The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the days are getting longer. It’s finally spring, and summer is right around the corner. It’s the best time of the year to spend your days outside, traveling to new places, trying exciting activities, and visiting fun festivals. There’s never any shortage of enjoyable things to do in Long Island, and we have the scoop on some of the best events coming up this spring and summer:
NEFCU Long Island Marathon Weekend (May 4 & 5 – East Meadow)
This annual race has been a Long Island tradition for nearly 50 years. The marathon began as a small event, attracting only serious runners. It has grown to a wonderful community celebration with runners of all ages and skills levels. In addition to the races, guests can visit numerous vendors at the sports and fitness expo. Runners can also compete in a half marathon, 10K, 5K, and 1K fun run.
A new addition to the racing fun this year is the Long Island Food Truck Festival! Guests will be amazed at the wide variety of cuisine available from the incredibly talented chefs at numerous food trucks located in Eisenhower Park. Please see the marathon weekend event schedule for race times.
Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival (May 5 — The Wang Center at Stony Brook University)
Spring is here! The landscape is bursting with vibrant colors and spectacular blooms. What better way to celebrate spring than with a festival honoring the gorgeous Japanese Cherry Blossom? After viewing the incredible cultural exhibits at the Wang Center, visitors can continue the celebration with fun activities like ikebana flower arrangement, tea workshops, origami folding, and manga drawing.The festival runs from noon – 5:00 p.m. and tickets prices are as follows: $25 (adult), $15 (students/seniors 60+), $10 (children ages 6-12), free (ages 5 and under)
The Survival Race (May 18 — Long Island Sports Park)
Tap into your inner warrior, because you’re going to need it for this adventure! The Survival Race is an action-packed competition featuring obstacles like messy mud pits, giant walls, and lots of running, jumping, and crawling. Racers will enjoy an energetic DJ, rinse stations, a cold beer after the race, and official Survivor dog tags. Guests can also purchase delicious food and awesome race gear. Six different waves of races will begin every half hour between 9:30 a.m. and noon. Registration is $69 ($59 for early birds).
Belmont Stakes Racing Festival (June 6-8 — Belmont Park)
An age-old tradition, the iconic Belmont Stakes is one of the most challenging races of the Triple Crown series. Whether you’re an avid fan of horse racing or you’re just looking to have a really good time, the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival is the place to be. Guests will enjoy a variety of music and entertainment throughout the weekend. Grab a bite to eat at one of Belmont Park’s casual dining spots or visit the Coors Light Food Truck Village. Check the Belmont Stakes FAQ page for updated race times, ticket prices, and parking info.
Ghost Hunting at Rogers Mansion (June 8 — Southampton History Museum)
Interested in a spooky evening filled with ghostly encounters? The crew of Long Island Paranormal Investigators takes visitors through Rogers Mansion for a closer look at what might be lurking within those historical walls. Guests will also learn about LIPI’s most astonishing discoveries and interesting facts about the paranormal world.
The tour takes place from 8:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and tickets are $30 per person.
Eternal Con (June 22 & 23 — NYCB Live Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum)
Your inner child is going to love this one! Eternal Con is Long Island’s biggest pop culture event, now celebrating its 7th anniversary. Drop by for two super days jam-packed with contests, workshops, live events, and panels with some really exciting guests. Get decked out in the bat suit that’s hanging in the back of your closet or come in your well-worn Big Bang Theory tee — all are welcome. A variety of tickets are available for this event.
Jones Beach Fireworks Dinner Cruise (July 4 — Freeport, NY)
Celebrate Independence Day from the deck of the beautiful Sapphire Princess. Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner, with a variety of mouth-watering dishes like chicken, steak, and pasta. Guests can capture the memories in a photo booth with unlimited prints. Enjoy a cocktail under the stars before the big fireworks show begins. The dinner cruise begins at 8:00 p.m. and returns around 12:30 a.m. Ticket prices are as follows: $130 (adults), $100 (seniors ages 65+), $90 (child ages 4-20), free (ages 3 and under).
Hot Dog Dash (July 7 — Old Bethpage Village Restoration)
Enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and participate in a good cause! The first annual Hot Dog Dash is hosted by Family Residences and Essential Enterprises Inc. (FREE), a nonprofit organization that benefits individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and brain injuries. People of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate in this event, which takes place in historic Old Bethpage Village Restoration. In addition to the race and award ceremony, guests can enjoy a delicious barbecue, fun games, and exciting raffles. A one-mile fun run begins at 8:15 a.m. and the 5K race begins at 9:15 a.m. Registration fees are as follows: $25 (until April 27), $30 (April 28-June 8), $35 (June 8-race day), Fun Run $20 (early registration), Fun Run $25 (race day).
Apollo Moon Fest (July 20 — Cradle of Aviation Museum)
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest achievements of all time. The Apollo Moon Fest is a fantastic festival created to honor the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. Browse through the largest collection of Apollo artifacts on display in any museum and participate in numerous special activities like exciting virtual reality experiences, model rocket launches, and solar telescopes. The Moon Fest takes place from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 2-12). Long Island certainly is well-known for its trendy restaurants, expansive stretches of beautiful beaches, and exquisite mansions in The Hamptons. There is also a plethora of other activities suitable for people of all ages, from awesome festivals to interesting exhibits. Check out some of these fantastic events in Long Island this summer and be sure to keep your eyes open for any other hidden gems along the way!