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Arts and Music

25 Great Summer Bargains On Long Island

Now that the hottest season is in full swing, it’s that time of year when exploring what your surroundings have to offer in your free time is the best way to go. And if this can be done on the cheap, it’s all the better. The following are myriad adventures you can undertake when your wallet is as light as the clothing you’re wearing.

1. Listen To The Music — One of the best venues around is Nikon@Jones Beach, an open air shed that presents its offerings where sea meets land. But with concert prices being what they are, what’s a music fan to do? Your best bet is to head down to Jones Beach, (by sundown, the tolls are closed), bring yourself a blanket and/or folding chair and soak up the sounds of your favorite musical artist all while doing outside the pricey confines of the venue. You may not be seeing anything, but music is best enjoyed with ears anyway. Please visit www.jonesbeach.com for the schedule.

2. All Good Things Must Pass — The Nassau County Leisure Pass provides a gateway to lots of great outdoor activities in the county. For $25, residents are provided with discounts to pools, skating rinks, golf courses, tennis courts, beaches, marinas and cabanas operated by the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums. In general, a leisure pass is required of residents 13 years of age and older. Youngsters who utilize county-operated golf courses, regardless of age, must have a leisure pass. For more information, please visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/parks/leisure.html

3. Life’s A Beach — Now that you have your Nassau County Leisure Pass in hand, head over to Nickerson Beach. A part of the county park system since 1967, this particular beach is 155 acres of beachfront, campground, Fun Zone, ball fields, beach volleyball courts, cabanas and lockers. As for the bargain, understand that from Memorial Day to Labor Day, anyone wishing to hit the beach will either pay $30 for daily entry unless they have a Leisure Pass, which gets you on to the sand for a far more reasonable $8.

4. Pictures At An Exhibition — If you have a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch ATM, credit or check card, you can take advantage of the Museums on Us® program. On the first full weekend of every month, just show your card for free general admission to over 100 museums across the country. On Long Island, you can visit a number of museums for free on select dates that include Garden City’s Long Island Children’s Museum and Old Westbury Gardens. For a list of participating cultural institutions, please visit museums.bankofamerica.com

5. The Path Less Taken — Contrary to popular belief, Long Island has open space begging to be explored. Of particular note are the numerous trails that beckon those of the two-wheeled persuasion. Among the most notable are the Bethpage Multiuse Path, which starts in the picnic area lot in Bethpage runs the length of Bethpage Parkway all the way through the Massapequa Preserve to Merrick Road and clocks in at around 9.5 miles. Also notable is the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Mountain Bike Trail that’s marked for mountain bikes and stretches from the Bethpage State Park picnic area north to Stillwell Woods in Syosset. You’ll be required to wear a helmet if you take on this 8-mile endeavor that includes a 4-mile loop in the woods that has pretty challenging terrain.

6. Puttin’ The Night Away — Along with malls, Long Island seems to be the land of mini golf. And while there are plenty to recommend, Freeport’s Crow’s Nest Mini Golf really jumps out at you. Located on the village’s popular Nautical Mile, this 18-hole course has been open since 2004 and includes a cave, waterfall and the expected pirate theme. Opening at 11 a.m. and open till either 10 or 11 p.m. each night, the Crow’s Nest charges $8.50 for adults and $7.50 for kids under 10 and seniors.

7. In The Navy — Pretend to be a SEAL or just look like one when you lace up your Nikes to take on the Alumni-Midshipmen 5K Run at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on August 3 in Kings Point. It’s free to run so the only thing you’ll be spending is beauty sleep as the race kicks off at 8 a.m. while race day registration goes from 7 to 7:45 a.m. For more information, please call 516-773-5658 or visit usmmaaf.com

8. Me And My Arrow — Whether Robin Hood or Katniss Everdeen is your archer of choice, the Nassau Bowmen are always looking to get more people involved with this most ancient of sports. The season runs through Oct. 12 and both experienced bowmen and neophytes are all welcome. It’s free to participate if you bring your own equipment. Seaford’s Cedar Creek Park is where you’ll be letting your arrows fly. For more information, please call 631-667-1923 or visit nassaubowmen.org

9. I Wanna Go Back — There are undoubtedly generations of Long Islanders that remember trying to grab the brass ring riding the carousel at Nunley’s Amusement Park. Built in 1912, Nunley’s Carousel was in Baldwin until the park closed down in 1995. After being completely restored and moved to Garden City’s Cradle of Aviation, it opened in May 2009. Open daily through Labor Day from noon to 5 p.m., the carousel is a great bargain for kids of all ages thanks to its $2 tickets or $20 for 15 tickets if one time around just isn’t enough. Call 516-572-4111 or visit www.cradleofaviation.com

10. Down On The Farm — Common logic dictates that those wishing to have an agricultural experience need venture out to the East End. But in the case of Rottkamp Brothers Farms, you need go no further than McCouns Lane in Old Brookville. Through Thanksgiving Eve, the farm is open every day and offers a generous selection of vegetables and fruits grown on site. Call 516-671-2566 for hours of operation and information.

11. Just Eat It — Westbury’s St. Brigid/Our Lady of Hope Regional School will be the site of the Feast of the Assumption. This five-day event goes from Aug. 14-18 between 5:30-11 p.m. 516-521-7342 www.dellassuntasocietyofwestbury.com.

12. Cruisin’ — Out of the many classic car shows that go on throughout the summer on Long Island, Cruise to the Show is one of the largest and features a unique wrinkle—it gets kicked off by a parade. It starts at Bethpage’s Briarcliffe College at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. It then heads south on Stewart Avenue to Hempstead Turnpike and ends at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. The show then is held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. where more than 1000 vehicles will be on display. This year, it’s a two-day event that includes an Eddie Money show at Eisenhower Park the day before. For more information, call 516-315-6356 or visit Cruisetotheshow.com