Recently named one of the top three parks on Long Island, Wantagh Park is a great place to take your kids for hours of amusement. The park is right on the water and has so many opportunities for recreation, along with a magnificent view of the East Bay. Located on 111 acres, the park has multiple playgrounds ( some have sand and some have the rubber-like surface under the equipment). Benches and shaded areas are around each of the numerous, age-appropriate playgrounds for toddlers through teens. After some active playtime, you can cool off in the on-site swimming complex which is located at the south end of the park. This park is a favorite of my kids — because there is something for each of them to enjoy. We spend hours in this park because they love the playgrounds and the pool complex, which includes lockers, showers, a concession stand, and lounge and deck chairs. The facilities are fenced in and clean. There is a shaded canopy area between the kiddie pool and water play area. An entrance fee is required to enter the swimming complex, which includes an Olympic-sized main pool, a diving pool, a “kiddie” pool, training pool, a large interactive water-play area and two water slides (make sure your child meets the height requirement – it’s enforced).
There is also a separate fenced-in shaded area with picnic tables and small climbing apparatus next to the concession stand. We bring a packed lunch in a lunch bags because no coolers are allowed. No food is allowed on the pool deck area.
Next to the picnic area there is a fenced in baby/toddler wading pool which is shaded around the perimeter. Numerous Lifeguards are on duty to watch all areas on the pool deck. No floating devices or arm floats are allowed in any of the pools. Only eye goggles are permitted (nose must be exposed).
A parking lot is located right outside the entrance to the pool complex with some shaded areas to park. Non-residents will be charged a $10 parking fee.
My family and I have also gone to the fishing pier just beyond the marina, which is open year-round, weather permitting. We used fishing rods, but others had crab traps they were throwing into the water. There is also two-mile Fitness Trail that provides a jogging or walking trail and 20 attractive and simple fitness stations that incorporate a variety of exercises. These include stretching, pull-ups, sit-ups and balance walking exercises that increase slightly in difficulty as the trail proceeds. The trail begins by the entrance to the park and winds around the park before ending by the marina.
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fees With a Leisure Pass (daily): resident adult, $7; resident child (4-17 years of age), $5; resident senior, disabled, vol. firefighter, ambulance corps auxiliary police, veterans, $3; Leisure Pass is required for residents to receive the resident rate. There are season passes available. Go to http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Parks/wheretogo/active/wantagh.html for more info.
Fees Without a Leisure Pass: non-resident adult, $25, non-resident senior & child, $19.
By Julie Terrone, Guest Contributor