Posts Tagged ‘Old Bethpage Village Restoration’

Today marks the first anniversary of the Traveling Classroom.  Sharing my stories of traveling with my son simply began when one of my friends told me I should write a book about the places I go with my son.  Intimidated by the whole book idea, I decided perhaps I’ll take baby steps and thought about doing freelance writing, so I signed up for a travel writing course through the Travel Channel.  I headed down to Washington D.C. with my laptop excited about the course.  I expected the day to be filled of different writing technique workshops.  Instead, I was introduced to the world of blogging.  I left the course with my own blog, The Traveling Classroom and my first published post.  I wrote one more post when I came home and then I abandoned the whole idea.  I am not sure why, but it most probably had to do with fear.  Fear that my writing wasn’t up to par.  Fear about putting myself out in the world-wide web.  Fear that people would think that I was a show-off.  I guess it was fear.

A year later on May 15, 2011 I finished the book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  It was also the day that I decided I would re-start my blog as a part of my own happiness project. Blogging about the places that my son and I discover has been a lot of fun and really has brought me a tremendous amount of happiness. Writing makes me re-live  our experiences and the memories never go away. Keeping up my blog also keeps me motivated to continue to see new places and do new things.  It made me shift my priorities, so I now save my money for experiences instead of material objects and have discovered that “travel does make you richer”.

One of the greatest things to come out of this year is that sharing my stories has possibly motivated other families to travel and my post actually help them in their planning.  The best compliment that I received is “wow, that looks like it was fun…I want to go there now”.

Viewers have come from every continent outside of Antarctica which my son thinks is really cool.  I have also had some post that have resonated with my readers more than others.  So to celebrate my first anniversary of The Traveling Classroom, I thought I would share my most viewed posts.  Thank you so much for reading, sharing with your friends, and your comments.


10.  Cape Cod

 9.  Tips to Navigating NYC with Kids

 8. Welcome to America:  A Visit to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

 7.  Celebrating the 4th of July at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

 6.  Touring the Top Five Presidential Homes

 5.  12 Long Island Family Day Trips to Experience in 2012

 4.  Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition

 3.  Top Ten Things to Do with Kids in the Big Easy

 2.  Halloween in Salem

 1.  Our Atlantis Adventure

 One of my favorite post didn’t even make the list, A Tale of Two Palaces.  Did your favorite make the list?

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Just east of New York City is the eleventh largest island in the United States.  It is beautiful Long Island and it has been my home for the last ten years.  Known for its gold coast and gorgeous beaches, Long Island also offers many cultural, historic and science-based attractions for families.  Close proximity to Manhattan makes Long Island a great day-trip for both visitors and New York natives!  Here are my family favorite destinations:

1.  CRADLE OF AVIATION MUSEUM – When you visit Long Island’s Air and Space Museum your family will be able to explore eight exhibit galleries that are home to over seventy-five air and space crafts.  Kids and adults will enjoy learning about the major role Long Island has played in aviation and historic flights like Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis”.   Many interactive exhibits and short films make the experience a lot of fun.  The Junior Jet Club is a great place for children under six to explore.   Older children will enjoy the Giant Screen Dome which offers a great selection of movies like “Legends of Flight”.

Cradle of Aviation Museum

2.  FIRE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE – For many travelers that crossed the Atlantic Ocean back in the 19th Century, the Fire Island Lighthouse was the first evidence of land.  Your family can enjoy learning about the whaling industry, shipwrecks and Long Island’s fishing industry by visiting the interactive exhibits. Families will also enjoy the guided lighthouse tower tour where you can climb 156 steps to the top of New York’s tallest lighthouse..  The lighthouse and tours are offered year-round.  For tour information visit the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society.

The Fire Island Lighthouse

3.  SAGAMORE HILLSagamore Hill was the home of President Theodore Roosevelt.  This is one of my favorite places on Long Island.  I have to mention that the home which is the main attraction is under renovation, but there is still plenty to see and enjoy.   The Roosevelt Museum at the Old Orchard house  has great exhibits and several short movies which highlight many aspects of President Roosevelt’s political and family life.  Families can also enjoy the outdoors on the Sagamore Hill Nature Trail.  If  your family enjoys the nature scene, make sure to visit the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center which is down the road from the President’s home.   Visit the sanctuary’s website for great family events like “Dancing Under the Stars” and the popular “Owl Prowls”.  Adjacent to the Sanctuary, you can also visit Theodore Roosevelt’s Gravesite.

Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, NY

The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center

4.  SHINNECOCK NATIONAL CULTURAL CENTER AND MUSEUM – The Shinnecock National Cultural Center and Museum is the only Native American operated museum on Long Island.  Since I am not a native New Yorker, I really didn’t know too much about the Algonquin heritage until my son studied the history of the state of New York in the 4th grade.  Visiting this museum is a great way to enhance your families knowledge about the history and culture of Native Americans.  There are two permanent exhibits that span over 10,000 years of Shinnecock history, educational programs and workshops.  The museum is located in Southampton, New York and is open from Wednesday through Sunday.

Shinnecock National Cultural Center & Museum

5.  OLD BETHPAGE RESTORATION – Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a living museum that recreates a Long Island Village in the pre-Civil War era.  Families will be able to roam 200 acres and visit historic buildings like a church, school, farmhouse and general store.  Costumed guides give demonstrations and kids can learn what life was like in the mid-1800s.  There are many seasonal events like the Civil War Battle in July and the Fall Harvest Fair in September.  Old Bethpage Village Restoration is open from March 31st through mid December.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration

6.  SUFFOLK COUNTY FARM AND EDUCATION CENTER – The Suffolk County Farm is a real working farm where families can get close to the farm animals and participate in special events that are offered for all seasons.  Events like “Yesterday’s Family” will have your kids learning how to churn butter and make candle holders out of metal.  Other fun events are the St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt in the spring, the Ice Cream Social in the summer and the Sunset Wagon Tour in the fall.  In the summer, kids can also participate in garden sessions on Wednesdays for eight consecutive weeks where they can grow their own food in the Children’s Garden.  The farm is open seven days a week from 9 am to 3 pm.

Up close with the animals.

7.  COLD SPRING HARBOR FISH HATCHERY AND COLD SPRING HARBOR WHALING MUSEUM – Cold Spring Harbor is a quaint seaside village that dates back to the 1600s.  For a small village, there is actually a lot going on! The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium is a great place to visit with kids.  Families can learn about the freshwater ecosystem of  New York and check out the largest living collection of  freshwater reptiles in New York State, amphibians and fish.  There is two aquarium buildings and eight outdoor ponds where visitors can feed the trout and experience “Catch & Keep” fishing.  Make sure you check out the website for feeding demo and tour schedules.  Admission for adults is $6.00 and children between the ages of three and twelve is $4.00.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium

Two minutes down the road on Main Street you can also visit the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.  My son and I really enjoyed learning about Long Island’s whaling history.  The museum offers changing exhibits, films like “Flubber” that will show during President’s week  and special programs that often revolve around holidays.  Admission for adults is $6.00 and kids between the ages of five and eighteen is $5.00.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

8.  WALT WHITMAN BIRTHPLACE & INTERPRETIVE CENTER– In the 1800s, Walt Whitman was born and raised in West Hills, Long Island.  This Long Island native is regarded as one of America’s greatest poets.  I love visiting the homes of literature greats so I can learn about their experiences that lead to their words living on for centuries.  Step back in time by taking a guided tour of the home.   Families will also be able to enjoy changing exhibits that consist of memorabilia books, photographs and excerpts of Whitman’s writing at the Interpretive Center.   In addition to the exhibits, the center also has a bookstore, museum shop and a multimedia area where you can hear Whitman’s own voice on a video tape.    Make sure to check the website for special events like poetry readings, the Victorian Tea Party and events for children.  When the weather is nice, families can also enjoy picnics and hiking tours of the beautiful grounds.

Exhibit in the Interpretive Center

9.  LONG ISLAND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM– The Long Island Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum that will inspire children’s creativity.  This award-winning children’s museum has twelve galleries, art exhibits and a theater. Some galleries that were a hit with my family was” Bubbles” where the kids could step inside a giant bubble, and “Communication Station” where my son did a news broadcast.  Theatre presentations consist of music, dance, puppetry and theatre that is interactive and explores both cultural and educational experiences.  Admission is $11.  Please see the Long Island Children’s Museums website for museum hours and special events.


Communication Station

10. ATLANTIS  LONG ISLAND AQUARIUM & EXHIBITION CENTER –  This is one of the best family attractions on Long Island!  Kids will be able see a 120,000 gallon shark tank, an all-living coral reef display, sea-lion shows and over 100 exhibits that offer interactive experiences and touch tanks. In addition there are several aquatic adventures that families can participate in like the Penguin Encounter, Scientist for a Day and Sleepover with the Sharks.  The new Exhibition Center  is now open and the Butterflies & Birds Flying is the current exhibit and is a limited engagement.  Atlantis Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center is located in Riverhead, NY.  The new Hyatt Place East End Hotel has recently opened next door if you would like to extend your day-trip into a weekend getaway. Admission is $22.50 for adults and $19.50 for children.  A little pricy for a family, but so worth it!

Atlantis Long Island Aquarium

11.NASSAU COUNTY MUSEUM OF ARTThis museum offers great programs for families and children.  Every Sunday at 1 pm, the museum host art activities, family gallery talks and family friendly gallery guides.  Check out the website for more family events like Show us Your LEGOS®.  The Outdoor Sculpture Gallery is also a fun place to check out with the kids.  The museum is located in Roslyn, New York which is only 25 miles east of New York City.

Outdoor Sculpture Gallery

12. CUSTER INSTITUTE AND OBSERVATORY – Amongst private homes in Southold, you will find one of Long Island’s most amazing experiences.  It is not a “day-trip”, but I have to mention the Custer Institute which is opened on Saturday evenings for stargazing.  Far from the city lights, star-gazers are allowed to use the powerful telescope to check out the night sky from 7 pm until midnight (weather permitting) and tour Long Island’s oldest observatory.  Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 14.  For more information, call (631) 765-2626.

The powerful telescope at the Custer Institute and Observatory.

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