16 Free Things to Do Over Winter Break in Nassau & Suffolk

By Maria Wen Adcock

After a season of gift gifting, the last thing parents want to do is spend more money after the holidays. Save money by taking advantage of these free things to do with the family during the week between Christmas and New Years.

Belle Terre Toys for Tots Train Display
View over 30 trains in this display presented by the Belle Terre Community Association. Please bring an unwrapped new toy for a disadvantage child 0-12 years old.
When:
Dec 28 – Dec 30, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where:
Vincent Bove Community Center
55 Cliff Road
Belle Terre, NY
Contact Info: 631-476-1705

http://www.belleterre.us

Candlelight Museum Tour of Pagan-Fletcher Restoration
Take a tour of the Pagen-Fletcher restoration, a local history museum in a historic house presented by the Valley Stream Historical Society. Open to all ages. Donations of money or canned food for local food pantries are accepted.
When:
Call for an appointment to set up date and time.
Where: 143 Hendrickson Ave.
Valley Stream, NY
Contact Info: 516-872-4159 11580
http://www.nassaulibrary.org/valleyst/vshistpagan.htm

Children’s Storytime
Join pre-K and kindergarten kids in this storytime session, filled with interesting and fun books.
When:
Dec 29 at 11 am
Where:
Barnes and Noble
Sunrise Promenade
5224 Sunrise Highway
Massapequa Park, NY 11762
Contact Info: 516-541-1456

http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/3121788-12

Drop In Playgroup
Join the fun for ages 3 months to 5 years with caregiver. Advance registration not required.
When:
Dec 29
Where: West Babylon Public Library
211 Route 109
West Babylon, NY
Contact Info: 631-669-5445
www.lifeonlongisland.com

Emerging Leaders Program
Presented by the Family Service League, the Emerging Leaders Program is for middle school teens to learn about their community while having fun.
When: Dec 28 , from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where: Ramos Teen Center
1444 5th Ave
Bay Shore, NY
Contact Info: 631-647-3100, ext. 284
www.fsl-li.org/programs/youth_Teen_Center.php

Grumann Memorial Park
View fighter planes and other aircrafts parked at the Grumann Memorial Park. The main feature is the F-14A Tomcat built by the Grumann Corporation. The park is entertaining for all ages.
When:
Park is open for viewing daily , open during daylight hours
Where:
Corner of Route 25 and 25A
Calverton, NY 11933
Contact Info: 631-727-3200
www.grummanpark.org

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Winter Nature Hike
Discover the wonders of nature through this educational and exciting hike. Participants will hike to the north pond, enjoying the beauty outdoors, while learning how creatures survive in the winter. Reservations required; event open to adults and families.
When:
Dec 29 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Where:
3 Old Country Road
P.O. Box 492
Quogue, NY 11959
Contact Info: 631-653-4771

http://quoguewildliferefuge.org

Storytime for Babies and Toddlers
This storytime is geared towards babies and toddlers, but all ages are welcome. Children will listen to stories and sing familiar nursery rhymes. Parent/Caretaker attendance is required.
When:
Dec 27, 10:00 am
Where:
Barnes and Noble
Gardiner Manor Mall
842 Sunrise Highway
Bay Shore, NY 11706
Contact Info: 631-206-0198

http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/3052765-74

Storytime for Preschoolers
Designed for children ages 3-6 years, this storytime includes theme-related and age appropriate stories and activities in a school-like setting.
Where:
Dec 27 at 1:30 pm
Where:
Barnes and Noble
Gardiner Manor Mall
842 Sunrise Highway
Bay Shore, NY 11706
Contact Info: 631-206-0198

http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/3105466-22

Sweetbriar Nature Center
The Sweetbriar Nature Center is located on 54 acres of gardens, woodlands, fields, and wetland habitats. It is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals. The center provides natural science education about native wildlife rehabilitation services for all ages.
When: Open daily except major holidays. Preserve – 8:30 am – 4:30 pm every day; Office 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Mon-Fri and 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm on weekends.
Where: 62 Eckernkamp Dr.
Smithtown, NY 11787
Contact Info: 631-979-6344
www.sweetbriarnc.org

The Big Duck
The 20-foot tall, 30-foot long national landmark was once a store that sold live Peking ducks. In 1931, Broadway set designers and local artists crafted the whimsical building into its current duck design. The building houses a gift shop selling duck-related items. The Big Duck is a fun landmark for people of all ages.
When: Landmark is open for viewing daily. To visit the gift shop, call ahead as hours varies.
Where: The Big Duck
Route 24
Flanders, NY
Contact Info: 631-852-8292
www.bigduck.org

Toddler Time
Just for the little ones, Toddler Time is a fun hour filled with crafts, stories, singing, and dancing.
When:
Dec 27, 11:00 am
Where:
Book Revue
313 New York Avenue
Huntington, NY 11743
Contact Info: 631-271-1442
www.bookrevue.com/kids.html

Uplands Farm Sanctuary
Once an old farm, the Uplands Farm Sanctuary now serves as an office for The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island Chapter. Families can hike on the 2.41 mile trail that leads through bird and butterfly meadows, forests, and a white pine-shaded ravine.
When: Park is open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk. Office is open Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: 250 Lawrence Hill Road
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Contact Info: 631-367-3225
www.nature.org

Wildlife & Ecology Center Zoo
View over 100 injured or non-releasable wild animals and farm animals. Children can buy pellets at $0.25 a handful to feed the goats.
When: Open every day during winter break except Christmas and New Years. Open 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on weekends.
Where: 249 Buckley Road
Holtsville, N.Y. 11742
Contact Info: 631-758-9664
www.brookhaven.org/Departments/HighwayDepartment/WildlifeEcologyCenter.aspx

Winter Storytime
Escape the cold weather by getting warm and cozy at this Winter Storytime event. Young children (ages 1-5) will be read books about cold weather and snow as well as participate in various age appropriate activities.
When: Dec 27 and Dec 28, 10 am
Where: Barnes & Noble
Country Glen Center
91 Old Country Road
Carle Place, NY 11514
Contact Info: 516-741-9850
http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2216

Friday Afternoon Movie
Join fellow library patrons at a screening of X Men: First Class (Rated PG-13).
When: Dec 30, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Where: West Babylon Public Library
211 Route 109
West Babylon, NY
Contact Info: 631-669-5445
www.lifeonlongisland.com

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