A Family Friendly Winter Getaway to the East End of Long Island – Trip Report
Winter cabin fever had settled in and our 19 month old yearned for adventure. My husband and I decided to pack up and head to the East End of Long Island for a change of scenery.
Long Island Winter Fest 2013 had begun, plus there were child-friendly local attractions for our toddler, who could ask for anything more. We stayed at the Hotel Indigo in Riverhead, a very nice hotel with a great location close to everything. The rooms were modern and their restaurant Bistro 72 is noted for local farm produce and foods. The restaurant staff was very nice, kid friendly and accommodating. However if you want to venture out of the restaurant do your own research, especially if you are traveling with children, the hotel was not able to give many suggestions of alternative family friendly restaurants.
The Safari Adventure Was A Big Hit
Since the weather was not great, we spent an afternoon at The Safari Adventure, an indoor play place. My research on Mommy Poppins listed them as one of the top 10 indoor places for kids. Stephanie Shin, owner, gave me a grand tour and let my son and I explore on our own. Stephanie did an amazing job of pointing out all the great things my son could enjoy such as; arcade games, bouncy houses with slides, small kids rides, areas for 4 and under to play in and there an amazing 4 story area to climb, slide and crawl through. If that was not enough there is an area where you can play or color in the lunch space.
The lunch space layout allowed you to eat while your children played and were within eyesight. The food choices are geared towards the kids, however if you have specific dietary requirements bringing your own food is perfectly acceptable. My son really enjoyed the chicken nuggets. There are two areas for children under 4, but other play areas can be used if accompanied by parents. The Safari Adventure has 4, gender neutral, private party rooms, including food choices and the cake is provided by a local bakery. A separate private room for nursing mothers is available, which is great to support breastfeeding mothers. Games and small rides require tokens which you can purchase from a machine. The children earn tickets from the arcade games and can retrieve them for prizes. There is a nominal cost for entry and the food is priced reasonably as well.
It’s a great way to spend a day during the winter, plus the open play hours provided a lot of fun for my 19 month old. They have just started some mommy and music classes, so be sure to check out their website for special events. I agree with Mommy Poppins, The Safari Adventure is a great place to take your children.
Every Child Loves an Aquarium
We had heard some great things about the Long Island Aquarium. As you walk up there were leopard seals out in front swimming around and since we were there a little before opening, they kept my son entertained and loved them. As you enter there is a sting ray pool, where you can actually touch them. This was a terrific idea especially if you have to wait in line to get your tickets.
The butterfly and bird exhibits were pretty amazing; they created a relaxing, beautiful space for the butterflies and visitors alike. My son really enjoyed it, especially since it was the first time he could be that close to birds and butterflies. He was amazed and the staff was both helpful and knowledgeable.
The aquarium offers a great deal and is nicely laid out. A quick tip:
- They have no area to check coats/stroller which means you have to carry everything with you and with a toddler that can be a lot
- They provide a daily map and schedule of activities, so you can plan your visit
There is a café there with both indoor and outdoor seating. The entrance fee is $31.50 for 13+ and $27.50 for 3-13 and seniors. Make sure you check the website for discount coupons. It was a great way to spend the day and an attraction not to be missed.
As for dinning I don’t have a lot to report. We had breakfast at the Peconic Diner, the food was mediocre but the wait staff was great. We had dinner at the We Buoy One, a local seafood restaurant that was very kid friendly and the staff was very nice. It was a small restaurant with lots of menu options. The food was pretty good and we actually made it through the meal with my son which was even better. He enjoyed his chicken fingers and fries and we were able to enjoy our own meals. To top off the weekend we stopped at was the Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe; they have hard and soft ice cream. It was a nice treat and the ice cream was yummy.
As a Mommy writer for WickedGoodTravelTips.com, I will be bringing you tips on traveling with children, let me know if there are places you have explored and would like to share.
About The Author: Alisha Rappaport is the Director of Child Life at a prominent New York hospital, a wife, mother, and enthusiastic traveler. Alisha is always on the hunt for memorable family experiences and destinations. She enjoys sharing her family travel tips Mommy advice with others.