Family Travel: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Climb Right into Her Crown!


A visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is a must on any NYC tourist list.  The internal access to the statue has been closed for some major rehab but is re-opening up this October 28th on the anniversary of its dedication to continue to delight visitors from across the globe.

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France. It was dedicated in October 1886 and has been a National Monument since 1924.  Lady Liberty stands 151 feet high, 305 feet if you include her pedestal.  Tourists should stop in the information center upon arrival to watch a video about the Statue.  Daily Guided Ranger tours start at the Liberty Island Flagpole and share information about the Statue’s construction, history and symbols.  Self-guided audio tours are included with the price of your admission, including a special children’s audio tour just right for little ears 6-10.

In addition the tours, there are numerous kid-friendly activities at the Statue of Liberty.  The Junior Ranger program is available for children interested in receiving a patch.  It takes about one hour to complete the guidebook and the reward is great. On weekends, kids can enjoy a Ranger led program, the “Search for Liberty’s Symbols.”  After a ranger explanation of the symbols found around the base of Lady Liberty, kids can search for the symbols.  A Junior Ranger table is stationed outdoors during nice weather.  Lots of trinkets and interesting objects are on hand for discovery, including Rangers willing to answer questions to inquisitive minds.

Once the inside of the Statue reopens this October 28th, access to the Crown will continue.  Older children (or parents with endurance for carrying little ones!) can climb the 354 stairs to the “Crown” on top of Lady Liberty’s head.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Just under a mile away from Liberty Island, Ellis Island and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum are an included stop for Statue of Liberty visitors.  Over 12 million immigrants were processed at this island from 1892-1954.  Ellis Island also boasts both a Junior Ranger program and a kid-focused audio tour.  In addition, Ellis Island features the newly opened Ellis Kids Children Exhibit where families can explore hands-on activities to help keep the interest of young children.  You can also search the Ellis Island database for family members who may have walked through these very halls while coming to America.

To get to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island you must purchase a ferry ticket from Statue Cruises.  Ferries depart daily from Battery Park, NY, and Liberty State Park, NJ. $17/adult, $9/child 4-12, under 4- free.

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