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Governors Island day trips with kids – what you need to know

Planning a trip to Governors Island this spring? Host a barbecue at a reserved grill, attend a free family event, visit New York’s only junkyard playground and know how to get there.

  • Expanded summer hours from Memorial Day through Labor Day: Governors Island will be open to the public from 7 am to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday (with the South Island park closing at 6pm) and from 7 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday (with the entire Island open late during Summer Late Nights)
  • South Brooklyn Ferry from DUMBO, Pier 6 or Red Hook to Governors Island daily, schedule here.
  • Brooklyn ferry service from Memorial Day through October 29 from Pier 6 and Red Hook on weekends and holiday Mondays. Purchase your tickets in advance here.
  • 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
  • Planning a barbecue? You can reserve grills on the island from May through November. Reservations include a charcoal grill (2 feet in diameter) and up to two picnic tables for the entire day. $26 non-refundable fee for each reservation, visitors are responsible for bringing their own grilling supplies (including charcoal, lighter, etc), and grill reservation charges are processed 48 hours (2 days) before the start of your reservation. Make a reservation here.
  • The Urban Farm — home to GrowNYC’s teaching garden, Earth Matter NY’s Compost Learning Center and Soil Start Farm, and the Bee Conservancy’s bee sanctuary—is open weekends from 12 to 4pm with free tours the first Saturday of every month.
  • play:groundNYC’s adventure playground is open every weekend from 12 to 4 pm. Closed toe shoes required. The wonderful junkyard playground gets very busy during peak weekends. Go straight to the playground from the ferry and get a timed ticket for an hour of free play at the yard before they run out of tickets for the day. Find out more here.

  • Free arts and cultural exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages
  • 18 food and drink spots including Carreau Club Bar & Petanque on Kings Ave – have a few drinks while the kids play boules…
  • NYC’s longest slide and 7 miles of car-free bike paths (various bike rentals available on the island)

Family friendly-events

  • Jazz Age Lawn Party – June 10-11, August 12-13, tickets here
  • Free Porch Stomp folk music festival – June 17
  • Outdoor Films presented by Governors Island Arts in partnership with Film at Lincoln Center on June 9, July 7, August 11


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