Karly Eberly

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The Great Neck Spirits: Friendship, Basketball and Angels at Work

The sound of basketballs echoing off the gymnasium floor fills the halls of Great Neck North Middle School long after the bells have given their final ring for the weekend.

Each Friday at 5:45 p.m., a group of high school volunteers, committed coaches, and special needs athletes come together to form what is known as the Great Neck Spirits. Operating for more than 23 years, the Spirits have become an integral part of the broader community, providing a fun support system for athletes with disabilities and their families. One athlete in particular, Alex Smooha, has been profoundly affected by his three years with this tight-knit basketball team.

“You get to meet new friends that you really enjoy, you get to spend time with them,” Smooha said with a grin.

He plans to use the skills he gained in the Great Neck Spirits to spend his upcoming summer working at John. F Kennedy camp as a counselor.

“It’s been incredible to watch Alex’s transformation,” Coach Jackie Mazur said of Smooha’s personal growth. “When he first came he stayed by his sister’s side and rarely ventured to be with others. But over time, his comfort and confidence has grown.”

For parents of children with developmental disabilities, day to day life can come with unexpected challenges.

“Some of the challenges have been Ross’s difficult behaviors, his frustration caused by his limited language, his lack of sleep and his need for constant care and attention,” said the parent of one of Alex’s fellow teammates, Laurie Rubin-Haber. “However, the rewards are numerous – particularly the incredibly caring people who have come into our lives because of Ross.”

Laurie Rubin-Haber, a recently published author, has become a champion for the autism community, using both her struggles and triumphs as a mother to write Raising Ross, a vivid and inspiring account of her experiences. With an entire section of the book is dedicated to the Great Neck Spirits and other supportive organizations.

“The coaches of the Great Neck Spirits special needs basketball program are remarkable people who truly care about the athletes,” said Rubin-Haber. “They are an example of the “Angels in Our Midst” in my book who have played an important role in raising Ross.”

By creating a bridge between the youth and developmentally disabled communities, the Spirits have aided in increasing awareness towards our special needs population on Long Island.

“Autism is no longer the fearful specter looming in the shadows,” she wrote in Raising Ross. “I am happy to say, around my neck, I wear a symbolic puzzle piece to remind me where Ross started and how far he has come, in much the same way that views on autism have evolved since his first diagnosis.”

With another successful basketball season concluding, the Great Neck Spirits have continued to bring people together, increase awareness, and most importantly facilitate the growth of its athletes and volunteers.

For more information or to get involved with the Great Neck Spirits, contact Alan Someck at asomeck@gmail.com or visit greatneckspirits.wordpress.com

Long Island St. Patrick’s Day Events 2018

Luck of The Irish Casino Night
A fun-filled night with a buffet, open bar, and DJ may end with a pot of gold if you play your cards right! East Wind Inn, 720 New York 25A, East Lobby, Wading River friendsofstpatrick.org $75 (all profits benefit the Rocky Point Parade) 7-11 p.m. Mar. 2.   

Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Featuring bagpipe bands, elaborate floats, and hundreds of enthusiastic marchers, come celebrate the luck of the Irish with Grand Marshal Sean Gann! Kings Park St.Patrick’s Day Parade, corner of Lou Avenue and Pulaski Rd., Smithtown kpstpat.com 12 p.m. Mar. 3.

East Islip St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Opting for some classic rock ’n’ roll in addition to traditional Irish ballads, this Paddy’s Day Parade will feature local rock band J Haus to make for a St.Patrick’s party! East Islip St.Patrick’s Day Parade, Main St., East Islip greaterlongisland.com 3 p.m. Mar. 3.

Mineola St. Patrick’s Day Parade
After you enjoy the parade swing by the Irish American Society Center for good food, music, and dancing! Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk, & Queens Inc., 297 Willets Ave., Mineola irishamericansoc.com 5$ to enter Center 12 p.m. Mar. 4.

27th Annual Bethpage St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Hosted by Free Players Drum & Bugle Corps. The parade route is approximately 1 mile long, Central Ave to Stewart Ave to Burkhardt Ave and right down Broadway to the Reviewing stand. 2 p.m. Mar. 4.

Bay Shore Brightwaters St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Blend in with the sea of green at Bay Shores annual St.Patty’s celebration! Bands and baton twirlers will be abound in this community gathering sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Patrick’s Parade of Greater Bay Shore, Inc, Saxon Ave., Bay Shore stpatricksparadebsbw.com 2 p.m. Mar. 10.

St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl
Get Shamrocked at the 5th Annual Huntington Bar Crawl! Not only will the Crawl allow you to sample Huntington’s premiere bar scene but St. Patrick himself would have approved as profits will benefit children with cancer. Long Island Social Events, Huntington (exact location TBD)  kidsneedmore.org  $25 + $2-4$ per drink  2-8 p.m. Mar. 10.

Patchogue St. Paddy’s Day Bar Crawl
Irish Ales and Lagers will be flowing at Patchogues second annual Bar Crawl! With profits going to the “Kids Need More” Foundation you can feed your spirit and enjoy the spirits! Long Island Social Events, Patchogue (exact location TBD)  kidsneedmore.org $25 + $2-4$ per drink  1-7 p.m. Mar. 10

Huntington St. Patrick’s Parade
Come and join 50,000 others in the 84-year-long tradition that has become Huntington’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade! Famous for its elaborate floats and massive bands, this celebration is also the largest and longest running Saint Patrick’s Parade on the Island. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, North of New York Ave. 110 & Broadway, Huntington Station huntingtonhibernian.com 2 p.m. Mar. 11.

Rocky Point St.Patrick’s Day Parade
Founded in 1949, this historic parade brings tens of thousands together each year to celebrate the community in an elaborate show of marchers, dancers, and musicians. Friends of St.Patrick, Route 25A, Miller Place friendsofstpatrick.org 1 p.m. Mar. 11.

6th Annual Farmingdale St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Following the Parade festivities explore the many downtown merchants, restaurants & spots, for great deals & specials! Plus Shamrock Photo Op’s On The Village Green! Main St., Farmingdale. farmingdalenychamber.org 1 p.m. Mar. 11.

Ronkonkoma St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Grand Marshal John Feal. Parade starts at the corner of Portion Rd & Patchogue-Holbrook Rd. 2 p.m. Mar. 11.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dating Social
Dance a jig with your true love to be at this St.Paddy’s themed evening for singles! RSVP by Mar. 15. Houlihan’s Restaurant, 725 Merrick Ave., Westbury. 3$ + cost of meal, 6-9 p.m. Mar. 17.

St. Patrick’s Day 4 Miler and Fun Run
With a complimentary breakfast and top three prizes for each age category, you may be lucky enough to sprint past a Leprechaun! Townwide Fund of Huntington, 1 Mill Dam Rd., Huntington townwidefund.org 8:30 a.m. Mar. 17.

St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade
This parade will have the whole family grinning ear to ear with antique cars, scout troops, dance groups, and piper and marching bands to celebrate good Ole’ St.Patrick’s Day! St.James Chamber of Commerce, Woodlawn Avenue, St.James stjameschamber.org 1 p.m. Mar. 17.

Spring Fling St.Patty’s Day Singles Dinner and Dance
With a three course meal, DJ, and dancing the luck of the Irish will be on your side this date night! Residence Marriott 9 Gerhard Rd., Planeview 7-in-heaven.com $44-$49 6:30-10:30 p.m. Mar. 17.

Glen Cove St.Patrick’s Day Parade
One of the premier St.Patrick’s celebrations on Long Island, this renowned Parade boasts talented marching bands and beautiful floats! Glen Cove St.Patrick’s Day Parade, 4 School St., Glen Cove gcirishparade.com 1-3 p.m. Mar. 18.

May The Road Rise Up to Meet Ye 5k
Cheered on by hundreds of spirited spectators start off the St.Patty’s Day festivities bright and early with this annual 5k run and walk! Finest Fitness, 208 East Main St., Patchogue maytheroadriseuptomeetye5k.com  Check in 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Race 9:55 a.m. Mar. 19.  

Rockville Centre St.Patrick Parade March
Known as the Parade that “cares and shares” all profits raised by this celebration are divided between three charities to keep with the St.Patrick’s day spirit. Rockville Centre St.Patrick Parade March, 265 Sunrise Highway ~ Suite 1-350, Rockville Centre rvcstpatrick.com $40 12 p.m. Mar. 24.

Montauk St.Patrick’s Day Parade
Located along the water, this picturesque Parade is the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the Island with an estimated 40,000 spectators attending annually! Montauk Friends of Erin, Edgmere Rd., Montauk montaukfriendsoferin.org 11:30 a.m. Mar. 25.

Long Island College Summer Registration Guide

LIU Post and other local colleges and universities are starting summer class registration soon.

Whether you’re graduating early, staying on track, or catching up, don’t let summer take you off course! From accelerated courses to study abroad programs and specialized certificates, there is a seat open for everyone at these local colleges.

UNIVERSITIES

Adelphi University
With sessions for incoming, visiting, and current students and complete access to all the services offered during the academic year, anyone can take part in an educational summer at Adelphi. They have a wide variety of courses to choose from, including opportunities to study abroad! Registration begins: March 20. 1 South Ave., Garden City. 800-233-5744. adelphi.edu

Hofstra University
Four-week course offerings and flexible scheduling will enrich your summer. With undergraduate and graduate classes available in a broad group of offerings, students will be able to take classes on campus, from the comfort of their own homes, or in one of Hofstra’s five study-abroad destinations. Registration begins: March 4. 1000 Fulton Ave., Hempstead. 516-463- 6600. hofstra.edu

LIU Post
Offering three six-week sessions, LIU Post is giving new, current, and visiting students an opportunity to get three credits over the summer vacation! The vast course selection lends itself to a wide variety of majors. Registration begins: March 5. 720 Northern  Blvd., Brookville. 516-299-2900. liu.edu/post

Stony Brook University
With a summer motto of “Get ahead and still have time to play,” SBU offers 600 courses in 90 subjects for incoming, international, and visiting students. The option to study from their state of the art main campus or beachy Southampton campus ensures a summer of learning in an incredible environment. Registration begins: April 2. 100 Nicolls Rd., Stony Brook. 631-632-6000. stonybrook.edu

COLLEGES

Farmingdale State College
In addition to a vast selection of on campus classes, online courses are also available to visiting and current students in four separate sessions, each lasting a month. 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale. Registration open. 631-420-2000. farmingdale.edu

Molloy College
Molloy’s summer offering includes opportunities to study abroad. If you prefer to stay stateside, Molloy offers an extensive selection of classes that is sure to expand your horizons. Registration begins: March. 100 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. 516-323-3000. molloy.edu

St. Joseph’s College
With flexible programs designed to be convenient to you, these summer session classes will be sure to fit into your busy schedule. Choose between online classes or their Brooklyn and Long Island campuses. Rising high-school seniors are invited to get a head start on their college careers at $50 a credit. Registration begins: April. 155 West Roe Blvd., Patchogue. 631-687-5100. sjcny.edu/long-island

Touro College
Hailing students from all over the world during the academic year, Touro boasts an equally diverse summer program accredited for its wide course selection, mission driven environment, and top-notch programs. Registration begins: April 30. 1700 Union Blvd., Bay Shore. 631-665-1600. touro.edu

New York Institute of Technology
With accelerated courses that allow you to complete three or more credits in a few weeks, NYIT’s summer session features courses in mathematics, architecture, liberal arts, the sciences, and more. Registration begins April 2. Northern Blvd. and Valentines Lane, Old Westbury. 516-686-1000. nyit.edu

SUNY Old Westbury
Old Westbury allows you to choose from a wide array of courses that includes 45 undergraduate programs and an intimate average class size of 22. Registration begins: March. 223 Store Hill Rd., Old Westbury. 516-876-3000. oldwestbury.edu

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Nassau Community College
Continue pursuing your degree during the warmer months by attending one of NCC’s three summer sessions. Open to visiting, current, and new students their summer offering will allow you to challenge yourself in new ways. Registration begins: March. 1 Education Dr., Garden City. 516-572-7501. ncc.edu

Suffolk County Community College
Make your summer count with a course offering in one of over 78 different summer classes. SCCC offers something for everyone as well as the opportunity to earn college credits that transfer to SUNY colleges and other universities. Registration begins: April. 533 College Rd., Seldon. 631-451-4110. sunysuffolk.edu

Related Story: The Complete Guide to Long Island Colleges and Universities

5 Long Islanders Competing in 2018 Winter Olympics

From left to right: John Daly, Matthew Gilroy, Devin Logan, Justin Krewson and Matt Mortensen (Team USA photos).

Five athletes from Long Island are among 242 members of Team USA going for the gold in the 2018 Winter Olympics, which runs Feb. 9 to 25 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Hometown heroes competing on the world’s stage include ice hockey defenseman Matt Gilroy, Skeleton athlete John Daly, Luge athletes Justin Krewson and Matt Mortensen and freestyle skier Devin Logan, who’s also competing in the ski halfpipe competition.

“Qualifying for the Olympic team is pretty tricky and sometimes it even confuses me – throw in two disciplines and it is a complicated math equation,” said Logan. “I am still in a little bit of shock that something that I had worked so hard for the last eight years is now my reality!”

Of the five, Daly is the most tenured with three Olympic appearances under his belt, Mortensen and Logan are making their sophomore effort while Gilroy and Krewson are first timers. Freeskier Logan is the only one to have medaled, bringing home silver in the 2014 Sochi Olympics slopestyle competition.

The last winter Olympian from LI to take home gold was Great Neck-born figure skater Sarah Hughes in 2002.

Vying to be LI’s first gold medalist since then is 33-year-old Gilroy, who was born in Mineola and grew up in North Bellmore. He previously played for the New York Rangers before moving to Russia, where he is currently signed to the Kontinental Hockey League.

Huntington Station native Mortensen, 32, is aiming for a doubles luge medal with his partner, Jayson Terdiman. Mortensen finished 14th in the Sochi Olympics.

Olympic rookie Justin Krewson, 21, of Eastport, will be making his debut luge run in Seoul. He placed 6th in 2017 Lake Placid World Cup to secure Olympic berth.

Olympic veteran Daly, 33, originally from Smithtown, is hoping to continue to improve his showing in the Skeleton competition after placing 17th in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 15th in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“I went for 1 more Olympics because I never wanted to look back and say ‘what if,’” he tweeted. “I thought it was impossible to qualify with a year of training & a full time job. But I’m a dreamer, and I’m proof that you’re never too old to dream a new dream.”

A sixth Long Islander, Alex Gamelin, an ice dancer who grew up in North Merrick, will also be competing, but not for Team USA. He will be skating for South Korea with his partner, Yura Min, the Merrick Herald reported.

Long Island Valentine’s Day Events 2018

Long Island Got no plans for Valentine’s Day? Good news: the romantic folks from these Long Island venues have got you covered.

Sinatra Love Songs
Tell your special someone you love them “in other words” by bringing them to this romantic evening of dancing, dinner, and fine wine, all set to the tunes of Frank Sinatra’s best love songs performed by a live orchestra. The Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. 631-727-4343. suffolktheater.com $36-$45. 8 p.m. Feb. 9.

Valentine’s Night Cabaret
Celebrate with your beloved at this romantic Valentine’s show featuring two of Broadway’s most famed performers, Rebecca Luker and Howard Mcgillin, as they whisk you away for an evening of cocktails, dinner, cabaret, and an exclusive dessert with the artists. Hempstead House, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. 516-304-5076. sandspointpreserveconservancy.org $110-$250. VIP 6-10 p.m. General 7-10 p.m. Feb. 10.

Barry White Valentine Tribute
Playing hits such as “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” and “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Jourdan Carroll will have the whole crowd jiving across the open dance floor! The Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St, Riverhead. 631-727-4343. suffolktheater.com $45. 8 p.m. Feb. 10.

Couples Massage
Enjoy the company of your loved one as you treat yourselves to a massage, relaxing side by side in a special couple’s room. Hand and Stone, multiple locations. handandstone.com Prices vary.

ChocoVino: A Valentine Wine & Chocolate pairing dinner
Indulge your tastebuds in an extravagant five-course meal as you sip on fine wines and bite into an assortment of decadent chocolates, all while enjoying a candle lit dinner with your special someone! Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, 431 East Main St., Riverhead. longislandaquarium.com $195 per couple 8 p.m. Feb. 14.

Mortified: Doomed Valentine’s Day Show
Mortified is a live storytelling extravaganza—a show-and-tell, if you will, of people’s most embarrassing, awkward, and often seminal moments. At this Mortified event, celebrate and commiserate February 14th with stories of past V-Days gone wrong. The event is all ages at Wanderlust, but you can still expect beer, wine, and inappropriate tales all around. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $15-$20. 8 p.m. Feb. 16.

Be Mine Valentine’s Day Beer and Wine Couples Bus Tour
Did he say “Be mine?” or “Beer wine?” Have both and bring your love along for a boozy adventure which will be making stops at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard and Jamesport Farm Brewery. A selection of gourmet chocolates and cheeses will be included along with a couples photograph to commemorate your special day! Four different pick up locations libeerbus.com $160 per couple 11:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. Feb. 18.

Long Island Martin Luther King Day Events

Martin Luther King Jr. Shabbat Service
Commemorate one of our nation’s greatest heroes at this annual shabbat service celebrating diversity and equality through their incredible interfaith choir. Temple Beth-El 5 Old Mill Rd., Great Neck tbegreatneck.org 7 p.m. Jan. 12.

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.
Bring your little ones for a day of learning and fun—activities include a special noon reading of Shane. W. Evans “We March” and the unique opportunity for your kids to add their very own hand-print onto the museum’s commUNITY canvas! (3+) Children’s Museum of the East End 376 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton cmee.org $12. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 13.-15.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration
Reflect on the incredible life of Martin Luther King Jr. as a community, joining for a non-denominational service centered around King’s visions and aspirations for the future. Iglesia Cristiana Unida 155 Fulton St., Hempstead nassaucountyny.gov 7 p.m. Jan. 14.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and March
Beginning bright and early at the First Baptist Church and ending at the Robert. M. Finley Middle School with a presentation on Dr.King’s  incredible life, this celebratory march will keep Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory alive. First Baptist Church 7 Continental Pl., Glen Cove. firstbaptistchurchgc.org 8:45 a.m. Jan. 15.

Martin Luther King Jr. Painting Event
Your toddlers and tweens will be able to create beautiful symbols of peace in honor of Doctor King at this five and over painting celebration. Drop-off only. Key to My Art 10 West Oak St., Amityville. keytomyart.com $20. 11 a.m. Jan. 15.

Dream Big at The Whaling Museum
Visitors are invited to craft a “dream-pillow” to take home as a special way to keep Dr.King’s dreams in mind, today and everyday. (5+) The Whaling Museum and Education Center 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor. cshwhalingmuseum.org $12. 2-3 p.m. Jan. 15.

MLK Scholarship Awards Luncheon
Join the Dr.Martin Luther King Birthday Committee as they award scholarships to exceptional students who embody Dr.King’s spirit of love and tolerance. All proceedings from the luncheon will continue to fund the scholarship program, with a remarkable $300,000 being awarded so far. The Long Island Marriott 101 James Doolittle Blvd., Uniondale. nassaucountyny.gov $85. 11:30 a.m. Jan. 15.

Dreaming with Martin Luther King Jr.
Bring your children to make their very own mosaics as they find inspiration in Martin Luther King Jr.’s visions of peace and passion for change. Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City. licm.org $3 with museum admission, sessions at 1, 3 p.m. Jan. 15.

Martin Luther King Jr. March
Kicking off at Laurelton Blvd. and ending at the Martin Luther King Center, this memorial march provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on Dr.King’s legacy while spreading his ideals of love and peace throughout your march.  The Martin Luther King Center, 615 Riverside Blvd., Long Beach longbeachny.gov 11:30 a.m. Jan. 15.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
In admiration of Dr.King’s lasting impact, The Mother’s Club of Wheatley Heights will be hosting an afternoon of literature and music. Half Hollow Hills Community Library 55 Vanderbilt Pkwy., Dix Hills hhlibrary.org 2 p.m. Jan. 15.

Guide to Long Island’s Coolest Sledding Spots

In the aftermath of a good blanketing of snow, nothing is more fun than dusting off the sled and finding the nearest and steepest hill to race down.

Looking for a new hill to try? Look no further. Here’s our guide to local sledding spots.

Suffolk County Sledding

The Grange
The gentle slope of this centrally located hill, hailed as the perfect spot for first-time sledders, will get plenty of giggles from the little ones as they learn how to slip and slide down the snow-covered wonderland. 10 Broadway Ave., Sayville.

Herman Griem Park
Bundle up before trekking outside for the icy adventure that awaits you on the rolling hills frequented by scarf-and-mitten-clad locals. 54 Brown Blvd., Wheatley Heights

Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve
Grab your sled and get ready: the slopes in Smithtown are prime for some high-mph action with top speeds of “woah” and “lets-do-that-again” being recorded. 200 New Hwy., Commack.

Mattituck High School
The kids might all have a snow-day but the sizable hills at this school will have the students and teachers coming right back! 15125 Main Rd., Mattituck.

Bald Hill
Though this is not officially the highest point on Long Island, it is a close second, and very high indeed. Every major snowstorm, families from all across the Island flock to its slopes for their share of winter magic and adrenaline. Patchogue-Mt. Sinai Rd., Farmingville.

Belmont Lake State Park
This sprawling, historic park that overlooks Belmont Lake has some fantastic hills, but be sure to take caution and stick to the open fields; an ‘ice bath’ wouldn’t be a fun way to end your sledding adventure! Southern State Parkway, West Babylon.

Nassau County Sledding

Bethpage State Park
Featuring hilly, winding terrain and wide open fields, this park has adventures in store for sledding masters and novices alike. True thrill seekers can check out Bethpage Black, though be warned these slopes shouldn’t be attempted unless under strict supervision and in permitted areas.  99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale

Cedar Creek Park
A go-to barbecue and picnic spot in the summer, this gem off Merrick Road is an equally great go-to spot for sledding during these cold, wintery months. 3340 Merrick Rd., Seaford.

Heckscher State Park
Not only does this park have many different sledding and snowman-making spots to enjoy, but every once and a while, if you are truly lucky, you may see the furry inhabitants of its woods. Deer, among other winter critters, are a common sight at this classic sledding spot. 1 Heckscher State Pkwy., East Islip.

Eisenhower Park  
Ask your fellow sledders to point you in the direction of Old Sled Hill, renowned as Eisenhower Park’s great peak. Warning: Stay away from the hills by the lake! Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow.

Washington Avenue Park
Year after year, the immense baseball pit and steep hills of this beloved park beckon daring kids and adults alike! The parking situation can be scarier than the hills at this local spot, so be prepared to battle it out for street-parking. Washington Ave, Seaford.

The Pits
Although it may be known as “The Pits” locals swear you’ll have a blast on the field’s steep hill. Corner of Lakeview and Ocean Ave.

Long Island New Year’s Day Events

First Day Hike
The whole family will be grinning ear to ear on this refreshing three-mile jaunt through the park! Meet at the environmental education office where you will begin your hike. Connetquot River State Park, 3525 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale parks.ny.gov 1 p.m. Jan 1.

Brunch at Besitos
Don’t stop the festivities and begin 2018 at noon with two-for-one margaritas and huevos rancheros at this eclectic Mexican eatery. 1516 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn besitomexican.com 12-3 p.m. Jan 1.

New Years Day Hike in the Fire Island Wilderness
Take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with a guided three mile hike on the island’s scenic beaches and inspiring forests. Fire Island Wilderness Visitor Center, County Rd. 46, Shirley nps.gov 12-3 p.m. Jan 1.

Brunch at Maxwells
Cure your New Year’s Eve hangover with bottomless mimosas and a brunch fit for a king at this trendy dining spot! Maxwells, 501 Main St., Islip lessings.com 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan 1.

First Day Hike
Meet by the picnic tables for an easy five-mile stroll through the wooded trails of one of New York’s most beloved state parks. Bethpage State Park, 99 Quaker Meeting House Rd., Farmingdale. parks.ny.gov 10 a.m. Jan 1.

runch at The Sandbar
Relish in the gourmet brunch menu hand-selected by executive chef Guy Reuge. Sandbar, 55 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor. lessings.com Reservation Only Jan 1.

Fish Hatchery and Aquarium Hike
Start off 2018 right as one of the Hatcheries experts takes you on an educational tour of the fishes winter habitats! Then join in on a half mile hike of the preserves immaculate land. Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium, 1660 NY-25A, Cold Spring Harbor cshfishhatchery.org 11 a.m. -12 p.m. Jan 1.

New Year’s Hike
Start off 2018 by lacing up your sneakers and trekking through the forest! Meet by the flagpole in the parking lot for this lovely three mile hike over the rolling hills and scenic trails. Caumsett State Historic Park, 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd., Lloyd Harbor parks.ny.gov 1 p.m. Jan 1.

The View
Delight in this restaurant’s namesake view as you welcome 2018 with mouthwatering food and bottomless Bloody Marys. The View, 3 Consuelo Pl., Oakdale. lessings.com $37.95 per person, 12-4 p.m. Jan 1.

Lighthouse Tower Tour
Reconnect with our state’s beautiful history this new year by learning about this prominent landmark. Don’t forget your binoculars so you can spot the wide variety of wildlife on the beach. Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society fireislandlighthouse.com 10 a.m. Jan 1.

Brunch at Gurney’s
It might be “The End” but it’s the perfect place to begin your new year! Drive out to Montauk and treat yourself to a champagne brunch followed by an indoor pool party at this stunning beachfront resort. Gurney’s, 290 Montauk Hwy., Montauk. gurneysresorts.com By Reservation Jan 1.

Long Island New Years Eve Events

When thinking of New Year’s Eve parties, people often think of the world famous Times Square ball drop. But there are dozens of events on Long Island to ring in the New Year without the stress of getting into Manhattan. From afternoon family fun to late night galas, venues across both counties will be toasting to resolutions for the coming year and singing Auld Lang Syne for the year gone by.

New Years Laugh, Dine, and Dance
Start 2018 grinning from ear to ear as you watch top comedians perform their hilarious sets! Afterwards, stay around for champagne and dancing with DJ Phil. The Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $45-$55. 8 p.m. Dec. 31.

New Year’s Eve Gala
Put on your party hats and bust a move to DJ Tommy’s sweet tunes! Five hours of premium bar service will accompany a buffet, champagne toast, and live simulcast of Times Square. If you have a little too much fun “take the elevator home” to one of their luxury rooms by booking an overnight package! The Inn at East Wind, East Wind 5720 Route 25A, Wading River. eastwindlongisland.com $125. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.

Crest Hollow Country Club New Year’s Eve Event
Put on your sequins and glitter and get ready to Party until 2018 with hors d’oeuvres, gourmet dinner, a martini bar, and music by one of Long Island’s premiere DJ’s— all on the beautifully decorated grounds of the club! Crest Hollow Country Club 8325 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury cresthollow.com $150. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.

Fishes and Wishes
Enjoy a fun filled night with plenty of activities for everyone, including an opportunity to meet the aquarium’s star attraction: their penguins! Dance along to a live DJ while the kids participate in crafts–or better yet, boogie with the whole family! A buffet dinner with sparkling cider for the little one’s and spirits for the adults sets the stage for a “midnight toast” at 10:30 p.m.. Long Island Aquarium 431 East Main Street, Riverhead longislandaquarium.com $55-$99. 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Dec. 31.

Gatsby New Years Eve
Make Fitzgerald proud as you sip genuine prohibition era cocktails at this glamorous and tasteful soirée. An elegant three course dinner will be accompanied by the sultry melodies of a live Jazz band, culminating with a champagne toast at midnight. The Landing at Jones Beach 2000 Ocean Pkwy., Wantagh. landingatjonesbeach.com $150. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.

New Year’s Eve at Prime
Ring in 2018 in style at this trendy and ultra modern restaurant. Serving a four course meal, each dish has been carefully selected to ensure your culinary delight. Greet midnight with a champagne toast and live music. Deposit Required. Prime 117 North New York Ave., Huntington. restaurantprime.com $150. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.

Fox Hollow New Year’s Eve Celebration
Welcome 2018 with your champagne glasses held high! This extravagant celebration features a three course meal, a top shelf open bar, music, and a dance floor. To top it all off, guests will be dazzled by a simulated ball drop as the clock strikes twelve. The Fox Hollow, 7725 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury thefoxhollow.com $165. Dec. 31.

Midnight on Main St.
Come dance on the street at Long Island’s very own Ball Ceremony. Music, noise-makers, and fireworks will be abound at this community centric event for the whole family. Afterwards, peruse the quaint town for a bite to eat or a glass of champagne! Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Main Street, Patchogue patchogue.com Free 8 p.m.- 9 p.m. Dec. 31.

New Year at Library Café
Hit the bar and not the books at this trendy joint. With an open bar, buffet, champagne toast, and party favors, this restaurant has everything you need to ring in the New Year right! Library Cafe 274 Main St., Farmingdale lessings.com $60. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31.

New Year’s Eve Party At The Regent
Head over for an evening of appetizers, live music, and casino games in your most festive attire! There’s no better way to greet 2018 than under the shining lights of a disco ball. Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, 290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk newyearseveatgurneys.com $165. 9 p.m. Dec. 31.

New Year’s Eve at View
Overlooking a breathtaking bay, this restaurant, well deserving of its name, will host a new years celebration featuring a three-course price fixe dinner. With two seatings, early birds and night owls alike will both have a chance to celebrate the New Year with good food, a DJ, and dancing. View, 3 Consuelo Pl., Oakdale. lessings.com $88. Seatings available between 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 31.

Dinner Dance for Singles
With tables divided by age group, everyone will have a shot at finding love this New Year’s Eve. Maybe you will even get a kiss at midnight— right in time for the champagne toast! Residence Inn, 9 Gerhard Rd., Planeview.marriott.com $99. 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31.

Ring in The New Year
The newly renovated Kingley, an expansive contemporary event space, will offer an evening to remember. Admission includes an open premium bar, bats, noise makers and more. The Garden City Hotel, 45 7th St., Garden City. gardencityhotel.com $175. 9:30 p.m. Dec . 31.

Long Island Hanukkah Events 2017

Children’s Storytime
Let the magic of the holidays sweep your children off their feet with a heartwarming storytime and craft led by Rabbi Alysa Graf from The Port Jewish Center. Children of all ages are welcome. The Dolphin Bookshop, 299 Main St., Port Washington. thedolphinbookshop.com Free. 11 a.m. Dec. 3.

Hands on Hanukkah
Bring the entire family to the Macy’s wing for an afternoon of Hanukkah-themed crafts, face-painting, cookie decorating and games! Handsome Harry the magician will be delighting the audience with a live magic show at 2 p.m. Smith Haven Mall, 313 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove jewishwithoutwalls.org Free. 1-4 p.m. Dec. 10.

Hands on Hanukkah
With live music by Darlene Graham, this festive event provides the perfect opportunity to get into the holiday spirit. Located in front of Saks, there will be art projects, crafts and more. Walt Whitman Mall, 160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station. jewishwithoutwalls.org Free. 1-4 p.m. Dec. 10.

Menorah Lighting
Mouthwatering latkes, hot chocolate, and gelt will be passed around as friends join together for the annual Ronkonkoma Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Hanukkah songs and prayers will be led by Rabbi Moss of Temple B’nai Israel. Raynor Beach County Park, 11 Lake Shore Rd, Lake Ronkonkoma ronkonkomachamber.com Free. 7-8 p.m. Dec. 12.

Menorah Lighting
The Menorah will be lit each night in a beautiful gathering for friends and family at the historic Chamber of Commerce. Holiday themed goodies will be bountiful! Chamber of Commerce, 359 Lake Ave # A, St James. stjameschamber.org Free. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12-19

Chanukah Experience
Follow along the Chanukah Adventure Trail in an exciting parade with antique cars, fire trucks, and plenty of holiday spirit. Celebrate after the parade with warm latkes, donuts and a holiday raffle, all culminating with the lighting of a grand 12-foot menorah to kick off your season! Chabad Center for Jewish Life, 2174 Hewlett Ave., Merrick. chabadjewishlife.org Free. 6 p.m. Dec. 13.

Chanukah Party
An annual party in honor of Chanukah, this splendid celebration will feature a dinner catered by the Kosher Emporium, a menorah lighting and an entertaining performance by comedian Warren Schein and his pianist. Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC, 15 Neil Ct., Oceanside. friedbergjcc.org $26-$32. 6 p.m. Dec. 14.

Teen Chanukah Party
Tell your kids about the hippest Chanukah Party on Long Island! This get together is the perfect occasion for your sons and daughters to make friends and celebrate the season in a teen-only event filled with holiday spirit. Chabad Lubavitch-Larchmont and Mamaroneck, 921 W Boston Post Rd., Mamaroneck. jewishlarchmont.com Free. 6:30-8 p.m. Dec. 14.

Chanukah Wonderland
Meet Judah the Maccabee at this fun-filled family event with donut decorating, latke making, sand art, an olive press workshop and many more exciting holiday activities. The Chai Center, 501 Vanderbilt Pkwy., Dix Hills. thechaicenter.com RSVP $10 9:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 17.

Chanukah Bowl
Whether you get a strike, spare, or miss the pins all together, you can celebrate with Latkes and Donuts at this two-hour unlimited Cosmic Glow-In-The Dark Bowling event! Bowlmor Lanes, 2183 Jericho Tpke., Commack. thechaicenter.com RSVP $12. 3-5 p.m. Dec. 17.

Donuts and Dreidels
Try the gourmet selection of Donuts at Port Washington’s “Donut Bar” while participating in holiday crafts, music and songs! What’s better than a donut to go with your gelt? East Main & Main, 250 E Main St., Port Jefferson. jewishwithoutwalls.org Free. 3-5 p.m. Dec. 17.

Holiday Poker
Calling all dads! A low-key evening with the boys. The dads are getting their dreidels out for a holiday edition of Thursday night poker. Register to receive further details. jewishwithoutwalls.org 8 p.m. Dec. 21.