State Parks events around Long Island

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Check out some events being held at State Parks across Long Island. Some events are subject to change, please check before heading out.

Upcoming:
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
Reservations are required at (631) 265–1054
Fees for all programs is $4; $8 for parking

Tiny Tots: “Let’s Discover Nature” Hour – Ages 3 - 5
Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

The “Let’s Discover Nature” Hour is a special time for both parent and child to discover the wonders of their natural world together. Each program’s theme will use nature explorations and hands-on activities as a springboard for learning.
Dates:
Nov. 2 - Gobble, Gobble!
Nov. 16 - Legend of Baby Rattlesnake
Nov. 30 - Where Did Everybody Go?
Dec. 14 - Brrr! Winter Is Coming!
Dec. 28 - Mice Are Nice

Native American Games: (Family Program)
Nov. 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Native American children spent hours of fun playing games with what they found in their own “backyards”. Make your own game and take it home with you! Reservations Required: (631) 265 – 1054

Dream Catchers: (Family Program)
Nov. 5 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Discover the history behind dream catchers. Each family member (age 7 and up) will make their own dream catcher. We have feathers, shells, and beads to make it extra special. There is an additional $2.50 per person material fee. Reservations Required: (631) 265 – 1054

Book Talk & Walk About: (Adult Program)
Nov. 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.  

We will discuss the book, “What a Fish Knows” by Jonathan Balcombe. (Reading optional). Afterward, we will enjoy a nature walk. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations Required: (631) 265 – 1054

Treats For Tweets!: (Children’s Program - Ages 5 & Up)
Nov. 19 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Discover birds living in your own backyard. We will make a bird book and a seeded pine cone (using shortening and birdseed) to feed the birds at your home. Reservations Required.

Take A Hike! (Adult Program)
Nov. 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  

Do you feel stuffed after all the wonderful holiday food? Visit the park and join us on the Red Trail to get some exercise and enjoy the sights and sounds of the woodlands. Reservations Required.

Fire & Ice Candles: (Family Fun)
Dec. 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 2 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Using hot wax & cold ice, you will create a unique candle for yourself or a friend. We have some decorations, but you may bring your own from home. There is a per person material fee of $2.50. Limit 18 people per class. We cannot go over this limit! Reservations Required.

Holiday Wreath: (Adult Program)
Dec. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 16 - from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Using a wide array of fresh greenery, create a lovely wreath for your door or to give as a gift when visiting for the holidays. Add a decoration or two from home to make it extra special? There is a per person material fee of $4.00 unless you bring in last years or a new wreath form. Limit 18 people per class. We cannot go over this limit! Reservations Required.

Good-bye Autumn – Hello Winter! (Family Program)
Dec. 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Take a pleasant walk into our beautiful woodlands to discover how nature changes when winter approaches. Reservations Required.

Wildlife Oddities: (Adult Program)
Dec. 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

There are some mighty odd plants and animals that live in the preserve and around the world. Explore the lives of these fun, weird and interesting wildlife oddities. Reservations Required.

Super Heroes!: (Children’s Program)
Dec. 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

They may not wear capes, but many of our local animals are capable of some pretty amazing feats! Discover how incredible they can be with activities, games and a craft. You may come dressed as your favorite Super Hero. Reservations Required.

Connetquot River State Park Preserve
Reservations are required at (631) 581–1072.
Fee of $4 is required; children under 3 are free. 
An $8.00 parking fee must be paid during the fee collection season.

Historic House Tours: (Family Program)
Step Back in time as you tour the Main House of the South Side Sportsmen’s Club.  A docent will discuss the history of the tavern and the high society Sportsmen’s Club’s land and buildings, which is now Connetquot River State Park Preserve.

Tours run the first and third Sundays of each month starting in September

Each tour is about 45 minutes long, and run continuously. Please arrive any time between 1:00 p.m.  – 3:00 p.m. No reservations are required.

Past Events
Bethpage State Park
The Children’s Discovery Trail (Family Program)
Sunday, Aug. 27
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.                

Explore Bethpage’s Children’s Trail together!  This self-guided trail has just been redone with some new and exciting stops and activities. Reservations are required at (631) 581–1072. Fee of $4 is required; children under 3 are free. An $8.00 parking fee must be paid during the fee collection season.

Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
Reservations are required at (631) 265–1054
Fees for all programs is $4; $8 for parking

Tiny Tots: “Let’s Discover Nature” Hour – Ages 3 - 5
Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

The “Let’s Discover Nature” Hour is a special time for both parent and child to discover the wonders of their natural world together.  Each program’s theme will use nature explorations and hands-on activities as a springboard for learning.
Dates: 
July 27 - Pond Explorations
August 10 - I Spy a Dragonfly
August 24 - Upon Butterfly Wings
Sept. 7 - Those Little Rascals!

Oct. 5 -  Migration Sensation
Oct. 19 - Welcome To The Pumpkin Patch

The Adventure Backpack:  Children’s Program
Thursday, July 20
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.    

We will loan you a bag filled with interesting activities to do in the park.  We will enjoy these activities together as a group during a short walk.

Mad Scientist’s Lab: Family Program
Saturday, July 22    
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.            

Conduct several different experiments using ordinary household items!  You never know what we might create, split in half, sink and even blow up!  Crazy things will be happening in the laboratory! 

South Side Expedition: Family Program
Sunday, July 23
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.            

The south side of the park has been only open to fly fisherman or adult walks.  Join us today for a rare treat and walk the trail along the Nissequogue River with your family.  For safety reasons, only children age 7 and above may attend.

Nature Tees: Children’s Program
Friday, Aug. 11
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Design your own personal ‘nature shirt’ using colorful paint, a cool collection of nature stamps and your own imagination.  Please bring one light colored t-shirt per child. 

Where Dragons Fly!
Saturday, Aug. 12
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.                 

Dragonflies are fascinating insects.  Enjoy hands-on activities inside followed by outdoor capture, identification, observation, and release of these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat.

South Side Down River Walk: Adult Program
Sunday, Aug. 13 
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Meet on the south side.  We will walk down river to observe this unique eco-system.  You may wear chest waders (no felt bottoms), a modest bathing suit or shirt & shorts.  You must wear water shoes or sneakers.  The water is cold, fast moving and can be to the waist at times.  Bring a towel, walking stick and water.

Spider Hunt:  Family Program
Friday, Aug. 25
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.        

Some spiders hunt for their prey, others wait patiently for prey to come to them.  Indoor activities will be followed with a walk to capture, observe and release these fascinating creepy creatures.

Nature Quest:  Family Program
Saturday, Aug. 26
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.       

We have plotted a scavenger hunt for you and your family to follow at your own pace.  You will have about 1 ½ hours to hunt for the fascinating and humorous objects on our list.

Outdoor History Tour: Family Program
Sunday, Aug. 27
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.          

Enjoy a walk as you learn about different buildings in the preserve.  We will explain the history of each, even those that are no longer standing. 

Slime Time: Family Program
Saturday, Sept. 2
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.   

Who makes slime?  Let’s discover the many creatures that produce slime and the reasons why.  Then make some slime of your own.

X Marks the Spot! Children’s Program
Sunday, Sept. 3
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.       

Would you like to join us on a hunt for Caleb’s hidden treasure?  We will follow clues and picture puzzles as we go.  Each child will go home with a piece of the treasure!

Tiny Tots: “Let’s Discover Nature” Hour – Ages 3 - 5
Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

The “Let’s Discover Nature” Hour is a special time for both parent and child to discover the wonders of their natural world together.  Each program’s theme will use nature explorations and hands-on activities as a springboard for learning.
Dates: 
Sept. 21 - Nature Walk

South Side Up River Walk: Adult Program
Saturday, Sept. 23
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.      

Meet on the south side.  We will walk up river to Blydenburg County Park.  You may wear chest waders (no felt bottoms), a modest bathing suit or shirt & shorts.  You must wear water shoes or sneakers.  The water is cold, fast moving and can be to the waist at times.  Bring a towel, walking stick and water.

Autumn Discovery Walk: (Children’s Program - Ages 5 and Up)
Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Enjoy a leisurely walk in the preserve while we watch nature preparing for winter. Perhaps we will see squirrels and chipmunks gathering acorns or dragonflies, butterflies and birds heading south. Reservations Required: (631) 265 – 1054

South Side Autumn Walk: (Adult Program)
Oct. 8 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Experience the spectacular autumn colors of the fall season while walking along the Nissequogue River. Bring a camera, & meet on the south side of the park. Limit 15. Reservations Required: (631) 265 – 1054

Fall Nature Quest: (Family Program)
Oct. 21 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

We’ve plotted a Halloween scavenger hunt course for you and your family to follow at your own pace. Hunt for the fascinating, silly, and humorous objects on our list. Reservations Required: (631) 265 – 1054

Watercolor Wonders: Lost In Space! (Family Program)
Oct. 22 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

We will show you step by step how to create a unique watercolor collage. Dress for a mess. This program is ideal for children 7 and up; much tracing and cutting. Reservations Required: (631) 265 – 1054

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve
Reservations are required at (631) 581–1072 for children and family programs.
Reservations are required at (631) 423 –1770 for adult programs.
Fee of $4 is required; children under 3 are free. 
An $8.00 parking fee must be paid during the fee collection season.

Birds with Botany For Beginners (Eastern Section): Adult Program
Sunday, July 23
9:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.     

We will be searching for birds … no birds?  We’ll learn about plants!  Bring binoculars

Intro to Wilderness Survival: Adult Program
Sunday, July 30
9:45 a.m. to 12:00 pm.

You can survive on your own at Caumsett. In this hands-on program, we’ll teach you how to find food, start a fire and build shelter.  Approximately 1 mile.  Some sitting on the grass.

Native American Legends: Adult Program
Sunday, Aug. 6
9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.           

Legends helped Native Americans to understand their environment.  During this all-outdoor presentation of readings, geared for the average adult, you too will learn about nature, even as you are entertained.  Very short walk; much sitting on the grass.

History Hike: Adult Program
Saturday, Aug. 12
9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.        

While the main purpose of this moderately paced 6 mile walk is to relax and socialize, we will make stops to discuss some spots of historic interest.  Bring lunch and drinking water.

Plants, etc: Adult Program
Sunday, Aug. 20
9:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.           

On this leisurely, hilly, eclectic saunter in the southwestern section of the park we’ll focus on botany, history, and the usage of plants.  Some walking in long grass.

Nature Scavenger Hunt: Children’s Program
Sunday, Aug. 20
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.         

Nature hides things in plain sight every day.  Can you find the items on the list to complete the scavenger hunt?

Literary Walk – Eastern Section: (Adult Program)
Saturday, Aug. 26
11:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m.                  

This program is a quiet, leisurely ramble, (2 miles) generously interspersed with readings selected to enhance your appreciation of the beauty, wonder, and tranquility of nature. 

Cliff Hike: (Adult Program)
Sunday, Sept. 3
9:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.   

Bring drinking water for this new 6-mile very hilly, moderately paced walk, thus affording walkers the opportunity for uninterrupted relaxing and socializing. 

Late Summer Seasonal Stroll: (Adult Program)
Saturday, Sept. 9
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.             

On this short stroll (approx. 1.5 miles), one of a series designed to observe seasonal changes, we will witness summer’s slow, subtle change, as she withers and goes to seed.

Birds with Botany For Beginners – Western Section: (Adult Program)
Sunday, Sept. 17
9:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.           

During this program, geared for novice adult birders, we’ll be searching for birds … no birds?  We will then learn about plants!  Bring binoculars.

Traditional Nature Walk: (Adult Program)
Saturday, Sept. 23
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.                

We’ll take a slow walk (approx. 3 miles), exploring nature in the woods and tall grass meadows of the southeastern section of the park.

Caumsett Sampler: (Adult Program)
Saturday, Sept. 30
10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.                  

On this leisurely but hilly 5-mile saunter, you will learn about nature in the field, forest, seashore and pond.  Bring drinking water.

Bike Scavenger Hunt: (Family Program)
Saturday, Sept. 30
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm.                   

Take a self-guided bike ride to search for items on the scavenger hunt list.  A naturalist will be available to help and point you in the right direction if needed.  Helmets are required.

Connetquot River State Park Preserve
Reservations are required at (631) 581–1072.
Fee of $4 is required; children under 3 are free. 
An $8.00 parking fee must be paid during the fee collection season.

Tiny Tots:  “Nature Discoveries” (ages 3-5)
Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Explore the natural world around us.  These programs will connect children and their parents with nature through short walks, animal visitors and crafts.  
Dates:
July 25 - Terrific Turtles
August 8 - Beautiful Butterflies
August 22 - Fun in the Sun
Sept. 5 - Daring Dragonflies

Mysteries of Moths: (Family Program)
Friday, July 21
8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.        

Moths are typically over-shadowed by butterflies.  From beautiful lime green to deceptive camouflage to sonar, moths are amazing!  Discover how interesting moths can be!

Edge of Night: (Family Program)
Friday, July 28
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.         

Enjoy an evening walk as we listen and watch for creatures that come out as the sun sets.

Butterflies & Gardens: (Adult Program)
Saturday, July 29
10:00 am. to 11:30 a.m.    

Explore the world of butterflies.  An indoor introduction will be followed by a walk to view butterflies in the wild, finishing with a visit to the butterfly garden.

Moonlight Stroll: (Family Program)
Friday, Aug. 4
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the meandering moonlit trails of the preserve.  The woodlands are different in the dark; discover what creatures are around this time of night!

Wildflower Meander: (Adult Program)
Saturday, Aug. 5
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.     

Search out some of the rare and not so rare wildflowers along the peaceful trails in the preserve.  We will identify plants and learn what makes them unique. A two-mile walk.

Lovely Ladybugs: (Children Program)
Wednesday, Aug. 9
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.            

Did you know the nine-spotted ladybug is the New York State insect?  Learn other fascinating facts about lovely ladybugs as we hunt for some outside!

Nature’s Games! (Family Program)
Saturday, Aug. 12
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.            

Love nature?  Love games?  Join us for this special edition of family games and test your knowledge while discovering fun facts about nature!

Turtles, Snakes & Frogs, Oh My! (Family Program)
Sunday, Aug. 13
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.                    

Meet Myrtle the Turtle and her friends during an interactive program introducing turtles, snakes and frogs.  Enjoy a short walk to explore the habitats of these fascinating animals.

Nocturnal Flyers: (Children’s Program)
Friday, Aug. 18
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  

Everyone knows bats, fireflies & owls, but what other active night flyers are there?  From whip-poor-wills to katydids, the woodlands are alive at night.  Join in the activity!

Friday Night Surprise: (Family Program)
Friday, Aug. 25
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.     

Join a Naturalist for a nighttime exploration program – it is Naturalist choice night.  Be surprised!

Wet & Wild! (Children’s Program)
Saturday, Aug. 26 
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.              

Visit the pond’s edge to explore life in and around this amazing habitat.  Dress for wading,  bring sunscreen, a towel and water shoes.  (No bare feet permitted)

Bird & Breakfast: (Adult Program)
Sunday, Sept. 10
8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.            

The Friends of Connetquot and the Great South Bay Audubon Society will be offering a continental breakfast & presentation on the local and migratory birds seen in our area.  They will lead a walk afterward through the preserve.  ID books are available for loan.

The Fearless Life of John K. Hackett: (Adult Program) - By Chris Kretz
Saturday, Sept. 16
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.            

Join Chris Kretz for an interesting presentation that will examine John K. Hackett’s life, his adventures, and his unique circle of friends – lawyers, politicians, artist, newspaper editors and sportsmen alike.  Chris Kretz is an academic librarian and co-author of Oakdale from Arcadia Press.  He also co-hosts the Long Island History Project podcast, sponsored by the Long Island Radio and Television Historical Society. 

Hosted by the Friends of Connetquot. FREE EVENT

Tiny Tots:  “Nature Discoveries” (ages 3-5)
Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Explore the natural world around us.  These programs will connect children and their parents with nature through short walks, animal visitors and crafts.  
Dates:
Sept. 19 - Sounds Around

Meandering River Ramble: (Family Program)
Sunday, Sept. 24 
1:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m.            

Celebrate ‘World Rivers Day’ with us by taking a walk along the Connetquot River.  We will discuss the habitat and creatures that call it home.

Nissequogue River State Park
Reservations are required at (631) 581–1072.
Fee of $4 is required; children under 3 are free. 
An $8.00 parking fee must be paid during the fee collection season.

Seashore Bonanza: (Family Program)
Sunday, July 30
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.              

Celebrate summer! Visit the water’s edge to explore life in and around the sound.  Bring sunscreen, a towel, and water shoes.

Busy Bees: (Children’s Program)
Saturday, Aug. 19
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.          

Celebrate National Honey Bee Day!  Discover why bees are busy buzzing around and the important role they play in our world.

Sunken Meadow State Park
Moonlight Stroll (Family Program)
Friday, Sept. 15
8 p.m. to 10 p.m. approx.

A bustling park during the day, Sunken Meadow is a different place after the sun sets.  Join us for a leisurely moonlit stroll and enjoy the tranquil night air. Reservations are required at (631) 581–1072. Fee of $4 is required; children under 3 are free. 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 69 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call (518) 474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.

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