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Enjoy the rest of summer, locally


As the summer winds down, many families are racing to make the most out of the last days of the season before children return to school, high school grads go away to college and the days begin to cool.

But look no farther than your geographic backyard, and devote the remainder of the summer to exploring someplace new, visiting an unfamiliar beach or checking out a local festival.

Eisenhower Park offers concerts and festivals throughout the summer, and at 930 acres, it’s bigger than Manhattan’s Central Park. On Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., it will host Art Craft and Gift Shows, featuring over 500 exhibitors.

If your family is of Scottish heritage, or you’re interested in learning more about the culture, check out the 59th annual Long Island Scottish Festival and Highland Games on Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Old Westbury Gardens.

Then after a day of traditional music, caber tossing and vendor viewing, take a tour of the historic site. The Old Westbury Gardens, constructed in 1906, offers walking tours, botany lessons and gardening classes in its 216 acres of gardens, rolling fields and woodlands.

Summer peaches are in season on Long Island. The Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck is home to an annual Peach Festival on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. A Peach King and Queen will be crowed winners of the free peach-eating contest.

There’s no need to travel upstate for a lakeside vacation when Oyster Bay Harbor offers its own scenic views and opportunities for sailing, kayaking and clamming. The Water Front Center, an Oyster Bay nonprofit, offers rentals, harbor tours, sunset cruises and children’s programs throughout the summer.

The center also partners with groups like the Boys and Girls Club Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich to host a number of free programs for those who may not otherwise be able to enjoy its activities.

Whether it’s a day on the beach, by the bay, at a botanical garden or in a peach orchard, Long Island has you covered for your end-of-summer “staycation.”