What to do this Summer


Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Maria Cifuentes , Reporter

The time of year where the sun is shining brighter and flowers are blossoming under clear skies has arrived. The days are getting warmer and it feels like Summer. Here is a list of some exciting places you can visit and fun activities to enjoy with your friends and family. Although these activities are COVID friendly, please make sure to keep yourself and others safe by wearing your mask and social distancing. 

Take A Trip and Explore Nature: As the weather is getting warmer, we must take advantage of it and venture out to see the beauty of our Earth. The New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx, is open all week long and will be available to the public from the Spring to the Fall season. This is a large site that contains a landscape with over one million living plants including different types of flowers, trees, and even a small waterfall. There are historic plantings such as the Tulip Tree Allée. The soft pink and purple flowers catch your attention and it is simply calming to look at. The Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum contains tree plantings with needles that range from bright green to powder blue and are irreplaceable. This majestic and marvelous collection includes Pines, Spruces, and Firs. The waterfall may be small, but the hike to reach it is truly rewarding. 

Along the way, you can view the Rockefeller Rose Garden which is full of different colored roses. This garden is elegant and has a royal aesthetic. Its entrance is a vintage gate that resembles gardens seen around castles. As you get near the waterfall, you can hear its soothing, crashing waters and the breeze blowing all around you. It’s surrounded by large green trees and a bright sun illuminates the river making it glisten. The garden also offers access to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory which is considered one of the most superb glasshouses of its time. It conserves aquatic plants and vines, tropical rain forests, deserts, and other natural habitats as well as a palm dome. This is a favorite spot for most visitors as it makes you feel as if you are entering a whole new world.  

You can visit a variety of gardens all within walking distance from one another such as the Azalea Garden, Daffodil Garden, Native Plant Garden, and the Perennial Garden. These are breathtaking sites and allow you to relax outdoors. These sites are full of beautiful flowers, enormous trees, and you may even encounter plants you have never heard of before. There are also two restaurants and a gift shop where you can buy some of the plants featured. If you are not able to travel to the city and are looking for something closer, you can visit the Long Island Tulip Festival at the Waterdrinker Family Farm and Garden in Manorville which is open all week. You can also visit the Martin Sidor Farms Sunflower Field in Mattituck. The entrance fee is only $7 and you can purchase their sunflowers. These sunflowers are large, bright, and vibrant yellow

which blends in perfectly with the pink sky as the sunsets. It is recommended to visit during sunset hour as the view is truly beautiful. You can take pictures as the sky turns pink and the flowers flow side to side in the calm breeze. 

Visit Sag Harbor: Hampton Bays is not too far from the wonderful town of Sag Harbor which has many restaurants, shops, and a harbor. You can plan a day trip where you can visit the harbor and watch a variety of ships dock there; some are truly jaw-dropping. The sizes of the ships range from tiny fisherman boats to the size of cruise ships. If you are lucky, you can witness large steel ships that resemble warships arrive at this dock. Most of the boats belong to wealthy people so they are truly amazing and luxurious. Along Main Street, you will find different restaurants such as Sag Pizza and The Page. You can also get the town’s best coffee at Jack’s Coffee which is a small shop and its drinks are delicious. A favorite and popular iced coffee is the Cinnamon Dirty Harry with oat milk. If you have a sweet tooth, you can eat at Buddha Berry, which is a frozen yogurt shop. They offer a variety of frozen yogurt flavors such as Madagascar Vanilla, Classic Mint Chip, Buddha’s Best Berry, or Triple Belgian Chocolate and there are even vegan options. You can pick any toppings you want ranging from nuts to gummy worms and fresh fruits. If you prefer ice cream, you can visit Big Olaf’s Ice Cream shop which is right next to the harbor. They offer the best cotton candy-flavored ice cream. After grabbing some sweets, you can purchase a book from Sag Harbor Books located right down the street from Buddha Berry. It is a small shop but offers all genres of books and board games as well. You can end your day trip by watching the sunset at Foster Memorial Beach. The bay stretches far allowing you to walk and also maintain distance from others. 

Hang Around in Hampton Bays: Although Sag Harbor is a fun town, our own hometown has a variety of places to visit. You can simply drive around, ride your bike, or walk. You can plan a picnic with your friends or family. Make sure to pack your favorite snacks, drinks, dessert, or any food you want and a blanket to sit on. You can have a picnic at Good Ground Park, Red Creek Park, or even at one of our local beaches such as Ponquogue Beach or Meschutt Beach. You can bring a book, painting supplies, make beaded bracelets, a journal, or simply rest and take in the refreshing Spring air. After a day at the beach and the park, you can visit one of our town’s finest restaurants. If you are craving Italian food, you can eat at Salvatore’s or Francesca’s Pizza. Both are great places to grab a slice of pizza. Salvatore’s offers brunch on Sundays and Francescas has one of the best açaí bowls in the area. You can also eat at Canal Cafe where your table overlooks the marina and the Shinnecock Canal. This is one of the best outdoor dining places and even has live music during Summer evenings all week. Additionally, our town has an ice cream shop, Gemelli Gelato, that is open all season. Here, they offer delicious artisan gelato and sorbet. They also have milkshakes, Belgian waffles, coffee, and dairy-free options of ice cream. You can enjoy your ice cream in their large front yard which offers outdoor seating.

Easy at Home Activities: These are some activities you can do if you would rather stay at home. You can take a walk around your neighborhood, not too distant from your home, and take in the calming scenery of the quiet streets. You can walk with music or take pictures or if you like to draw, take a sketchbook and recreate the streets. You can also have a picnic in your own backyard or just lay on the grass and relax. If you would like to invite friends over, you can play board games such as Monopoly and CandyLand, walk with them, have a barbecue/lunch, and even start a book club. If you love watching movies or TV shows and want to switch it up, you can create an outdoor movie theater in your own backyard. You will need a projector and a screen, speakers, pillows, blankets, lights, and your favorite snacks. 

There are many fun activities and places you can visit on Long Island and in the city this Summer. Take the time to enjoy the Hamptons’ beaches, parks, restaurants, and main streets. Who knows, you may end up having the best Summer ever.