As summer approaches and the sun keeps shining, why not pack up a picnic with the family and head to one of Long Island’s cool parks. Whether going the “sandwich and juice box route” or toting along a small grill for hotdogs and hamburgers, we have it covered with this guide to finding unique kid-friendly picnic areas on Long Island. Don’t forget the blanket to spread out on the grass…just make sure to remember to pick up the trash!
Belmont Lake State Park
For a great place to picnic, head to Belmont Lake State Park. The park boasts over 400 acres of land with designated picnic areas, pavilions, and grills — plus an exercise trail, playground, paddle/row boating, and walking trails to get up and moving after eating.
Where: Southern State Parkway, Exit 38, North Babylon, NY 11703
Contact Info: (631) 667-5055
Located in the heart of Nassau County, Eisenhower Park is a 930-acre retreat of open space and recreation. The park plays home to dozens of athletic fields and courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, fitness trails, and more.
Where: Merrick and Stewart Avenues in East Meadow, NY 11554
Contact Info: (516) 572-0348
Gerry Pond Park
While there’s no designated picnic area inside Gerry Pond, the park has lots of places to enjoy an outdoor meal be it on benches or out on the grass. The large pond is a popular attraction and is surrounded by trees that provide plenty of shade on hot summer days. It’s also a popular spot for ducks, so make sure to pack a little “extra” to share with “guests” who might join the picnic.
Where: Main Street and Paper Mill Road, Roslyn, NY 11576
Contact Info: (516) 869-6311
Indian Island Country Park
With over 275 acres of land, Indian Island Country Park is known as “The Mouth of the Peconic.” It’s the spot where the North Fork meets the South Fork of Long Island and where the Peconic River meets Flanders Bay. A great spot for an outdoor feast, the park comes complete with picnic tables and pavilions, grills, and playgrounds.
Where: Cross River Drive, Route 105, Riverhead 11901
Contact Info: (631) 852-3232
Jones Beach State Park
A day at the beach is a perfect setting for a picnic. The picnic areas at Field 6 are popular, or if grilling is the choice for the day, head over to the approved bar-b-q areas at Zachs Bay (Field 5) or Fishing Piers (Field 10).
Where: 1 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, NY 11793
Contact Info: (516) 785-1600
Old Westbury Gardens
Old Westbury Gardens are a great place to picnic – various bands and orchestras will often perform on the lawn inside the gardens adding a “personalized” soundtrack to a picnic – so be sure to check the website for performance details.
Where: 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury, NY 11590
Contact Info: (516) 333-0048
The Great Lawn
The Great Lawn in Westhampton Beach is home to sprawling lawns and huge trees making it an inviting place to pack a lunch and take to the “great” outdoors.
Where: 35 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 – Southeast corner of Main Street at Potunk Lane.
Contact Info: (631) 288-1654
By Kim L. Como