Select Region
Follow us!

Governors Island: Family Outing

Governors Island: Family Outing

A 72-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, Governors Island opened as a military fortress in 1775, and remained a full-service base for the U.S. Army and Coast Guard until 1996. In 2003 it was land-marked and designated a national park, and in 2014, 30 acres opened to the public. 

governors island hills

An artistic rendering of The Hills, opening this year.


Features at Governors Island

Visitors can enjoy the plaza, a 10-acre grove with pathways and hammocks, and the Play Lawn, featuring two ball fields. The Hills feature views of the NYC skyline, a permanent installation by British artist Rachel Whiteread, and four 40-foot tall slides for all ages.  

the slides at governors island

The slides under construction in The Hills. 

The Yard, located at 40 Barry Road, Governors Island, is an experimental playground filled with unconventional play items such as loose materials, spare parts, and tools. It offers kids the space to experiment with raw materials and foster their creative in new ways. The Yard is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm. 

Everyday Activities at Governors Island

Bring your own bike or rent one and enjoy miles of car-free biking. Catch a round of mini golf at the artist-designed FIGMENT course. Cool off in the sprinklers at Liggett Terrace from 11am-2pm. Take in some history at Fort Jay and Castle Williams.

biking at governors island

Bikers enjoy the miles of car-free lanes.

Ongoing Programs at Governors Island

Check the Governors Island website for coronavirus updates and to make sure the program you are looking for is still being offered this summer.

Special programs run Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. The Earth Matter Compost Learning Center teaches how to compost, and GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden educates the public on urban agriculture. The Children’s Museum of Arts Free Art Island Outpost Program leads art making. The Holocenter’s Summer Museum features exhibitions on holograms and optical projections. Stop by The Dysfunctional Collective to hear showtunes, Shakespeare, a poem, or a play.  Brooklyn ARTery offers DIY classes.

Details for Visiting Governors Island

Directions: Ferries depart from Battery Maritime Building at 10 South St. in Lower Manhattan every half-hour on weekends, 10am-5:30pm, and every hour on weekdays, 10am-4:15pm. Ferries also depart from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn every half-hour on weekends, 11am-5:30pm. For the first time, you can reserve ferry tickets to the island online as well.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-7pm.

Admission: Round-trip ferry fares are $2 for adults, and $1 for seniors. Season passes are available for $20. Children younger than 13 ride free, and all passengers ride free on Saturdays and Sundays. 

For more information:


Get Weekend Activities Sent to Your Inbox


More Family Activities Articles:

Latest News:

Family Activities:

Have a Laugh:

Catherine Patwell

Author: Catherine Patwell is a student of journalism and Italian at Hunter College. When not studying, she is running along the Hudson River, reading cookbooks, or plotting her next travel adventure. Catherine currently resides in Manhattan. See More

Featured Listings: