Governor’s Island is a car-free heaven about half a mile from Manhattan, and even closer to Brooklyn. Governor’s Island opens its gates for public from May 24 to September 28, and from 2014 it will be opened 7 days a week, offering various leisure and entertainment activities.
Originally the home of the British royal governors turned a US army base, the 172-acre island is now a must-visit summer destination for New Yorkers and tourists. In addition to the thousands of trees, historic mansions, bike lanes and scenery view, the park offers unique art workshops and fairs, festivals, shows and other fun activities.
credit:The All-Nite Images@Flickr
How to get to Governor’s Island
Ferries run from Lower Manhattan every day and from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The ferry fare is $2 for adults and children of 12 and older. Free ferries leave Manhattan on 10 AM, 11 AM and 11:30 AM on the weekend and from Brooklyn on 11 AM and 11:30 AM on weekends.
Things to do in 2014
Visit the New Park
A new 30-acres park is opened to the public from 2014, including the sunny Liggett Terrace decorated by public art and water features, a Hammock Grove with 50 hammocks and 1,500 new trees and the Play Lawn for ball games and sports activities.
FIGMENT Art Project
The volunteer-based art organization FIGMENT is holding a summer long event on Governor’s Island including an interactive Sculpture Garden, an artist-designed, NYC-themed mini-golf course, a treehouse and an architectural pavilion with a tree-size canopy made of disposable plastic cups.
Governors Island Art Fair
The 7th annual Governors Island Art Fair will be held every weekend in September. Described as the largest independent art exhibition in NYC, the outdoor art fair includes 100 exhibition rooms of painting, photography, sculpture, installation, video, and sound art.
credit: Guy Dickinson@Flickr
Jazz Age Lawn Party
If you always wanted to party like it was the 1920s, then you must visit the Island’s Jazz Age Lawn Party, to be held on the weekend of August 16-17. Established by Michael Arenella, the leader of Dreamland Orchestra, as a private party for his group of friends, the Jazz Age Lawn Party is now attended by tens-thousands of guests, many of them dressed like the extras on Great Gatsby. A Charleston dance contest, a pie contest, exhibition of vintage gramophones and cars and special activities for kids are in this year’s party program.
If you prefer to spend your time at the island lounging and reading books you will find a shaded, outdoors library outside of Building 114 during the weekends. Organized by the Uni Project, a collaboration between 3 NYC public libraries, the project is designed to encourage library registration, offering books to borrow and read on your island stay and holding several events including storytelling, performances and music workshops.