The Insider’s Guide to Huntington for Families

By Maria Wen Adcock

Huntington, a quaint town located on the North Shore of Long Island, boasts a charming Main Street district known as the Village. This downtown area emits an Americana spirit, welcoming families with its wide sidewalks, beautiful landscapes, and kid-friendly stores. It’s the kind of place where mothers take long walks pushing baby strollers, and families make plans to spend their weekends in town.

Hungry for Food

Want a sweet treat? Pick up home baked cookies at the old fashion bakery A Rise Above or go to Herrell’s Ice Cream for hand-churned desserts. Need a venue with quick and friendly service? Golden Dolphin Diner and Mundays have kid-friendly food, a helpful staff, and moderate background noise to drown out the cries of babies. One of the best pizza restaurants in town is Little Vincent’s; it’s not uncommon to see all of its large booths filled with families devouring cheese slices.

For food shopping, visit the Farmer’s Market held every Sunday from 7 am – 12 pm in the parking lot next to the Central Presbyterian Church. Local farmers and vendors sell everything from blueberries and broccoli to fresh mozzarella and artesian breads.

Outdoor Fun

Right off of Main Street is Heckscher Park, known for its many festivals held throughout the year. Popular events include the Tulip Festival in May, the Summer Arts Festival, and the Fall Festival at the end of September. The park is also the location for Stroller Strides, the exercise class for moms looking to get into shape while working out with their babies in strollers.

Unknown to many, the Main Street Nursery is more than just a place to purchase flowers and shrubs. The store delights kids with its farm animals, butterfly zoo, hay maze, and tropical birds. It also holds birthday parties where kids can interact with ponies, goats, chickens, rabbits, and more.

 

During the warmer months, Huntington prides itself in its eight town beaches. Though many of them are small with limited facilities and rocky sand, one exception is Crab Meadow Beach. This expansive beach features fine grain sand, an impressive playground, covered picnic table areas, a boardwalk, outdoor showers, and a food venue. La Casa Cafe is situated at the end of the boardwalk and provides both casual outdoor dining for beachgoers and more formal indoor dining for those who want to keep their feet dry.

 

Indoor Activities

Throughout the year the Huntington Public Library schedules an impressive lineup of free programs for kids ranging from ages 6 months to teens. Classes include art, music, book readings, movies, and other activities. Make sure to reserve a spot for these classes as they tend to fill up quickly.

The Heckscher Museum of Art is located within Heckscher Park and holds free children art activities throughout the year. The museum also runs an educational discovery program for grades K-12 for a minimal fee.

 

Further down the road is the YMCA, a comprehensive community center that provides affordable, modern accommodations for people of all ages. The YMCA offers an extensive range of classes including mommy and me, swim, art, exercise, and more. The center also includes free babysitting for members who are using the facilities. For working parents, the YMCA has a part time and full time child care program. A separate nursery school program starts at age 2 and offers the most competitive rates in town.

 

The Book Revue is one of the largest independent book stores in the country. The book store regularly brings in celebrity authors for book readings, including children’s authors. The large kids section includes reading areas and a wood toy truck for children to play in. Every Tuesday at 11 am the Book Revue holds a Toddler Time session where kids can make crafts, read books, or sign songs.

Have you checked out Huntington? What’s your favorite spot?

 

 

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