Spicing up summer 

Lakxshanna (Lexi), Clubs Editor 

As summer camps and other programs cancel due to concerns regarding coronavirus, students are finding other activities for the summer break.   


Although many family vacations have been cancelled, families can still adventure within our city. Exploring nature is a great summer activity as it benefits both your physical and mental health.   


Suffolk County is home to many large parks such as the Sunken Meadow State Park, Blydenburgh County Park, and the Caleb Smith State Park. These parks stretch up to 500 acres and offer many activities including pond fishing, hiking, picnicking, swimming, cycling and more. Spending time outdoors at these local parks can help to replicate the feeling of summer camp activities.  


“I’ve been visiting Sunken Meadow on the weekends and it’s been a great way to pass time. Even though this summer isn’t what I had planned, running on the trails and visiting the beach are still fun [activities] for me and my family,” said sophomore Bari K.  


Nature preserves like the Sweetbriar nature center are also popular destinations. They provide habitats for animals which are shown in exhibitions to visitors. Over the summer, you can expect to see drive-through animal shows and more.  


“We just had a bird drive-through and we [will be] having more events [where you can stay in your car]. We will also be having a photographer day where photographers can come and take pictures of animals we take out of the cages,” said Sweetbriar intern Russell K. 


You don’t need to travel for new food experiences as families can experience new types of cuisine within Commack.   


There are many restaurants that offer authentic foreign dishes, including MaBella Restaurant on Commack Road. The family owned business provides original Italian dishes, including a long island favorite, their classic Italian meatballs. The Athenian Greek Taverna on Jericho Turnpike serves traditional Greek meals. The restaurant has received various local awards for their unique family recipes.   


Trying new types of food can be a worthwhile summer activity. You may discover your next favorite dish or fall in love with new flavors.  


“During the quarantine, [my family] has been ordering a lot of food from nearby restaurants. It’s been an easy way to make [our day] more exciting while we’re stuck in the house. It’s also a nice way to help local businesses during this hard time,” said sophomore Daphne K.  


Drive-in movie theaters are also on the rise. All over Long Island, pop up movie showings are being organized in building parking lots.   


The Nassau Coliseum, Smith Haven Mall, Adventureland, and other nearby businesses have been coordinating drive-in theaters that are playing movies including “Space Jam”, “Jumanji”, “The Goonies”, “Thor” and other popular films. These drive-in theaters help maintain social distancing regulations but allow people to still enjoy movies on the big screen.  


Many visitors have enjoyed the twist on their traditional movie theater experience. It allows viewers to bring their own food and beverages and stay in the comfort of their own car. Admission prices vary, but they typically range from being free to 30 dollars.  


“I went to a drive-in movie at Smith Haven Mall and it was a really interesting experience. I like it more than [normal movie theaters] because you have your own big space in your car. Being able to bring my own snacks and blankets made the show [much] more enjoyable too,” said sophomore Amber S.  


Although this summer may be different than expected, there are still some great activities to make summer more interesting.  🔳