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DEADLINE EXTENDED! Apply by December 8 to see your designs carved to life at the 2024 Governors Island Ice Sculpture Show—no ice carving experience required. Click here.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Apply by December 8 to see your designs carved to life at the 2024 Governors Island Ice Sculpture Show—no ice carving experience required. Click here.

Gov­er­nors Island Announces 2019 Pub­lic Season

April 2, 2019. New York, NY. The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island (The Trust) today announced its six-month pub­lic sea­son along with its full line­up of pro­gram­ming and activ­i­ties. Begin­ning May 1, New York­ers and vis­i­tors alike are invit­ed to enjoy the Island’s open space with unpar­al­leled views of New York Har­bor, car-free recre­ation­al activ­i­ties and an expan­sive cal­en­dar of events and pub­lic pro­grams just a quick fer­ry ride from Low­er Man­hat­tan and Down­town Brook­lyn. This year, Gov­er­nors Island will be open dai­ly from May 1 to Octo­ber 31, with extend­ed late-night hours every Fri­day and Sat­ur­day between Memo­r­i­al and Labor Day. Fer­ries will be free for all vis­i­tors dur­ing the first week of the sea­son, Wednes­day, May 1 to Sun­day, May 5.

We’re excit­ed to kick off anoth­er sea­son for New York­ers to expe­ri­ence the cul­ture and nat­ur­al beau­ty of Gov­er­nors Island,” said May­or Bill de Bla­sio. With a new fer­ry and extend­ed hours, more New York­ers will be able to enjoy the Island than ever before.”

Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues to bring an easy and afford­able escape to all New York­ers right in the heart of the city,” said Michael Samuelian, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. We’re proud to con­tin­ue to expand access to this Island oasis with the arrival of our brand-new fer­ry and even more evening hours this sea­son. With new and improved din­ing options and even more cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al part­ners from across the city, we are adding more and more ameni­ties to com­ple­ment the Island’s amaz­ing views and vibrant park.”


This sea­son, pub­lic hours will expand with late nights every Fri­day and Sat­ur­day between Memo­r­i­al Day and Labor Day. The Island will remain open until 10:00pm those evenings, allow­ing vis­i­tors to enjoy deli­cious food and cock­tails from Island ven­dors, beau­ti­ful open space and spe­cial events sur­round­ed by the incred­i­ble night­time New York sky­line. Addi­tion­al evening arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming will be announced in the com­ing weeks.

In addi­tion to expand­ed hours, expand­ed fer­ry access comes to Gov­er­nors Island this sea­son. Begin­ning in June, vis­i­tors will be fer­ried to the Island by a new addi­tion to the Trust’s fleet: a brand-new, 400-pas­sen­ger fer­ry. Built to serve flex­i­ble routes and sup­port the ever-expand­ing events and ser­vices offered, as well as future acti­va­tion ofGov­er­nors Island into a year-round des­ti­na­tion, the new ves­sel will increase fre­quen­cy of trips between Low­er Man­hat­tan and Sois­sons Land­ing on week­ends, with ser­vice approx­i­mate­ly every 20 min­utes, car­ry­ing an addi­tion­al 1,000 pas­sen­gers per hour. A new week­end fer­ry sched­ule will be announced in the com­ing weeks and will go into effect in June.

Gov­er­nors Island has con­tin­ued to grow into a wel­com­ing green space, and I am thrilled to see all of the new ameni­ties that will be avail­able to the pub­lic this sum­mer sea­son,” said Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Gale A. Brew­er. I hope all New York­ers will take advan­tage of the increased fer­ry ser­vice, extend­ed hours, many food ven­dors, and free events that will take place there this season.”

I am thrilled to invite my fel­low New York­ers to take advan­tage of all that Gov­er­nors Island has to offer as it launch­es its 2019 sea­son of activ­i­ties. With 70 free events and a new fer­ry, even more fam­i­lies will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore and relax on this icon­ic sanc­tu­ary of lush green space, unbeat­able water­front views, and eye-open­ing art. I thank the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and all its com­mu­ni­ty and arts part­ners for their col­lab­o­ra­tive work to pre­serve this haven for cul­ture, recre­ation and dis­cov­ery,” said Coun­cil Mem­ber Mar­garet S. Chin.


Events on the Island start soon after open­ing day, with the 1st Annu­al Open­ing Week­end ShinDIG, a com­mu­ni­ty vol­un­teer event and open­ing cel­e­bra­tion host­ed by the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island on May 4. Spe­cial events kick into high gear in June, with the 14th iter­a­tion of the Jazz Age Lawn Par­ty, the world’s largest pro­hi­bi­tion-era gath­er­ing with live music, danc­ing and more, and the freeform folk fes­ti­val Porch Stomp. Events fea­tured lat­er in sum­mer include the New York City Poet­ry Fes­ti­val in July, the Japan Per­form­ing Arts Fes­ti­val in August and the Vendy Awards, a fierce com­pe­ti­tion fea­tur­ing the best of New York City street food. New to Gov­er­nors Island this year is the Longines Glob­al Cham­pi­ons Tour, one of the world’s most excit­ing and com­pet­i­tive eques­tri­an series, com­ing to New York City for the first time ever in September.

Gov­er­nors Island con­tin­ues to be a bea­con of joy and open­ness in our crowd­ed city,” said Mer­ritt Birn­baum, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island. We’re thrilled to kick off the sea­son with our first-ever ShinDIG on May 4, a spring cel­e­bra­tion that invites New York­ers of all ages to lend a hand in car­ing for our shared oasis in the har­bor. And this is just the first of so many fun, free activ­i­ties and events that will engage and delight vis­i­tors this year.”

More events will be announced through­out the season.

For a full line­up of spe­cial events, click here.


The Trust today also announced new ven­dors who will expand Gov­er­nors Island’s culi­nary offer­ings this sea­son in Liggett Ter­race Food Court. Brook­lyn-based Threes Brew­ing will open a new out­post, locat­ed in Liggett Ter­race that will serve a selec­tion of beer & wine. As part of their involve­ment this sea­son, they will launch a spe­cial beer to serve on the island, Pub­lic Prop­er­ty, with 10% of the pro­ceeds donat­ed. Neapoli­tan Express, the Island’s first piz­za ven­dor, will bring its 100% alter­na­tive ener­gy pow­ered truck to serve Neapoli­tan-style piz­zas, sal­ads, sand­wich­es, cof­fee and pas­tries sev­en days per week. Mak­i­na Café will serve tra­di­tion­al Ethiopi­an and Eritre­an food with a mod­ern twist, includ­ing a range of veg­an and veg­e­tar­i­an options. Per­ros Y Vainas will bring tra­di­tion­al Per­ros Calientes” (or hot dogs) and oth­er Venezue­lan treats. Joe Cof­fee, Melt Bak­ery and People’s Pops will offer ice cream, dessert, cof­fee and pas­tries. Caribbean eatery Fauzia’s Heav­en­ly Delights and Red Hook-based Lit­tle Eva’s Beer Gar­den Grill will return.

Ven­dors announced today respond­ed to a Call for Pro­pos­als for food and bev­er­age estab­lish­ments issued in ear­ly 2019. Water­front restau­rants Island Oys­ter and Taco Vista will return this sea­son, locat­ed near the Man­hat­tan Fer­ry Land­ing. This sea­son, Island Oys­ter will host live music on the sec­ond and last Sat­ur­day of each month between June and August. 


A diverse range of sea­son-long, free exhi­bi­tions span­ning visu­al arts, per­for­mance, cul­ture and sci­ence in the his­toric hous­es of Nolan Park and Colonels Row will open between May and June. Over three dozen orga­ni­za­tions bring free, pub­lic pro­grams to the Island’s his­toric homes, includ­ing return­ing orga­ni­za­tions like the Cli­mate Muse­um, NYC Audubon, 4heads and the New Art Deal­ers Alliance, who will open NADA House on May 2, a new pro­gram fea­tur­ing 45 artists from NADA Mem­ber gal­leries and non-prof­its in an expand­ed for­mat across 34 rooms in three his­toric hous­es.

New cul­tur­al pro­grams to Gov­er­nors Island this year include the Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary African Dias­po­ran Arts (MoCA­DA), Pio­neer Works, the Amer­i­can Indi­an Com­mu­ni­ty House, the Cli­mate Real­i­ty Project and the Human Impacts Insti­tute, open­ing in Nolan Park in June. Vis­i­tors will be able to peruse a diverse array of free exhi­bi­tions, work­shops, per­for­mances, artist talks and demon­stra­tions every week­end of the sea­son. The Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Council’s new­ly expand­ed Arts Cen­ter will open its doors in Sep­tem­ber, with inau­gur­al pro­gram­ming focused on themes of ecol­o­gy and sus­tain­abil­i­ty includ­ing site-spe­cif­ic exhi­bi­tions by Yto Bar­ra­da and Michael Wang, plus Open Stu­dios and relat­ed pub­lic events sur­round­ing the Center’s sig­na­ture Artist Res­i­den­cy pro­grams and work devel­oped in the space.

Begin­ning May 4 at the Island’s Urban Farm, vis­i­tors will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to engage first-hand in pro­grams that span envi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and sus­tain­abil­i­ty, includ­ing the return of GrowNYC’s Teach­ing Gar­den and Earth Mat­ter NY’s Com­post Learn­ing Cen­ter and Soil Start Farm. The Island Bee Project’s Bee Sanc­tu­ary expands their fam­i­ly to 80,000 hon­ey­bees with the addi­tion of a new hive this year in part­ner­ship with the Hon­ey­bee Con­ser­van­cy. Artist Mary Mattingly’s food acces­si­bil­i­ty aware­ness project, Swale, returns with an indoor exhi­bi­tion in Nolan Park and a new out­door food for­est in the Urban Farm, fea­tur­ing over 400 edi­ble plants.

Vis­i­tors will also once again be able to enjoy guid­ed pro­grams explor­ing the rich his­to­ry of the Gov­er­nors Island Nation­al Mon­u­ment. Fort Jay and Cas­tle Williams will be open through­out the sum­mer. The Nation­al Park Ser­vice will offer fre­quent ranger-led tours and many excit­ing pro­grams. Vis­it www​.nps​.gov/GOIS for more infor­ma­tion about upcom­ing tours and hours.

Come and join the Nation­al Park Ser­vice at Gov­er­nors Island Nation­al Mon­u­ment start­ing on May 1, 2019,” said Shirley McK­in­ney, Super­in­ten­dent of Man­hat­tan Sites for the Nation­al Park Ser­vice. We are excit­ed to wel­come vis­i­tors to the mon­u­ment to enjoy the won­der­ful views to NYC from Cas­tle Williams and Fort Jay. I encour­age all to dis­cov­er more about Gov­er­nors Island’s mag­nif­i­cent history!” 

In addi­tion to free week­ly walk­ing tours, this year the Trust, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Urban Archive, will launch a free self-guid­ed mobile his­to­ry tour. Merg­ing tech­nol­o­gy with archival pho­tographs owned by the Trust, Library of Con­gress and oth­er insti­tu­tions, Urban Archive’s app will take users on a his­tor­i­cal jour­ney around Gov­er­nors Island. Users will learn details about the Island’s his­to­ry, from its ear­li­est inhab­i­tants, the Lenape to its strate­gic posi­tion as a mil­i­tary instal­la­tion, to its present-day trans­for­ma­tion, while view­ing stun­ning pho­tographs from the Island’s past and see­ing first­hand how its fea­tures have evolved over cen­turies. This unique self-guid­ed expe­ri­ence will be avail­able begin­ning in May. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www.urbanarchive.nyc.

For a full line­up of ongo­ing pro­grams, click here.


Oper­at­ing Hours

Gov­er­nors Island is open every day from May 1 through Octo­ber 31. On week­days, the Island is open from 10 AM to 6 PM. On week­ends and hol­i­days, the Island is open from 10 AM to 7 PM. On Fri­day and Sat­ur­day evenings between Memo­r­i­al Day week­end and Labor Day week­end, the Island will be open until 10 PM.


Fer­ries will run from Low­er Man­hat­tan every day from the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing at 10 South Street. Direct ser­vice from Brook­lyn will run from Pier 6, Brook­lyn Bridge Park on Sat­ur­days, Sun­days, Memo­r­i­al Day and Labor Day.

All week­day and week­end after­noon fer­ries from Brook­lyn and Man­hat­tan are $3 round trip for adults. Chil­dren under 12, IDNYC hold­ers and Gov­er­nors Island Mem­bers ride for free at all times and senior cit­i­zens’ fares are $1.

Morn­ing fer­ries (10 AM, 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Man­hat­tan and 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Brook­lyn) on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days are free for all. There is no sur­charge for bicy­cles at any time. 

Vis­i­tors will be able to pur­chase fer­ry tick­ets at the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing in Low­er Man­hat­tan or at Pier 6 in Brook­lyn. Only cash is accepted.

Fer­ries will be free for all vis­i­tors dur­ing the first week of the sea­son, from May 1‑May 5.

A full fer­ry sched­ule is avail­able at www​.gov​is​land​.org.

Begin­ning Memo­r­i­al Day week­end, the city’s NYC Fer­ry ser­vice will offer addi­tion­al con­nec­tions to Gov­er­nors Island’s Yan­kee Pier via a ded­i­cat­ed ser­vice from Wall Street/​Pier 11. For tick­et­ing infor­ma­tion and for a full sched­ule, please vis­it www.ferry.nyc.

Vis­i­tor Services

Wel­come Cen­ters are locat­ed at both Sois­sons Land­ing and Yan­kee Pier on Gov­er­nors Island.

Vis­i­tors can pick up an infor­ma­tion guide, receive per­son­al­ized assis­tance on the day’s activ­i­ties from our friend­ly Vis­i­tor Ser­vices team, pur­chase sou­venirs and Island essen­tials like sun­screen and cold drinks and learn about mem­ber­ship and vol­un­teer programs. 

Sois­sons Land­ing Wel­come Cen­ter hours:
Wednes­day-Fri­day 10AM-4PM
Sat­ur­day-Sun­day 10AM-5PM

Yan­kee Pier Wel­come Cen­ter hours:
Sat­ur­day-Sun­day 10AM-5PM


Every day, vis­i­tors can bring their own bikes, or rent one while vis­it­ing. Blaz­ing Sad­dles offers vis­i­tors over 500 bikes and 60 sur­reys for rental, and on week­day morn­ings offers an hour of free cruis­er bike rentals. For the 2019 sea­son, Blaz­ing Sad­dles will expand to include ped­al cars, scoot­ers, and bal­ance bikes for fam­i­lies with small chil­dren. Citi Bike kiosks can be found at Sois­sons Land­ing, Yan­kee Pier and Pic­nic Point. Vis­it gov​is​land​.org for more information.

Free Kayak­ing

Kayak­ers can access the Island’s kayak dock at Pier 101. The Down­town Boathouse will also offer free kayak­ing ses­sions to vis­i­tors of all skill lev­els on Sat­ur­days from June 15 to Sep­tem­ber 14, 11am-4pm. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www​.down​town​boathouse​.org.

Gath­er­ings and Grills

Vis­i­tors may reserve grills for gath­er­ings, par­ties, reunions or any cel­e­bra­tion when the Island is open to the pub­lic. Reser­va­tions must be made at least two weeks in advance and are booked on a first come, first served basis. All appli­cants will be charged a $26 non-refund­able fee. For more infor­ma­tion and to apply vis­it www​.gov​is​land​.org/​p​e​rmits.

Adven­tures at Gov­er­nors Island

Adven­tures at Gov­er­nors Island is New York City’s pre­mière sum­mer des­ti­na­tion for thrill-seek­ers and adven­ture enthu­si­asts of all ages, open dai­ly. This unique pop-up” amuse­ment park cur­rent­ly fea­tures four excit­ing amuse­ments, includ­ing a zipline, climb­ing chal­lenge, maze and mini-golf course. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www​.adven​tures​go​v​is​land​.com.

Col­lec­tive Gov­er­nors Island

Col­lec­tive Retreats offers unique, sea­son­al lodg­ing on Gov­er­nors Island, offer­ing both full hotel-style ser­vice and pre­mi­um select ser­vice accom­mo­da­tions as well as expe­ri­en­tial din­ing. The retreat offers a full-ser­vice restau­rant and bar open to the pub­lic as well as pub­lic lawn space fea­tur­ing yoga class­es avail­able on the week­ends and lawn games. For more infor­ma­tion on class times, accom­mo­da­tion book­ing and oth­er events vis­it www​.col​lec​tivere​treats​.com.

About The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island is the non­prof­it cor­po­ra­tion cre­at­ed by the City of New York that is respon­si­ble for the rede­vel­op­ment and oper­a­tion of 150 acres of Gov­er­nors Island. The Trust’s mis­sion is to trans­form Gov­er­nors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, mak­ing this island at the cen­ter of New York Har­bor a des­ti­na­tion with extra­or­di­nary pub­lic open space, as well as edu­ca­tion­al, not-for-prof­it and com­mer­cial facilities.

For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www​.gov​is​land​.org.

About Gov­er­nors Island Nation­al Monument

The Nation­al Park Ser­vice man­ages Gov­er­nors Island Nation­al Mon­u­ment, which con­sists of twen­ty-two acres, includ­ing the his­toric for­ti­fi­ca­tions Cas­tle Williams and Fort Jay. The Mon­u­ment is one of twen­ty-two sites oper­at­ed by the Nation­al Park Ser­vice in the New York City area. Its pur­pose is to pre­serve and pro­tect Cas­tle Williams and Fort Jay, and to inter­pret them and the harbor’s rich his­to­ry and ecol­o­gy for the pub­lic. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www​.nps​.gov/gois.

Pho­to by play:groundNYC.