Summertime; kids are finished with being cooped up in a classroom all year and families are ready to spend time participating in fun outdoor activities. There are plenty of ways to have fun outdoors this summer. We have come up with a list of 10 spectacular Long Island parks to visit.
Belmont Lake State Park
Belmont Lake State Park draws families from all over Long Island for large picnics and gatherings. It is a 463-acre park that is split by Carll’s Creek and Belmont Lake in West Babylon. Belmont houses 7.6 miles of combined trails. Patrons use them for running, hiking, biking and horseback riding. Paddle boat and row boat rentals are available for use in the lake. For park fees and rates please check the park website.
Eugene Nickerson Beach
One family could spend an entire weekend enjoying the amenities at Nickerson Beach. Nickerson Beach is part of the Nassau County Park system, located on Long Island’s south shore in Lido Beach. Aside from beach swimming, you and your family can enjoy the Pitch and Put 9-hole golf course. Adjacent to that is the Fun Zone, which includes a basketball court, a skate park, a playground, 2 soccer fields, a baseball field and 6 beach volleyball courts. There are also two pools in the park. Once you have worked up an appetite, you can dine and snack on foods served out of the concession areas. Cabanas and lockers are also available for use. For parking and pass information please visit the website.
Tanner Park is located in Copiague along the Great South Bay. This park features an interactive spray park, which features sprinklers in a variety of attractive and artistic shapes for the kids. There’s also a beach, a playground and one of Long Island’s few skateparks. Families can enjoy fishing off the pier, seeing live music in the band shell or snacking from the food concession. For the daily fees please click here.
Norman J. Levy Preserve
Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve is part of the Town of Hempstead, and an area for environmental conservation and wildlife preservation. The park is easily visible from the Meadowbrook Parkway as you can see the windmill at the top of the hill. If you climb the hill, you will have views of the New York City skyline on one side and an aerial view of Jones Beach on the other. Park goers have access to the fishing pier. Kayak rentals and tours are also available, but you should call to confirm times as they vary daily based on the tide. As you walk along the trail, you will notice recreation and fitness stations; parallel bars, rings and other exercise apparatus. You can spend the day gaining a physical fitness and educational experience at Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve.
Splash Park at Tobay
Tobay Beach spray park was completely renovated after Hurricane Sandy. Beachgoers can go to the calm and shallow bay side beach as well as the spray park, the snack shack and restaurant. There is also a separate picnic area and playground. Town of Oyster Bay residents can purchase a season parking pass, but non-residents must pay a daily fee for parking.
Eisenhower park in East Meadow is one of the largest open spaces in the New York area, bigger than Central Park! Eisenhower has so many features spanning over its 930 acres. There are dozens of athletic fields, golf facility, miniature golf, the aquatic center and fitness center, several playgrounds, biking and hiking trails, picnic areas and indoor NHL-sized indoor ice hockey rinks. The Henry Chapin Lakeside Theater is the stage for many concerts and movies. You may also be interested in visiting the memorials. There is a beautiful Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor commemorating Nassau County residents who’ve served in different branches of service. In 2007, the 9/11 Memorial was erected; honoring the fallen 344 Nassau County residents lost in the attacks. There is also a Firefighters Memorial for Nassau County firefighters who have died in the line of duty. You can click on the link to get additional information on shows, parking and park operation hours.
Cantiague Park in Hicksville was the first park in Nassau County to have a swimming pool and an indoor ice rink, even before Eisenhower Park! Cantiague offers many amenities. There are five tennis courts, six handball/paddleball courts and three basketball courts. All have lights for night play. There is a new artificial turf multisport field used by permit for: soccer, lacrosse, football and rugby. Softball fields are also available for use by permit. For permit information please call (516) 571-7056. Additional features of the park are a real nine-hole golf course, driving range and 18-hole miniature golf course. Also for families, is the Olympic-sized swimming pool equipped fully with water slides and diving boards, a kiddie pool and an interactive water area. You are able to store your dry clothes and belongings in lockers nearby. There are batting cages and playgrounds and picnic areas for you to use at your leisure. For more information on ice skating rink and pool hours, please visit the website.
Connetquot River State Park
Connetquot River State Park is gigantic, spanning almost 3,500 acres of both land and water. Connetquot is a unique park to visit because of its protected wildlife and plants. The preserve protects game birds such as pheasants and nesting birds such as osprey. You can fish in the Connetquot River, but with a permit only. You can obtain permit information here. There are 50 miles worth of nature trails used mostly for hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. There are many educational programs available. They offer Environmental Education programs, Spring Nature Programs and Youth Programs.
Bethpage State Park
Bethpage State Park is probably most well known for its 5 golf courses. Bethpage Black course was the host course for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open Championships. The park has newly redone playground and picnic areas as well as several tennis courts, biking and hiking trails. If you ever need, there is also a restaurant and catering facility on the premises. For park hours and rate information, please visit the website. The Bethpage Black Course will be hosting the 2016 Barclays in August.
Smith Point County Park
Smith Point Beach in Shirley is popular for those who truly enjoy swimming, surfing, scuba diving and salt water fishing. It is a white sanded, Atlantic Ocean, Fire Island barrier beach. In addition to the campgrounds on site, there are playgrounds, beach available for off-road vehicles with proper permits. The Beach Hut snack bar and concession offers a variety of eats. The park holds several special events throughout the season so click here for details.
These are just a few of the very many parks to visit and places to spend quality family time, within a budget, and enjoying all of what Long Island has to offer. Please keep reading our blogs to stay up to date on the latest events at a park near you.