Where to Go for Easily Accessible Outdoor Holiday Fun

By guest blogger Roberta Rosenberg of Destination Accessible US Inc.

Although I can hardly believe it, Holiday Season 2021 has arrived. It seems to me it was just Labor Day, not Thanksgiving! No matter what I believe, it is here.

Many of us have returned to indoor activities and some of us are still hesitant about being inside. If you are not inclined to be indoors, know that there are places to go on Long Island and in New York City, and ways to enjoy the holidays that offer easy accessibility.

One of the easiest ways to experience the season is with a “drive-through or drive-by” of one of the holiday light shows. All you need to do is get into a vehicle and go! (Although in most cases you need to secure tickets in advance). Jones Beach has “The Magic of Lights.”  “A Bug’s Night” is at the Nassau County Museum of Art. The town of Riverhead has a Holiday Light Show, as do the Girls Scouts, in Smith Point Park.

If you can manage it, Milleridge Village has a lovely holiday village, complete with shops and Santa. Although there are bricks underfoot, it is quite accessible.

Two of our favorite, easily accessible places any time of the year are the Brooklyn Botanical and the New York Botanical Gardens. Both have holiday lights. The New York Botanical Gardens also has their wonderful holiday train show, which is indoors.

Harbor Front Park in Port Jefferson is easily accessible and always lovely. From here it is easy to move through town, with its shops, restaurants and festive decorations.

If you don’t need the holiday decorations, but want a beautiful, easily accessible outdoor place to take in the view, you can’t go wrong with any of the following: Sunken Meadow State Park Boardwalk (with a view of Long Island Sound), Theodore Roosevelt Park (with a view of Oyster Bay Harbor), Heckscher Park in Huntington, or the Long Beach Boardwalk (with a view of the Atlantic Ocean).

If you are going into Manhattan, check out its newest accessible park, Little Island, overlooking the Hudson River. You can’t go wrong with any of these things to do as part of a fun holiday season. Best wishes to you and your family for a Happy Holiday and New Year!

If you want the accessibility details of any of the above venues please visit, www.destinationaccessible.org, so you can, “Know before you go!” We always suggest also visiting a venue’s website for very up-to-date information, such as pricing, hours open, etc.

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How Do I Winterize My Wheelchair Van?

Preparing your vehicle for the winter season is especially important if you drive an accessible van. Here are the important things to do to winterize your vehicle so it will reliably handle the colder temperatures and keep you safe on the road, straight from the expert mobility technicians at Bussani Mobility:

  • Check the Battery

The batteries in accessible vans have the added duties of powering lifts, ramps, and doors, in addition to the engine. Make sure the battery is fully charged before the cold weather hits so that you always have enough power to securely get to and from your destination.

  • Check Tire Pressure and Treads

Your tires form a critical bond between the vehicle and the road. Make sure you have tires that can handle the snow and that you regularly have the tire pressure checked. Because if the treads are worn down, the van could lose traction and not stop as quickly. Underinflated tires can also cause problems with vehicle stability, cornering, and stopping. This is easy to avoid, just have the tires checked every few months.

  • Replace Old Wipers

The best practice is to replace your vehicle’s wiper blades every six months or when you notice a change in their effectiveness. It’s one of the easiest ways to keep your vehicle safe to operate in the winter.

  • Keep It Clean

Salt on the roadways melts hazardous snow and ice, but it also can corrode various parts of vehicles, including the exhaust and muffler systems and the frame. You can protect your van by keeping it clean and preventing corrosive buildup.

  • Replace and Refill Fluids

Your van’s engine relies on antifreeze to protect it from the harsh environment of freezing temperatures during the winter. It is imperative to have the engine checked to be sure that fresh, high-quality coolant has been added and that all fluids are full. It’s also a great time to check the windshield wiper fluid; a good choice is a fluid that contains both alcohol and antifreeze to resist the cold.

  • Be Careful Where You Park

A vehicle with a lower clearance, like an accessible van, can more easily get hung up on frozen snow drifts and become damaged if driven through hard packed snow. Try to park in a garage or on a cleared flat surface like a driveway so that you can operate the vehicle free of obstruction.

If you’d rather let someone else perform the winterizing check for you, stop by any of the Bussani Mobility locations (Bethpage and Smithtown on Long Island, and Mamaroneck in Westchester County). The certified technicians in our full-service auto shops will take care of routine maintenance on your mobility equipment as well as all of your vehicle’s standard needs. We’re here to help.