We love spending time at the beach in Eastern Long Island during the summer months, but we love it in the off-season too. Last winter, we discovered the Children’s Museum of the East End and we were blown away by this amazing, play-based learning museum for tots.
Opened in 2005 in Bridgehampton, CMEE was the brainchild of some East End moms who felt the Hamptons, with their award-winning beaches and swanky restaurants, were lacking the educational centers that other communities around the country had. The 7,000-square-foot educational space is spectacualar from a design and aesthetic perspective, but what really impressed me was how age-appropriate it was for my two-year-olds.
CMEE’s mission is “to enrich the lives of children and families and strengthen the East End community by promoting learning through play.” The exhibits are toddler versions of the real business and landmarks that define the Hamptons today, like the adorable farm stand where my kids had the time of their lives picking and sorting the produce and playing store with the cash registers.
Our other favorite exhibit was an old-fashioned General Store with a replica soda fountain and ice cream parlor, along the likes of Sip ‘n Soda in Southhampton and Candy Kitchen in Bridgehampton.
For the fire-truck obsessed, your little ones can dress like firemen and drive the simulated fire truck complete with lights and sirens. There’s even a seafaring ship for mini pirates to walk the planks, steer the ship and fish for dinner.
For the artistically-inclined, there is a free Drop-In Arts Studio, a Musical Forest with drums built into tree trunks, and clay-molding & crayon rubbing stations. To burn off that last bit of energy, there is an impressive indoor and outdoor playground.
Insider Tip: The day we were there, lunch was served at noon for $5 for members, $15 for non-members. My kids weren’t interested in the sliders or mozz sticks being served, so we’ll bring lunch next time to eat at the indoor or outdoor tables before heading home for naps.
The CMEE is centrally located in Bridgehampton, and is definitely worth the trip if you are spending some family time out east and need a break from the beach. Admission is $10 per person for non-members, and a yearly family membership starts at $95. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sundays, 10am-5pm.
Children’s Museum of the East End, 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton; (631)537-8250. Keep your eyes peeled for more to do and see in the Hamptons coming later this summer!