Summer at Governors Island is almost here! A huge roster of activities and events is planned on the historic island from now through the beginning of fall. The best part is, the island is located a short boat ride away from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal on the Manhattan side!
Get ready to plan a day trip (or several!) to Governors Island this summer. This year, warm-weather programming includes free arts, culture, live music, food trucks, educational programs and so much more families will love.
“Governors Island continues to grow as an accessible, year-round destination—offering unparalleled open space, thought-provoking arts and cultural experiences, some of our city’s best culinary offerings, a diverse community of tenants and amenities, and more for our nearly one million visitors,” Clare Newman, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, said. “With this summer’s expanded public access, increased accessible transportation, and exciting calendar of events, we hope more New Yorkers than ever before hop on the ferry and join us for some excellent summer fun.”
What to Expect During Summer at Governors Island
Families can enjoy and expect lots of amenities during their trip to Governors Island, including:
Tram Service: The Trust for Governors Island will offer expanded operations of the island’s wheelchair-accessible tram service, free and available to all guests. These all-electric accessibility vehicles will depart from Soissons Landing and Yankee Pier daily from Memorial Day through the end of October, stopping at key locations throughout the island.
The Urban Farm: This is a great place to learn about the environment. It’s home to GrowNYC’s teaching garden, Earth Matter NY’s Compost Learning Center and Soil Start Farm, and the Bee Conservancy’s bee sanctuary. It’s open weekends from 12-4pm with free tours the first Saturday of every month. Circular Economy Manufacturing’s MicroFactory, which turns post-consumer plastics into upcycled objects using only solar power, is also open weekends with free demonstrations for visitors. play:groundNYC’s Adventure Playground, a unique kids-only space imagination and exploration, is open every weekend from 12-4pm. Governors Island National Monument, including Fort Jay and Castle Williams, is open for self-guided tours and information on weekends from 12-4pm starting Memorial Day weekend.
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center at Governors Island: Open Friday-Saturday from 12-6pm through Oct. 1. It features artist residencies, public programs and three works centered on the theme “time.” The Arts Center is free and open to all, with no prior reservations required. Collective Retreats is open daily for overnight stays, and QC NY is open daily with two heated outdoor pools alongside saunas, steam rooms, relaxation treatments, massages, and a new bar and bistro. The Institute for Public Architecture and Shandaken: Projects—year round Island tenants located in Nolan Park Building 9—will offer free events and exhibitions throughout the summer months.
Summer at Governors Island: Open Space and Recreation
Families can enjoy Governors Island’s 120-plus acres of open space daily. The island’s park offers rolling lawns and plenty of room for New Yorkers to spread out for picnicking and recreation, including over seven miles of car-free bike paths. There are also lots of food options available throughout the island.
Popular year-round activities—like bike rentals with Blazing Saddles, including Free Bike Mornings every weekday between 10am-12pm and CitiBike; self-guided digital walking tours with Urban Archive, Gesso, and the Black Gotham Experience; and more—will continue to be offered to Island visitors. Climbers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy breathtaking views from new heights at the Community Climbing boulder on the Western Promenade. More information and updates on recreation activities can be found on the Governors Island website.
The island will also host lots of fun family friendly events. These include World Bee Day on May 20 and the New York Harbor Oyster Classic on June 4.
Summer at Governors Island: What You Need to Know About Your Visit
Where is Governors Island located?
Governors Island is considered part of Manhattan and located in New York Harbor. Get to the island by taking the ferry from Manhattan at 10 South St. Boats run daily. A round trip ferry ticket is $4 for adults and free for seniors and children 12 and younger. Check out the ferry schedule at govisland.com/ferry.
When is Governors Island open?
Governors Island will debut new public hours this summer, expanding access to the island for all New Yorkers into the evening. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Island will remain open until 10pm Sunday-Thursday (with the South Island Park closing at 6pm) and 11pm Friday-Saturday (with the entire Island open late, marking the return of Summer Late Nights). From Labor Day through Memorial Day, the Island is open daily from 7am to 6pm.
For more information, visit govisland.com.
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