! Alert

NYC Ferry’s South Brooklyn route is temporarily bypassing Governors Island through mid-February due to planned maintenance. During this time, Trust-operated ferries continue to run daily every half hour from 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan. Click here for schedules, tickets, and more info on getting to Governors Island.

NYC Ferry’s South Brooklyn route is temporarily bypassing Governors Island through mid-February due to planned maintenance. During this time, Trust-operated ferries continue to run daily every half hour from 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan. Click here for schedules, tickets, and more info on getting to Governors Island.

See every­thing to do on Gov­er­nors Island this open­ing weekend

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Get ready to enjoy all of your favorite things to do on Gov­er­nors Island — we reopen to vis­i­tors on Sat­ur­day, May 1! Below you’ll find every­thing you can dis­cov­er dur­ing this year’s open­ing week­end. Plan your trip, book fer­ry tick­ets, and ship out for a packed (or relaxed) day on our shore. 

The park, open space, and recre­ation:

120 acres of open space pro­vide ample room to spread out with a pic­nic, play games, or just watch the clouds float by. Head to the Island’s park to relax in Ham­mock Groves cozy ham­mocks (and say hel­lo to the sheep!), find breath­tak­ing 360-degree views in The Hills, get mov­ing on the Play Lawns, and camp out in an Adiron­dack chair at Pic­nic Point.

Kids and fam­i­lies will love play­grounds like the Ham­mock Grove Play Area, the water fea­ture at Liggett Ter­race, and Slide Hills col­lec­tion of twist‑y, turn‑y slides. Head to the south end of Nolan Park on week­ends 12 – 4pm to play at play:groundNYC’s The Yard, NYC’s only adven­ture play­ground where kids can unleash their imag­i­na­tions and build their own fun. 

Sev­en miles of car-free paths make Gov­er­nors Island a pedaler’s par­adise. Bring your bike on the fer­ry for no charge or rent bikes, sur­reys, ped­al cars, scoot­ers and more from Blaz­ing Sad­dles Bike Rentals, or from three Citi Bike sta­tions across the Island. 

Adven­tures at Gov­er­nors Island also returns to entice thrill seek­ers of all ages. Vis­i­tors can pur­chase tick­et pack­ages to fly down a zipline, chal­lenge a climb­ing wall, puz­zle through a prob­lem-solv­ing maze, and play a round of mini-golf just steps from Liggett Terrace. 

Not for Nut­ten by Duke Riley. Pho­to by Tim­o­thy Schenck

Free arts, culture and science activ­i­ties:

See pub­lic art­works by world-renowned artists across Gov­er­nors Island. Before step­ping ashore, vis­i­tors depart­ing from Man­hat­tan can see a new mur­al by Duke Riley in the Gov­er­nors Island Fer­ry Wait­ing Room at the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing. This new com­mis­sion by the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, Not for Nut­ten, is a rich­ly pig­ment­ed homage to nau­ti­cal tra­di­tions and the Island’s his­to­ry that draws atten­tion to mod­ern cli­mate con­cerns. Pre­vi­ous com­mis­sions on view include Shantell Martin’s Church on Colonels Row, Rachel Whiteread’s Cab­in on Dis­cov­ery Hill, and Mark Handforth’s Yan­kee Hang­er at Liggett Terrace. 

Arts, cul­ture and sci­ence pro­grams return in and around the his­toric hous­es of Nolan Park and Colonels Row. This week­end, see PHREAT­IC!, an exhi­bi­tion of works by inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artists explor­ing sym­bi­ot­ic ecolo­gies, mul­ti­species inter­ac­tions and earth­li­ness at points of dis­rup­tion pre­sent­ed by NYU’s Gal­latin School at the New York Vir­tu­al Vol­cano Obser­va­to­ry house, Nolan Park 11, 11AM – 5PM. On view out­side West Harlem Art Fund at Nolan Park 10, see two pub­lic art instal­la­tions: Regat­ta III/8 Can­dy Blue & Teal by Gilbert Boro and Gar­den Sen­tinel by Michele Brody. More exhi­bi­tions open next week­end, includ­ing works by stu­dents and fac­ul­ty at Pratt Institute’s Grad­u­ate Archi­tec­ture and Urban Design pro­gram, a group exhi­bi­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy, film and more at Pro­tocin­e­ma, and New Art Deal­ers Alliances NADA House, which includes works by over 50 artists across five hous­es on Colonels Row. 

The Urban Farm also reopens 12 – 4PM this week­end for vis­i­tors to engage with envi­ron­men­tal learn­ing pro­grams at GrowNYC’s Teach­ing Gar­den, a work­ing urban farm with rows of crops, green­hous­es and more, and Earth Matter’s Com­post Learn­ing Cen­ter and Soil Start Farm, a ful­ly func­tion­ing com­post cen­ter that turns mate­r­i­al from all over the city into nutri­tious com­post for use on the Island and elsewhere. 

Vis­i­tors can also take guid­ed tours of the Island with Friends of Gov­er­nors Island vol­un­teer docents, leav­ing from Sois­sons Land­ing on Sat­ur­days and Sun­days at 11:30AM, 1:30PM, and 3:30PM. Or, embark on a self-guid­ed tour through the Island’s his­to­ry with stun­ning archival pho­tographs on Urban Archives app or web­site, with a vari­ety of tours available. 

Island Oys­ter. Pho­to by Rad­hi­ka Chalasani

Food and drink:

Gov­er­nors Island’s ven­dors serve up a wide vari­ety of cuisines to sat­is­fy any crav­ing. From drinks, snack and sweet treats to more sub­stan­tial options, find our food and bev­er­age ven­dors across the Island: 

  • At Sois­sons Land­ing, find Island Oys­ters sum­mer fare and trop­i­cal­ly inspired cock­tails, and Taco Vistas tasty tacos and cool drinks with a view 
  • Piz­za Yard dish­es out wood-fried Neapoli­tan-style piz­zas at the south end of Colonels Row 
  • On the west­ern shore, grab small plates and drinks at Sea Bis­cuit or stop by Three Peaks Lodge at Col­lec­tive Retreats for cock­tails and take­away options 
  • Liggett Ter­race fea­tures many options includ­ing Fauzia’s Heav­en­ly Delights’ Jamaican fusion cui­sine; cof­fee, tea and treats from Joe Cof­fee; Kore­an-inspired tacos, bowls and snacks at Kim­chi Taco; eclec­tic takes on clas­sic grill fare at Lit­tle Eva’s; Mak­i­na Cafés mod­ern Ethiopi­an and Eritre­an cui­sine; Melt Bak­erys arti­sanal ice cream sand­wich­es; Ter­ry and Yakis teriya­ki bowls with veg­an and halal options; and Threes Brew­ings tasty brews and The Meat Hooks sat­is­fy­ing sand­wich­es in a shared shad­ed garden 
  • Keep an eye out for People’s Pops’ unique­ly fla­vored pops and shave ice and Mai Bpen Rais Thai-style green papaya sal­ad rov­ing across the Island 

If you’d rather cook up your own meal, grills are avail­able by reser­va­tion. Reser­va­tions are required, with grilling sta­tions avail­able at Pic­nic Point and near Nolan Park. 

You can expect all of this and more this open­ing week­end. There’s plen­ty more to see and do on Gov­er­nors Island in 2021 — check back here and fol­low us on social media for the lat­est updates. See you on the ferry!