Looking for a summer Day Trip with gorgeous views, history, and lots of family fun? Get on a ferry and head to New York City’s Governors Island!
This 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor is real gem. My family visited on a recent Sunday and we’re already planning when we will go back.
How to Get There
Hop on a ferry from Manhattan (Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street) or Brooklyn (Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park) and in less than 10 minutes you’ll be on the island. Round trip tickets are only $2 per adult /free for kids 3 and under. However, if you take a ferry before 11:30 am on weekends, everyone rides for free!
There’s plenty to do at Governors Island, even on days when there aren’t special events or festivals:
- Rent a Surrey Bike from Blazing Saddles. Choose a 2-, 4-, or 6-seat surrey and go on a family bike ride to explore the island. Riding a Surrey was the highlight of our trip, especially when we let our 13-year-old get behind the steering wheel. (We also learned that she will not be riding with me when she’s learning how to drive a car.) Blazing Saddles also rents regular bikes, including helmets, or you may bring your own bikes over by ferry. Without a bike, you’ll need to walk more than 7 miles to see the entire island, so wheels are a welcome (and fun) mode of transportation.
- Head to Slide Hill, which has four awesome slides — including the longest slide in New York City — for some free and exciting old fashioned fun.
- Adventures at Governors Island: Navigate your way through a giant maze, climb up a 25 foot all, or zipline in the sky at this fun family spot. (Fees apply)
- Little ones will love to splash and frolick in the Play Fountains and play at the Junkyard Playground or at Hammock Grove Playground
- Take a tour of Castle Williams and Fort Jay to learn about Governors Island’s military history.
- Play a round of mini golf
- Enjoy art
- Take a break and relax in the sun in one of the large red hammocks
- Enjoy the gorgeous view. NYC sure is pretty.
Where to Eat
At Liggett Terrace Food Court you can find Little Eva’s, which serves up grilled items, salads, beer, and cocktails from Tuesday – Sunday. There’s also a Starbucks and several food trucks offering a variety of good eats. On weekends, you’ll find more food trucks at King Avenue Food Court.
You should know that the food on the island is pricey — you can get away with selling a $12 cheeseburger when it’s the only option — so if you want to make your day trip budget friendly, we suggest that you pack lunch and enjoy a picnic at the many shaded green spaces.
May 1 – October 1
Monday – Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm