Spring Festivals on Long Island 2013
(Photo Benner's Farm May Day Festival)
While March seems to have come in like a lion this year on Long Island, covering us with a late-winter snowfall, the recent warming trend is cause for celebration! And while we can't predict the arrival of spring-like weather with any certainty, as Mother Nature's nature is to be unpredictable, Long Islanders can certainly count on a great lineup of spring festivals. Families can learn to fish at the Fishing Clinic at Belmont Lake State Park, then use their skills at the fish hatchery's festival in Cold Spring Harbor, later in the month. You can also visit spring arrivals at the Garden of Eve Farm in Riverhead while learning how to raise chickens in your own backyard. The Arbor Day celebration at Planting Fields Arboreteum has a little bit of everything including tickets to their new train exhibit, live music and live animal shows. One thing is for sure, fun is in the forecast this spring, so check out our list below of some great spots to visit, no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
Saturday, March 30
Spring Festival at Sweetbriar Nature Center
62 Eckernkamp Dr., Smithtown
$5 per person
Sweetbriar Nature Center welcomes the spring with a fun-filled day of face painting, games, stories, wildlife programs, animal presentations, and even a guest appearance from the Easter Bunny. Call 631-979-6344 for details.
Saturday, April 13
Spring Family Freshwater Fishing Clinic
Belmont Lake State Park
Southern State Pkwy Exit 38
$8 parking fee
The whole family can enjoy a day of fishing at Belmont State Park. Loaner rods are available and techniques will be shared on how to catch then clean your fish. Call 631-667-5055 for more information.
Saturday, April 20
Rock the River Spring Festival
Rolling River Day Camp
477 Ocean Ave., Oceanside
Families will have lots of fun at the Rock the River Spring Festival all while raising money for a good cause. All proceeds from the festival will help benefit the camp’s Campmates Scholarship Program. The Campmates program raises money to send local deserving children associated with Peninsula Counseling Center to summer camp at Rolling River. The fun-filled day includes inflatables, carnival games, face painting, arts & crafts, sand art, outdoor bowling, a visit from The Fun Bus, gymboree, jump rope classes, music, dancing, kids yoga, raffles and giveaways and much more! Tickets for on-site carnival rides are $3 a ticket or $10 for unlimited rides and all proceeds collected from rides, food and raffles go to scholarship program. While you’re there, check out the Summer Camp Open House that will be going on during festival.Call 516- 593-CAMP for more information.
Garden of Eve Farm
4558 Sound Avenue
Come visit the farm in spring, pet, hold and feed live animals, play in the children's play area, enjoy a fresh from the farm organic meal and learn all about raising chickens in your own backyard. There will also be plenty of organic vegetables, plants, and flowers for purchase and local artisans selling their crafts.
Saturday, April 27
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery Spring Festival
Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium
1669 Route 25a, Cold Spring Harbor
Rain date May 4th
Adults $6, children under 12 $4
Join the folks at Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery for a fun-filled day of family-friendly activities. Kids under 12 can fish for hungry trout with fishing gear provided by the Hatchery. Pony rides, live animal demonstrations, and games all included with paid admission. Call 516-692-6768 or click here for more information.
Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28
Arbor Day Festival
Planting Fields Arboretum
1395 Planting Fields Road
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
My family and I have been coming to this festival for a few years now and have enjoyed every minute. Admission is per car load, so pack the family, friends and grandma in the mini van and head over. There are no additional fees once inside, except for food and beverages available at Periwinkles cafe. The festival includes live musical performances by Pete Moss and the Fertilizers, a doggie entertainment show by Mutts Gone Nuts, tree climbing, petting zoo, plant clinics, wildlife shows by the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary, and new this year, visitors can see the new exhibit All Aboard! A Railway Fortune at Planting Fields.
Heckscher Spring Festival
Field 1, Heckscher Pkwy, East Islip
Free admission; parking $8
A fun and educational day is in store for kids of all ages at Heckscher State Park. Kids can saddle up for pony rides and even visit with other live animals. Kids can participate in a spring seed-planting craft and pay a visit to local clubs and organizations represented there to continue the Earth Day 2013 celebration and educate Long Islanders on environmental issues and initiatives. Call 631-581-2100 for more information.
Sunday, May 5
Hofstra University Annual Dutch Festival
Hofstra University South Campus
Adults $7, Seniors $5. children under 12 free.
Hofstra’s 30th Annual Dutch Festival has a lineup that is sure to please the whole family! Kids will enjoy a bounce house, a magician, puppet show and several craft activities. Parents can get a jump on Mother’s Day shopping at the Plant Sale and with more than 50 local vendors. Both parents and kids alike will enjoy the delicious Dutch fare, walks through Hofstra’s beautiful gardens and the jazz performances scheduled throughout the day. Call the event hotline at 516-463-6582 for more information.
May Day Festival
56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., East Setauket
Adults $6, children under 12 $5
Children and adults of all ages are invited to dance around the thirty-foot traditional May Pole, and return to a simpler time enjoying an afternoon of storytelling by Chief Running Water who brings local Native American traditions of springtime, crafts demonstrations, live old-time music, good food, and more. This festival is a highlight for many Long Islanders who look forward to its simple down-to-earth flavor. Highlighting the day will be all of the new spring babies that have been born on the farm and of course the Great Swing will carry festival visitors into the heights.