Governors Island Events

Taking the Governor’s Island Ferry Still A Great Day Trip

Governors Island 

Governors Island may not be quite the undiscovered New York City treasure that it was a few years ago: long, glowing features about Governor’s Island in all the major papers and magazines and websites tend to blow the lid off things a bit. But even though the line for the free Governors Island ferry got a little long this summer (especially, on the days we went, in the bike lane), Governor’s Island is still a terrific day-trip destination, one that can feel a million miles away from the city streets a quick boat ride across the harbor. The bad news: Governors Island is only open to the public for another few weekends, until October 11th. The good news: those few weeks are packed with unusual and fun Governor’s Island events, festivals and activities. 

 Governors Island

Governor’s Island Events Through Early October

There are too many great things to do on Governors Island to list them all here, but some of our favorites include:

The New Island Festival

* The New Island Festival is a Governor’s Island event exhibiting cutting-edge, site-specific art, dance, theater, and music, all created and performed by more than 150 Dutch artists. The New Island Festival–part of the city-wide, 400-year anniversary celebration of Henry Hudson’s arrival on these shores–will be held over the course of the next two weekends, starting tomorrow, September 11; the free Governors Island ferry is running extra boats, and the island and is open late. Related: Pioneers of Change, showcasing Dutch design, architecture and fashion, also going on these next two weekends, also promising to be interesting at the very least.   

Governors Island

Governor’s Island Bike Rental

*  Biking, strolling, relaxing on Governors Island features more than 5 miles of car-free roads, including a lovely, 2.2-mile waterfront promenade, all ideal for leisurely biking. Governor’s Island bike rental is at the Bike and Roll, right near the ferry landing. In total, Governors Island has 172 acres of pathways, grassy lawns, open fields, esplanades, and historic buildings and monuments–including two 1812-era forts–so your day here can include many quiet moments and fascinating discoveries, but a walk among the stately mansions of Colonels’ Row is always a must for us.  

Governors Island 

City of Dreams Mini Golf Course

* City of Dreams Mini Golf Course on Governor’s Island was expanded to 18 holes this summer.  The wild and innovative City of Dreams Mini Golf Course is guaranteed to be unlike any other you, or your kids, have ever played. Each hole was designed and constructed by different artists (it was initiated, and then expanded, as part of the excellent Figment Festivals these last two Junes), the setting is open and leafy and spectacular, and City of Dreams Mini Golf all 100% completely free. Plenty of pictures and more information can be found here.   

Governors Island 

Water Taxi Beach Governors Island

*  This summer marked the doubling of the Water Taxi Beach sandy-floored empire with the addition of two new locations, one at the north end of the South Street Seaport, the other here on Governors Island, offering the same combination of outdoor bar, grilled burgers and hot dogs, beach volleyball, and good-looking people in bathing suits that have made the Water Taxi Beach concept so popular. The biggest difference in the Governors Island Water Taxi Beach? Live music from the likes of Armin van Buren (free this Saturday, September 12!) and Lupe Fiasco. 

Governors Island details

Governors Island is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 11th. On Friday, the Island is open from 10 AM to 5 PM; on Saturdays and Sundays, the Island is open from 10 AM to 7 PM. The free Governors Island Ferry departs frequently to and from both Manhattan and Brooklyn. For a complete Governors Island Ferry schedule, as well lots of information about all kinds of Governors Island-related topics.

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