Written by Edward P. Mangano Friday, 02 July 2010 00:00
As we head into the warm days of summer, you may be wondering what resources and activities are available to you and your family. While funds for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have been cut 25 percent in the past two years, I’m pleased to say that Nassau County’s parks are open for business!
Nassau County attracts thousands each year to our parks, preserves, museums, historic properties and athletic facilities, which comprise 6,000 acres. These range from the 930-acre Eisenhower Park in East Meadow to the renovated Centennial Park in Roosevelt to the Sands Point Preserve in Port Washington. There are facilities for swimming, golf (including mini-golf), and camping, along with fitness and hiking trails.
Nickerson Beach is located in Lido Beach and offers a beautiful beach and numerous attractions. These include a recreational site with a skate park, basketball courts, and a new nautical-themed playground.
In addition to its superb beaches, Nassau offers some of the finest preserves in the country. At Sands Point Preserve, visitors can experience six miles of trails through woodland and shoreline areas. The preserve, located by the Long Island Sound, also includes Hempstead House and “Falaise”, a mansion built by Harry Guggenheim.
Muttontown Preserve is Nassau’s largest nature preserve, with 550 acres of fields, woodlands and ponds. The preserve includes miles of trails with local wildflowers, trees, birds, and the Chelsea estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Eisenhower Park, the jewel of our parks system, features a Swimming and Diving Center, a Fitness trail, golf courses, tennis courts, picnic areas, athletic fields and playgrounds. The Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater plays host to outdoor concerts and movies throughout the summer.
Visit the Cradle of Aviation, where you can learn about Long Island’s aviation history, and then see an IMAX movie. Museum Row is also home to the Long Island Children’s Museum and the Firefighters Museum and Education Center. The sights and sounds of pre-Civil War Long Island are at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, a ‘living museum” containing 51 historic buildings. Visit and be transported to an earlier time.
Whether you catch a concert at Eisenhower, hike at Muttontown, or enjoy a day at the beach, there’s something for everyone. With more people staying close to home, a ‘staycation’ right here in Nassau is a great way to spend the summer!
For more information, call the Nassau County Parks Department at 516-572-0200, or visit www.nassaucountyny. gov/parks