitement to the whole experience that is magical for audiences of all ages.

Recently, my kids (elementary school age to teenager) and I set off on an adventure to see a show, and it wasn’t hard to narrow down our choices. THE LION KING has been thrilling audiences for over 25 years, making it the third longestrunning show in Broadway history!

Coming from Westchester, I had the option to drive to Manhattan or travel by public transportation. I opted to take the railway and after an easy 50-minute ride from Northern Westchester to Grand Central Station in the open-aired train, we hopped off and walked a few blocks to the theater.

Times Square buzzes with excitement all day and night, and THE LION KING offers shows that will work with your schedule, including matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. I opted for a matinee so we would have a few daylight hours left to explore the city afterward.

Upon arrival, we passed a security checkpoint, and a sense of relief washed over me, knowing this extra safety measure was in place. We soaked up as much theater magic as we took our seats.

The kids’ faces lit up as the curtain rose and we settled in for a theatrical trip to the Pridelands, and I mentally high-fived myself for finding a way to turn their attention away from their devices long enough to enjoy the excitement only a Broadway show can bring to audiences.

THE LION KING is a heartwarming Broadway experience, following a comingof-age story that explores the depth of the familiar yet reimagined characters of Simba and his family and friends. We join him on his journey from a cub to an adult, watching him discover his inner strength and courage with the help of his friends, Timon, Pumbaa, Zazu and Nala.

I expected to see some elaborate cos-

tumes, but I didn’t expect to be fully awestruck! The exquisitely detailed costumes allow for intimate and direct viewing of the actors’ faces and expressions. The textile puppets and masks took a whopping 37,000 hours to create – and it showed.

The stage sprang to life with a breathtaking amalgamation of lively characters, like 18-foot-tall exotic giraffes, puppets of every size, and a massive elephant maneuvered by four actors that you have to see to believe.

The show also takes families on a journey through Africa with songs and dialogue in six indigenous African languages, such as Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana and Congolese. Powerful voices belted out favorites like “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t

Wait to be King,” and “Be Prepared.” We were fully in “Hakuna Matata” mode, smiling and swaying along with the rhythm.

The curtains closed and we were buzzing from the magic and the lessons that unfolded. It was so refreshing to revel in a live experience where we used our imaginations and witnessed the power of theater-making.

A pivotal experience for families, live theater truly is back and better than ever.

THE LION KING runs for two hours and 30 minutes and is designed for kids ages six and up. The show performs 8 times a week. Tickets are available at the Minskoff Theatre box office (200 W 45th St.) or at lionking. com/tickets. Learn more at lionking.com.

June 2024 | Long Island Family 63 New York FamilY partN er
©Disney ©Disney ©Disney

Summer Fun!

Summer is one of the best times to enjoy all the East Coast offers, from hopping on the train for a day trip to packing up the car to check out a museum, an amusement park, a favorite town, or a new town, eating some good food, and more. Here are some unique things for families to do in and around Long Island during the summer!

Alliance for Downtown New York

New York, NY

Lower Manhattan has all the shopping, dining, and entertainment anyone could want. From City Hall to the Battery, savor unique flavors, discover awe-inspiring museums, catch a show, and so much more. No one can ever know what’s next when one square mile contains infinite possibilities. So get going and see what’s happening in downtown New York. downtownny.com


Farmingdale, NY

Long Island’s favorite family amusement park since 1962! With over 30 rides, games, and attractions, an indoor arcade, and a restaurant, there’s something for everyone at Adventureland! adventureland.us

Big SNOW American Dream

East Rutherford, New Jersey

Beat the heat this Summer and hit Big SNOW American Dream, North America’s first and only indoor snow dome. Big SNOW is located in the Meadowlands and has something for everyone in the family. Ski. Board. Tube. Shop! bigsnowamericandream.com

Blue Man Group

New York, NY

Blue Man Group is a comedy, theater, and rock concert all rolled into one. Leave expectations at the door and let three bald and blue men unveil a spectacular journey bursting with music, laughter, and surprises. blueman.com/new-york

Chuck E. Cheese

Multiple Locations

Chuck E. Cheese has been entertaining families with delicious food and cutting-edge games for decades; refreshed fun centers feature new games, an interactive dance floor, large-format video walls, new food,

new prizes from the legendary prize wall and active play features (including Trampoline Zones at select locations). Join them all summer long for 2 months of unlimited visits, up to 250 games per day, and up to 50% off on most food & beverages with Summer Fun Pass (starting at just $44.99 online)! chuckecheese.com

Dave and Busters

Multiple Locations

Dave & Buster’s has everyone covered for all the summer fun! This Father’s Day, participate in the first-ever D&B Dad Games to compete against other families for a chance to win one year of free game play. daveandbusters.com

Frederick County

Frederick County, MD

Experience a one-of-a-kind sporting event in Downtown Frederick, Maryland, during the 10th National Clustered Spires High Wheel Bike Race on July 13th. This free, familyfriendly event features bike racers from around the world riding antique high-wheel bicycles in a spectacle you won’t see anywhere else in the United States. visitfrederick.org

Greene County, NY

This summer, groove at lively, family-friendly events like the 2nd Annual Sunflower & Sangria Festival and Catskill Irish Arts Week.

See why the Great Northern Catskills have been the epicenter of warm-weather fun for over a century. greenegovernment.com

Land of Make Believe

Hope Township, NJ

It is a spectacular day trip destination! It is one of the most Iconic amusement and water parks in America. Don’t miss a day of incredible family fun. It is just minutes away. lomb.com

Long Island Game Farm

Manorville, NY

As Long Island’s largest wildlife park, Long Island Game Farm offers families a natural environment where they can learn about wildlife and animals through education and entertainment. A critical aspect of the game farm is serving as a sanctuary for animals rescued, rehabilitated, or re-homed. longislandgamefarm.com

Mashantucket Pequot Museum

Mashantucket, CT

Come on a journey the whole family will love at the world’s largest Native American Museum! From Wednesday to Saturday, there will be culture-filled educational programs, workshops, and events for the entire family in July and August. Experience the amazing culture of the Pequot people and learn about their distinctive relationship with

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June 2024 | Long Island Family 65

nature, their challenges, and their inspiring resiliency. pequotmuseum.org

Monster Mini Golf

Garden City, NY

Come cool off with us this summer in our indoor temperature-controlled Glow in the Dark Golf Course. Enjoy the many other attractions, including Arcade, Laser Maze, and Bowling. Monsterminigolf.com/ locations/us/ny/garden-city-long-island

New York Botanical Gardens

Bronx, NY

Head down the rabbit hole to explore Wonderland: Curious Nature at the New York Botanical Garden. It is fun for the whole family. Dress up to explore mind-bending flower displays fit for a queen, outsized art installations, and fantastical tea parties! May 18–October 27, 2024; Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; $35 for adults and $15 for kids. nybg.org

New York International Air Show

Orange County, NY

Enjoy a weekend of family fun while attending the New York International Air Show at the Orange County Airport in Montgomery, New York on August 10th and 11th. See thrilling aerial performances headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and other top talent. The Italian Air Force Frecce Tricolori are visiting the USA for the first time in over 30 years. Explore amazing aircraft displays and delicious food vendors all around the grounds. It’s a great event for the whole family! Get tickets now. AirShowNY.ccm

Nyack Street Fair

Rockland County, NY

Don’t miss the Nyack Street Fair on Sunday, July 14, 2024, on Main Street and Broadway. Over 360 exhibitors will display Arts, Crafts, Photography, sculpture, and a Kids’ Zone. Enjoy great food, live music, and more! explorerocklandny.com

Old Westbury Gardens

Old Westbury, NY

Visit Old Westbury Gardens for Midsummer Weekend (June 21-23), where guests of all ages are invited to picnic, stroll, and relax on the longest days of the year amidst the sounds of ambient music. The Gardens will

be illuminated with lanterns and decorated with wreaths and floral arrangements. villageofoldwestbury.org

Putnam County Fair and 4-H Showcase

Putnam, NY

Come and join the fun at the Putnam County Fair & 4-H Showcase on July 27th and July 28th at Veterans Memorial Park in Carmel, NY. There will be farm animals, pony rides, vendors, entertainment, food trucks, and so much more! Parking and admission are free. visitputnam.org

Salem Witch Museum

Salem, MA

Looking for something out of the ordinary to do this summer? Take a trip to Salem, Massachusetts, a city made famous by the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Museum brings visitors back to 1692 in an immersive audiovisual experience and offers extended hours during summer. Visit salemwitchmuseum.com for tickets and information on visiting this iconic museum. salemwitchmuseum.com

Smugglers’ Notch

Jeffersonville, VT

Join on June 20th, for the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the official start of summer. At Smuggs, things are going to heat up with a Summer Solstice celebration! Guests will be in awe of Cirque De Fuego, Vermont’s premier fire performers, drum performances by Jeh Kulu Drum Theater, spectacular fireworks not to mention the blazing bonfire, ooey-gooey s’mores, and much more! smuggs.com

Storybook Land

Egg Harbor, New Jersey

Explore, play, read, and ride! Create your own story at Storybook Land, where they’ve been making memories since 1955! Visit Santa Claus on Christmas in July! Saturday, July 20th. storybookland.com

Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association Liberty, NY

Sullivan Catskills has the KCBS sanctioned backyard barbeque on May 15 and Drag me back to the Catskills from May 14-16. sullivancatskills.com

Ulster County Ulster County, NY

Ulster County’s Borscht Belt Fest, “Comedy, Cuisine, Culture in the Catskills”, returns to the Catskill this summer on July 27 and 28, 2024. The festival celebrates the legacy of the idyllic Borscht Belt resort era, its vibrant comedic past, and its wide-ranging influence on contemporary American culture. Held in Ellenville, NY, the heart of the renown Borscht Belt, the festival features stand-up comedy, art, live music, film, educational programming, food, and plenty of one-liners. For information, visitulstercountyny.org

Visit Rhode Island

Rhode Island is small but grand, offering a wide variety of events for the whole family to enjoy. This summer, several can’t-miss events include the Newport Bermuda Race, Bristol 4th of July Parade, and Washington County Fair. Visitrhodeislandny.com

Visit Rochester Rochester, NY

With 140+ annual festivals and events, there is always something great happening in Rochester, NY. Festival season kicks off each May with the Lilac Festival, the largest free festival of its kind in North America. It continues with the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Corn Hill Arts Festival, Rochester Fringe Festival, ROC Holiday Village, and more. visitrochester.com

Warren County Lake George, NY

The Lake George Area is a destination filled with water activities, amusement parks, and many other family-friendly activities to satisfy all ages! Discover the birthplace of “The Original Vacation,” where families would gather to spend their summer vacations in the southern Adirondacks. visitlakegeorge.com

Westfield World Trade Center

New York, NY

Over 85 world-class shops and restaurants, connected to 13 subway lines and the PATH, are located in the heart of Lower Manhattan. Free fun for the whole family includes outdoor movie screenings and interactive kid-friendly art studios! westfield.com/ united-state/westfieldtradecenter

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June 2024 | Long Island Family 67



Farmingdale Medieval History Day

WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 11 am

WHERE: Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale


WHAT: Travel back in time for crafts, sciences, games, handson demonstrations, exhibits, and more.

WANT TO GO?: Free admission. farmingdalevillage. com

The Cathedral of Saint Paul Greek Festival

WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 2 – 11 pm; Sunday, June 2, 12 – 9 pm.

WHERE: The Cathedral of Saint Paul, 110 Cathedral Ave., Hempstead


WHAT: Enjoy authentic Greek and Cypriot food, pastries, loukoumades, live Greek music, Greek dance performances, vendors, rides and games, and Flea Market.

WANT TO GO?: Free admission. longislandgreekfestival. com

HarborFest Dock Day and Craft Fair

WHEN: Sunday, June 2, 10 am – 5 pm

WHERE: Town Dock and Lower Main Street, 347 Main Street, Port Washington


WHAT: Celebrate nautical heritage on the waterfront with a craft show, cruises on the luxury yacht elixir, fire boat demonstrations, live entertainment, children’s fun park, and more.

WANT TO GO?: Free Admission. pwcoc.org

Junior Rangers Family Experience

WHEN: Friday, June 7, 4 – 6 pm

WHERE: Planting Fields Arboretum, 1395 Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay AGES: 4 – 8

WHAT: Complete five missions around the park, learn about stewardship, nature, the living collections at Planting Fields, and what it means to be a Junior Ranger!

WANT TO GO?: $25 (one free adult per child). plantingfields. org

Princess Fairytale Breakfast

WHEN: Saturday, June 8, 9:30 – 11 am

WHERE: United Skates of America, 1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford


WHAT: Enjoy a magical morning filled with your favorite princesses and a delicious breakfast while interacting with Beauty & the Little Mermaid!

WANT TO GO?: $24. (516) 795–5474, unitedskates.com

Vintage Antique Fun Car Show

WHEN: Sunday, June 9, 9 am – 1 pm

WHERE: Rock Hall Museum, 199 Broadway, Lawrence AGES: All

WHAT: Pull up to this car show featuring classics, antiques, customs, hot rods, and trucks.

WANT TO GO?: Free. friendsofrockhall.org

Portuguese Parade

WHEN: Sunday, June 9, 11 am – 1 pm

WHERE: Parade travels down Jericho Turnpike, Mineola AGES: All

WHAT: Celebrate Portuguese pride and culture at this annual event.

WANT TO GO?: Free. mineolachamber.com

Joy Fest: A Juneteenth Celebration

WHEN: Wednesday, June 19, 2 pm

WHERE: Hempstead Lake State Park, 1000 Lake Drive West, West Hempstead


WHAT: Commemorate the historical significance of Juneteenth with food, art, athletics, demonstrations, information kiosks, and more.

WANT TO GO?: Free. joyfest. com

St. Gregory the Great Festival

WHEN: June 21-29, Daily, 7 – 11 pm; except June 25.

WHERE: St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy, 244-44 87th Ave. Bellerose


WHAT: This annual event features rides, live entertainment, games, prizes,

68 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
The Cathedral of Saint Paul Greek Festival lights up Hempstead on June 1 and 2.

food, themed nights, and more.

WANT TO GO?: Pay one price bracelets available for purchase. sgtgfestival.com

Empire State Fair

WHEN: June 28-July 14, Weekdays, 5 – 11 pm, Saturdays, Sundays and July 3-4, 12 – 11 pm

WHERE: Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale


WHAT: Check out amazing entertainment, educational experiences, and brandnew amusement rides and attractions!

WANT TO GO?: $10 admission; free admission for under 36” tall; additional fee for rides. empirestatefair.com


Frogs and Friends

WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 10:30 am – 12 pm

WHERE: Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, 581 W Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown


WHAT: Amphibians are an amazing group of animals! See what makes them special and find some froggy friends!

WANT TO GO?: $4. parks. ny.gov

The Mystery Of The Missing Ever After

WHEN: Saturdays, 11 am – 2 pm, through June 15; Sunday, June 9, 11 am – 12 pm.

WHERE: Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson


WHAT: Your favorite stories collide as three great princesses come together to solve a mystery! A slipper, a spinning wheel, and a red, red rose are all clues in this hilarious new musical!

WANT TO GO?: $12. (631) 473–5220, theatrethree.com

3rd Annual Hamptons Pride Parade

WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 12 pm

WHERE: Main Street, East Hampton


WHAT: Celebrate Pride with floats, marching bands, first

responders, local leaders, and more.

WANT TO GO?: Free. hamptonspride.org/hamptonspride-parade-2024

Lavender Festival

WHEN: June 8-9, Saturday and Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm.

WHERE: Waterdrinker Manorville, 663 Wading River Road, Manorville


WHAT: Stroll through Lavender Lane and enjoy family fun with food trucks, live music, and

kids activities!

WANT TO GO?: $20. waterdrinker.com

Maker Faire Long Island

WHEN: Saturday, June 8, 10 am – 5 pm

WHERE: Long Island Explorium, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson


WHAT: Celebrate science, technology, engineering, art, and math through innovative robotics, interactive art, and much more with hands-on

exhibits and performances.

WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $10. (631) 331–3277, longisland. makerfaire.com

Centennial Celebration

WHEN: Saturday, June 22, 11 am – 3 pm

WHERE: Heckscher State Park Field 1, 1 Heckscher State Parkway, East Islip


WHAT: Celebrate 100 years of NY State Parks with games, Classic Cars, historic photos, music, food, and more!

WANT TO GO?: Free. parks. ny.gov

Kids’ Night Out

WHEN: Saturday, June 22, 5:30 – 8 pm.

WHERE: Our Fabulous Variety Show at Project MOST, 44 Meadow Way, East Hampton

AGES: 4 and older

WHAT: Drop kids off for a fun evening of movies, crafts, snacks and a pizza dinner.

WANT TO GO?: $35; $30 for Crew Members; $25 for siblings; $10 fee for late pick ups. (631) 507–4603, ourfabulousvarietyshow.org

Sunday Funday: Mud Day

WHEN: Sunday, June 23, 1 – 3 pm

WHERE: Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown AGES: 3 and older

WHAT: Get ready to get muddy! Come out for slime making, sand playing, and volcano building. Meet some animals that love to dig around just like you!

WANT TO GO?: $15 per child; no charge for adults. (631) 979–6344, sweetbriarnc.org

Science Saturday: Rube

Goldberg Design Lab

WHEN: Saturday, June 29, 1 – 2 pm

WHERE: Long Island Science Center, 401 Tanger Mall Drive, Riverhead


WHAT: Learn about Rube Goldberg and make your own machine to take home.

WANT TO GO?: $20 includes admission. sciencecenterli.org

June 2024 | Long Island Family 69 JUNE calendar
Waterdrinker hosts a Lavender Festival on June 8 and 9. The Hamptons Pride Parade returns to East Hampton on June 1.

The Scoop on Van Leeuwen!

If you haven’t guessed yet, summer is the theme for our June cover, and who doesn’t think of ice cream when the weather starts to warm up? For this month’s cover, it was not hard to sway our 4-year-old cover kids to pose for our cover while devouring their favorite ice cream.

A Brief History

For many of us parents, Van Leeuwen holds a special place in our hearts, dating back to the days of Van Leeuwen BK (before kids.) The memories of those first scoops and the joy they brought are still fresh in our minds.

For newer parents and fans, here are the CliffsNotes: Van Leeuwen started in 2008 as a yellow scoop truck on the streets of NYC by Ben Van Leeuwen, Pete Van Leeuwen, and Laura O’Neill, who wanted to make French-style (oui, oui yum) ice

cream with good ingredients.

While many New Yorkers are spoiled and have one or two Van Leeuwens in their neighborhoods (they have the most ice cream shops in New York!), since those ice cream truck days, the brand has expanded to 50 scoop shops and growing and can be found in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, DC, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Texas.

Let’s get to the best part—what we munched on at the photo shoot. The kids loved the more classic flavors of strawberry, vanilla, and cookies and cream, but we seasoned ice cream connoisseurs dove into Earl Grey Tea, Pistachio, Black Cherry Chip, Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin, and more.

Visit Vanleeuwenicecream.com to find your shop or the grocery store where you can find ice cream pints, sandwiches, and bars.

What's popular?

Popular vegan flavors include Churros & Fudge, Peanut Butter Brownie Honeycomb, Strawberry Shortcake, and more.

What's new?

Van Leeuwen’s Summer Specials are Marionberry Chocolate Chip Sherbet, Mango Sorbet, Chocolatey Crisp Cereal & Milk, and Passion Fruit Berry Pop.

70 NewYorkFamily.com | June 2024
Photo by Ana Gambuto

Whether it’s bonding over thrilling adventure, sharing laughs around the campfire, or singing along at lively events, make this summer a time to treasure forever. Come discover why the Great Northern Catskills is the ultimate family destination.

It here.happens Adventure. Anytime. Every Time.
#FindYourCatskills GreatNorthernCatskills.com

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