The Island is closed for the season...but our holiday shop is open!

Governors Island Opens Call for Proposals for Innovative Arts, Culture and Special Events in 2018 and Beyond

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The Trust for Governors Island is now accepting proposals for public programming in 2018 and beyond. Organizations and event producers working in the arts, culture, education and environmental science are invited to propose indoor exhibits, performances, outdoor festivals and more for the public to enjoy during the Island’s public season, which runs May 1 through October 31.

Governors Island’s art and culture program offers an incredible opportunity for organizations to expand to new audiences and produce groundbreaking, experimental programming in one of New York City’s fastest growing cultural destinations. A record 800,000 people visited Governors Island in 2017, with nearly 75% hailing from New York City, making it one of the most exciting venues for presenting groundbreaking public programming in the City. This year, The Trust will challenge proposers to submit programs and new projects that engage meaningfully with the Island’s unique history, landscape and diverse audience. Site fees will be waived for qualifying programs and events that are free and open to the public.

“Each season, Governors Island comes alive with countless opportunities to discover free programming in the arts, history and science, making it one of New York City’s most exciting cultural destinations” said Michael Samuelian, president of the Trust for Governors Island. “With more visitors than ever and a longer, six-month season, we’re delighted to offer a wider platform for organizations to showcase programming to a growing audience”.

The Trust has a long history of offering New York City’s arts and cultural community a unique platform for expanding audience beyond a single neighborhood, and an opportunity to showcase work in the Island’s serene and historic settings. Through the Trust’s art and culture program, over 150,000 square feet of indoor space in dozens of historic houses and 25 acres of outdoor space are made available free of charge to organizations that create programming that is free and open to the public. Over 60 arts, cultural and educational organizations from across New York City participated in the program in 2017, producing over 80 events.

This year, for the first time, the Trust will also offer organizations the opportunity to propose indoor programming in Nolan Park, a collection of charming 19th century homes, for up to three seasons. When submitting a proposal, organizations will be invited to propose programming for a day, a weekend, multiple weeks or season-long. Programs that are season-long to multi-season will be eligible for indoor space in one of the Nolan Park Houses. Shorter-term programs will be eligible for space in the nearby brick homes in Colonels Row. In addition, outdoor programs, both free and ticketed, will be eligible for the Island’s expansive green spaces including the Colonels Row Lawn, Nolan Park, Play Lawn, Oval and the newly restored Parade Ground.

“Governors Island is a place like no other in New York, and its position at the center of New York Harbor provides myriad paths to question, explore, and engage with the public in sustained and profound ways,” said Meredith Johnson, the Trust’s VP for Arts and Culture, “With the revised proposal process for 2018, and the possibility of presenting a program over many years, our goal is to entrench art, cultural collaboration and innovative practice deeper than ever before into very heart of the Island’s future.”

An application, as well as additional information about hosting public programs on Governors Island, is available at govisland.org. The Trust encourages organizations to place an emphasis on public participation when proposing programs. Proposals will be evaluated based on fit and alignment with the Island’s diverse and dynamic arts and cultural programming, track-record of producing and organizing other programs and events and engagement with the Island as a site, including its history, ecology, architecture and relationship to New York City.

Qualifying proposals received between today and January 31, 2018 will be informed of their acceptance to the program with location assignments in mid-February. Proposals for season-long or multi-year programs must be received by this date. After January 31, proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.

The Trust will open an additional permit process for mobile food vendors, sports field and grill reservations in early 2018. For more information on spaces managed by the Trust for Governors Island, visit govisland.org. For information on the 22-acre Governors Island National Monument managed by the National Parks Service, visit nps.gov/gois.

In 2018, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1 through October 31. The Island is open from 10AM to 6PM on weekdays and from 10AM to 7PM on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Governors Island

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Holiday shopping for a Governors Island fan? Adopt a piece of the Island in your loved one’s name to support the park and ensure it remains a world class resource for all New Yorkers.

Whether you choose to give a tote bag, a rosebush, a hammock, an Adirondack chair or a bench, you’ll be giving your Governors Island fan a front-row seat to everything the park has to offer. Give now!

For a full year’s worth of art and play, give the gift of membership. See full member benefits here.

Want your gifts to arrive in time for Christmas? Make sure to order by Thursday, December 20th.

Art on Governors Island Featured at MCNY’s Newest Exhibit

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Photo: Rob Stephenson courtesy MCNY

Look back at fifty years of public art in the city: including on Governors Island!

Don’t miss the Museum of the City of New York’s newest exhibition, Art in the Open, featuring several pieces of public works displayed on Governors Island. Public art has played a critical role in Governors Island’s transformation as a beloved public space, making works from acclaimed artists Rachel Whiteread, Mark Di Suvero and more accessible to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers visiting each year.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the exhibition #NYatItsCore, the Museum of the City of New York is offering FREE admission through the end of the week! Get a piece of Governors Island during our off season while celebrating other groundbreaking works that have transformed New York City public spaces over the last 50 years.


Governors Island works featured in the exhibit below...

Cabin, Rachel Whiteread, 2016-present

Rachel Whiteread’s permanent installation Cabin on Discovery Hill continues the British artist’s interest in producing evocative sculptures of negative spaces and structures. In this case, atop the edge of Discovery Hill, the artist has sited a concrete cast of the interior of a simple cabin, a place suggestive of retreat and introspection. Sitting modestly on the hillside overlooking New York Harbor, the sculpture creates a sense of contemplative quiet and distance from the bustle of the city across the water. Strewn around the cabin are numerous bronze casts of discarded objects including bottles, cans and other refuse; some of these objects were sourced on the Island itself.

Mark di Suvero at Governors Island presented by Storm King Art Center, 2011-2012

Mark di Suvero's largescale, spatially dynamic compositions, created using such industrial materials as steel I-beams and salvaged steel, reveal a masterful sense of form, composition, and movement, while also conveying poignant emotion and, frequently, a sense of play. This exhibit was curated by Storm King Director and Curator David Collens and was the largest outdoor presentation of di Suvero’s sculpture to be shown in New York City since the 1970s.

4heads Governors Island Art Fair, 2008

In 2008, the artists’ collective 4heads, in partnership with the Trust for Governors Island and the National Parks Service, holds their first art fair with dozens of participating artists and organizations presented to the public on weekends. Touted as New York’s largest independent exhibition, GIAF welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually in New York Harbor and exhibited over one hundred artists in their 2017 fair. The 4heads collective fosters community by offering space for artists to exhibit, to provide arts-education for the underserved and to expose hidden culture.

This week in history

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#TBT to when he Manhattan skyline looked a bit different! This week in history, Mayor LaGuardia and guest, Cuban general Fulgencio Batista were received on Governors Island on November 15, 1938, by the troops lined up at attention.

Credit: MyRecordJournal.com, AP Photo

Your last weekend on GI will be a little spooky

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What a season we've had! If you haven't made the trip to Governors Island yet, this weekend is your last chance of the year. We're bringing the spooky fun to you in celebration of Halloween. Get dressed up and board the ferry for trick-or-treating, pumpkin picking, exhibit exploring and taking in the views. We close on October 31, so don't miss the chance to visit!

Trick-or-Treating
Saturday, 2-5 PM, Nolan Park
Calling all ghouls, goblins, princesses and witches - put on your most creative costumes and experience the rare chance to trick or treat from house to house in New York City! Our exhibitors and spooky friends will be stationed at the historic houses of Nolan Park to hand out candy to kids, families and the young at heart. Free and open to the public.

Pumpkin Point
Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM-5 PM, Pumpkin (Picnic) Point
If you missed our pumpkin patch of over 2,000 pumpkins last weekend - don't fret, it's open this weekend too! Pick your very own pumpkin, take a hayride around the Hills, sip cider and snack on ghoulish treats from Little Eva’s. Children's Museum of the Arts will provide free pumpkin painting and there will be live folk music from Brooklyn's own Jalopy Theatre! Share your photos using #PumpkinPoint. Members get a free pumpkin! Not a member? Join today!

Tickets still available for Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns!
Thursday-Saturday & Monday, October 26-28 & 30*, 5-10 PM, Colonels Row
*Sunday postponed to Monday due to rain*
We're going to light up New York Harbor this weekend starting tonight! Come see more than 1,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns carved by artists, live carving demonstrations, and take home your own pumpkin at this truly unique jack o’lantern jaunt. Only a few tickets left! Get yours now.

Laboratorium performances
Saturday, 1 & 3 PM: Theatre Mash Up: Children are Terrifying
Saturday, 5 PM: Once Upon a Midnight Dreary
Sunday, 12:30 PM: Laboratorium Showcase
Nolan Park 11

Each week, a different playwright and director from Rising Sun have developed and performed new plays free for the public! This weekend will include the Laboratorium Showcase, featuring ten minute selections of all the scripts developed over their 12 week residency on Governors Island.

Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: A Prehistory of Governors Island
Daily through October 31, 10 AM-4:30 PM, Fort Jay National Monument
Explore this winding sculptural installation inside the magazine of historic Fort Jay! This work by artist David Brooks digs down to the core of Governors Island, exposing the strata of history of this floating rock in New York Harbor. Free and open to the public, this installation is open every day until October 31.

Only on Governors Island
Islandwide
Don't forget about all the activities that you can only experience on GI! This means there's still one weekend of ziplining, relaxing in hammocks, the teaching garden & compost center, biking on car-free streets, the longest slide in NYC, bird walks with NYC Audubon, sightseeing from the Hills and walking tours!


Art and Exhibitions on GI

Who Cares? A.I.R. Gallery | Nolan Park 4A, Saturday & Sunday, 12-5 PM
Dysfunctional Collective | Nolan Park 8B, Saturday & Sunday, 12-5 PM
NYC Audubon Exhibits | Nolan Park 17, Thursday-Sunday, 11 AM- 5 PM
Billion Oyster Project Exhibit | Nolan Park 16, Friday-Sunday, 10 AM-5 PM
Escaping Time: Art from U.S. Prisons | Nolan Park 6A, Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM-5 PM


Become a member in October and get two free months of membership!
This month only, become a member and get two free months of membership, including invites to exclusive off-season member events like our Fall Foliage Walk, Holiday Tree Lighting and Spring Member Preview Day! Join now!

8 minutes to autumn magic on Governors Island

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That autumn crisp we've all been waiting for has finally arrived, and you don't need to venture out of the city to make the most of the season! This weekend, join Open House New York for an insider's peek of the secret gymnasium that sits atop Liggett Hall, visit the free exhibits of Nolan Park, or do some leaf peeping in our park. See what's happening below, only three weeks left to visit Governors Island this year!


The Battle for the Ballot *Last weekend*
Saturday & Sunday, 12-6 PM, Nolan Park 18
The Battle for the Ballot is the New-York Historical Society's teen-curated exhibition on the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in New York State. Through reproductions of works of art and historic artifacts, visitors learn how the women’s suffrage movement developed. Don't miss this exhibit before it closes after this weekend!

Open House New York
Saturday & Sunday, 10 AM-4 PM, Governors Island National Monument & Liggett Hall
It's time for Open House New York Weekend's 15th anniversary! Governors Island National Monument is one of almost 50 have participated for 10 or more years, and this year we are adding Liggett Hall - atop the archway of this mammoth building sits a gymnasium!

José Martí Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, 11:30 AM-5 PM, Nolan Park 4B
Presented by the Empire State Center for the Book, this weekend will celebrate José Martí, one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language and someone whose legacy to the City of New York cannot be underestimated. Free and open to the public, this event includes talks on various aspects of Martí's life in New York.

Sanctuary City
Saturday & Sunday, 12-6 PM, Nolan Park 7B
Sanctuary City presents We Don't Live Here Anymore, a locative sound journey by UK based artists Melissa Chambers & Candace Thompson. This immersive experience will begin at 2 PM on Saturday. On Sunday, from 12-7 PM, will be Sanctuary City's closing celebration with an explosion of art, music, performance and a reading from the Armory - their six-month long participatory installation on Governors Island.

play:groundNYC's End of Season Celebration
Sunday, 12-4 PM, South Battery
Join play:groundNYC for an afternoon of play as they celebrate another amazing season on Governors Island! Meet the fantastic team of playworkers and explore the 50,000 sq ft junkyard wonderland. Bring your own picnic, free admission! No rain date - come play one last time - rain or shine!

Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: A Prehistory of Governors Island
Daily through October 31, 10 AM-4:30 PM, Fort Jay National Monument
Explore this winding sculptural installation inside the magazine of historic Fort Jay! This work by award winning artist David Brooks digs down to the core of Governors Island, exposing the strata of history of this floating rock in New York Harbor. Save the date for a special artist talk with David Brooks at the Nolan Park Commanding Officers House on Saturday, October 21!


Save the Date!

Pumpkin (Picnic) Point, Saturdays & Sundays, October 21-29, 11 AM-5 PM | More info
Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns, Thursday-Sunday, October 26-29, 5-10 PM | More info / Tickets
Trick-or-Treating in Nolan Park, Saturday, October 28, 2-4 PM


Become a member in October and get two free months of membership!
This month only, become a member and get two free months of membership, including invites to exclusive off-season member events like our Fall Foliage Walk, Holiday Tree Lighting and Spring Member Preview Day! Join now!

Trick or Treat? October is here!

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For the first time ever, Governors Island will be staying open to the public for the month of October! We've got plenty of autumn treats in store for this month, plus extended runs of this year's favorite exhibits. This weekend is the last chance to enjoy the HoloCenter's exhibit and Exquisite Corpse performances. Read more for what's in store this week as well as some spooky October announcements!

Save the Date: Picnic Point is Pumpkin Point this October!
Weekends October 21-29, 11AM-5PM, Pumpkin (Picnic) Point
Just in time for Halloween, we’re transforming Picnic Point into our first ever pumpkin patch within view of Lady Liberty! Wander past the autumn colored Hills to Pumpkin Point where you’ll be able to pick (or just snap pics) from thousands of pumpkins, sip cider and snack on ghoulish treats from Little Eva’s. We’ll even have a spooky hayride to take pumpkin pickers back to the ferry!

IRIDESCENCE
Friday 2-4 PM, Saturday-Monday, 11 AM-5 PM, Colonels Row 403

The Holocenter's exhibit includes six artists selected through an international competition, their works on display sculpted with light explore how memory, motion and images entwine. This weekend (including Monday!) will be the last days the exhibit will be on view, don't miss it!

A Ribbon About a Bomb
Friday 3 PM, Saturday-Sunday 2 & 4 PM, Colonels Row 407B

Exquisite Corpse Company invites you to a wedding... or perhaps the funeral... Jump to the surreal world of A Ribbon About a Bomb as you cycle and muse on with Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington through the abandoned halls of a mansion. Don't miss the last three dates for this immersive performance.

Escaping Time: Art from U.S. Prisons
Saturday-Sunday, 12-5 PM, Nolan Park 6A

Escaping Time features over 200 works of art created by inmates within prison walls and is on view every weekend in October. Their artwork acts a vehicle to demonstrate the mental captivity inmates experience during their imprisonment. The exhibit aims to bring attention to the effects of mass incarceration.

Save the Date: The Hunt on Governors Island
Saturday, October 21, 12-4 PM, Islandwide, meet at Nolan Park

Join Urban Archive for a historical scavenger hunt on Governors Island! Come out and learn about the rich history of the Island as you walk through our Historic District. The event begins in Nolan Park with a round of cider, followed by the hunt. Prizes will be awarded to the first three teams to make it back to Nolan Park after finding all the photos!

Friends of Governors Island Gala
Thanks for your support!
Last week the Friends of Governors Island hosted their annual Gala, which honored the six leaders who helped transform the Island into a spectacular public space. Hosted on Governors Island and attended by over 500 guests, it was our largest fundraising event to date! Funds raised at the Gala will go toward ensuring Governors Island remains a vibrant shared space for all. See photos and watch the special tribute video.


Become a member in October and get two free months of membership!

This month only, become a member and get two free months of membership, including invites to exclusive off-season member events like our Fall Foliage Walk, Holiday Tree Lighting and Spring Member Preview Day! Join now!

Don’t miss the final weekend for some of our exhibits, plus October treats ahead!

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The leaves are falling and the colors are changing! As September comes to a close, so do some of our exhibits. Don't miss the closing weekend of the 4heads Governors Island Art Fair, the Sculptor's Alliance, the Police Museum and our goats at Earth Matter's Compost Learning Center. Take a look below for what's going on, and stay tuned for more October happenings!

4heads Governors Island Art Fair, Saturday & Sunday, 10 AM-6 PM, Colonels Row & Liggett Hall *Last weekend!*
This weekend is your last chance to check out 4heads Governors Island Art Fair! Over 100 artists have transformed the former military homes of Colonels Row and the Island's iconic Liggett Hall. Pictured above is work by sculptor Norman Mooney.

Governors Island Oktoberfest, Saturday, 12-5 PM, Colonels Row
Governors Island Beer Co. is proud to host the first ever Oktoberfest on Governors Island this Saturday. Don your bavarian garb and enjoy a mug holding contest, traditional Bavarian food, entertainment and more! Radeberger and Braufactum Progusta will be available for purchase.

Peas and Carrots head back to Goodale Farms, Saturday & Sunday, 12-1 PM, Earth Matter Compost Learning Center, Urban Farm
Each year our friends at Earth Matter bring two visiting goats to live in our Urban Farm! Peas and Carrots (with chickens and other animals!) contribute to the composting process by consuming New Yorkers' vegetable scraps. After this weekend, they will return to Goodale Farms. Join us in bidding them farewell, and learn how Compost is made for the last weekend of the season.

Vintage Police Car Show, Saturday, 10 AM-6 PM, Pershing Hall parking lot *Last weekend for the Police Museum exhibits!*
The New York City Police Museum is excited to announce the Annual Vintage Police Car Show for its' final weekend on Governors Island! Over 20 vehicles from as early as the 1950s will make their way to Governors Island this Saturday. The Museum will also be selling selected items from the gift shop.

Sculptor's Alliance: Metal, Friday-Sunday, 11 AM-5 PM, Nolan Park 7B *Last weekend!*
Come explore the last weekend of the Sculptor's Alliance's show Metal! This exhibit features a range of 3D concepts and forms of expressive sculpture, with each piece made entirely of metal or incorporating metal. Closing reception on Sunday from 2-5 PM.

Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns, Thursday-Sunday, October 26-29, Colonels Row
We are ready to light up New York Harbor this October! Come see more than 1,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns carved by artists, live carving demonstrations, and take home your own pumpkin at this truly unique jack o’lantern jaunt here on Governors Island. Tickets available here


Performances This Weekend

Exquisite Corpse Company invites you to a wedding... or perhaps the funeral... Jump to the surreal world of A Ribbon About a Bomb as you cycle and muse on with Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington through the abandoned halls of a mansion. Tickets available here.
Fridays 3 PM, Saturdays & Sundays 2 & 4 PM, Colonels Row 407B

The Rising Sun Performance Company presents Laboratorium: a 12 Week Multi-Purpose Theatrical Artist Retreat & Residency. Each week a different playwright and/or director to will develop new play scripts and works in progress as well as site specific devised works!
Saturdays & Sundays beginning at 12 PM, Nolan Park 11

When the world is mad, does embracing madness make you sane? Created by the Dysfunctional Collective this summer on Governors Island, The Bacchae is a freely adapted, feminist take on Euripides' tragedy. Performances are approximately 30 minutes long and may be too intense for young children.
Saturday & Sunday, 2:30 & 4:30 PM, Nolan Park 8B

Come watch - or participate in! - the premier of Aquatopia, a participatory performance as part of Pratt's Blue Week 2017. Musicians, students, and community members collaborate and explore together seawalls, oceanic thinking, and ecological reimagining of formerly deluged sites in light of rising seas.
Saturday 2 PM, The Scramble at the Hills

Autumn is just around the corner

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Friday marks the autumnal equinox, and there's no better time to stroll the tree-lined paths of Governors Island. Don't miss Open Studios and Kameelah Janan Rasheed's A Supple Perimeter during the LMCC Arts Center's last weekend of the season, plus polo, plenty of theater and more! And stay tuned next week as we announce some exciting October tricks and treats...

Open Studios with Process Space and Extended Life Artists-in-Residence, Saturday & Sunday, 1-6 PM, LMCC Arts Center Building 110
During this free, weekend-long event, artists open their studio doors to the public, offering a unique, behind-the-scenes window into their creative practices in the visual, literary, and performing arts. Come out and talk with the artists and gain insight into their creative processes! This will also be the final weekend to visit the summer exhibition, A Supple Perimeter, by artist, educator and writer Kameelah Janan Rasheed.

Victory Cup Polo Match, Saturday, 10 AM-6 PM, Play Lawn
The Victory Cup is not your average polo match! Join to watch the games and enjoy tastings from local chefs, restaurants, farms, vineyards, distilleries and breweries from New York City. Guests will enjoy taking in the majesty of the horses and the thrill of heart pounding polo! Tickets available here.

African Film Festival Inc.’s Family Day Celebration, Sunday, 11 AM-5 PM, Colonels Row
Come out for an enchanting day of free music, film, and dance at African Film Festival Inc.’s Family Day Celebration! Fun-seeking individuals of all ages are invited to join for a day of story-telling, double-dutch, dance and drum, needlepoint and short films — all celebrating Africa and the diaspora.

Courage, Friday-Sunday, 2 PM, Castle Williams Parking Lot
NACL’s Courage will have its New York City premiere on Governors Island this weekend! This spectacular performance, set in an imagined refugee camp and unfolding as a walking journey, is inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s anti-war play, “Mother Courage and Her Children,” written in 1939 Fascist Germany, and advocates for compassion in an era of fear and war. A limited number of tickets are available via Indigogo.

Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: a Prehistory of Governors Island, Daily, 10 AM-4:30 PM, Fort Jay
Explore this winding sculptural installation inside the magazine of historic Fort Jay! This work by award winning artist David Brooks digs down to the core of Governors Island, exposing the strata of history of this floating rock in NY Harbor. Free and open to the public, this installation is open every day until October 31.


More Performances

Brave New World Repertory Theatre presents The Plantation: a bold new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, set in 1870 Virginia after emancipation, but before the onset of Jim Crow. Chekhov’s Russian serfs become American freed men and women in this immersive and emotionally charged production.
September 23-25, Saturday-Monday, 1:30 PM at the Commanding Officer's House, Nolan Park. *Final performances!* Free seats available on a first come, first served basis.

When the world is mad, does embracing madness make you sane? Created by the Dysfunctional Collective this summer on Governors Island, The Bacchae is a freely adapted, feminist take on Euripides' tragedy. Performances are approximately 30 minutes long and may be too intense for young children.
September 23-24, Saturday & Sunday, 2:30 & 4:30 PM in Nolan Park 8B

Exquisite Corpse Company invites you to a wedding... or perhaps the funeral... Jump to the surreal world of A Ribbon About a Bomb as you cycle and muse on with Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington through the abandoned halls of a mansion. Tickets available here.
Fridays 3 PM, Saturdays & Sundays 2 & 4 PM through October 15 in Colonels Row 407B


Save the Date!

Thursday-Sunday, October 26-29: Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns is ready to light up New York Harbor this October! Come see more than 1,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns carved by artists, live carving demonstrations, and take home your own pumpkin at this truly unique jack o’lantern jaunt here on Governors Island. Tickets available here.

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