Port Washington, a welcoming waterfront community located on the North Shore of Long Island, is a diverse town where families enjoy an abundance of activities throughout the year. Our local expert gives readers an insider’s guide for things to do in Port Washington with kids.
Although there are many areas to explore with kids on this special peninsula, “Main Street” is the focal point for retail shops, eateries and socializing. Port Washington is the perfect place to spend a day, weekend and of course, to raise a family in.
Located on Main Street, the Parent Resource Center (PRC) is a parent CO-OP that hosts a myriad of classes and activities. Year round there is always something happening at the PRC. It is an invaluable resource to families in Port Washington, offering something for every age and stage. Some classes offered are Messy Art, Tumbling Tots and Music Zone.
Landmark on Main Street, located next to the PRC, presents families with an opportunity to experience an array of shows for little ones. Children’s concerts and shows that recreate favorite books often headline. Its calendar of events has a children’s series worth checking for a special day out.
The Port Washington Library is located across from the PRC on Main Street. Children of all ages enjoy spending time here. The Library offers everything from Mother Goose Rhyme Time for babies to Book Speed Dating where teens spend a few minutes with different novels to find the “perfect match.” The Port Washington Library will help to get children interested and excited about reading.
Starting in April, The Angler offers open boat and private charters for families. Plan a special adventure with them and enjoy a fun and exciting hands-on approach to fishing. Adventures include fishing trips, eco tours, fish identification, equipment care and use, boat safety, conservation and more.
Sands Point Preserve is a Gold Coast treasure. Families (including their dogs) come to have picnics and explore the scenic nature trails. They are also host to some wonderful holiday traditions and different shows through the year.
Manorhaven Beach Park borders beautiful Manhasset Bay, is newly renovated and offers different pools for all levels of swimmers. Bustling during the summer months, families enjoy swimming and full outdoor recreation areas such as basketball, horseshoe pits, tennis, etc. Picnic areas and playgrounds make this a wonderful amenity to take advantage of with friends and family.
Take a stroll on a Saturday on the town docks and enjoy the Farmers Market where families can pick up fresh fruit, flowers and even fish. Keep walking up Main Street to The Dolphin Bookshop which serves Port Washington as a unique independent bookstore. Through the year, The Dolphin Bookshop hosts book readings and signings by authors and celebrities. Its large location offers kids’ programs, book club meetings, fundraisers, poetry readings and concerts. The “go to” place for a special gift, families easily spend time here just perusing the store and enjoying a snack at the cafe.
Next to the PRC, Blumenfeld Family Park on Main Street has fun playground equipment, benches to sit, and an open area to play ball and run around.
North Hempstead Beach Park located on West Shore Road has a boardwalk for families to walk or ride bikes along the waterfront. A fishing pier, boat ramp and concession area are also available. The park provides basketball and shuffleboard courts, picnic areas with barbecues, volleyball nets and an awesome playground for kids. A Sunday afternoon concert series begins July 4 through August 31. Home to many fantastic festivals through the year, here are some not to miss:
- Honoring our nation’s fallen troops, the Memorial Day Commemoration features live music and a fireworks show at dusk.
- The largest Greek festival on Long Island is hosted here. Offering delectable authentic Greek food from souvlakis to pastries, families will want to bring some treats home. Live music, rides, games and vendors also offer a weekend sure to be a blast for the whole family.
- Two years new is Kid Stock, an open-air family festival featuring musical entertainment that kids and parents can enjoy together. Bring a beach chair and a picnic blanket and get ready for a full day of fun. Join a special guest MC for a blend of folk, rock, kidpop and kindie rock. DJ party and drive-in movie end this special day.
- The Grande Festa Italiana is a great end of summer tradition. Families enjoy fireworks, pasta making demo, live music, gambling tent, rides, Italian food tent and more.
- Look out for Family Fest! Activities include kayaking, wildlife presentations, sandcastle building, arts and crafts, kite flying, face painting, giveaways, food and many other activities.
Classes by the Masses
When the weather outside is frightening, Port Washington offers some delightful indoor options for families to enjoy. Spend a day at Little Chefs and get cooking using math and science skills to whip up tasty treats.
Port Washington Skating Center located on Seaview Boulevard offers skating classes or open skating year round.
Bach to Rock is a truly entertaining place where your child’s inner rock star comes out. Offerings include music based classes and even a recording studio that can be rented out for a budding star.
Haven Art is a place where experienced artists and instructors help families dabble in pottery, painting, drawing and stained glass. Create tailored instruction and studio time — perfect for a rainy day.
Unlimited Sports Action year round multi sport programs offer batting cages, Mommy and Me classes, “Be Your Best Sports” (a nurturing sports program for children with autism) and even a chance to get ranked by a professional MLB player.
For family friendly delicious food, Port Washington offers many choices. Families love to order pies at Salvatore’s Coal Oven Pizza. The pizza here is made the old fashioned way, cooked in a “coal stoked” brick oven. No slices to order here…just full pies, but with how good these slices are, there won’t be leftovers!
On Main Street, families enjoy having their children keep busy at Ayhan’s Shish-Kebab Mediterranean Restaurant which provides kids with crayons, a menu to color and even a toy at the end of the meal along with delightful, healthful fare. Many mamas here substitute flavorful rice in place of fries.
Head across the street after a meal to Ralph’s Italian Ices for yummy ices. With so many flavors to choose from, everyone will be satisfied.
For a quick meal, the new Smashburger, located on Port Washington Boulevard right before Main Street, serves up mouthwatering burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and salads. Even picky eaters will find pleasure in building their own meal with different toppings. End it all off by ordering a Haagen Dazs shake or work a little of it off and walk down the block to 16 Handles where kids can choose from 16 flavors of yogurts and a big bar of sweet toppings.
In the warmer months it’s worth a trip to Butler’s Flat Clam Shack located at the Brewer Capri Marina on Orchard Beach Boulevard. Families enjoy sitting outside, eating succulent lobster rolls and catching the sunset. It’s a perfect way to end a busy summer day.
Only open four years, Main Street Bakery and Cafe has received accolades from Newsday such as “Best Chocolate Cake on Long Island” and received press about Sunday brunch being a “Big Hit” as well as “Best Blueberry Pancakes.” Families enjoy the cozy atmosphere and mamas secretly enjoy how only natural ingredients are used in the divine food served.
Port Washington is truly a fantastic place for families to explore and an unforgettable town where memories are made.
By Melissa Mela