Summer on Long Island is a magical time; the weather is gorgeous, the nights last forever, and it’s a perfect time for families to get together. Luckily, there’s no lack of outdoor events that the whole family can enjoy; many of which are low-cost or even free.
So get your picnics packed, your blankets unfolded, and your lawn chairs ready to go, then head outside when the sun goes down to see how to enjoy Long Island’s Summer Nights.
On June 7th, Bayard Cutting Arboretum, in Great River, offers a moonlight hike from 8-9:30 PM; a wonderful adventure for a family, where you get the opportunity to walk through the trails of the preserve just as the sun is setting. (reservations are required).
On June 13th at Connetquot River State Park Preserve, for children ages 5 and up, they can participate in a Night of the Frogs, from 6:30-8:30 PM. Take a sundown hike into the preserve to listen to frog sounds and learn about their habitats.
Also at Connetquot River State Park Preserve, on June 27th, children ages 5 and up can partake in a Bat Safari from 7:30-9:30 PM; as the sun sets, you get to observe bats in their natural habitat as you learn about the nocturnal creates (reserve a spot: 631-581-1072; admission: $4 per adult, $3 children ages 3-17, free for children under 3).
Why watch a movie inside on a hot summer night, when you can take your dinner outside and enjoy a movie with friends and family? There are many options for watching movies outside on Long Island in summer.
The village of Port Jefferson offers Movies on the Harbor every Tuesday night beginning July 15th; all the movies are family friendly and totally free. All you have to do is bring dinner and a blanket (August 19th is Frozen). Head over to Port Washington for their Cinema on the Bay series, which shows classic movies, such as Sixteen Candles on July 12th at Sunset Park (August 9th is The Lego Movie). The town of Babylon offers movies for the family to enjoy, such as Jurassic Park at 8:30 PM on June 13th at Overlook Beach, or Monsters University on July 21st at Town Hall Park.
For a night of free music, Long Island has many options to offer during the summertime. Port Jefferson offers Music in the Park every Wednesday night at 6:30, beginning July 2nd, in Harborfront Park. Bring some chairs and iced tea to enjoy some of Long Island’s best bands, including one of Long Island’s premier bluegrass groups, Eastbound Freight, on August 13th. Northport Village has been running Happenings on Main Street for 16 years; every Friday evening from May 23 through August 29th, pull up a lawn chair and listen to local singers and bands, such as Miller’s Crossing Bluegrass on July 25th. As always, Happenings on Main Street is free to enjoy!
Pull a chair up to the Stony Brook Post Office, and enjoy live music every Sunday night from 7:00-9PM.
In Glen Cove, for its 55th year running, Morgan Park offers free concerts at 7:30 PM every Sunday night. Spend the night out listening to a Beatles tribute band on July 20th, or a Queen tribute band on August 31st, as well as many others.
The town of Nesconset is heading into it’s 7th year hosting a free concert series; all concerts begin at 7:30 at the Gazebo. This year’s bands include a Billy Joel tribute band on July 8th, and a Neil Diamond tribute band on July 22nd, among other shows.
Huntington Arts Council hosts nightly events in Heckscher Park, Tuesdays through Sundays at 8:30 PM. Tuesday nights are family themed events and begin at 7:30PM.
Manorhaven Beach Park in North Hempstead has a Friday night free concert series, with shows starting at 7:30; what a great way to kick off your summer weekends!
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU, know of other summer night activities on Long Island? Share them with us below in comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter: @L_I_Mamas!
By: Olivia Howell
Photo Credits: Jennie Eckhaus-Katz of Jennie Bean Photography, Kim Como, Newsday.com, Olivia Howell