Home Getting A Little Crowded This Holiday Season?
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Is your quirky Aunty Alice and her five funky kids going to be with you for a few extra days this holiday season?Be their holiday hero and bring them to visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. It's as easy as one, two, three! Here's how:
One! One National Park, One Easy-To-Use Reservation System
No visit to the New York City area is complete without a trip to the city's most renowned national park; the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. Statue Cruises offers departures throughout the day from both New York and New Jersey for the convenience of out-of-town visitors and locals alike. So, get started and plan your trip by reserving your ferry tickets at www.statuecruises.com by phone at 1-877-LADY-TIX or in person at the ticket offices near the ferry departure points. Advanced purchases are highly recommended to avoid lines at the ticket offices. Find great travel tips by visiting the park's websites at www.nps.gov/stli or www.nps.gov/elis
Two! Two Islands to Explore
Once you've got ferry tickets, now you have two islands to explore. Whether you want to take a half a day or whole day - there's plenty to do on both Ellis and Liberty Islands.
On Ellis Island, also known as "America's Golden Door," you can visit the Great Hall and learn how millions of immigrants came in search of a new beginning. There are three stories of exhibits located in the Administration Building that tell the story the nation's immigration history. The recent opening of the Peopling of America® Center is a major expansion of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. It features exhibits dedicated to those who arrived before the immigration station opened in 1892-going back to the earliest arrival of the Native Americans, through the early colonists, forced migration and the early Europeans-and will pick up with the Post-Ellis years, covering those who arrived in 1954 right up to the present. The Pre-Ellis Galleries are located in the historic Railroad Ticket Office of the Ellis Island Museum.
Liberty Island offers some of the best views of not only Lady Liberty but of New York Harbor as well. Have your photo taken with Lady Liberty as your backdrop or just a stroll on Liberty Island and then take a lunch break or peruse the shops for some holiday gift giving ideas.
While you are on the island why not download the free Earthcam APP and see the sights from our new "torchcam?" Several remarkable views will be just a touch of a mouse away. Visit http://ellisisland.org/TorchCam/ The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. (SOLEIF), the official partner of the park, worked with EarthCam to make these internationally accessible views a reality.
Three! There's Three Great Ways (and more) to Connect with the Past
First, take one of the free ranger-guided tours that are available on both islands. Rangers on Liberty Island will provide tours every half hour. The unique Ranger guided experience explains the conception, construction, and restoration of one of the world's greatest monuments. Visitors will learn about island history and the New York harbor environs. Why not join a scavenger hunt, junior ranger program, birding tour or a "Weird Liberty" (perfect for quirky Aunt Alice!) tour.
Next, listen up! Maybe you are more of a do it yourself visitor? Then self-guided tours are just right for you. They help visitors learn about park history while exploring the grounds of both Ellis and Liberty Island. A children's audio tour designed for ages 6-10. The children's audio tour is available English, Spanish, French, Italian and German. The standard tour is available in English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Japanese. A descriptive audio tour is also available for the visual-impaired.
Lastly, why not connect with your heritage at the Family History Center on Ellis Island? Located in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and on the World Wide Web, the American Family Immigration History Center (AFIHC) allows visitors to explore the extraordinary collection of immigrant arrival records stored in the Ellis Island Archives. Searching our archives can help inform your own family's story--inspiring a new sense of your place in the larger story of American immigration.
But, the experience doesn't end there. Both islands have great shops for last minute holiday gift giving or to bring home books, postcards or souvenirs. There's plenty to do this holiday season on both Liberty and Ellis Islands. Grab Aunt Alice and those kids and get moving!
Did You Know?
The French ship "Isere" transported the Statue of Liberty's 300 copper pieces packed in 214 crates to America. Although the ship nearly sank in rough seas, it arrived in New York on June 17, 1885. The Statue's parts remained unassembled for nearly a year until the pedestal was completed in 1886.