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Living in NYC, there are some experiences that aren't apart of our day-to-day life. However, one aspect of our weekends that I have been trying to change is to take advantage of everything our great city has to offer. Last weekend we did just that when we visited Liberty and Ellis Island.

Related: NYC's Little Island Park


Visiting Lady Liberty

The day started by boarding Statue Cruises at Battery Park City, the official concessioner to the National Park Service to provide ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Battery Park in lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ for over four million visitors annually.

With cruises leaving every 20 minutes, I appreciated how easy and convenient this was where we went through metal detectors and then were able to board onto one of the three levels. This included seated areas and snacks on the boat (cash only) or the chance to stand outside and see the Statue of Liberty and/or Ellis Island as the boat docked into these amazing ports.

The experience started with a first stop to the Statue of Liberty, a moment that we admire and have been teaching our girls about. It was really amazing to be so close as we walked around the peaceful island - soaking in the gorgeous day and learning about history. Visitors also have access to the Statue of Liberty’s crown, pedestal, observation deck, museum and grounds.

Statue Cruises

They also offer National Park Ranger guided tours where you can learn a general history of the islands and the Statue. The Liberty Island Museum, located in the lobby of the pedestal is also open; chronicling the difficulties and triumphs two countries overcame to build a symbol of freedom. A nice perk is that audio tours for both islands in many different languages are included with every ticket purchased.

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Ellis Island

After we were done exploring we boarded the cruise line again that was set to go to Ellis Island. Our family came into Ellis Island in 1909 so it was exciting to bring my mom to this experience as we soaked in the historical significance of this visit as well as how told our kids about how our family journeyed here. With 12 million immigrants having passed through Ellis Island, we were all moved as we learned more about their journey by visiting the exhibit, The Peopling of America


With three floors, we explored the space and soaked in its rich history as we visited the baggage room, registry room, dormitory, history center and then walking around and reading the American Immigrant Wall of Honor on the outside grounds. 

After that, we waited for the boat again and within 10 minutes (after boarding), we were back in Battery Park City after our incredible day soaking in the magic and history that is surrounded in NYC.

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given tickets for this review.

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