04/11/17 6:03am
Veterans Beach Park

Jackson Parpan rides the slide at Veterans Beach Park. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

One day early this spring my two-year-old son Jackson woke up and asked me a question about how he was going to spend his day.

It was a Monday morning, so my wife and I were headed to work and him to daycare, but something else was on his mind.

“I go park?,” he asked, his voice quiet and optimistic.

“You have to go to school today,” I responded.

“NO,” he said loudly, and with concern. “I GO PARK.”

Playgrounds are the little man’s latest obsession, following in the footsteps of animated Disney films, binkies and Pirate’s Booty. When our boy is into something, he really goes all in. I once watched “The Incredibles” 10 times in a week.

With winter over and summer on the horizon, I recognize the television sets must be turned off. So we’ve started filling our time at the many great parks the North Fork has to offer. Jack can’t get enough. (more…)

02/08/17 4:11pm
Michael Heller

A scene from the 2013 HarborFrost. (Credit: Michael Heller, courtesy)

At first, several people thought it was a crazy idea.

After all, who in their right mind sponsors an outdoor winter festival, complete with fireworks, in a famous summertime resort?

Sag Harbor, that’s who — and ever since the first successful HarborFrost back in February 2011, this village by the bay has made it an annual tradition. (more…)

01/30/17 5:59am
The Long Island Aquarium will host a sleepover featuring a penguin presentation on Feb. .(Credit: Claire Leaden)

The Long Island Aquarium will host a sleepover featuring a penguin presentation on Feb. 23. (Credit: Claire Leaden, file photo)

Wake up with the fishes after an adventurous overnight at the Long Island Aquarium next month.

The Riverhead aquarium will host a family sleepover featuring a penguin presentation on Thursday, February 23, beginning at 6 p.m. (more…)

01/13/17 6:04am
A cup of hot chocolate from Aldo's Café in Greenport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

A cup of hot chocolate from Aldo’s Café in Greenport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Editor’s Note: A version of this story was originally published in January 2016

Think this isn’t a great time to visit the North Fork with little ones in tow? In reality, the lack of crowds, fun cold-weather activities and this season’s above-average temperatures make the region a perfect place to spend a winter weekend day with the fam.

Most of the farm stands are closed and the vines aren’t looking as pretty, but there are still many family-friendly ways to have a North Fork outing.

Here are four ways to pass the time with the kids on the NoFo this winter. (more…)

11/22/16 6:01am
North Fork Christmas tree lighting

Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file photo

From Thanksgiving weekend through the New Year, there’s no shortage of activities, family gatherings and community events to keep us busy. But all those obligations can leave us craving some downtime with our families to enjoy old traditions, or even make new ones.

If you make the time, you will rediscover the little wonders of the season that bring us together.

We’ve selected five family-friendly experiences that will create that holiday magic, North Fork style. (more…)