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Things To Do With Kids in the Hamptons, Summer 2021 Edition

Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information as New York State reopens following Covid-19 closures. We’re doing our best to keep all of our stories and calendar up to date. Call to confirm information before heading out.

Headed out to the Hamptons with the kids and wondering what to do with them—or even, what is open? We have good news! Not only are the Hamptons open for business, you’ll find lots of things to do with kids, no matter which shore or fork you find yourself on. Read on for our favorite family-friendly activities for kids in the Hamptons.

photo: CMEE

1. Learn, Play, and Create – Young minds can run wild at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton. The CMEE has a Long Island-themed indoor play space and an outdoor playground. Plus: there is a miniature golf course on the grounds that visitors get to play for free! CMEE also hosts a variety of toddler and kid classes including Baby & Me, Cooking, Chess, Sensory Play and Gardening.

You will need a reservation to visit and masks are required for people two years old and up. The museum is closed on Thursdays. Be sure to read operating rules and Covid-19 precautions here.

2. Eat Outside - A summer must-do, but extra appealing when emerging from a pandemic. We love Cowfish in Hampton Bays for an upscale meal waterside, Navy Beach in Montauk for stunning sunsets (reservations REQUIRED; call  631-668-6868), Lobster Roll AKA Lunch, also in Montauk, for the lobster roll and more casual fare, and La Fondita in Amagansett for authentic Mexican street food.

3. Kid-approved Library programs – Libraries are open for lending, and many are doing a hybrid of outdoor, in-person events (singalongs for kids) and online classes.

View info on the The East Hampton Library hereThe Amagansett Library here, and The Hampton Library in Bridgehamopton here.

4. Perfect Your Swing – Play a round of mini-golf at the new, Hamptons-themed course at Hamptons Mini Golf, (shown here), Puff ‘n’ Putt in Montauk (cash only) or Whale’s Tale on Shelter Island (open seasonally).

5. Pick Some Berries - Yes, you can pick your own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and more this summer! Two of our favorite in the Hamptons include Patty's Berries & Bunches in Mattituck, and Lewin Farms in Calverton. (See all of our recs for NYC area farms for berry-picking here!)

6. Enjoy the Music – [Editor's Note: A schedule for 2021 concerts is yet to be announced.] 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.

 7. Cool Down with a Treat – Hamptons favorite BuddhaBerry in 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. Have a Barnyard Adventure at Harbes Family Farm- Head to this  popular 100-acre farm for fun for both kids and adults. In addition to the original farmstand, the farm includes the Barnyard Adventure, an 8-acre family-friendly attraction that includes farm animals, Jumbo Jumpers bounce pillows, a trike track, sports zone, Gnome themed hedge maze, "bunnyville" (so cute!) and much more. The farm also includes Harbes Wine Barn, a wine tasting room renovated from a 100-year-old potato barn.

715 Sound Ave.
Mattituck, NY
631-482-7641
Online: harbesfamilyfarm.com

9. Bond with Nature - Kids ages two to nine 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. You can also register your learning/summer pod for a customized experience. Click here to see kids programming for summer. 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. The farmer's market is great here, too!

10. Frolic in a Lavender Farm- Have a moment of Zen walking amongst the lavender bloom at Lavender By the Bay This massive farm grows English and French lavender and sold timed tickets for for 1 and 1/2-hour slots last season. (Tickets have not been released for 2021 yet, but you can sign up for the farm's newsletter to get notified when they are.) Take a deep breath at the East Marion or Calverton Farm and then stop by the shop for some calming goods to take home!

11. 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.

12. 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, or Rotations Bicycle Center in Southampton. You’ll also find endless bike trails to explore; click here some some ideas on where to bike together.

photo: Quogue Wildlife Refuge

13. 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 and go on safe, socially-distanced outings like bird-watching or exploring a pond for critters. At the Quogue Wildlife Refuge you can walk seven miles of trails through diverse habitats including forests and ponds, as well as the ecologically rare Dwarf Pines in the Pine Barrens. The refuge also offers Summer Ecology programs for kids as young as four and as old as juniors in high school.

14. Act Out – The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center offers weekly musical theatre camp in which kids ages six to 16 become part of the show or work behind the scenes. The Center also stages live shows outdoors in the evenings

15. Get Some Ice Cream - There's no shortage of ice cream in the Hamptons. We think the best can be found at Magic Fountain in Mattituck, Snowflake Ice Cream in Riverhead, John's Drive-in in Montauk, Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton and Gemelli Gelato in Hampton Bays, the last of which has a huge outdoor seating area.

16. Chow Down at a New Local Burger-There's a new location of this popular burger joint, where you can also get chicken sandwiches, quinoa patties, milk shakes and frozen adult drinks. Now in addition to Patchogue and Bay Shore, you can get a Local Burger in Southampton.

Online: localburgerco.com

17. 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 (closed Mon.-Wed.). Don’t miss Long Island’s whaling heritage displays of whale jaw bones and harpoons at The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum (open Thurs.-Sun., reservations recommended).

18. Eat like a Kid – Who doesn’t love burgers and pizza?! Our picks for Hamptons patties and pies are LT Burger, John's Drive-inLa Capannina, World Pie and American Pie Pizzeria.

19. 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: iStock

20. Hit the Beach – Choose from the calm waters on the bay side or the roaring waves and white sands of the ocean side. (But be prepared to leave early to get a parking spot, and pay for it. Note that many beaches in the Hamptons are not public.) 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.

Here's a master document with details on Hamptons beaches services and amenities, including lifeguard info (not all have them), parking availability, restrooms, concessions and more. And for more info on parking at Hamptons beaches, click here.

21. Get some Doughnuts at North Fork Doughnut Co. - Head to this North Fork destination bakeshop for "craft doughnuts" made from scratch daily using locally-sourced ingredients, including fresh farm berries. Don't forget to check out the month's "flavor forecast" before you go!

13175 Main Rd.
Mattituck, NY
631-298-7941
Online: nofodoco.com

22. 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. Head to The Art Farm in Sagaponack for private riding lessons for kids ages three and up.

21. Visit The Big Duck - A local landmark and piece of Americana since the 1930s, The Big Duck is located in Flanders, New York along Route 24 (just outside of Riverhead). Its belly holds a small museum and duck souvenirs, but its really about the exterior; drive by at night and the eyes—lights from a Model T—glow.

23. See Where the Pollock-Krasner Magic Happened - You might say that visiting the home/workshop of one of America's foremost abstract expressionists is a bit high-minded for kids, but we're guessing that at some point your child has returned from school/a workshop/a camp with artwork inspired by Pollock's splatter method. At the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center you can see the preserved house where they lived, tour the grounds, and inhabit the actual workshop space where Pollock created his large-scale works.

24. 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.

25. See Some Sea Creatures Up Close- The Long Island Aquarium is home to one of the largest all-living, closed-system coral reef displays in the Western hemisphere! You'll find all kinds of animals here, including seals, sea lions, penguins, sea otters, butterflies, insects, seahorses, jellyfish and many more! Sadly, the Touch Tank is closed due to Covid-19, but you can book an interactive experience such as a Penguin Encounter or Sea Lion Selfie for an additional fee. Advance purchase of tickets is required, and you must wear a mask indoors and outside here. Hot tip: Visit the aquarium within 7 days of your birthday and get in free! (ID and birth certificate required.)

Tickets: $23/ages 3-12; $35/ages 13-61; $26/62 and up, free/kids 2 and under
431 E. Main St.
Riverhead
631-208-9200 x426
Online: longislandaquarium.com

26. Go to Camp – East Hampton Sports Camp, Super Soccer Stars, and YMCA East Hampton RECenter host camps to keep kids busy and active.

East Hampton Sports Camp is open, with COVID-19 precautions; click here for registration info. The YMCA Summer Day Camp is operating, with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Click here for info. Super Soccer Stars is offering private classes and camps; click here for booking info. 

27. 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 the calendar here.

28. Get Cultured at Guild Hall - East Hampton's Guild Hall is an epicenter of arts of all disciplines for all ages, including free art exhibitions and installations throughout the year. Highlights for young ones usually include Kidfest Workshops (crafting all kinds of cool stuff); live shows,  and theater and filmmaking camps for older kids. Click here for info on all its kids and family programming!

29. See Montauk via MonTiki- Tour The End of the island like you never have before via a catamaran crafted in the style of a Polynesian boat with Sailing Montauk. Do a simple day sail, sunset sail, sail & swim and more.

30. Visit The End's IconYou can't climb to the top of the tower of the Montauk Point Lighthouse due to Covid restrictions, but you can still visit the oldest lighthouse in New York State.

31. 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.

32. Grab a Paddle – Take the family on a stand up paddleboarding adventure with rentals from Adventure Paddleboards, 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 Expeditions (MBX) on Georgica Pond in Wainscott.

33. Slip and Slide- If you prefer your water play with chlorine not salt, head to the the area's popular waterpark Splish Splash for a totally tubular time. Opening day for 2021 is May 29. (The park recently added two new extreme slides, Bombs Away and Riptide Race!)

34. Watch Horses & High-profile Peeps - Head to the annual Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton to see some stallions jumping and the rich and famous who make the scene (and hobnob in the VIP tent).   Held in late August, it's seven days of sport, shopping, and food.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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.

 

 

—Mimi O’Connor

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