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Governors Island Set to Open for the Summer on May 1

Governors Island Set to Open for the Summer on May 1

The iconic Governors Island is starting its 2021 season on Saturday, May 1. Here’s what you need to know.

Governors Island is set to reopen for the summer on Saturday, May 1. Returning to its pre-pandemic calendar, the island will be open through Oct. 31, Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm, and Saturday-Sunday and holidays, 10am-7pm.

In addition to its Manhattan ferry service, Governors Island is expanding its ferry service in Brooklyn. For the first time, ferries will depart from two locations in Brooklyn: Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. These routes will run Saturday-Sunday and holidays all season long.

“We are thrilled to be able to open Governors Island for its full, six-month public season again this year, and with more access from Brooklyn than ever before,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “As the city reopens, Governors Island will provide an affordable destination for New Yorkers to enjoy open space, arts and culture, and everything that makes it such a remarkable place. One of the Trust’s main goals is to provide equitable access to the Island, and we’re proud to continue to deliver on that mission this year. We can’t wait to see everyone on the ferry.”

How is Governors Island keeping visitors safe from COVID-19?

Governors Island's 2020 health, safety, and social distancing protocols will remain in place to keep everyone safe this summer. This includes:

  • Mandatory ticket reservations to manage capacity and ensure social distancing on ferries
  • Face coverings must be worn while queuing, boarding, riding, and disembarking Governors Island ferries, and on the island whenever social distancing is not possible
  • Maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet between groups
  • Increased cleaning for all restrooms, ferries, and in high-touch, high-traffic areas across the island
  • Enhanced health and safety protocols for all food and drink vending locations
  • Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations located across the island
  • In-person tours are cancelled for the time being
  • For Jay and Castle Williams are temporarily closed
  • The Welcome Center will be closed, but Visitor Services Staff will be available across the island
  • Groups are encouraged to limit themselves to 20 individuals

What can I do on Governors Island?

Families who visit Governors Island can take advantage of a variety of outdoor fun, including:

  • 7 miles of car-free bike paths
  • Parents can relax in Hammock Grove while the kids have fun on the play structures nearby
  • Slide Hill, featuring 4 slides (including a 3-story tall one!)
  • Kids can build, explore, play, imagine, and destroy in The Yard (open weekends, 12-4pm), a play:groundNYC space just for ages 6-18
  • A limited calendar of socially distanced outdoor events
  • A variety of ongoing arts, education, and cultural programs
  • Bring a picnic or buy lunch from one of the food vendors on the island, including Island Oyster, Taco Vista, Joe Coffee, Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights, Little Eva’s, Kimchi Taco Truck, Makina Café, Melt Bakery, People’s Pops, Terry & Yaki, Threes Brewing & The Meat Hook, Pizza Yard, and Sea Biscuit.

Information About Visiting Governors Island

How do I get to Governors Island?

Round-trip ferries to Governors Island leave from 3 locations:

How much does the Governors Island ferry cost?

Round-trip ferry tickets are $3 for ages 13 and older and free for children ages 12 and younger, IDNYC holders, military members (current and former), New York City Housing Authority residents, and seniors ages 65 and older. Ferries before 12pm on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all passengers.

Governors Island is still offering online services if you are either sick or not comfortable traveling at this time. Visit to check out Governors Island at Home to learn more about the park.

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Katelin Walling

Author: Katelin Walling is the editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. When she’s not learning about the latest parenting trend or kid-friendly NYC attraction to write about, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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