I wanted to write a review about Bayside but am not sure where to put it? We just got back from a big family reunion type of vacation. We rented a house in Bayside and I was wary because of what I had read in this forum. Our house was on a nicely manicured and clean street (all of them are clean and nice looking) and we were right on a circle - which was great for the kids to ride their bikes around and around...and they ran around the circle the day it poured rain for an hour! The houses are close together and there isn't really a backyard - but no matter...you don't need one. The pool and splash park were great - we had lunch there - pizza, hot dogs, pretzels - that type of stuff. They also serve beer, wine and some drinks. They have planned activities in the AM like Bingo or Crafts and then in the PM - sports or water games. Two nights a week they have twilight swim. There is a hot tub too. The playground was awesome - one for the under 5 and one for older - but my 3 & 5 year old loved both - which were located right next to their carousel! That's right - a carousel which ran every night from 4-8 and different hours on weekends. The carousel has horses but also different animals like Eagles, Zebras, Gorilla, Dolphin, Dragon etc...so the kids would get on and ride it over and over hopping onto each animal they could. They even had the 'sleigh' seats for moms, dads and grandparents and babies - which is nice because I am not a fan of going in circles standing up.
They have a dock - which is about a mile walk - so we always drove for the kids sake. The kids loved going out to The Point and seeing crabs and jellyfish off the dock. We also did the nature trail - lots of cool birds and plants etc.
Because we went prior to peak season (June 20-June 27 2009) - the drive to 142nd Street Beach - took only a few minutes top - and we went early and parked literally right next to the sand. I can see how this ride might be longer - but it isn't bad. There is a 24 hour grocery store right at the exit of Bayside. Overall - this was such a great trip and my kids and their cousins loved every minute of it. We traveled with 7 kids - all under age 7 - I could see how teenagers would not be thrilled with this. This is a young kids heaven. Oh - and even better...every house around us had kids too - so they all made friends while out on bikes, blowing bubbles etc.... I highly recommend this place for the Grade School and under crowd!!!!