10 Places to Visit on Long Island This Summer With Special Needs Access!

FINALLY….The weather is warmer and the sun is out. We did have a rough “spring” of thinking the sun may never show again…but here we are! It’s time when everyone is looking for something fun to do, but when you need it to be accessible, it can be even HARDER. So, here’s a list (whether you are Suffolk or Nassau) of some awesome places to go this summer WITHOUT having to worry if its accessible or not.

1. Martha Clara Vineyard – Riverhead

Vineyard? Yes, they do serve delicious wine (which may not be a bad thing to pick up for yourself), BUT it is an extremely family-friendly location. It features a petting zoo, horse and carriage rides, and has plenty of picnic space. On a nice weekend afternoon it is a hot spot for spending some quality time with family outdoors.

2. Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard – Mattituck

Okay…I promise I am not just sending you to all of my favorite wineries. Harbes is also located on the North Fork so depending on where you are, may be a little bit of a drive but it is worth it. They have “pick-your-own” fruit, just make sure what you want is in season! Strawberries usually start early June, cherries mid-to-end of June, blueberries & raspberries in July, peaches in July and August, and apples from August through October. They also have a petting zoo and picnic area. All of it is accessible so make it a day out with the family. You won’t regret it!

3. Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center – Riverhead

If you’re looking for a lovely way to spend the afternoon, the aquarium is the perfect place for a little adventure. You can admire beautiful sea creatures, see live sea lion shows and spend time with butterflies. Also, don’t forget to check the website while planning your visit to get an idea of the daily event schedule. There’s a café if you’re hungry (who doesn’t need snacks), and accessible restrooms are available. With so much to do, especially on days where the weather is nice, you won’t want to miss out on visiting here.

4. Town of Brookhaven Wildlife and Ecology Center Animal Preserve – Holtsville

From May to September, you can take a roll through the animal preserve and you’ll see everything from cows to peacocks while enjoying the fresh (and yes, slightly animal-scented) air. The preserve is right next to a park with terrain that is relatively easy to navigate with a wheelchair, so why not pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a day outside?

5. Long Island Ducks Baseball Game – Central Islip

Enjoy sports? Here you can experience a baseball game without having to spend a ton of money or time sitting in all of that traffic headed into the Bronx or Queens to see the Yankees or Mets. There is plenty of accessible parking and seating throughout the stadium. All eateries are accessible too. Sometimes, you can even enjoy a fireworks show after the game. Buying a Quacker is a necessity to help cheer on the home team!

6. Cradle of Aviation Museum – Garden City

Interested in aerospace? You can tour the exhibits, Dome Theater, and attend special events all without worrying about accessibility. There is plenty to see here so head over and get your geek on while learning a little more about aviation.

7. Riverhead Raceway – Riverhead

Kids into trucks, races, or demolitions? Well…then this may be a spot you want to check out. You can find races, monster trucks and demolition derbies. There is accessible seating and restrooms, so enjoy the thrill!

8. Long Island Children’s Museum – Garden City

Not only will your kids be entertained here, but you will be too! This museum is fully accessible and has a lot of fun interactive exhibits where you can hang out and have some fun!

9. Vanderbilt Planetarium – Centerport

Exciting space-themed shows and lectures can be seen at this accessible planetarium. They even have a Rock ’n’ Lights show, featuring lighted images accompanying music. Unfortunately, the rooftop observatory is not wheelchair accessible, but you can enjoy all of the main events inside!

10. Eisenhower Park – East Meadow

This park couldn’t be more perfect for an afternoon outdoors. They now have a fully accessible playground that was developed by an organization called Let All The Children Play. There is even an accessible mini-golf course. I mean, c’mon do I need to write more?

There you go! Hopefully this list helps and you get to check out some of these places this summer to enjoy some family time without any worries or stress.

STAY TUNED: For more information on resources and ways to help you enjoy time with your loved one with special needs! If you are interested, check out our Support Group for Special Needs Parents that meets monthly to find resources and discuss relevant topics in the community!

https://www.meetup.com/Support-Group-for-Special-Needs-Parents/

Christine 🙂

Christine Astarita
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