Summer is the time to get outside and commune with nature. A great way to enjoy the outdoors is to head to a park near you and get some playtime in with your children. Here are some nearby parks where you can go with your children to breathe some fresh air.
Agawam Park: Centrally located by Jobs Lane and Pond Lane in Southampton, Agawam Park has a playground that is surrounded by new rubber flooring for added safety. The playground has a jungle gym to climb on and swings. There are nice places to have a picnic in one area, a broad lawn for tossing a Frisbee, and a peaceful lake to walk around. A World War I Memorial stands in the park, marked with the names of 325 Southampton men who served in the Great War and, inside, those who died.
Herrick Park: Located on Newtown Lane in East Hampton, Herrick Park features a playground with swings and a slide, tennis courts, a practice wall for tennis, handball or racquetball, basketball courts, pitches for soccer and rugby, and a baseball field where the Annual East Hampton Artists & Writers Celebrity Softball Game is played each year. There’s also a gazebo and an open field to have a picnic and play games. This park has become a vital part of the local sports scenes, and it’s all just steps from village shops.
Kalers Pond Park: Located in Center Moriches and overlooking Kalers Pond, just across Montauk Highway from Terrell River County Park (see listing below), Kalers Pond Town Park just reopened in December 2015 after an extensive, $500,000 renovation. The park has a playground, including swings, and a memorial for the 230 people killed in TWA Flight 800 in 1996. A trail that winds around Kalers Pond, which has small beach areas and is stocked with trout, making it popular for fishing. A plaque there claims that David Romeo set a world record by catching more than 3,000 largemouth bass over 77 days in 1984. This is a wonderful spot to enjoy the view and get closer to nature, including ducks and other local birds and wildlife. There are also several picnic tables so you can enjoy a meal outside. Just nearby, the Kaler’s Pond Audubon Center is an excellent nature center with programs for kids and adults, including the annual butterfly count.
Mashashimuet Park: Located at the corner of the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike and Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor, Mashashimuet Park has many things to do, including a playground for children and hiking trails to get a little deeper into the natural surroundings. There are also tennis courts and ample room to fly a kite. Picnic tables are available, and nearby Otter Pond is a celebrated bird watching area. The park has baseball diamonds and soccer fields for organized games as well as expansive lawns suitable for playing catch. It is the home field for Sag Harbor’s school teams and the Sag Harbor Whalers, a popular team from the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, during the summer.
Mitchell Park: Located at 115 Front Street on Greenport’s waterfront, Mitchell Park has as its centerpiece a picturesque carousel. The carousel is 100 years old and is open Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.–6 p.m. There’s also a marina where you can watch boats and the ferries come and go, along with open, grassy space to have a picnic, and an ice skating rink in the winter. Mitchell Park’s most exotic attraction is its camera obscura. It is one of only 50 in the world—five in the United States. Plan ahead: the camera obscura is open by appointment and only when weather permits.
Terrell River County Park: Located on Montauk Highway in Center Moriches, Terrell River County Park is the most rustic on this list, consisting of several hiking trails leading to Moriches Bay, where you can enjoy a picnic. Taking a hike or bike ride here with your children is a great way for them to appreciate the outdoors, and much wildlife spotting and bird watching can be had along the way.
Town Beach: Located at 53005 County Road 48 in Southold, Town Beach has a swing set and playground that overlook Long Island Sound. There’s a picnic area and benches where you can sit and enjoy the views. With the warmer months just around the corner, keep Town Beach in mind for swimming, sunbathing and taking in the natural surrounds. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
West Meadow Beach: Located on West Meadow Beach Road in Setauket, there’s plenty to do at West Meadow Beach, the most obvious being swimming when it gets warm enough. West Meadow also features a playground with a swing set and a fun water spray/sprinkler park for kids. There’s also a gazebo. volleyball court, several tables for playing outdoor chess or checkers, and a two-mile nature trail. Come here for environmental programs and swimming lessons in LI Sound. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months.