Local Adventures: Planting Fields Arboretum | Long Island Photographer

With summer fast approaching, I am already starting to think about our "Summer Bucket List", a list of activities that I hope to do with our family during the summer months - some are outings, and some are just fun activities that we can do at home. I've been making a list like this for a few years now - its a great reference for those days when we are sitting around saying "what should we do??" and also gets us out and exploring a few new places and many old favorites as well.

The summer Logan was born (2014) I realized just how important daily outings were for both my sanity and for the moods of Lila and Logan. It was challenging getting out everyday with a 2 year old and a newborn, but it made the days go by so much more smoothly - Lila was occupied and happy, and Logan napped on the go. Now that the kids are a bit older, they get seriously stir crazy if they don't get out of the house everyday - even if it is just a trip to Target or lunch at Panera. I do look forward to summer though, when our schedule is much more open and allows for day trips to further away (and at more interesting!) destinations.

Last summer I discovered the magic of the Empire Passport - if you are a New York resident - get one of these! It is only $65 for the year, and it gives you free vehicle entry to most of the state parks and preserves. We use it to go to Jones Beach at least once a week during the summer, and another place we use it a lot is at Planting Fields Arboretum

Planting Fields is one of our favorite places to go for an outing. It is a beautiful former Gold Coast estate in Oyster Bay. We love to bring a picnic and run around the grounds for hours. There are wide open fields, wooded trails and beautifully-kept gardens. There is also a house that you can tour (I'm waiting until the kids are older to do this part!). The kids love going there. It is never crowded and always a relaxing and fun getaway. And as a photographer, there are endless amazing photo opportunities! (if you want to do an official photo session there, be sure to get a permit).

I first discovered Planting Fields when Lila was a few months old. They have an Arbor Day festival on the grounds every year, and that spring was the first time we attended. I loved it, and have been taking the kids there ever since! 

They have events there quite frequently - from festivals to summer concerts to activities for kids - so be sure to check their calendar to see what is going on when you plan your visit. 

And, moms! - it is stroller friendly! Lots of trails and paths. I prefer taking our BOB stroller, which has better wheels for rough terrain, but have taken our City Mini as well (which has smaller wheels) and it fared just fine. It is a nice place to go and walk around with a little one!

Here are some photos from our trips to Planting Fields over the years:

So if you are looking for a fun day trip (or just something to do for a couple of hours) on Long Island - I highly recommend checking out Planting Fields! I hope you love it as much as we do!

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I'm looking forward to sharing more of our local adventures with you over the coming months, and if there are any places that you recommend as fun outings for families in the Long Island or New York City area, please leave a comment! I am always looking for new, fun places to check out and share with other parents. I know when I first moved to Long Island, I was on a quest for good locations for day outings that were stroller-friendly. I wrote up a post about some of our stroller-friendly favorite places here, but I am always looking to add to the list!

What are some of the activities or outings on your Summer Bucket List this year??