FREE Ranger-guided tours: Join a National Park Service park ranger on a walking tour through Ellis Island's historic halls. Walk in the footsteps of millions of immigrants as you learn about their journey to a new life in America.
Self-guided tours: Walk through 3 floors of exhibits that describe Ellis Island's pre- and post-immigration history, as well as the immigration experience, both before and during Ellis Island's operation as America's premier immigration station. You can find brochures with floor plans at the Information Desk in the Baggage Room on the first floor.
FREE film: "Island of Hope, Island of Tears" is an award-winning documentary shown in two theaters. Each 45-minute presentation includes a 15-minute park ranger introductory talk followed by the 30-minute film. Each theater seats 140 people. Check with the rangers at the Ellis Island Information Desk for ticket information. Note: Once the program has begun, latecomers cannot be seated, but don't worry, you can catch the next show.
Searching Ship Manifests at Ellis Island: In April 2001, the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Foundation opened the "American Family Immigration History Center" at Ellis Island which contains the repository for over 22 million passenger records (manifests) for those arriving into the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924. You can search the database while at Ellis Island or search on-line at the Foundation's website.
Audio Tours: guide visitors through the Ellis Island Immigration Museum: Audio tours are available in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.
Children's Audio Tours: We now have children's audio tours - specially designed for children ages 6-10, with animal character narrators. The children's audio tours are available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
The audio tours, which complement the National Park Service (NPS) Ranger-led tours on the islands, provide a major enhancement to the visitor experience on both islands. Visitors can pick up the audio tours after disembarking the ferry at each island.
The price of audio tours is included in the price of your ferry ticket.
Did You Know?
When Ellis Island was opened in 1892, the facility bore little resemblance to the Renaissance Revival/Beaux Arts structure that people have come to know today. Made out of Georgia pine, the complex caught fire on June 15, 1897 and burned to the ground in about 6 hours. The current building was opened on December 17, 1900.