Located on the North Shore in western Suffolk County, Smithtown is a wonderful place to bring little ones for its variety of things to do to entertain children. From theaters, nature hikes, playgrounds or reading activities, we’ve put together an Insider’s Guide for things to do in Smithtown with kids. Our guide highlights our top activities that families can enjoy together throughout the year.
Places to Eat
There are a variety of tasty treats to find in Smithtown at kid friendly locations. Ralph’s Italian Ices and Uncle Louie G are great and easy places to get to. Both serve a variety of Italian Ice (a.k.a water ices) flavors from traditional lemon, chocolate and rainbow to unique ones like peanut butter and jelly, bubble gum and even cola. Both locations also serve ice cream for those in the mood for something creamier. Ralph’s Italian Ices and Uncle Louie G are both open seasonally.
Maureen’s Kitchen is considered a staple of Smithtown and beloved by almost all as is evident by the lines out its doors on a regular basis. Well worth the wait for breakfast, brunch and lunch kids will squeal in delight at all the ecliptic cow décor inside and outside the restaurant. The staff is very friendly, and with daily specials there’s always something new to try (or stick with the regular menu which is just as equally delicious). The menu offers everything from pancakes to sandwiches. Located on Terry Road, just look for the giant cows outside the restaurant.
Sweetbriar Nature Center is one of the best places to bring little ones to explore nature and their love of animals. The Center is open year round with both indoor and outdoor activities to choose from. Families can roam free on the grounds at their own pace. During the summer season this year they have a Butterfly house that is open daily. Visitors can go inside the little greenhouse filled with various flowers and experience the butterflies flying all around. Kids can also roam the grounds to see and learn about different animals, explore the beautiful botanical and herbal gardens or enjoy a picnic lunch (bring from home) in the picnic area after a nature hike in the forest. The Center offers various events throughout the year on Sundays and a weekly camp during the summer for kids. Sweetbriar Nature Center is a great place to visit or even just to host a child’s next birthday party.
Looking for a great little playground to bring kids? The Smithtown Library’s newly built branch in Nesconset offers a wonderful playground with equipment for as young as two years old. Children will giggle up a storm on the seesaw, slides and swing sets. For very hot days, there is even a small water area where kids can run through the sprinklers (complete with a button for them to turn the water on). The library offers a wide variety of special programs for children to participate in year found. Sign up early though as they fill up fast. Also available is a quaint children’s room filled with books for kids to read, computers to play on and a little dress up and play area.
Looking for something fun and a little more interactive to entertain the kids? The Smithtown Theater is currently hosting Dora the Explorer Live from July 14 until August 12 every Saturday and Sunday. The show runs a little over an hour long with a brief intermission. The delight children receive from seeing their favorite characters sing and dance (Dora, Boots, Tico, The Map, Benny, Diego, Swiper) is wonderful. The characters interact with children in the audience, and after the performance they stay around to sign autographs, say hello and take pictures with. The performers don’t leave until every child gets a turn, and they give each their attention with smiles the entire time. This show is a fun event for children to go to, especially those who will delight in hearing the songs they know by heart.
Come to Smithtown for a family fun time!
By Mary Kate Imossi