Riverhead is a great town out east right before Long Island breaks into the North and South Forks. There’s a wealth of interesting things to do with kids in Riverhead, providing excitement and fun for the whole family.
The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center is a terrific little aquarium and the only one on Long Island. With both indoor and outdoor exhibits, try to visit when the weather is warm enough to take advantage of all they offer. From a shark tank (search for the large sea turtle) to an up close view of an octopus and hands-on touch tanks, there’s something for everyone at the indoor exhibits. Head outside as kids over 45 pounds can climb the rock wall. Everyone can visit the monkeys and penguins, and kids can get their feet wet in the salt marsh there they can also enjoy fresh air and beautiful views of the Peconic River. Check the daily schedule for feeding times and don’t miss the 10 minute sea lion show. The aquarium also offers an outdoor sky tower ride and an indoor submarine simulator ride. Right next store at the new Hyatt Place is the new Butterfly exhibit (available as a combo ticket).
Where: 431 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Every day except Christmas 10 am-5 pm
How Much: Children 3-17 and Seniors – $19.50, Adults – $22.50
Contact Info: 631-208-9200
Riverhead is also home to Long Island’s only water park, Splish Splash. Set on 96 acres, Splish Splash is a beautiful well-shaded park with family tube rides, “extreme” tube rides for the daring set, body slides, and plenty of smaller pools and play areas for kids. Besides its food court area, is offers a picnic area in the parking lot so visitors can bring their own food in the car. With 2 wave pools, private cabanas, a large lazy river and plenty of areas to get drenched, Splish Splash is a perfect day-cation destination for the whole family.
Where: 2549 Splish Splash Drive, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Varies depending on day, week, and month during the summer – see website
How Much: $38.99 under 48 inches and seniors $29.99, 2 and under free
Contact Info: 631-727-3600
Tanger Outlets is a popular shopping destination with plenty of mini coin operated rides for the young ones to alleviate boredom in between stores (bring quarters!). There are 2 separate areas that a shuttle bus runs between and a large food court with an outdoor train ride for the little ones.
Where: 200 Tanger Mall Drive, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Varies seasonally – see website
How Much: Free to browse
Contact Info: 631-369-2732
Love mini-golf? Check out the pretty mini golf course at Out East Family Fun. Let the kids get a wristband and spend a few hours barreling down the giant hippo water slide. They also have a very fun water balloon toss game, Water Wars, which kids absolutely love. Add to that, there’s a smaller splashing area with a bounce play area and dumping buckets. Try hitting a few balls at the batting cages or just relax at the picnic tables and lounge chairs. Small snacks are available.
Where: 1716 Old Country Road, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day 10 am-10 pm (call for hours if before or after season)
How Much: Tickets or wristbands vary by feature
Contact Info: 631-208-9397
The Long Island Science Center is open for school breaks, family science days, and the summer. It offers plenty of hands-on educational activities to explore in two small rooms, a mini gift shop area, and changing exhibits.
Where: 11 W. Main Street, Riverhead, NY
Hours: School breaks and July 10 through August 25, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am-4 pm
How Much: $5.00 per person
Contact Info: 631-208-8000
The Hallockville Museum Farm offers self guided walking tours where visitors can view the buildings, barns, gardens and collections, meet the friendly animals, and learn about the days of old and the history of Long Island farming.
Where: 6038 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, NY
Hours: May-December, Friday-Sunday 11 am-4 pm
How Much: $7 adults for guided tours, $4 children or seniors
Contact Info: 631-298-5292
Indian Island County Park is a 275 acre park at the mouth of the Peconic River and is open to the public year round. It’s popular for camping, offering trailer and tent campsites and has views of the sparkling waters of the peaceful Flanders Bay. They have hiking, picnic areas, fishing, a field, and a playground.
Where: Route 105 (follow to entrance on right), Riverhead, NY
Hours: Daily, varies according to the season
How Much: In season (call)
Contact Info: 631-852-3232
Have a train lover in the family? Visit the Railroad Museum in Riverhead. There are small displays of everything train-related and a well stocked gift shop. They also offer rides on a world’s fair miniature train or visitors can walk to the LIRR and take the train (fee) to their Greenport location where they’ll have about an hour to browse before departing back to Riverhead. The Museum also hosts a train festival once a year in August which draws train lovers of all ages.
Where: 416 Griffing Avenue, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Full season begins Memorial Day, open Saturdays 10 am-4 pm until then
How Much: $7 for 13 years and older, $4 children
Contact Info: 631-477-0439
Stotzky Memorial Park is a 12 acre park which offers a skateboard park, playground, and picnic tables. The Park also features a walking trail and plenty of sports fields for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.
Where: 55 Columbus Avenue, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Monday 1 pm-11 pm, Tuesday-Wednesday 7 am-10 pm, Thursday 8 am-7 pm, Friday-Saturday 8 am-9 pm
How Much: Free except for the skate park
Contact Info: (631) 727-5744
Riverhead Raceway is the oldest stock car race track in the country and the only NASCAR stock car track in the New York metro area.
Where: 1797 Old Country Road, Riverhead, NY
Hours: Varies depending on events
How Much: Varies. Call for more info.
Contact Info: 631-842-7223
By Debra Ferrie