Saltaire for Kids

Saltaire, Fire Island is the ideal haven for families with children. The absence of cars on the island allows children the freedom to go safely to the market for a snack or to their friends’ houses. The small size of the Village makes it easy for the children to find their way. Children are everywhere here, on their bikes, running errands to the market or pulling a wagon with books on their way to the Library for the reading program. Kids can ride their bikes to the basketball court, to the ball field for a game, to the playground, or to the Tuesday evening movie and cartoon at the Yacht Club. This unique independence develops their self confidence and sense of well-being. Parents can relax, knowing that their children are safe.

Beginning at four years of age, children join the morning Saltaire Camp. Together with kids their age, they enjoy sports, arts and crafts, swimming instruction, games, and field trips, while you savor another chapter of your favorite novel or take in another game of tennis. They can also take one of two week-long soccer or baseball clinics. During the summer, the camp sponsors several special theme days. The library hosts reading and craft programs for our youngest residents and it is well-stocked with books for adults and for children of all ages. There are many opportunities for children to meet friends their own age.

The athletic youngsters busy themselves taking swimming lessons at the bay, or joining the corkball and soccer leagues. Sailing, windsurfing and tennis lessons are given at the Yacht Club for all ages. It is never too late to learn. Your little Saltaire artist and entrepreneur can be seen doing a brisk business in painted seashells, jewelry, or good old-fashioned lemonade on their corner. The passersby always have some spare change for the kids.

All during the summer, there are many special events. The old-fashioned pancake breakfasts held at the Firehouse are a great place to meet friends. The July 4th field games and parade (led by the neighboring Fire Department marching bands, trucks, and a long procession of kids on bikes) ends up with hot dogs at the Firehouse. The sandcastle contest on the beach in August is wonderful for adults and kids to share their creativity. Children participate in the jogathon, make crafts for the Arts Festival, and showcase their abilities in the annual Labor Day Talent Show.

For a change of atmosphere, families can take day excursions to a number of Fire Island’s hidden treasures. Just a 20 minute walk will bring you to the historic Fire Island Lighthouse, built in 1887. Children can learn about the maritime history of the Island, participate in arts and crafts, bird studies, and tales of pirates and ghosts. A brief water taxi ride east will bring you to Sunken Forest, an exquisite nature preserve unique in its elevation below sea level. The winding boardwalks will bring you through this lush forest where you can experience its natural beauty.

Teenagers have a blast here too. The multitude of sports keep them active all day. The nightlife on Fire Island can be found at the Yacht Club or in nearby towns, and can be reached by water taxi, bike, or on foot. Ocean Beach, a short water taxi or lateral ferry ride east, has clothing and gift stores, a movie theater, pizza parlor, ice cream and candy shop, many open-air restaurants, and several nice nightclubs. There are lots of easy ways to meet other kids their age. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about them coming home in cars. This protected island is a crime-free Utopia for teens, and subsequently a worry-free paradise for adults.

Your children will have a safe, action packed, fun-filled summer, and develop friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.