Things To Do
In 2015, we will open facilities and provide programs 7 days a week.
In addition to the programs listed below, The Trust for Governors Island hosts a wide array of events, activities, and exhibitions on the island. Please visit their website, www.govisland.com, for more information.
Program Schedule through August 9
All programs listed below are free of charge. Programming is subject to change; Check back often!
Let's Go Back In Time: A Family Program—Many soldiers started their military careers on Governors Island. See for yourself what the first days were like for a new recruit back in the 1860s when you try on a uniform and learn how to drill! Monday–Friday ending August 7. It is a 45-minute program that starts at 11:15 AM at Fort Jay. Groups need to make reservations, families do not, limit 20. To make a reservation please call 212-825-3045.
Explore Castle Williams—Get up close and personal with the best preserved and very first American circular fortification ever built. Go to the roof, see the Statue of Liberty, and learn what made this place the Alcatraz of the East! Courtyard open 10 AM to 4:30 PM. 30 minute tours leave on the half-hour from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, with an extra tour at 4:30 PM on weekends.
Get a Junior Ranger Badge—Young Rangers-in-Training can do kid-specific activities and get their very own Junior Ranger Badge. Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at our bookstore or at Castle Williams. When you're done, return the packet to either of those locations and be recognized for your great work! There is also a Kid's Kart located in the Castle Williams courtyard from 10 AM to 4:30 PM every day.
Experience Fort Jay: An Island Star—At the top of the island sits a fortification that has seen nearly as many uses as it has years of completion! From war fort to music school to housing Confederate prisoners of war, to family housing, Fort Jay is the real star of the show! We say that because from the air, it is shaped like a star! Fort is open daily from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Tours: 30 min tours leave on the half-hour from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM Monday–Friday, and 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM on weekends. Meet us at the moat bridge to Fort Jay.
Hike Through History—The tour for those that want it all! Our most comprehensive program takes you to early every highlight in the historic district. No tickets or reservations required. Be prepared to walk 1.5 miles over 90 minutes. Every day at 2:30 PM. Leaves from Soissons Landing. Weekend morning tours also available the first, second, and fourth Saturday of the month at 12:30 PM, as available. Please inquire in the bookstore or ask a Ranger!
The Big Guns—Governors Island was an Army post for nearly 200 years. For half that time its primary job was to protect New York City with big cannons. Come see park rangers reenact the life of a 19th century artillerist with a somewhat smaller field cannon while also learning about the ammunition and weaponry they used at our very own live cannon demonstration! See live 1-hour cannon demonstrations every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM near the front of Fort Jay. Last weekend is August 8-9 during Civil War Weekend.
Native Americans and Drastic Changes—Join our Student Conservation Association and Harbor School intern Newt on a 30-minute program that covers the environmental history of Governors Island, from the Lenape to present day! Every Friday–Sunday at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM, at Dock 102.
Bookstore is now open every day 10 AM to 4:30 PM.
Daniel C. Krebs