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The Importance of Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday

November 25th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday. American Express helps promote small business shopping around the country, making it a nationwide movement. Businesses around the country sign up to be part of the Shop Small Movement.

Small Business Saturday encourages people to support local businesses in the community. This helps to drive sales at mom-and-pop stores that might normally struggle to compete with big chain department stores. Did you know that if you shop locally, the tax revenue benefits the entire community? This helps circulate the money spent back into the community, benefitting public services, including schools, libraries, fire and police departments. By shopping locally you indirectly help these community organizations. Local small business owners also usually follow “the good neighbor policy” and give back to schools, events and teams in the community. This helps boost the local economy and even create jobs.

Besides benefitting the local community and economy, there are also plenty of consumer incentives for shopping on Small Business Saturday. American Express offers financial incentives/statement credit to card holders. Many stores give freebies and discounts to shoppers on Small Business Saturday. Some towns even offer special chamber of commerce discount cards.

Shopping for holiday gifts can be stressful. It can be difficult to pick a gift that suits someone’s personality while avoiding purchasing items he/she might already have.

Small shops tend to have more of a unique selection and product diversity than big-box stores that carry the same dozen gift ideas. Small boutique shops carry rare, one-of-a-kind or locally made goods, which make extraordinary holiday gifts. Some specialty items might even be less expensive in-store than they would be if they were ordered offline. If you want to give a delightful and thoughtful gift this season, browse the selection at your local small shops.

Chain stores are crowded and packed during the holiday season and trying to get assistance or help is almost impossible. It is hard to find parking, get a dressing room and you have to wait on incredibly long lines in order to make a purchase. Small businesses usually offer better customer service and are less crowded. Local stores also give you a sense of community, they look to build relationships not just make a quick transaction. Have you ever walked into a local business and they know you by name? Now that’s service! It is always nice to be recognized and receive valuable assistance when you are trying to select a gift for your friends, family and loved ones.

Help spread the word about Small Business Saturday in your community. Share you experience by taking a photo at your favorite local store and posting it up on your social media feed. Apps like FourSquare let you check in and show your friends and family where you are shopping. Some stores even reward customers who use this app on Small Business Saturday. This holiday season join the nationwide movement and shop on Small Business Saturday.

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Recipes for Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Turkey may be the star of the show on Thanksgiving, but it’s the Thanksgiving side dishes that bring the whole meal together. Save on prep and cook time by choosing these easy standout side dishes. Keep your guests full and happy and kick back and enjoy some time with your loved ones.

Cauliflower Rice

Purchase a bag of riced cauliflower (fresh prepared cauliflower rice.) Heat up a large pot and add a few tablespoons of canola or olive oil.  Add the cauliflower rice and cook for 5-8 minutes while constantly stirring. Season the rice with salt, pepper and adobo for a quick, easy, healthy side dish.

Honey Ginger Roasted Carrots

Wash your tri-colored carrots (or regular carrots if you can’t find the tri-colored ones.)Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the outer skin of the carrots. Use a non-stick cooking oil and spray the inside a jellyroll pan. Place the carrots inside a bowl and coat with olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, and one inch of grated ginger .Toss and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread the carrots out on the jellyroll pan. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cook for about 40 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter

Purchase a package of fresh pumpkin ravioli from your local pasta store or supermarket. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with a tablespoon or two of salt. Add the ravioli and cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until they float. In another pot, melt a stick of butter over high heat. Add a few sage leaves and cook until the butter browns. Drain the pasta and add the ravioli to the melted butter. Season the ravioli with salt and pepper and top with fresh grated Locatelli Pecorino Romano cheese.

Sautéed green beans with lemon

Wash the green beans and trim off the ends of the beans. Place the green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the desired softness. Drain the string beans and place into a bowl of ice water. The ice water stops the beans from cooking and helps maintain the beautiful green color. Keep the string beans in the ice bath until they are cooled completely. Drain the string beans and coat with a buttery olive oil, one fresh squeezed lemon, sea salt and pepper. This can be served hot or cold depending on what you and your guests desire.

Fresh Butternut Squash Salad

Poke holes in your butternut squash with a fork. Place the squash in the microwave for three to four minutes. Let the squash cool so it is easy to handle. Peel off the skin using a vegetable peeler or knife. Once all the skin is off, use vegetable peeler make the squash into long thin ribbons and place into a bowl. Cut a few slices of prosciutto di parma into 2 inch strips and grab a handful of dried cranberries and add to the bowl. Coat with a bold and peppery extra virgin olive oil, add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper for the ultimate fall fresh salad.

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How to Celebrate the Holidays without Gaining Weight

gaining weight

During the holiday season, there is food everywhere and you might be tempted to overindulge. Everyone around you is telling you it is okay to have fun and eat whatever you like. It is normal to succumb to these urges, but you need to be disciplined in order to avoid pilling on pounds during the holidays. Even though you might have broken some of your normal routines, stay within limits so you don’t gain more weight. The following ways will help enjoy the holidays without packing on the pounds.

Set Goals and Keep a Food Diary

Setting goals will help you stay motivated and on track. One method that will help you stick to your goal is a food diary, a book where you record what you eat and how much you eat, so you don’t overeat.

Do Not Overeat

A wide array of appealing foods and a feel-good mood, can lead one to overindulge. Overeating can be nipped in the bud by consciously picking a smaller plate and eating smaller portions.

Limit your Alcohol Intake

Alcohol is a villain when it comes to piling on extra calories. Only indulge in one or two drinks during the holidays. Your body will thank you when you have maintained your trim figure after the holiday season is over.

Stay Active

Make sure to stay active during the holidays. Swim, play a game of tennis or go dancing, this will help you burn calories while having fun. If you are already a member of gym or belong to a fit group, consider a temporary membership to a similar group if you are traveling during the holidays.

Stick to a Regular Sleep Routine

If you are not getting enough sleep, rest assured that you will not be able to lose those extra pounds. Sleeping helps you lose weight in different ways. Sleep increases your metabolism and boosts fat lost. The longer you stay awake, the more likely you are to consume calories that your body does not need. Sticking to a regular sleep routine can even reduce late night splurges.

Savor your Splurges

You do not have to forgo your cravings; after all, this is the holiday season. All you need to remember is moderation is the key. Enjoy your splurges with some restraint.

Eat Fresh & Healthy Foods

During holiday parties, people tend to indulge in junk foods and forget the vegetables. A plate half-filled with vegetables is a great way to lose extra pounds. The high fiber content in vegetables will leave you feeling full, thus suppressing your cravings.

Drink Water/Hydrate

Water helps boost your metabolism and flush out toxins. Whenever you feel hungry, grab a glass of water, you will be surprised how much less you will consume. It is possible to stay lean during the holidays. Don’t let social pressure get to you; set your priorities and stick to them. Enjoy the holiday season by following these helpful tips to avoid weight gain.

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Best LI Places to Get Pies for Thanksgiving


During Thanksgiving time, dessert-lovers crave home-baked pies. Making a great pie requires major baking skills, but if you’re buying one you need to know which Long Island bakeries and farm stands make the best pies. Here are some top pie picks that your holiday guests will be thankful for.

Briermere Farms- Riverhead

Pies from Briermere Farms are made entirely from scratch using fresh fruits grown on the farm. They do not use any prepared ingredients or fillings. Some of their cream and meringue pies include lemon meringue, coconut meringue, chocolate cream and key lime. Some of their fruit pies include apple, blueberry, cherry, peach, raspberry, strawberry, rhubarb and apricot. Fruit pies can even be bought in advanced and froze if you follow the directions on the Briermere Farms website.

Diane’s Bakery Café- Rosyln

Pies from Diane’s Bakery are always fresh and delicious. Some the types of pies baked include apple, triple berry, pecan, chocolate mousse and banana cream. Diane secret to a great apple pie is all about the ingredients. She uses fresh local apples, lemon juice (so the apples don’t brow) and nutmeg to heighten the flavors and aromas of the apples. Diane’s pies are not overly sweet, which showcases the fruit in the pies. Each pie is $26 which can be considered expensive, but they are well worth it. Splurge on one of these pies during the holidays.

 Buttercooky Bakery-Floral Park & Manhasset

The Buttercooky Bakery is not just known for their cookies, they also make a variety of lattice, traditional and crumb topped pies. Their slogan is “baked with butter makes it better.” Some of their most popular pies include their sweet potato pie, key lime and coconut cream with whipped cream icing with coconut flakes, yum!

Jericho Cider Mill- Jericho

The Jericho Cider Mill is a popular hot spot during the fall. They make delicious apple cider, cider doughnuts, jams and pies. Some of their most popular pies include apple, apple crumb and pumpkin. If you have your heart set on a certain type of pie, make sure to arrive early and know it might be difficult to find parking.

Kerber’s Farm-Huntington

Oprah once described the kerberry pie from Kerber’s Farm as one of the best desserts she ever had. This pie is a mix of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries covered with a crumb topping. Some of Kerber’s other pie varieties include strawberry –rhubarb, s’mores, coconut-cream, cherry, blueberry and apple. This Thanksgiving head to where the A-listers get their dessert.

Youngs Farm-Old Brookville

Pie crust is made of three basic ingredients, flour, fat, and water. Most pie crust recipes use butter as its fat, however at Youngs Farm, they use shortening. Crusts made with shortening are easier to work with and come out tender and flaky. They make a variety of pies including pumpkin, apple, apple crisp, cranberry nut, pecan and more. Be sure to pick up one of Youngs seasonal apple pies and a container of vanilla ice cream this fall.

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Best LI Restaurants to go to for Thanksgiving

Are you debating if your family should go out to eat this Thanksgiving? Here are 3 reasons to go out to eat for Thanksgiving dinner.

Bountiful Cornucopia of Choices

Restaurants offer lavish buffets and prix-fixe menus. If you’re not into traditional Thanksgiving foods, there are a plethora of other options that you can choose from. Restaurants also offer unique spins on the traditional Thanksgiving dishes if you’re bored of the same dishes year after year. There are also kid-friendly options like chicken fingers, pizza and macaroni and cheese for picky eaters. Anyone who has dietary restrictions or food allergies can order off the regular menu. If you have a big sweet tooth, there are a variety of desserts including pies, cakes and ice creams that you can order.

Less Stress

Treat mom, grandma or whoever does the holiday cooking in your family to a labor –free holiday. Put the chefs to work and let the host sit down, drink a glass of wine and enjoy spending time with the family this Thanksgiving. I’m sure the usual cook/host will be very thankful for no food shopping, cooking and cleaning this holiday.

No Leftovers

Rest assured, there will be no need to repurpose leftover turkey for a whole week if you go out to eat for Thanksgiving. Honestly, do you really eat turkey more than once a year? Now you won’t have to feel guilty if you throw away and leftover food that you have no room to store. Let the restaurants offer turkey noodle soup and turkey sandwich specials the day after Thanksgiving.

The Carlturn

1899 Hempstead Turnpike

East Meadow, NY 11554

(516) 542-0700 (Reservations Suggested)

Cost: Thanksgiving Dinner– Palm Court, Gold Cost Room & Gatsby Room

*$65.00 per person, *$30.00 Per Child (3-10 yrs.) *Plus Tax, Gratuity & Beverages

Thanksgiving Buffet-Ballroom & Drawing Room

*$49.00 per person, *$27.00 Per Child (3-10 yrs.) *Plus Tax & 20% Gratuity

The Carltun has a large spread for their Thanksgiving Buffet including Tuscan antipasto, assorted pastas, a carving station, salmon, chicken, salads, kid friendly choices, cakes, pies and ice cream, etc.

Westbury Manor

1100 Jericho Turnpike

Westbury, NY 11590

(516) 333-7117

Cost: Thanksgiving Day Buffet: $49.00 per person All children under 10 yrs. $21.00

(All Kid’s Entrees include Ice Cream & Soft Drinks)

À La Carte Dinner Menu (Includes appetizers, soups and salads, pastas and entrées)

Wesbury Manor’s roasted Vermont turkey is sliced and served with a side of sweet potatoes, French green beans, chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy for only $39 a person or $21 per child.

 The Milleridge Inn

585 N Broadway

Jericho, NY 11753

(516) 931-2201

Cost: In the Cottage $55.95 (+ tax) Sit Down Prix Fixe 11am-6pm

Grand Buffet $55.95 (+ Tax) Grand Buffet 11am-4pm (seating every ½ hour)

Enjoy walking through the historic Milleridge village of specialty shops including the bakery, flower shop, candy shop and boutique stores before or after your meal. The grounds are beautifully decorated, making it a great place for family photo-ops.

Piccola Bussola

970 W Jericho Turnpike

Huntington, NY 11743

(631) 692-6300

Cost: (Family-Style A La Carte Menu, prices as marked on menu)

 La Bussola Ristorante

40 School Street

Glen Cove, NY 11542

(516) 671-2100

Cost: (Price Fixe Menu: $49 Adults & Children 12 and under $22)

Piccola Bussola

159 Jericho Tpke, Mineola, New York 11501

(516) 294-4620

Cost: (Buffet Family Dinner: $45 Adults & Children 12 and under $22)

If you decide to dine at Piccola Bussola, try the sweet potato gnocchi with maple cinnamon sage brown butter and the pumpkin ravioli, these pasta dishes with a fall twist are fabulous.


8 Tower Place

Roslyn, NY 11576


Thursday, November 23rd (1pm-7pm)

Thyme will serve Brunch on Friday, Nov. 24th (11:30am-3pm)

(Reservations require credit card authorization)

Cost: All menus & pricing subject to change, based on availability

Thyme works closely with local farms and uses the best quality seasonal ingredients. Enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast that highlights the seasons best.

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Great Outdoor Activities to do this Fall on Long Island

Great Outdoor Activities to do this Fall on Long Island

During the fall, Long Island is a great place to enjoy the mild weather, spend time with friends and family and explore seasonal themed activities. Here are some great outdoor activities that you will want to add to your autumn bucket list.

Pumpkin Patches

Nothing quite says fall like pumpkins. There are several u-pick pumpkin patches and farms that where you can walk through the fields and pick the perfect pumpkin fresh from the vine. Pumpkins can be used in a variety of ways, they can made into sweet and savory dishes like pie, soups, or breads, carved into jack-o-lanterns, or used as ornamental displays. Spending the day at a pumpkin patch is a fun outing that the whole family will enjoy.

Pick Apples

Apple picking is a great family activity, date or day trip with friends. Trek out to the east end where there are plenty of orchards and farm stands with a variety of apples to choose from. Many places allow visitors to pick apples and as well as other types of fruit and vegetables that are ripe during the fall including tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Keep in mind that apples come into bloom during different times a year so plan your trip to coincide with apples varieties that you enjoy the most.

Get Scared

Halloween is the biggest fall holiday. Haunted houses are a spook-tacular way to get into the Halloween spirit. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, check out NYZ Apocalypse, they offer an interactive zombie survival experience. Bayville Scream Park offers 6 different attractions including Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, Uncle Needle’s Fun House of Fear, Temple of Terror, Zombie Pirates, Evil in the Woods and The Cage. Bayville also offers a tame Halloween experience for children during daylight hours called Kids “Not So Scary” Days. Other haunted attractions on Long Island include Halloween themed escape rooms, haunted mansions, castles and barns.

Watch the Fall Foliage

Fall is an ideal time to watch the leaves transform into beautiful shades of oranges, yellows and reds. Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Sunken Meadow State Park, Massapequa Preserve and Sands Point Preserve have hiking and walking trails with natural glory everywhere you look. Some places even offer free guided tours during the fall season to help visitors appreciate the beauty of nature. Create a fall scavenger hunt to keep your kids observant and entertained during the walk. Make sure to dress warmly, wear a comfortable pair of shoes and of course enjoy the view.

Escape from aMAZEing Corn Mazes

Did you know that some farms not only grow crops but also provide visitors with other activities such as corn mazes? Find your way though the winding path of a corn maze while getting lost in all the twists and turns retracing your steps while trying to navigate your way out. Be sure to check out F&W Schmitt Family Farm, Harbes Family Farm and Mattituck Barnyard “aMAZing” corn mazes this fall.

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Best Fall Beer Festivals on Long Island

Best Fall Beer Festivals on Long Island

The anticipation of pumpkin beers makes the fall one of the most exciting seasons for craft beer enthusiasts. Pumpkin beers, amber harvest ales and Oktoberfest beers are flooding back onto shelves, defining the fall lineup of seasonal craft beers. There is an abundance of pumpkin ales, imperial stouts, sours, and barrel-aged brews, but which ones are the best? With so many fall beers available it’s hard to know which ones to choose. Nothing is worse than going to the store and spending hard-earned cash on a six-pack of beer, popping it open and hating it after the first sip. Here is a list of local fall beers festivals where you can sample a variety of seasonal beers and even discover some new favorites before you make your next purchase at your local beer distributor.

Punktober Fest
Date & Time: Saturday, October 21st (12:45pm-5:30pm)
Location: Great South Bay Brewery
25 Drexel Dr.
Bay Shore, NY 11706
Price: $20.00 – $70.00 Tickets can be purchased on

Punktöberfest at the Great South Bay Brewery has a great selection of fall beers, traditional Oktoberfest foods and of course punk rock music. If you’re a fan of craft beer you’ll be happy to know that the local and international brewing community will be present and pouring their best pumpkin and German Style beers to celebrate the fall season. If you love beers, brats and punk rock come spend a beautiful fall day at the Great South Bay Brewery enjoying great food, drinks, games and music by Send Flowers, Gutterlife, The Burbs and more.

Pumpkin Fest
Date & Time: October 14th (6pm)
Location: TJ Finley’s
42 E Main Street
Bay Shore, NY
Price: Pay as you go

TJ Finley’s offers over 20 different types pumpkin beers served in hollowed-out mini pumpkins rimmed with cinnamon sugar (for the first 200 attendees.) With so many seasonal beers to choose from, deciding which one to try first can be a sweet challenge. This festival is a great place to taste a large variety of pumpkin beers from different breweries.

Halloween Costume Party at L.I. Pour House
Date & Time: October 28th -October 29th (8pm-3am)
Location: L.I. Pour House Bar & Grill/ 650 NY-112, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776
Cost: $15 adv/$20 at the door (part of proceeds benefit the Strong Island Animal Rescue League)

Enjoy craft beer, live music, BBQ, and vendors. Dress up in your spookiest Halloween costume and try to win the $500 prize! Get a zombie makeover at the Walking Dead booth or get a psychic reading.

8th Annual Bats & Brews Benefit
Date: Saturday, October 21st (7-11pm)
Location: Scully Mansion/Seatuck Environmental Association
550 S. Bay Avenue
Islip, NY
Price: $80 Purchase Tickets at

Bats & Brews is the annual fundraiser for the Seatuck Environmental Association. This event includes a presentation about bats, craft beer, live music and games. The historic Scully Mansion has the perfect ambience for a pre-Halloween party. Bats & Brews features breweries exclusively from Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens that use sustainable practices and locally-sourced ingredients.

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The Best Seafood Restaurants on Long Island

Certain restaurants are known for a signature type of food or iconic dish. They use high quality the ingredients, the best techniques and have a large following in result. October is National Seafood Month; here are the best seafood spots on Long Island that you can enjoy during the crisp, cool weather this fall.

Peter’s Clam Bar & Seafood Restaurant- Baked Clams

Island Park, NY

Did you know that Peter’s Clam Bar is Long Island’s oldest Clam Bar? Peter’s Clam Shack opened up in fall of 1939. Unfortunately in 2012, this restaurant was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Luckily, Peter’s Clam Bar & Seafood Restaurant was rebuilt under new ownership and is still serving up the best clams on Long Island. Peter’s uses the freshest seafood and makes everything from scratch. Peter’s is known for its legendary baked clams, using chopped clams, crunchy breadcrumbs, herbs and garlic. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch at the clam bar or a date night at the restaurant the seafood dishes at Peter’s Clams Bar will not disappoint.

Uncle Bacalas- Italian Seafood

Garden City Park, NY

Uncle Bacalas is known for its hearty Italian seafood favorites. When you walk into the restaurant, it feels an outdoor courtyard on a fisherman’s wharf; the restaurant is decorated with white subway tiles and the tables are covered with red and white checkered tablecloths. Some of their best seafood dishes include Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare (spaghetti with tomato sauce, shrimps, scallops, calamari, clams and mussels), Salmone in Agro Dolce (roasted salmon sautéed with sherry vinegar, honey, sweet garlic sauce and topped with roasted eggplant), Tilapia Oreganata, (tilapia topped with a crispy crust of breadcrumbs, garlic, and Pecorino Romano cheese) and Calamari fritti served with a spicy marinara sauce. This is a great place to enjoy all your Italian seafood favorites and complementary cotton candy at the end of your meal.

Del Fuego- Fish Tacos

St James, Babylon and Patchogue, NY

Del Fuego was named the Best Tex-Mex on Long Island by Bethpage’s Best of Long Island in 2014. When you think of Del Fuego, you might not think seafood, but they actually have excellent fish and shrimp tacos. Did you know that every Tuesday you can score $3 tacos for lunch? Their fish tacos have seared tilapia, roasted corn salsa, red cabbage slaw and chipotle aioli. If you are looking for some heat, try the shrimp tacos with Cajun spiced shrimp. Enjoy great seafood tacos and deals at Del Fuego every Tuesday.

Aji 53-Sushi

Bay Shore and Smithtown, NY

Aji 53 is known for its sleek modern atmosphere and Japanese fusion cuisine. They are  known for its fresh and innovative sushi.  Did you know that Aji 53 makes 30 different specialty rolls that aren’t even listed on the menu and can also make specialty sushi upon request? Some of Aji 53’s signature sushi rolls that are considered “The Best of the Best” include American Dream (rock shrimp tempura, topped with spicy lobster & kani served with a spicy cream sauce), Bay Shore (seared tuna and avocado topped with spicy crunchy salmon served with spicy miso), Mango Madness (salmon avocado soy bean wrap topped with mango mixed with tuna, shrimp and lobster, served with a sweet chili sauce and a spicy mayo) and Crown Salmon (spicy crunchy king crab, shrimp, cucumber, wrapped with soybean paper, topped with seared salmon and avocado with truffle wasabi mayo.) If you looking for great sushi, Aji 53’s unique fusion faire will wet your palette.

Rumba- Caribbean Inspired Seafood

Hampton Bays, NY

Rumba has a great Caribbean vibe, its island inspired cuisine and rum bar make it a local hot spot in the Hamptons. Rumba is a popular spot in the Hamptons during the summer, but it’s also a great place to visit during the fall when it is less crowded and not as hot outside. Their Mampie Mahi is one of their most talked about dishes. The Mampie Mahi, is a Cajun-grilled Atlantic fish, fried shrimp with a Creole reduction sauce served with a side of garlic smashed potatoes and the vegetable of the day. The shrimp boat with plantains and great mahi mahi topped with shrimp and Creole reduction are also noteworthy. If you love Caribbean inspired seafood, definitely make a trip out to Rumba.

Sangria 71Paella

Williston Park & Commack, NY

Sangria 71’s menu inspired by the flavors of Spain, some people even claim the food is better there than in Barcelona. They are known for having the freshest seafood, perfect rice and of course great Paella. The Paella Valenciana has saffron rice, clams, mussels, shrimp, sea scallops, chicken and chorizo. They also have Ladies Night specials every Wednesday which includes half price tapas, $6 Sangria and other select cocktails. Enjoy delicious food paired with superb sangria and fine Spanish wines. If you have a weakness for paella, definitely put this place on your radar.

Point Lookout Clam Bar-Cheap Eats

Point Lookout, NY

With a slogan like “from our ships to your lips” you know that you are getting the freshest seafood at Point Lookout Clam Bar. This is a great casual spot to sit outdoors on picnic tables overlooking the water. Point Lookout Clam Bar is open 7 days a week serving up something for everyone including fried fish favorites, live lobsters and items from the raw bar.

Even though chowder is popular during the summer, it always tastes better with a nip of fall in the air. The New England clam chowder from Point Lookout Clam Bar is creamy, fresh and served with oyster crackers for some crunch and texture. Don’t spend money on a fancy seafood restaurant when you can get the fresh seafood right off the boat at Point Lookout Clam Bar year-round.

Cowfish Restaurant-Buffalo Shrimp

Hampton Bays, NY

Cowfish is known for having the “happiest hours” in the Hamptons between 3 and 5pm, they offer half priced appetizers, wine, beer and cocktails. They are known for pairing seafood and sushi, but one of their most buzzed about items on the menu is their jumbo buffalo shrimp which is served with crumbled Danish blue cheese and chives. The buffalo shrimp is a great way to start off any amazing meal or is perfect paired with a cocktail at happy hour.

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How to Have a Successful Halloween Party for Kids

You are about to launch the biggest and best Halloween party ever. Your kids and their friends are ecstatic about the activities, decorations, and creepy creations. Here are some tips and suggestions to assist you in your preparation.

Get Organized

Search the web and read books and magazines for interesting new ideas and activities. Sit down and make a list of everything that needs to be done and all the items that need to be purchased. If you are ordering any items online, make sure to allow plenty of time for shipping, exchanges, and returns. Make a list of all the perishable foods that need to be purchased and place your catering order 24-48 hours in advance.

Create a Scary Haunted House

A haunted house is a great addition to any Halloween party. Select an area of the house or yard (an outdoor shed, a porch area, or a specific room in the house) and start setting up in advance because it will take some time to create and prepare the haunted house. Use plenty of spider webs, life-size scary figures and spooky music to create the perfect ambience.

Prepare Ghoulish Goodies

Food and beverage selections are a great way to get creative. For example, fill a rubber glove with water, freeze and remove the glove. Place the ice hand inside a bowl of blood red fruit punch. Wrap hot dogs in strips of puff pastry to create miniature mummies. Create ghoulish names for all of the food selections and write them on small place cards.

Stock-Up on Halloween Candy There is a saying about purchasing Halloween candy, if you think you have enough candy, go out and buy some more. You can never have too many goodies to pass out to kids, you can even stock up on supplies a month before the party. Hand out goody bags either before or after the festivities begin, write the kid’s names on each bag in case they get misplaced.

 Host a Costume Contest

Dressing up in costumes is one of the best parts of Halloween. Hold a costume contest for the most original, the scariest and the best overall costume and encourage all the children invited to the party to dress up. You can even hold a separate contest for all the adults and helpers at the party. Have the guests vote by secret ballot and hand out special prizes to all the winners.

 Halloween Bingo

Have a Halloween bingo party, the equipment is minimal and all ages can participate; you will be amazed at how engaged the guests are. This will become an annual event that everyone looks forward to. Give out fun prizes such as cash, trinkets, or small gift cards to the winners.

Planning a Halloween party does not have to be difficult task, follow these tips and you will have the most successful and exciting Halloween party ever. Guests will be looking forward to your party for years to come.

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Fall Festivals the Entire Family Can Enjoy

Fall Festivals

Autumn is upon us bringing beautiful foliage and a bounty of festivals the entire family can enjoy. Plan a fun-filled weekend this fall at these family festivals happening on Long Island. Consider one of these fall festivals for your next family weekend adventure.

34th Annual Oyster Festival

Dates: Saturday, October 14 – Sunday, October 15th

Location: Theodore Roosevelt Park

West End Ave

Oyster Bay, NY

Cost: Free

Did you know that the Oyster Festival started as a hometown parade honoring Theodore Roosevelt? This festival has evolved into the largest outdoor festival, attracting over 200,000 visitors each year. The Oyster Festival is known for their iconic oyster eating and shucking contest, live entertainment, vendors, rides and much more. This festival is perfect for seafood lovers, culinary pros serve up inventive gourmet seafood dishes showcasing oysters and clams, along with other festival favorites including frozen hot chocolate, fried Oreos and funnel cakes. There are also plenty of carnival rides, exotic animals (including miniature ponies) and a Pirate exhibit, perfect for kids. This is a great way to spend and Indian summer weekend down by the waterfront.

Riverhead Country Fair

Date: Sunday, October 8th

Location: Riverhead’s Main Street

Riverhead, NY

Cost: Free

Every year Riverhead celebrates its farmers and the agricultural heritage at the Riverhead County Fair. This year is the 42nd annual Riverhead County Fair and there will be plenty of amusement rides, pony rides, pumpkin decorating contests, entertainers and delicious food. Tractor pulls and antique farm equipment will be displayed and make great photo ops.

RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns

Location: Garden of Gords

71 Old Westbury Road Old Westbury, NY

Dates: Various evenings in October


RISE of the Jack O’ Lanterns is returning for its 6th year at Westbury Gardens. Come see 5,000 hand-carved illuminated jack o’lanterns arranged along a scenic path set to a spooky musical score. Some fan-favorites will be reappearing along with new spectacular carvings. Did you know that 5,000 fresh pumpkins are carved each week? Get into the Halloween spirit and plan a family outing to the RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns; you will be amazed at the talent and creativity that goes into these pumpkin carvings.

56th Annual Apple Festival

Dates & Time: Saturday, October 7th– Sunday, October 8th  (9am- 5pm)

Location: Mill Neck Manor

40 Frost Mill Rd, Mill Neck, NY

Cost: Parking fee is $15 per vehicle.

The 56th Annual Apple Festival is located on the historic Gold Coast estate in Mill Neck Manor. This festival is filled with games and activities for children and plenty of mouth-watering goodies including ripe apples, jellies, fudge, and baked goods. There is also a pumpkin patch, handmade crafts and a variety of meats and cheeses. This is a great festival for the entire family; however keep in mind no dogs are allowed on the campus grounds.

 Long Island Fair

Dates: September 16, 17, 23, 24 (10 am-6pm)

Location: Old Bethpage Village Restoration

1303 Round Swamp Rd.

Old Bethpage, NY

Cost: $15 adults, $12 children ages 5-12, and children under 4 are free

Don’t miss the Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration; it is packed with fun family-friendly activities including carousel, petting zoo and potato sack races. This festival also has great entertainment including an acrobatic dual trampoline show, a juggling and aerialist performance and high dive show. Step back in time and enjoy an old-time baseball game and a demonstration by Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Plan a beautiful fall day with the family to visit this historical landmark.

Oktoberfest at Eisenhower Park

Dates: Saturday, October 7-Monday, October 9th

Location: Eisenhower Park

1899 Park Boulevard

Westbury, NY

Cost: Free

Celebrate Oktoberfest and German culture on Long Island at Eisenhower Park. Enjoy German fare (including Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, and schnitzel), dance to the live polka music, take a tractor ride and get lost in the pumpkin maze. This is a fun free festival and a great way to celebrate Oktoberfest with the entire family.

5th Annual rUNDEAD 5k Zombie Run & Fall Family Festival

Date: Saturday, November 4th 8:30am-4pm

Location: Massapequa PAL Field

510 Parkside Blvd Massapequa, 11758

Cost:  $30

The rUNDEAD is a 5k trail run benefitting the Special Olympics on Long Island. Each runner starts off with a flag belt and three flags (each flag represents a life-line). Zombies will try to take your flags one a time and each time a zombie grabs one of your flags you lose a life. The runner must finish the race with at least one flag in order to survive the zombies and be eligible for an award. This is a great event to raise money for a good cause, get some exercise and practice escaping from zombies.

Great Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Sail 2017

Date & Time: Saturday October 28th 3pm-6pm

Location: Belmont Lake State Park

Southern State Parkway Exit 38 North Babylon, NY

Cost: Free Event

This Halloween themed event that is perfect for the whole family. There are balloon animals, a children’s spooky den, trick or treating, crafts and much more. However, the best part of the event is at dusk when 50 carved pumpkins are put on floatation devices, lit with candles and sailed on the back of kayaks around Belmont Lake. If you are one of the first 50 people to bring a carved pumpkin, yours might get picked to be sailed! Be sure to bring you camera this is definitely an event that you and your family will want to capture.

Spooky Fest

Date & Time: Saturday, October 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 (6:30pm.-9:30pm)

Location: Tanglewood Preserve

1450 Tanglewood Rd.

Rockville Centre, NY

Cost: $10 per person or $15 when including the scary “Haunted Woods” and “Maze of Zombies” attractions

Many activities for young kids around Halloween time can be too scary for them to enjoy. However, Spooky Fest features “Not-So-Spooky Walk”, Halloween Theater, arts and crafts, live animal exhibit, a “Mystic Den,” face painting and “Friendly Merry Monsters.” These “non spooky” activities are great way for the little ones to get in the Halloween spirit.