• Immigrants awaiting inspection in front of Ellis Island's Main Building

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

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  • Ellis Island is open on a limited basis while repairs continue.

    Ellis Island has reopened on a limited basis. Due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy parts of the historic Main Building and museum, including most of the exhibits and both elevators, remain closed at this time. More »

Things To Do

Visitor Alert:
Ellis Island is pleased to have reopened on a limited basis. However, due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, many parts of the historic Main Building and museum remain closed. Please note the following:


  • Baggage Room (Historic Area on the 1st Floor)
  • Registry Room/Great Hall (Historic Area on the 2nd Floor)
  • Peopling of America (Exhibit on the 1st Floor)
  • Theater 1 (Hourly presentations of the "Island of Hope, Island of Tears" documentary; 1st Floor)
  • Audio Tour (limited audio tour; pick up and drop off on the 1st Floor)
  • Gift Shop (1st Floor)


  • No elevator
  • No food service
  • No access to the 3rd Floor (Exhibits Ellis Island Chronicles, Treasures from Home, Silent Voices, Restoring a Landmark, Dormitory Room, and Balcony are all closed)
  • Limited access to the 2nd Floor (Exhibits Peak Immigration Years and Through America's Gate and Theater 2 are closed)
  • The American Family Immigration History Center is not available (you can still access the ship manifests and immigration records at ellisisland.org)
  • Education programs Shore to Shore and GameZone, as well as Ellis Island 101 and 'Island of Hope, Island of Tears' Documentary Film programs are not available due to space and staffing limitations.
  • For school groups who are still able to visit, we are offering some limited self-guided and interactive activities. Please inquire at the Information Desk or with a park ranger for availability and options on the day you are visiting.

As you plan your visit, keep in mind that:

  • Your visit will be more similar to that of an immigrant a century ago! Most immigrants were limited to the Baggage Room, Registry Room (the Great Hall) and the Railroad Ticket Office (now houses the Peopling of America Exhibit) during their short time on Ellis Island.
  • You can still experience where history happened in the Great Hall! In that historic space, millions of people passed their medical and legal inspections and were allowed to enter the United States to start a new life.

Continue exploring this website for more information.

Park ranger giving a tour to a group of people in Ellis Island's Great Hall.
Visitors on a tour with a park ranger in the Great Hall learning about immigration through Ellis Island a century ago.
NPS Photo
A note to our visitors:

Due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, Ellis Island Immigration Museum will remain a work in progress at least through the spring. Elevator access to the Great Hall on the second floor is not yet available, but should be restored by early next year. Because of the storm, most of the museum collection is currently stored in a climate-controlled facility in Maryland. A temporary ventilation system will be replaced by permanent equipment later this year. Please take these conditions into consideration when planning your trip to Ellis Island.


Indoor Activites

Highlights activities and experiences that are available while on the island.


For Kids

Traveling with a younger group? Here are some activities that may peak their interest.


Guided Tours

Explore the different types of tours that are offered by Rangers or volunteers.


Time Suggestions

Short on time or have all day? Here are some suggestions on what to see, so you can get the full Ellis Island experience.


Did You Know?

Ellis Island's Distinctive Facade and Towers

Although Ellis Island is federal property and has always been historically considered in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court appointed a "Special Master" to mediate. The ruling in 1998 determined that the original island belongs to New York and the rest of the island, added after 1834, belongs to New Jersey.