It’s been said that Long Island is expensive, but did you know that you could do a lot of things for free? Yes FREE, as in zero dollars. There are many free activities for kids on Long Island that could fill many of your days. Some of these programs are national and extend off of Long Island, so if you aren’t a local, be sure to check with the locations in your area.
- Barnes & Noble
Weekly story times are currently scheduled (please call the store to confirm if you plan to attend)
Carle Place – Thursday 10am
East Northport – Friday 11am
Manhasset – Sunday 1030am
Massapequa – Thursday 1130am
Bay Shore – Wednesday 11am
- Book Revue
Enjoy Toddler Time every Tuesday morning at 11am where kids can do crafts, listen to stories, sing and dance.
313 New York Avenue, Huntington (631.271.1442)
- Pottery Barn Kids
Story time is weekly on Tuesdays from 11-1130am. Click here to search for locations.
- Dolphin Book Shop
Story time is weekly on Tuesdays at 330pm and is best for ages 3 and up. No registration is required, just come ready to listen!
- Many local libraries hold regular storytimes for kids.
Arts & Crafts
- Lakeshore Learning Center Crafts
Free crafts for kids ages 3 and up every Saturday & Sunday between 11am and 3pm. No reservations necessary.
2079 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park (516.616.9360)
- Home Depot Kid’s Workshops
Free hands on workshops designed for kids ages 5-12 years old on the first Saturday of each month. You can register online and workshops are first come/first served basis. Click here to search for locations.
- Lowes Free Build and Grow Clinics
Free clinics are available to the public and are helf on select Saturdays at 10am. Registration opens a few weeks before each clinic’s date.
- Kids Bowl Free is a program that launches usually right before the summer, in which kids can bowl for free all summer long.
- Although we don’t have any ski mountains here on Long Island, we can take day (or longer) trips to neighboring states to enjoy their ski mountains. Learn about how kids ski free in 10 different states this winter.
When it comes to free programs for kids, you’ve hit the jackpot with our local libraries. For classes from reading clubs to arts & crafts to storytimes, and even homework help for the older kids, the libraries have it all. Each library has its own schedules and own offerings, but you can easily link to their calendars through the following sites.
- Holtsville Ecology Site, Park & Animal Preserve
249 Buckley Road, Holtsville (631.758.9664)
- American Guitar Museum
1810 New Hyde Park Road, New Hyde Park (516.488.5000)
- African American Museum of Nassau County
110 North Franklin Street, Hempstead (516.572.0730)
- Grumman Memorial Park
New York 25, Calverton (631.727.3200)
- Rock Hall Museum
199 Broadway, Lawrence (516.239.1157)
- Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum
328 Hawkins Avenue, Lake Ronkonkoma (631.467.3152)
- Museums on Us Program Bank of America card holders can get free access to over 150 museums, zoos, science centers, botanical gardens and more nationwide during the first weekend of each month.
- Bailey Arboretum
194 Bayville Road, Lattingtown (516.801.1458)
- Clark Botanic Garden
193 I.U. Willets Road, Albertson (516.484.2208)
- LIU Post Community Arboretum
LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville (516.299.3500)
- Click here to read our post on the Best Museums on Long Island for Kids.
- Cinema Arts Centre
423 Park Avenue, Huntington (631.423.7611)
Cinema for Kids program offers kids ages 12 and under free admission to a monthly film.
- Lakeside Theater
Eisenhower Park, East Meadow
During the summer, movies are shown weekly at the outdoor theater. All showings are free and begin at dusk. You’ll need to bring your own chairs and blankets. (We will update the link when the new schedule is released).
Play Spaces & Family Events
- Broadway Mall
358 N. Broadway Mall, Hicksville (516.939.0679)
Broadway Mall has TWO soft play areas. One is located in the food court and a brand new play area is now open in the Macy’s Wing by Champs and Famous Footwear. Broadway Mall also hosts Family Fun Day events on the 4th Saturday of each month from 11am to 2pm (from January through November), including free entertainment, crafts and activities for kids.
- The Big Duck
Route 24, Flanders (631.852.8292)
A giant duck shaped building on the National Register of Historic Places and overlooks Reeves Bay. The building was designed by Broadway set designers and crafter by locals in 1931. It was originally in Riverhead but has moved three times and now rests at the Big Duck Ranch. It also houses a gift shop. It is recommended to call before visiting.
Other helpful resources
If you’re looking for more free stuff for kids on Long Island, you may want to check out the following posts-