The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThisThe Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThisThe Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

The Mama Bears Montauk Point Lighthouse Long Island Summer Travel with KidsPinThis

 

When we first moved to Long Island a few years ago we were strangers to suburbia. Like a couple of proverbial fish out of water, the jump from the five boroughs into the two counties east of NYC may as well have been cross-country for all we knew of our new surroundings.

Over were our days of subways and buses, bodegas and street carts. No more bustle of activity in the ethnic alcoves of Corona, Flushing or Jamaica- childhood stomping grounds. Suffolk county was now our home and we meant to familiarize ourselves with every last bit of it.

Pretty quickly, through non-stop exploring with the kiddos,  we developed a few die-hard favorites including the Old Westbury Gardens, Avalon Park, and this old gem right here- the Montauk Point Lighthouse.

We first visited when the littles were still toddling around in diapers. That time we simply explored the grounds, taking pictures and having a picnic lunch down on the beach at the foot of the lighthouse, the fishing boats passing slowly by out on the horizon. We’ve visited other lighthouses since then, but we love coming back to this Long Island staple whenever we can.

The last time we visited, our toddler days were well behind us. This time we explored the museum as well and learned a few interesting things that I will naturally share with you! Did you know that it’s the oldest lighthouse in New York and was authorized by President George Washington in 1792! I just love the history we have right here on Long Island!

We also made the climb to the very top for the first time for some absolutely breathtaking views of the ocean, Montauk Point State Park and Camp Hero State Park. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the inherent tranquility of the water and the character of this sleepy fishing village. Before leaving we had to make time for our tradition, of course- another picnic lunch sitting on the shore in the shadow of this Montauk treasure.

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The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

 

It’s high time we wrote a post about one of our very favorite spots in the city, an old go-to we’ve frequented since childhood, first as kiddos on school trips and then eventually as teenagers in love looking for something to do in the city for the day with our boyfriends. I’m talking about the incomparable American Museum of Natural History. These last few years the museum has undergone quite a transformation in our eyes. It’s big ‘ol halls have been reinvented, if you will. Gone is young adulthood with its endless hours of freedom with which to explore. Instead, a new era has been ushered in- one replete with shorter attention spans and a much more touchy-feely entourage!

Where once we were perfectly content with reading all about the finer points of mummies and the history of human origins, these sorts of exhibits just don’t have the same effect on 4-7 year olds, ya feel me? So where do we hang these days? At the Discovery Room! This little known corner of the museum is our jam and it’s where you’ll usually find us each and every time we visit. Located on the first floor just past the grand gallery, the Discovery Room offers kids a huge array of hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities and it keeps our kiddos exploring for hours!

 

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

 

The focal point of this magical space is the giant replica baobab tree you see when you first walk in. It’s filled with nooks containing specimens kids can search for. My littles particularly love to assemble the life-sized dinosaur skeleton and get their goggles on to dig for dinosaur bones at the mock paleontology dig site! There is even a second floor at the Discovery Room filled with activities for older kiddos! Just be sure to reserve your designated 40-minute slot at the entrance when you first arrive as spots fill up fast!

 

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThisThe Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis

 

Other kiddo favorites we love at the museum are the Hall of African Mammals with its incredibly detailed and impressive dioramas, the Hall of Ocean Life with its enormous model blue whale hanging from the ceiling and interactive stations, and- of course- the dinosaur fossil halls! The Hayden Planetarium is increasingly popular with the brood of late and we try to take in a show every time we visit as well.

Over the years we’ve definitely developed a flow when it comes to the AMNH and there’s no denying it’s one of our all-time favorite destinations. We’ve grabbed a bite to eat at the museum’s cafe a few times but usually we take our show on the road. Tarallucci e Vino and Calle Ocho nearby are favorites. The best part? You’re only steps away from the one and only Central Park with its many playgrounds, carousel, puppet theatre, and climb-worthy boulders! Have fun exploring this spring, friends, and let us know your thoughts! Make sure to find us on Facebook and Instagram for some more visiting NYC with kids tips!

 

The Mama Bears American Museum of Natural History NYC Visit NY Travel with kidsPinThis