A friend who lives in Sag Harbor suggested that I visit the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (SoFo) in Bridgehampton. I have been going to the Children's Museum of the East End, which is right across from it, for a few years now. I like SoFo because it is a very quiet space, and has that college marine biology atmosphere, but with much nicer decor. Kids really enjoying looking at the animal exhibits through the small holes on the ground floor, and cute gift shop.
For my family, the real fun was downstairs in their Touch Tank where kids get to reach down in the tank and get a close-up look at the crabs, horseshoe crabs, seastars, seaweed, and other marine life. The staff are extremely friendly and patient, and let the kids pet the crabs, while telling them about food the creatures eat, how to tell the difference between a boy and a girl crab, sleeping patterns, etc.
Visit the museum's website to get on their email list, and find out about SoFo educational workshops for kids of all ages. (There is everything from how to build your won bat cave, to a Blue Bird watching. There is a beautiful field right behind SoFo is one of the classrooms. Admission is $7 for adults. $5 for 3-12 year olds, and the under 2 set are free. Family membership for the year is $50. South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center, 377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Sag Harbor, NY (631) 537-9735