What’s New on Governors Island for the 2014 Season? Plenty!

A beautiful, cloudless day on Governors Islands where children play with one of the new gigantic play structures.

When Governors Island first opened to the public more than 10 years ago, spending a lazy summer afternoon across the water became something a secret seasonal ritual for adventurous New Yorkers. Small group of families, couples, and crews of friends hopping on the ferry to enjoy unstructured exploring, picnicking, cycling, general lazing around, or to attend any of the awesome special events that they hold, like last year's Vintage French Carnival Rides.

Although there was a lot of semi-decrepit charm to the island back then, there's no stopping the drive to develop in this town, and, after a couple of years of construction (some of which we saw last year) at a cost of $260 million, Memorial Day weekend saw the unveiling of 30 newly redesigned, extremely family-friendly acres to the south and west of Admirals Row. Here's what you can expect… 

Children play and climb up on the new playground structures on Governors Island.

Tons of New Play Structures for Kids

Almost all of the new sections of Governors Island were clearly designed to give people something to do… especially people with children. There's a whole new Play Structures area, for example, with cool, rustic-looking climbing structures and big swings that can easily fit a couple of kids. The Whimsical sculptures by Mark Handforth (a giant telephone, a massive, mangled hanger, a melting fire hydrant) add to the fun, and soon the several large oval fountains will provide water play. Yes, basically, it's a giant playground. 

A couple relaxes on a bright red hammock in the open green lawn at Governors Island

The New Spots for Relaxing Outdoors 

Tucked behind the new equipment is the new Hammock Grove, which, once the trees have had time to grow, should provide a quiet, shady place for reading and relaxing. There are a couple dozen bright red hammocks in place now, with more to come. Beyond the hammocks lie two enormous playing fields, with spectacular views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Note: a big chunk of Liggett Terrace has been turned into a eating/seating area, with outdoor-cafe-like tables making it easy to enjoy all of the new and returning food options (and there are many!) on the island. 

Large seating area filled with trees, lawn chairs, and people enjoying the beautiful weather at Governors Island.

Open to the Public All Summer!

There are several ways to get to Governors Island, from both Brooklyn and Manhattan, and this summer Governors Island is open to the public even during the week, with ferries running from Manhattan every day. The food trucks, however, are only there on weekends, so it's BYOP(icnic) Monday through Friday. There are also special events going on all summer, including the popular Jazz Age Lawn Party on June 14 and 15 and August 16 and 17, and the excellent Figment participatory arts festival on June 7 and 8- one of the many fun things to do this June in NYC.

Love Governor's Island? See what's new for 2015!

Up high on hill looking down at the new Fort Jay on Governors Island with people walking and riding bikes and the NYC skyline in the background.


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