• Visitors tour Castle Williams.

    Governors Island

    National Monument New York

Things To Do

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.

All programs listed below are free of charge. Programming is subject to change; check back often!


Program Schedule for July 2014
All programs below offered through August 8, 2014. A fall schedule of programs will be announced in late July.

Monday and Tuesday - All National Park Service facilities are closed.

Governors Island is open 7 days a week until September 28, 2014. For information on weekday programs, visit www.govisland.com National Park staff and available and facilities are open 5 days a week, Wednesday - Sunday. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the national monument grounds are open and outdoor exhibits are available at Castle Williams and Dock 102.

Weekdays - Wednesday through Friday

Explore Castle Williams - Courtyard open 10 AM till 5:30 PM. Tours on the half hour from 11:30 AM till 4:30 PM. About 30 minutes. Get some history in the round at the best-preserved circular fortification in the nation.

Experience Fort Jay: An Island Star! - On the half hour, 11:30 PM to 3:30 PM (last one is at 12:30 PM on Thursday). Starts at the front drawbridge entrance to Fort Jay. About 30 minutes. Fortify your mind! Tour one of the best examples of classic star-shaped fort design anywhere in the country, including the oldest structure on the island.

For Kids! From Drills to Drums: Civil War Life on Governors Island - 10:20 and 11:20 AM at Soissons Dock. About 45 minutes. Take a step into the past and meet island residents from hundreds of years ago. Kids and grown-ups will see first-hand the lives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners on the island in the 19th century. No tickets or reservations required, but if you're a large school or day camp group, we'd appreciate it if you drop us a line at 212-825-3045 to let us know how many you'll be.

Hike through History2:30 PM at Soissons Dock. About 90 minutes. See the whole history of the island in one go. Our most comprehensive program takes you to nearly every highlight in the historic district. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles. Offered on Wednesday and Friday. Not offered on Thursday in July.

Artillery Thursday !2:30 PM to 3:30 PM near the eastern entrance to Fort Jay. Ends August 7th. Ready for the big boom? Learn about the life of a 19th-century artillerist and the ammunition and weaponry they used. A loud, smoke and flame spiting cannon demonstration. Then travel to Fort Jay and look at the big 5 and 7 ton Civil War cannons. No tickets or reservations required (just consider bringing your ear plugs).

Weekends - Saturday and Sunday

Explore Castle Williams - Courtyard open 10 AM till 5:30 PM. Tours on the half hour from 11:30 AM till 4:30 PM. About 30 minutes. Get some history in the round at the best-preserved circular fortification in the nation.

Experience Fort Jay: An Island Star! - On the half hour, 11:30 PM to 3:30 PM at the eastern entrance to Fort Jay. About 30 minutes. Fortify your mind! Tour one of the best examples of classic star-shaped fort design anywhere in the country, including the oldest structure on the island. No tickets or reservations required.

Nolan Park: A Commanding Presence11:30 AM outside the Commanding Officer's Quarters. About 30 minutes. Take a stroll through the genteel neighborhood that played home to generations of the highest-ranking officers stationed on Governors Island.

Visit the Arsenal District1:30 PM at Soissons Dock. About 30 minutes. Did you know that for decades, Governors Island housed not one, but two military bases? Explore Governors Island's very own "heat-packing district" where the US Army managed munitions and arms during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Hike through History2:30 PM at Soissons Dock. About 90 minutes. See the whole history of the island in one go. Our most comprehensive program takes you to nearly every highlight in the historic district. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles.

Beachfront No More: Colonels' Row3:30 PM at the Liggett Hall Arch. About 30 minutes. Get to know the island's "dividing line" where officers meet enlisted men, natural turf meets artificial soil, and old meets new.

 
A Park Ranger describes the variety of programs that are offered during the summer season on Governors Island.
Ask a Park Ranger about the special programs and activities offered on Governors Island.
Daniel C. Krebs

Did You Know?

General John J. Pershing about 1916.

At the start of American entry into World War I and just before leaving Governors Island in May 1917 to lead the 2 million soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force in France, General John J. Pershing (1860-1948) ran uptown into Manhattan to register early for the draft of the very army he was leading to France. He was going to be busy and out of town on draft registration day.