07/15/16 11:10am
Head to Long Beach on the LIRR. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Head to Long Beach on the LIRR. Photo: Annaliese Griffin

Summer is here and that means it’s time to go to the beach! It’s a little counterintuitive, but it’s actually easier to take my five-year-old to beautiful Long Beach on the LIRR than taking public transportation to most of the beaches in New York City. Plus, there’s a sweet beach and train combo deal–when buying your ticket, choose the Deals and Getaways option which includes train fare plus a day pass to the beach all for $24. Consider that if you drove and paid for parking and for a beach pass (yes, you have to pay to get on to Long Beach). All you have to do is exchange your train ticket for a day pass to the beach at one of the kiosks along the boardwalk. Children under five ride for free and ages five to 11 ride for $1. 

Off we went on the sunny Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, starting at Atlantic Terminal, making an easy transfer at Jamaica, and ending up at Long Beach Station. The entire trip takes about an hour, but for my boy and his friend the train ride was almost as much fun as playing in the sand. The front of the train will be crowded as that’s where the exit is at Long Beach Station. If you want a seat, head toward the back. (more…)

05/26/16 12:16pm
One of the nautical themed "courses" at Shipwrecked. Photo: Janah Boccio

One of the nautical themed “courses” at Shipwrecked. Photo: Janah Boccio

As big fans of mini-golf, my family doesn’t have many options in the city to play as much as we’d like. We were so excited to hear that Shipwrecked had finally opened, we set sail for Red Hook as soon as we had a Saturday afternoon free.

Located in an unassuming beige building at the southern end of Court Street, you’ll think you’re at the wrong place, but you’re not! Inside there are signs directing you to the elevator, which you’ll take to the second floor. Upon entering, you’re transported to a maritime scene, complete with lobster traps, fish nets and eye patches. My 5-year-old was immediately hooked. “Be careful of the giant crab lurking behind the 5th hole!” he warned us, and made plans to steal the pirate’s treasure.

If it’s your first time, it’s worth the extra $5 for a bag of coins to dispense along the way. You’ll hear mixed-media tales of pirate ghosts, sunken treasure, volcanoes and train rides. (more…)