July 4 has come and gone, but there’s still plenty of summer left to get the heck out of town and chill in more ways than one. For your consideration: the East End. The villages of the Hamptons are packed with family-friendly activities for all ages. (That’s right, there’s more than party-hopping and celeb sightings). Whether you’re there for a weekend or a few weeks, here are more than two dozen ways to have fun with the kids in the Hamptons.
photo: courtesy CMEE
1. Learn, Play, and Create – Young minds can run wild at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton. The CMEE’s Long Island-themed indoor play space and an outdoor playground. CMEE also hosts a variety of toddler and kid classes including Baby & Me, Cooking, Chess, Sensory Play and Gardening.
photo: Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League via Facebook
2. Take in a Ballgame – Grab the crackerjacks and cheer for your local baseball team from the Montauk Mustangs to the Westhampton Aviators or Sag Harbor Whalers! The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League features seven teams with college players from around the country. Most games take place nearly every evening at 5pm in July. Youth clinic also available this summer, held in Peconic Lake.
3. Kid-approved Library programs – Take a break from the sun and join a summer reading club at one of the many East End public libraries. East Hampton Library has a spacious indoor kids space offering programs for babies through school-age kids that includes LEGO Club, Chess, Toddler Time, Music Exploration (Miss Riley’s Melodies) and more. Also check out Amagansett Library for baby and toddler programs, such as Rhyme Time, and Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, which offers Pre-school story time and more.
4. Perfect Your Swing – Play a round of mini-golf at Southampton Golf Range, Whale’s Tale on Shelter Island, Puff ‘n’ Putt in Montauk or The Children’s Museum of East End in Bridgehampton. Note: Whale’s Tale also has an on-site cafe with delicious ice cream. Keep that in mind when you’re seeking a sweet reward after a long day of mini-golf.
5. See a Puppet Show – Put down the iPad and be entertained by The Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty, and more playing at Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre in Sag Harbor all summer long. Or check out free outdoor puppet shows hosted by Southampton Arts Center such as The Three Pigs.
6. Enjoy the Music – Take the kiddos to a concert series hosted by Southampton Cultural Center in Agawam Park and Cooper’s Beach in Southampton. Most concerts are held on Wednesdays and start at 6:30 PM. Concerts that are held on Saturdays start at 5:00 PM. Young ones can frolic and play as you relax on blankets listening to live music. To get moving, all ages can participate in country western line dancing at Hither Hills State Park in Montauk on Monday nights.
photo: courtesy Buddha Berry
7. Cool down with a Treat – Celeb fave BuddhaBerry in Montauk and Sag Harbor offers serve your own fro-yo in flavors like caramel sea salt pretzel or sweet peach from Georgia, plus a endless toppings to choose from, such as dinosaur gummies. They’ll even offer you a large cookie to top off your fro-yo. Or, indulge the kids at the long time favorite Sip ‘n Soda in Southampton with old-fashioned root beer floats, banana splits and milkshakes.
8. Bond with Nature – Kids can learn all about living the farm life by visiting Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, which hosts summer workshops and events, such as Farm Chores for Kids, Cooking Classes, Foraging at the Farm, and more. It’s the mission of Amber Waves farm to produce organic, healthy food for the local community and to reintroduce wheat to the local East End of Long Island food shed.
9. Quack Like a Duck – Grab the cracked corn (it’s better for the ducks than bread) and head to the duck pond on David’s Lane in East Hampton. Located on the edge of a nature preserve, there are plenty of trails to explore here after you give the ducks a snack.
10. Take a Spin – Take your soul to a new level and rent bikes for the whole family (including toddler seats and youth bikes) and roll around town. Check out Amagansett Beach & Bicycle Company, Montauk Bike Shop or Rotations Bicycle Center in Southampton (631-283-2890). You’ll also find endless bike trails to explore.
11. Act Out – Check out a family-friendly theatre performances at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and weekly music theatre camp performances in which kids ages six to 16 become part of the show or work behind the scenes.
photo: courtesy Quogue Wildlife Refuge
12. Explore Long Island’s Nature – Learn about the local eco-system and touch amphibians and reptiles native to Long Island at the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center. Meet owls, falcons, and eagles at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.
13. Discover History – Visit Quogue’s oldest schoolhouse built in 1822 at the Old Schoolhouse Museum. Then tour the area’s oldest operating water mill and colonial crafts at the Water Mill Museum. Don’t miss Long Island’s whaling heritage displays of whale jaw bones and harpoons at The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum; explore the blacksmith and cobbler shops at the Southampton Historical Museum.
15. Go on Safari – The largest combined children’s zoo and wildlife park on Long Island, the Long Island Game Farm in Manorville will entertain kiddos of any age with a giraffe, red kangaroos, lemurs, zebra, alligators and much more. Plus, “Old McDonald’s Farm Petting Zoo” lets kids reach out and touch furry friends.
photo: Peter Dowley via Flickr
16. Hit the Beach – Choose from the calm waters on the bay side or the roaring waves and white sands of the ocean side. Try the low-key, family-friendly Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett with food trucks and restrooms, or the sprawling Cooper’s Beach in Southampton which has a concession stand, chair and umbrella rentals, bathrooms and fresh water showers. Little ones will appreciate the gentle waters at Foster Memorial Long Beach in Sag Harbor — it’s a little rocky but the waters are warmer and you won’t find waves here.
photo: courtesy Stony Hill Stables
17. Saddle Up – If you love horseback riding, you’ve come to the right place. Stony Hill Stables in Amagansett welcomes all ages for pony camp and competitions. For the Western experience, visit Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working cattle ranch in Montauk, which offers horseback riding and a petting zoo. Another option is Rita’s Stables in Montauk, which adds farming and arts and crafts to the pony camp experience.
18. All Aboard – Make a stop at the Railroad Museum of Long Island, which has locations in both Riverhead and Greenport. Train-loving tots will freak over the model train exhibits, historic rail cars and locomotives.
19. Join a Team – East Hampton Sports Camp, Super Soccer Stars, and YMCA East Hampton RECenter among others give little athletes a chance to perfect their swing, kick, shot and stroke all summer long.
photo: Adeel Anwer via Flickr
20. Build a Castle – Take part in weekly sand castle building contests at Hither Hills State Park in Montauk every Thursday morning. All ages build their best castle using sand, water, and natural materials found on the beach. State Park hosts additional family-friendly events like magic shows and musical performances. Check out calendar here.
21. Climb to the Top – Kids 41 inches and taller can climb the 137 iron steps to the top of the tower of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in New York State.
22. Where Arts, Animals and Science Collide – Kids plus animals, need we say more? Check out The Art Farm in Bridgehampton for summer camps and classes for kids from six months to school age. Little animal lovers can get hands-on with furry friends, learn about nature, try cooking, play sports and enjoy water fun.
photo: courtesy Adventure Paddleboards and Kayaks
23. Grab a Paddle – Take the family on a stand up paddleboarding adventure with rentals from Adventure Paddleboards in Hampton Bays, Sag Harbor Sailing or Plaza Surf N Sports in Montauk. You can also rent paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, pedal boats at Puff ‘N’ Putt at Fort Pond in Montauk or from Main Beach Surf & Sport on Georgica Pond in Wainscott.
24. Find Your Creative Side – Participate in sneaker decorating, toddler, and kids art at Studio Art in Sayville–artist Karen Hogan will also bring the crafts to kids for private parties in the Hamptons area. Still feeling crafty? The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill offers open studio time for families and summer arts camps.
25. Park Playtime – Seems obvious, right?! Enjoy the great outdoors! Climb, swing and slide at the playgrounds at Herrick Park in East Hampton, Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor, Agawam Park in Southampton or Ria Del Bene playground in Westhampton.
How do you keep the kids happy the Hamptons? Share it with us in the comments below!
—Ashley Grzyb and Rachel Sokol