Parent’s Guide to Jones Beach

As the summer season kicks off, Long Islanders start the trek to the beaches– and Jones Beach is one of the most popular.  Jones Beach (which is actually a State Park) opened back in 1929 and according to Jonesbeach.org, “There are 2,413 acres with 6.5 miles of ocean beach frontage and a half mile of bay frontage developed for stillwater bathing.”

Field 6 is the most popular and fills up early (try to get there before 9AM) and for parents toting tots and lots of gear, its the quickest way to get to the beach from a parking lot. If you are going to the beach on a very popular day, like Memorial Day – you might want to keep an ear on the news – they will close parking lots once they’re full. Parking fee (unless you have the Empire Passport) is around $10 a car.

Picnic Areas
Next to Field 6, there’s a picnic area. There’s a BBQ/Picnic Area right near Zach’s Bay – park in Field 5, which also where you’d park if you were going to a concert at the Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach. There’s another BBQ area near the Fishing Pier at Field 10.

Playground
Find the playground behind the shuffleboard court, nearest to the West Bathhouse (which also includes a  Pool and Food Court).

Food
The West Bathhouse has a Food Court and the Central Mall Boardwalk also has concessions.

Other Activities
Pitch Putt Golf, Mini-Golf, Surfing, Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, fishing, shuffleboard, concerts in the bandshell Click here to see fees for these activities. ** Note:
Zach’s Bay swimming area will be open Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend and then open daily for the season on June 26 to August 15th (courtesy of Jones Beach State Park Info).

Directions
Take either the Meadowbrook Parkway or the Wantagh Parkway to the end or the LIRR to Freeport and then the bus to Jones Beach.

Jones Beach is open everyday, but check here for specific hours of operation. Lifeguards are on duty from May 29 to Sept. 6.

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