On Woodside Nursery & Garden Center's 5-acre grounds, a sprawling greenhouse hosts seasonal, Long Island–grown florae. The nursery staff cultivates its own flowers, vegetable plants, and herbs onsite to oversee every facet of growth and read each plant its preferred bedtime story at night. With photos and measurements for reference, these green-thumbed experts will also help customers design lush landscapes free of charge. Woodside's stock changes with the necessities of the seasons, with sundry flowers in the springtime, pond fish in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and Christmas trees and wreaths in the winter.
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.
An annual tradition for the WMHO, the Home for the Holidays series enchants audiences with unique, interactive musical-theater tributes to showbiz icons. This season, the charmed and charming life of legendary entertainer Bob Hope is vividly depicted in a living history rife with music and ribald laughter. Performed by St. George Living History Productions, which specializes in filmless biopics about talking humans, the musical salutes Bob’s comic timing, tireless philanthropy, and tolerance of Bing Crosby’s camel banter through songs, stories, and fourth-wall breaks that immerse the audience in the show. Amid the Yuletide-decorated set, guests enjoy a high-tea luncheon of scrumptious finger sandwiches and desserts as the musical glides through vaudeville beginnings, marquee stardom, relentless USO appearances, and 58 honorary doctorates in wooing Dorothy Lamour.
Just outside of Naples, Italy in a town called Dugenta, Salvatore Diliberto's family crafts its own wine each year and stores it in the cellar of the castle next door. Though miles away from the vineyard and the old stone building, Diliberto carries on the Old World techniques at his Jamesport winery, where he tends to several acres of vines including franc and chardonnay. He presses the grapes, barrel ages the wine, and bottles it with Diliberto labels—some of which bear an artistic rendering of the castle in Dugenta.
In his tasting room, Diliberto presents his specialty wines to guests during a tasting experience designed to transport them to his ancestral home. He forgoes the bar experience in favor of the small table settings that one finds staggered outside an Italian café. A mural on one end of the room further heightens the sense of travel, trading the North Fork for the bustling streets and sentient traffic lights of a Tuscan mountain town.
Established in 1997, the vines at Jason's Vineyard are now a fully mature 17 years of age, producing a wide variety of wines that includes two chardonnays, two merlots, sauvignon blanc, and many others. Their perfected roster of wines also includes a Golden Fleece blend, a clean, fruity wine whose grapes are guarded by dragons. Each wine can be sampled at the winery, built in 2009, where visitors may also purchase bottles, snack on cheeses, or enjoy time at a main bar shaped like a Greek trireme.
North Fork Bike Tours leads wine lovers on foot-powered excursions through the picturesque farms, gardens, and vineyards of local wine country. Tours traipse across the North Fork of Long Island and offer a rare, on-the ground view into local wine culture. Riders progress at a leisurely pace over predominantly flat terrain and well-surfaced roads while stopping to enjoy sips at local vineyards. All riders are provided with bicycles that feature baskets for carrying home souvenirs and bottles freshly plucked from the vineyards' wine trees.