For the whole summer I’ve wanted to go to Governors Island but things just got in the way – especially a few weekends of rainy weather! Its definitely a place you want to go to when the weather is nice. Possibly because of this it is only open in the warmer months as well. So, two weeks ago we finally made it to Governors Island! It was a fun day trip for everyone.
Governors Island is situated in the Upper New York Bay. It is only accessible by ferry leaving from South Street Seaport.
Over the years the island has been used by both the American and British Military. In 1966 it was then turned over to the Coast Guard and was used as a base of operation and a residential community. Now though it is open to the public during the summer months to enjoy. Often arts, cultural and recreation programs are held and in fact while we were there a stage was set up for what we assume was a concert of some sort.
Once we were off the ferry and on dry land at Governors Island we headed straight for Hammock Grove. From my research I had learnt that this area is very popular so its best to go and enjoy it early. Hammock Grove is an area with lots of hammocks that people can relax in while enjoying the serene environment. Unfortunately due to a very hungry Tate, we didn’t end up spending incredibly long there!
After checking out the hammocks we headed to the Manhattan side of the island to check out the view. From there you could see the Statue of Liberty and a fair bit of the city.
Given that we had one hungry little boy; we then headed to the Parade Grounds to have lunch. We were so lucky to find 3 lawn chairs under a nice shady tree to enjoy our lunch!
Around the parade grounds they currently have the Figment art festival on- which includes mini golf (more about that in a separate post), tree house and sculptures. On the walk to Hammock Grove we saw a giraffe through trees and buildings, so Tate was super excited to check that out in the parade grounds!
After a picnic lunch and a round of mini golf (next post will be dedicated to this!) we went and explored the tree house. It was a pretty cool structure which had nice views of the island, especially the Parade Grounds.
Next up was to head to Castle Williams. Completed in 1811 and named after its designer Colonel Jonathon Williams; Castle Williams was built to guard the waterway between Governor’s Island and New York City.
While Knox and Tate napped we headed to Fort Jay. The fort was built to defent Upper New York Bay.
Our last stop before leaving the island was to check out the houses in the Nolan Park area. This area was named after Major General Dennis E. Nolan – commander of the United States First Army Governors Island 1933-1936.
The houses are used as shops and exhibits. Tate was pretty excited to score a holographic saturn when he and Richard visited one house. That exhibit was pretty interesting! It is amazing what you can do with holograms.
We found a few more art pieces around Nolan Park. We were even surprised to find two hidden down a short pathway between two houses. We couldn’t understand why you’d put them in such an area when they could get so easily missed!