When it comes to big cities like Hempstead—one of three bustling towns within the span of Long Island, NY—sometimes the trouble is not in finding something fun to do but narrowing down your options for the best way to spend your day.
We’re here to help! Check out our roundup of some of the best things to do in Hempstead to help you plan a fun adventure in the city any day of the week!
Family-Friendly Activities in Hempstead, NY
1. Hempstead Lake State Park
If you’re looking for some outdoor things to do in Hempstead that the whole family can enjoy together—including furry, four-legged family members—then you will want to spend some time at Hempstead Lake State Park!
This is an excellent location for boating (on the lake) and fishing (in the ponds). Anglers will find many different varieties of fish, including crappie, bullhead catfish, sunfish, and perch, in the ponds. At the same time, boaters can experience a gorgeous and peaceful time out on the water in inflatable boats and cartops. For those interested in more than the marine fun this state park has to offer, you will find lots of hiking trails to enjoy, playgrounds, sport courts, horseback riding, and a handcrafted wooden carousel. Parties can even rent the Carousel Party Room for events up to 3 hours long!
With so many fun activities available on the grounds, it is genuinely no wonder why a visit to Hempstead Lake State Park is one of the most popular things to do in Hempstead for families of all sizes!
2. Long Island Children’s Museum
Ready to have a blast with an indoor experience you can enjoy with your kiddos of all ages any day of the week? Then plan a day to visit the Long Island Children’s Museum—one of the most kid-friendly things to do in Hempstead, hands-down.
This extremely popular place is full of fantastic, varied, sensory fun and games. All in one place, kiddos can have the chance to experience the indoors and outdoors, with inside exhibits such as Bubbles; Broken? Fix It!; and Keva can appeal to older kids, while the TotSpot, Sounds Showers, and Sandy Island is particularly popular with toddlers all the way down to crawlers. Meanwhile, outside, Our Backyard provides a sensory garden experience that can be best enjoyed on great weather days.
No matter your child’s age, interests, and needs, they are sure to find something to love at Long Island Children’s Museum that will keep you coming back for a visit after a visit and calling this one of your favorite things to do in Hempstead as a family!
3. Cradle of Aviation Museum
If you have an aviation enthusiast in your family, you will most definitely want to plan a visit to the Cradle of Aviation Museum!
Boasting more than 75 individual aircraft of both air and space, spread across eight unique exhibits and several rotating ones as well, this museum is dedicated to preserving the pursuit of flight in perpetuity. The exhibits are a wonderful blend of educational and just plain fun, with its varying roster of exhibits guaranteeing there will be something new to learn and fun to see each time you visit.
Whether you’re planning a visit to the Cradle of Aviation Museum as part of a learning project, anyone with love for the history and future of flight is sure to find that this is one of the best and most memorable things to do in Hempstead!
Restaurants in Hempstead, NY
4. King Umberto
Do you have a desire for fine dining in Hempstead? Then you will want to plan a visit to King Umberto!
In addition to many delectable dinner courses, including veal parmigiana, and filet mignon, they also offer a menu for younger diners, a scrumptious dessert array, and a fantastic wine selection. Folks who enjoy pizza will not be disappointed with the offerings of King Umberto’s adjacent pizzeria, which helped make this restaurant widely known and well-loved shortly after its inception in the late 1970s. And in addition to all these menu staples and favorites, King Umberto boasts a rotation of daily specials, so no matter which day of the week or how many times you visit, there will be something new to try.
With so much to offer in the way of tasty food, you may find that visiting King Umberto is one of those things to do in Hempstead that you want to experience again and again!
5. Plattdeutsche Park
For those who crave authentic German cuisine, Plattdeutsche Park is here to serve!
Considered a top destination in the local area for folks on the hunt for a genuine German-style meal, this restaurant dates its roots all the way back to the 1800 and has so much to show for its storied history! Their standard menu boasts page after page of authentic, handcrafted German food, from potato pancakes to Zwiebel Rostbraten and a whole spread of different wursts to sandwiches and burgers with a German flare and desserts that perfectly cap off any meal. And at the Beer Hall and Biergarten, you will find menus unique to those locations, such as pub food and a great selection of drinks, ensuring a wonderful experience at every part of Plattdeutsche Park.
Drop by and see for yourself why this restaurant ranks high on many folks’ lists of their favorite things to do in Hempstead!
6. The French Workshop
In need of a dessert or coffee to cap off a wonderful day of exploring all the great things to do in Hempstead? You’re in luck! You can almost certainly find something to satisfy your sweet tooth and your need for caffeine both in the same place: The French Workshop!
It doesn’t get much better than the wide variety of artisan desserts on the menu at The French Workshop. From macarons, brownies, and tarts to cake slices, profiteroles, and other authentic French dessert staples and unique creations, your taste buds will truly come alive no matter what you sample at The French Workshop. And when it comes to coffee, you have your pick of classic coffeeshop espresso favorites, cold brew, and more, making this a great, one-stop shop for all your needs at the end of a meal or after a long day of exploring, shopping, and making memories.
There’s no doubt about it—you won’t find a better place for sweets and coffee than The French Workshop, one of the sweetest things to do in Hempstead.
Educational and Recreational Things to Do in Hempstead, NY
7. Museum Visits
In addition to the Cradle of Aviation and Long Island Children’s Museum, both popular picks for families and individuals alike, there are several other museums that beg to be visited and are among the top picks for recreational things to do in Hempstead!
Among them, you may find of particular interest the African American Museum of Nassau County, The Hempstead House at Sands Point Preserve, the Nassau County Museum of Art, or one of several other art museums sprinkled through Hempstead and the Long Island area. Many different museums range wildly in their sizes and selection of exhibits, offering plenty of learning and enjoyable experiences throughout the area.
8. Shopping Adventures
Hempstead has many options for fun shopping excursions, each with its unique buffet of stores, restaurants, and memories to be made! The Roosevelt Field Mall is a particularly popular pick for mall shopping in the Hempstead area. In addition, you may want to drop by and check out Green Acres Shopping Mall and Samanea Mall. There are many options to choose from, as well as countless boutiques, consignment shops, special interest stores, and more scattered throughout Hempstead, you’re sure to have a phenomenal shopping adventure wherever you visit in this area.
Wrapping Up Things to Do in Hempstead, NY
Are you excited about all these fun things to do in Hempstead? This is just the tip of the iceberg! Check out our New York page to find other unique experiences awaiting all across the state.