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.
The Priceless Parrot Preserve sounds like a jungle. The calls and conversations of more than 100 birds from 29 species form a symphony that strengthens social bonds. Well-behaved members of the flock greet visitors and play with toys hanging from the ceiling, whereas animals with behavioral issues—often the products of abuse or neglect—hang back, working with volunteers and founders Gene and Marietta Avery to grow and recover. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Gene provides medical care to the often malnourished birds and ensures that they receive a rich diet of nuts and fruit.
Gene and Marietta Avery founded The Priceless Parrot Preserve to care for neglected and abandoned exotic birds. Their goal is twofold: to educate the public about the birds both as pets and wild creatures, and to give a permanent home to mistreated and unwanted birds. The couple originally adopted the birds out of their own pockets, but formed their own preserve when confronted with the sheer number of birds in need. Today, they specialize in taking in larger birds such as macaws and cockatoos that demand more attention and other birds that might be considered unadoptable.
Momo’s Sports Bar & Grill maintains the feel of a cozy neighborhood hangout even as customers flock to its plentiful TV screens like moths to a TV screen. While fans cheer on their favorite competitors, platefuls of signature wings and burgers disappear with swigs of Miller Lite, served in $8 pitchers.
Rising fog, flashing lights, and thumping techno beats set the scene for the laser-tag battles that unfold between stealthy bands of warriors beneath Laser Kingdom’s black lights. Players suit up in specialized vests, clutching light-emitting weaponry as they enter the field where an overhead scoreboard tracks team scores and the game’s best squeals of surprise when taken out by a well-hidden opponent. Afterward, patrons receive handouts that break down their individual performance that they can pore over to strategize for the next round or ditch in favor of playing one of the onsite arcade games.
For more than two decades, artists of all ages have congregated at Studio E, ranging from 3-year-olds learning to cut and glue to the professional artists leading lessons. Sprawled across 2,000 square feet, the studio hosts classes on visual-art fundamentals for kids, tweens, teens, and adults in media such as ceramics, painting, and collage. Individualized lesson plans are catered to the unique needs of each student. Guests are required to commit to consecutive week sessions when taking multiple classes. Two excused absences are permitted for 8-week sessions and 1 excused absence is permitted for 4-week sessions.
Settle traffic arguments by challenging an opposing driver to a duel on Boomers!'s speedy go-carts. Or just cruise solo, banking curves and outdriving total strangers in a wild day of rubber-burning and dust-eating. For crashtastic thrills, climb aboard a bumper boat and drift on the waterscape, floating amok and gleefully broadsiding fellow captains. A bit of the briny seeps into Boomers!'s mini-golf range, where it creates a sparkling blue hazard to complement the verdant greens. Finish the day with a feeling of accomplishment that comes only from climbing Boomers!'s big, giant rock wall. The 32-foot climbing surface has a variety of handholds and different climbing options, so explore them all with the three climbs. Be sure to check Boomers! Medford's hours before heading out.