Explore off-the-beaten track around Hicksville, New York

Traveling east through Queens along East Jericho Turnpike, you’ll cross into Long Island and merge on to the Northern State Parkway. In a few short miles, you’ll arrive in Hicksville, Long Island. Hicksville is hiding a few offbeat attractions that you can explore during your next visit. 

long island new york

Virtual Realms

Hicksville is home to Long Island’s first virtual reality arcade. Virtual activities range from fun games like Fruit Ninja suitable for kids aged seven years and up to the more sinister zombie and combat challenges targeted to mature gamers. Virtual Realms is easy to find on the east side of Hicksville on South Oyster Bay Road. There are plenty of accommodations nearby if you need a place to spend a few nights in Hicksville. 

Long Island Puppet Theatre

long island puppet theatre

If you’re traveling with toddlers from three to five years old, head to the centre of town and visit the Long Island Puppet Theatre. Little ones can sing along to stories like Puss in Boots or enjoy the Princess Tea Party. Reserve seats for your favourite show ahead of time since the theatre gets booked for private parties too.

The Hicksville Gregory Museum

Everything about The Hicksville Gregory Museum is a bit offbeat, including its location. The museum is housed in The Heitz Place Courthouse which is over 100 years old. Over time, the courthouse served as the original Village Hall, a jail, and the local World War II draft headquarters. Today, The Hicksville Gregory Museum offers eclectic collections of fossils, butterflies, minerals, and dial telephones.

I.FLY Trapeze and Aerial Arts

If you’re visiting Hicksville in warm weather, you can reach for the sky at I.FLY Trapeze and Aerial Arts in nearby Eisenhower Park. Experienced trapeze artists will teach you to fly on a trapeze bar at this outdoor trapeze venue just five miles from Hicksville. If you’re not quite ready to grab the bar and fly, try watching first. Check out one of the evening trapeze shows to see the professionals at work. 

Cradle of Aviation Museum

If you ever wanted to see Navy fighter jets or an Apollo Lunar Landing Module up close, you’ll find them not far from Hicksville in Garden City. You can stroll through the history of modern flight at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. Don’t miss the Jet Gallery, Planetarium, and Firefighter’s Museum. End your day of exploring with a spin on the 100-year old Nunley’s Historic Carousel next door.

Prefer trains to planes? See the restored Locomotive #35 in the display yard of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. This museum’s founders are on a mission to educate visitors on the history of The Long Island Railroad and the rail’s impact on town residents. Check out the Visitor Centre to see the plans to restore the Historic Landmark Presidential Train Station.

Long Island is home to plenty of beaches, parks, and restaurants. As you travel across the island, plan a stop in Hicksville to enjoy a few unusual activities you won’t find anywhere else.


Top Family-Friendly Activities in Santa Cruz, California

Are you planning a family vacation to Santa Cruz, California? If so, you’ll need to create an itinerary of fun activities for you and your children. Santa Cruz is one of the most popular travel destinations on the West Coast, and to help parents plan for their Santa Cruz trip, we’ve compiled the top six family-friendly activities in the area. 

santa curz california

Mitchell’s Cove Beach

If your family plans to travel with your pets, then you may want to find an activity that is also dog-friendly. While Santa Cruz has a number of amazing beaches, not all of them are dog-friendly. Mitchell’s Cove Beach is a quiet stretch of coastline that allows leashed dogs anytime and unleashed dogs during specified hours.

Natural Bridges State Beach

Another perfect beach for the family is the Natural Bridges State Beach. This California state park offers you more than just sand and waves, the park has nature walks, areas for picnics, exhibits with guided tours, and a Monarch Butterfly preserve that provides thousands of beautiful butterflies with a home during the winter months. 

The Mystery Spot

The Mystery Spot is like something straight out of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It’s a gravitational anomaly in Santa Cruz that creates the illusion that people and things are defying gravity. The guided tour is both fun and educational, as you and your children see a variety of demonstrations that will have you in disbelief.

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

Vacation is often about relaxing and having fun, but when you travel with children, it can also be a time for education. As such, families traveling to Santa Cruz should make time to see the Museum of Art and History (MAH) at the McPherson Center. From cultural festivals and exhibits to art galleries and sculptures, there is always something going on at the MAH. 

santa cruz sunset

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is certainly one of Santa Cruz’s must-see attractions. It’s a public amusement park that stretches roughly a mile-long on Santa Cruz’s most trafficked beach, Main Beach. The Beach Boardwalk has dozens of thrilling rides, a selection of games and arcades, and more food and snack stands than you can believe. Best of all, the Beach Boardwalk is located near some of the most popular hotels in Santa Cruz, which means you can always explore the Beach Boardwalk when you have downtime. 

Santa Cruz Roller Palladium 

There may be nothing more family-friendly than an afternoon at a roller-skate rink. Take the family to the Roller Palladium for a fun indoor activity. This no-frills skating rink carries a lot of its original charm with wooden floors, exposed structural elements, and vending machines. It’s an affordable and entertaining activity for families on a budget. 

Santa Cruz is an amazing city to visit. With world-class beaches, amazing accommodations, and beautiful views, why would you not want to take the family to this coastal retreat? When planning your family vacation to Santa Cruz, keep the kid-friendly activities above in mind to make sure your kids have just as much fun as you do on your trip. 

4 Tips for a Green Visit to the Rocky Mountains

Traveling and exploring the world is great, but it can come at a cost if you’re not careful. Many vacationers abandon all cares when they visit the Rocky Mountains, greatly increasing their impact on the environment. They might ride around the area in exhaust-emitting cars, throw their trash blindly through the untamed wilderness, or even trek through sensitive areas, destroying the natural habitat. If you’d like to be more conscious of your impact on the environment, here are several tips for a green visit to the Rocky Mountains.

Green Visit to the Rocky Mountains

Stay Nearby

The best way to reduce your impact during your stay is to minimise driving by staying close to the park. While you’ll still likely need to drive to trails and other attractions in the area, it cuts down on a lot of the back and forth. Grand Lake is a popular vacation destination, as it offers pristine views and is just a five-minute drive to the Rocky Mountain National Park Grand Lake Entrance.

While it’s a little further away, Vail also offers great lodging, as it’s nestled at the base of Vail Mountain. The city is a good place to stay if you plan on starting your trip in White River National Forest and then heading north into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Watch Out for Wildlife

One of the best parts of traveling through the Rocky Mountains is the chance to catch myriad species of birds, animals, and insects in their native habitat. If you’re lucky, you might see bighorn sheep rams, great horned owls, elk, marmots, pikas, and more.

Observing these animals causes no harm; it’s when people try to get closer that things start to go wrong. Trying to approach animals can spook them into a daring and dangerous escape. Even worse is trying to feed natural wildlife. This is harmful for a number of reasons, but the biggest is that human food is generally not good for the animals. What’s more, animals could become dependent on snacks from visitors, creating a nuisance when they beg incessantly.

Don’t Start a Fire

Wildfire blazes are a real threat to the Rocky Mountains. While Rocky Mountain Natural Park usually has five to seven fires caused naturally by lightning each year, that number would be much higher if visitors were allowed to build fires wherever they wished.

Luckily, Rocky Mountain National Park is cognisant of the danger and prohibits campfires or grills from being used outside designated areas. Follow these rules to keep the terrain safe.

Leave No Trace

Perhaps the biggest and most crucial thing to consider when traveling through the Rocky Mountains is to pick up your trash. Rocky Mountain National Park has a “leave no trace” policy, which asks visitors to limit their impact on the land as much as possible by carrying out all their waste. 

Other parts of this policy include staying on designated trails to keep from widening the terrain, camping in areas without vegetation growing, and burying one’s bodily waste in a hole that is at least 6 inches deep.

Use these tips to minimise your impact on the Rocky Mountains, so this treasure will still be there for future generations to enjoy.