The Alley Pond Environmental Center is a non-profit group dedicated to teaching children and adults about the natural world and protecting unadulterated environments from dastardly land poachers. Both membership levels give you discounts on programs at the center, discounted birdseed prices, reduced birthday party rates, and VIP access to teddy bear picnics. And for an additional fee, adults can take part in monthly astronomy workshops to view celestial bodies in skies free of ambiance-obstructing light pollution, while weekend sessions and after-school programs give kids an outdoors alternative to television absorption.
Sam's Art & Framing preserves and stylishly showcases photos, prints, portraits, and memorabilia with expert care. Sam invokes more than 30 years framing experience to craft each frame by hand on the premises. Choose from thousands of molding and mat-board samples to enshrine a child's artwork or an overturned parking ticket. Framing options are virtually limitless, but as an example, about $70 can get you a 20"x24" frame with glass, backing and hanging hardware, and a basic diploma will run about $100.
Flanked by seven other aircraft, a Grumman F-11 hangs suspended in a shallow dive over the main entrance to Cradle of Aviation Museum’s four-story glass atrium. Three viewing levels on wraparound balconies afford views of the aircraft that only fellow pilots in close formation ever saw when it was in service. The 150,000-square foot facility’s eight exhibits grant similarly intimate glimpses of more than 75 aircraft and spacecrafts that trace the historic path of Long Island’s aviation contributions since 1870. Those artifacts include a replica of the Wright Brothers’ 1899 kite, five aircraft made in Long Island for World War II, and the Grumman Lunar Module LM-5 “Eagle,” which transported Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin to that soundstage that looked like the moon.
Patrons also get a chance to soar skyward in the X-Ride Theater, a 30-seat motion simulator whose “Fly with the Blue Angels” film mimics the piloting of a U.S. Navy squadron jet. Over in the JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium and the Leroy R. & Rose W. Grumman Dome Theater, the immersive screens bring to life subjects such as Lewis and Clark's journey and National Geographic's Wildest Weather in the Solar System. After riding the Historic Nunley's Carousel, which was built in 1912, guests can reenergize over a meal in the Red Planet Cafe, whose space station décor evokes a Martian cafeteria in the year 2040.
An entire city can be built within Long Island Children's Museum. All it takes is a little imagination—that, and a basic understanding of architectural principals like balance and proportion. Luckily, the museum's Bricks & Sticks and Building Boom exhibits teach those very concepts. Interactive software and museum educators show kids (and adults) how to design and shape skyscrapers, castles, bridges, and more out of blocks.
Those building activities are just 2 of the 14 hands-on exhibits that take families across the museum's grounds. The TotSpot area lets the youngest visitors slide and play on age-appropriate equipment, while other spaces let kids explore outdoor gardens, step inside giant bubbles, and film mock newscasts that speculate on just who is the real John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. Even the onsite theater has an interactive element. Here, actors and musicians often invite kids on stage to join in on the performance. In addition to these permanent attractions, the Long Island Children's Museum features rotating exhibits and gallery installations.