The Long Island Museum contains a permanent collection of more than 40,000 pieces from the late 1700s to the present. Visitors can explore the museum's American art, historic documents, and full-size carriages to get an idea of what life was like in the past. The museum also hosts special events designed to engage the community and invite people to the museum, and will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
The Long Island Maritime Museum records, restores, and displays the history and story of life on the water of Long Island. The main building of the campus occupies the former Meadow Edge estate, and other historical nautical buildings from around the island have been transplanted to its grounds. These structures include exhibits such as the Wrecks & Rescuers exhibit, based on the annals of the United States Life-Saving Service. They also contain the Edward Smith Library of local nautical history and a collection of 19th- and 20th-century boat-racing trophies.
The museum's prized possession does not reside on dry land, though. In the nearby harbor, a fully restored 1888 oyster sloop named Priscilla can still venture out into the bay for both public and private sails.
[[m:####Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum's staff of maritime experts collate the histories, folklore, and artifacts that illustrate Long Island's relationship with the sea. The museum's collection ensures an in-depth look at Long Island's history of whaling with more than 6,000 artifacts and archival objects, including the only fully equipped 19th-century whaling boat with the original furniture and scrimshaw flat-screen television. Interactive education courses for all ages teach kids about the oceanic sciences and engage them in themed arts-and-crafts events. Adult workshops range from drawing and sketching seminars to book readings and discussions. Before leaving, guests can peruse the gift shop, which brims with knickknacks and doodads for all ages, including boatswain's whistles and ships in bottles.:m]]
An 18-foot giraffe cranes its neck to look at passing visitors. Across the path, ring-tailed lemurs swing between the trees. Nearby, alligators thrash in a swamp, and ostriches strut through the grass. The animal handlers at Long Island Game Farm—comprising a team of veterinary students and environmental workers—care for these native and exotic species in re-creations of their natural habitats. On any regular day, they guide visitors past enclosures populated by aoudad sheep, cougars, zebras, and red kangaroos, and demonstrate the creatures’ eating habits through scheduled viewable feedings. They also let visitors feed giraffes, goats, and zebras by hand, and discuss each creature’s lifestyle without judging them by their nighttime hobbies.
A series of trails winds through woods and public picnic areas, leading to areas such as Bambiland—an enclosure for Mediterranean and native deer—and Old MacDonald's Farmyard, where visitors can bottle-feed baby animals and hang out with pigs, rabbits, goats, and ponies. Park staffers also help smaller visitors on and off the park’s carnival rides that include spinning teacups, a miniature train, and an antique carousel. In the summer, they further engage children in Camp Zoo, a one-week day camp during which an experienced instructor teaches participants about environmental conservation and divulges facts and gossip about various animals.