Governors Island, Lower Manhattan’s answer to Central Park, will open a month early this year, on Monday May 1.
An all-too-brief ferry ride from the Battery Maritime Building (adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry terminal) brings you to the 172-acre island, with its shady lawns, historic forts, hammocks and picnic tables, gardens, goats and miniature golf throughout the summer.
The five-minute trip costs $2 round trip for adults. Senior citizens ride for $1, children under 13 ride free, as do IDNYC holders. All passengers ride free on Saturdays and Sundays until 11:30am.
Free events during the month of May, include the NYC Holi Hai Festival on May 6. Holi Hau is a multi-cultural program with live bands and dance performances while covering each other in colored powder. The festival will take place on the ball fields on the western side of the island at the foot of the famed Hills, that offer spectacular views of the harbor.
On May 28, Governors Island’s annual Family Fun Day officially kicks off summer, with art, music, theater, environmental education, and outdoor games, from noon to 4pm.
Other activities this summer include free bird walks given by NYC Audubon, free bike mornings allowing visitors to borrow a bike for up to one hour Mondays through Fridays until noon, and the Earth Matter compost learning center offering family friendly activities including feeding the chickens and goats. Tour the island’s two 1812-era forts Fort Jay and Castle Williams, play miniature golf or head over to Slide Hill for a trip down the longest slide in NYC, at 57 feet.
For more information about Governors Island and the ferry schedule, go to https://govisland.com/