North Babylon, located on the South Shore of Long Island in Suffolk County, offers plenty to do for the families all year round. During the warm summer months, families can take a quick drive to several town beaches. Cedar and Overlook beaches are less crowded, have great playgrounds, and boasts real sand instead of rocks. These beaches charge an entrance fee from $15 during the week up to $40 on weekends.
In addition to town beaches, North Babylon is close to Robert Moses State Park which offers five miles of ocean beach front and great picnic areas. Families must pay to park their cars (from $8 -$10), not too bad in exchange for a day of fun in the sun.
Not up for the beach? Take a ride over to Belmont Lake State Park to find boating, fishing, basketball courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas. The park is open all year long and hosts various events including a tree lighting ceremony during the Christmas season and an Annual Spring Easter Egg Hunt.
“North Bab,” as many locals call it, is home to Phelps Lane Park. Located at 151 Phelps Lane behind North Babylon High School, this playground is a hidden secret among area moms. The park has traditional slides, swings and monkey bars — but also has large, blue and white, pirate-inspired structures, periscopes, and giant steering wheels. It is perfect for kids who want to open their imagination and take a “journey on the high seas.” The park also features a large duck pond with sprinklers that play home to Canadian geese, traditional mallard ducks, and even a swan or two.
Need a quick meal? North Babylon holds the honor of being home to the first and only SONIC restaurant in Long Island. Pack all the kids in because parents can order food straight from their car at drive-in stalls and have it delivered by a roller-skating “car-hop!”
From pre-school to high school, the North Babylon Public Library offers free programs for children of all ages. Note that these programs book up quickly, and the new on-line registration system requires everyone to have a library card.
The “Hamlet” area boarders other South Shore towns such as Deer Park, West Islip, and Babylon Village and offers additional family activities just minutes away.
In Deer Park, the Tanger Outlets at the Arches is not just for outlet shopping (though they do have great stores for kids like GAP, Carters, Justice, Old Navy, and America Eagle). Tanger Outlets offers family fun all-year round. Its facilities have “kiddie” rides scattered throughout, a 16 stadium seating movie theater and IMAX, and its very own ice skating rink from November through March. The outlets also host events throughout the year including a Farmers Market, Safe Trick or Treat, Holiday Tree Lighting, and concerts.
Monster Mini Golf is located in Deer Park at 410-C Commack Road almost directly across from Tanger Outlets. The center gives families a unique experience where they can play indoor glow-in-the-dark monster-themed mini golf. As the name implies, “Monster” Mini Golf can be a bit scary for younger ones. It is geared more towards kids ages 5+, and the experience costs $7.00-$8.00.
Not ready to venture to the Bronx or Queens for a baseball game? Go to the Bethpage Ballpark located at 3 Court House Drive in Central Islip, home of the Long Island Ducks. The Ducks play from April to September, and most tickets cost $11.00-$15.00.
Lastly, families will enjoy visiting Babylon Village. The Village, with its vintage feel, includes Victorian-era light posts, brick walkways, and historical buildings. It is home to Argyle Lake Park where families can go on early morning or afternoon strolls around the lake. Every September the park plays host to a festive Country Fair. Don’t forget to make a stop at the Cold Stone Creamery located at 255 Deer Park Ave. They offer delicious cake batter ice cream which will bring out the kid in anyone!
By Kim Grabina-Como