Visitors of all ages can learn to skate, twirl across the ice, and handle pucks at Northford Ice Pavilion, where they will find a variety of frozen activities for the whole family. Boys and girls as young as aged 3 can enroll in hockey sessions that run eight weeks and involve supervised practice, group lessons, and building shrines to Wayne Gretzky. Open skate welcomes kids, parents, and couples to glide on rented skates before enjoying a hot cocoa at the concession stand.
The merry mariners at H. P. Kayak & Boat Rentals provide prospective paddlers with a fleet of colorful crafts to explore the Connecticut River. Before your two-hour tour, choose to fly solo in a single-person kayak (a $30 value) or tote along co-pilots in a rowboat (a $35 value), dual-passenger kayak (a $35 value), or two-person canoe (a $35 value). Then push off shore and seize the open water, where you'll behold a real-life viewfinder's worth of scenic wildlife, including eagles and Frisbees, while advancing oarsmanship, teambuilding skills, and general awareness of water.
Where the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound collide, Black Hall Outfitters supplies explorers with watercrafts to paddle 500 protected acres. From the Heron Jr. kayak, a wide and easily maneuvered craft for kids, to the Rogue River 154 SS, a sturdy canoe, its fleet promises the perfect boat for every type of athlete. This includes fishing kayaks and standup paddleboards, which easily transport riders to nearby beaches and tidal pools or spots where fish teem.
Downunder Fitness and Surf’s SurfSET and SUPnSURF classes offer a fun alternative to jogging on a treadmill or other traditional exercise methods. While standing or lying facedown on simulators, pupils learn surfing and standup paddleboarding basics without going down to the ocean or having to help a mermaid retie her shell brassiere. In addition to fitness classes, Downunder Fitness and Surf offers yoga sessions on a beach or, for added difficulty, atop a floating paddleboard.
The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center throws its visitors into the shark tank. And the tropical lagoon. And the salt marsh. As executive director Bryan DeLuca noted in the New York Times, the center (formerly Atlantis Marine World) is one of the most interactive aquariums in the area, which snagged it a place on Parents magazine's list of the 10 Best Aquariums for Kids. The Atlantis-themed aquarium’s educational exhibits combine myth with science as they bring guests face to gills with creatures such as eels, jellyfish, seals, and clownfish. In addition to its indoor and outdoor exhibits right on the banks of the Peconic River, the aquarium delights guests with aquatic adventures such as snorkeling or receiving a photo op and kiss from loveable sea lion Java, who still dreams of one day being turned into a beautiful princess.
Situated on a flat-water river whose mouth opens into Great South Bay, Carman's River Canoe & Kayak has something for all levels of paddlers. In addition to providing equipment, the staff rents out single and double kayaks, as well as multiperson canoes, and suggests routes that can include the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge or––for those with a bit more experience––trips out to Fire Island.