Things To Do

Program Schedule
Check back in May 2017

During the public access season:

  • TBD
  • TBD

Self-guided activities: Explore the island. Visit the exhibits located at Fort Jay, Castle Williams, and Dock 102. Pick up a free Junior Ranger booklet at the Castle Williams bookstore and complete for a badge.

Annual events: Opening Weekend (usually Memorial Day weekend at the end of May) and Civil War Weekend (usually the second weekend of August) include living history and historic weapons demonstrations. Check our Calendar a few days before for details.


Castle Williams Bookstore
Get your Centennial passport stamp and Find Your Park memorabilia.

Going Around Castle Williams
About 30 minutes. Tour the best-preserved circular fortification in the nation. We might talk about prisoners or big cannons or architecture. Tickets for Castle Williams roof tours are available one hour before each tour begins, and may be picked up inside the Castle - they are free. More information

Fort Jay: Eagles, Townhouses and Big Guns
About 30 minutes. Meet at the Fort Jay bridge. Fortify your mind! Tour one of the best examples of a classic star-shaped fort anywhere in the country, including the oldest structure on the island and the eagle sculpture that sits atop. We might talk about that eagle from 1796 or spies or big cannons or what it was like for a kid to grow up in a fort in the 1970s.

The Big Walk Around the Island
About 90 minutes. Meet the ranger at the top of the hill from Soissons Landing. See the whole history of the island in one go. This ranger programs takes you to most of the older buildings on the island. We will tell you the back stories on some of them. No tickets or reservations required. Visitors should be prepared to stand for a full 90 minutes and walk a distance of about 1.5 miles.

Kid's Program
Call 212.825.3045 or email gois_information for reservations.

Walking tour of Governors Island by Sami Steigmann
Join Volunteer-in-Park Sami for a one-of-a-kind look at the history of Governors Island. Meet Sami at the top of the hill from Soissons Landing.

Ranger Topic Talks

Fly Governors Island
About 45 minutes. Meet the ranger at the Welcome Wall at Soissons Landing. Learn about the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and Ruth Law. Governors Island played a big part in the early days of aviation. Join us to learn how.

Definitely Your Grandfather's Workout
Meet the ranger at the top of the hill from Soissons Landing. Have you ever wondered how WWII soldiers were trained before they went overseas? This physical training program allows visitors to experience what Army PT was like during the second World War. The ranger will lead the group in a series of exercises and stretches reminiscent of this period, followed by a formation run around the Governors Island historic district.

Another Brick in the Wall
Meet the ranger at the Fort Jay bridge. Where did all the granite for the walls of Fort Jay come from? And the sandstone for Castle Williams? Learn about the geologic makeup of some of your favorite historic forts on Governors Island.

The Gun Show
Meet the Ranger at the Fort Jay bridge. A one-hour tour of both Fort Jay and Castle Williams, focusing on aspects such as different types of stone used, geologic history of New York Harbor, the art of masonry, weathering, historic preservation, and the history of both forts!

New York Harbor Estuary Talk
About 30 minutes. Meet the ranger at Dock 102 which is off of Kimmel Road. Learn about the wildlife and geography of the estuarine environment of New York Harbor.

Foreign Language Interpretation

Mandarin Chinese Castle Williams Talks
您会说中文吗?您想了解更多关于总督岛国家纪念古迹威廉姆斯城堡(Castle Williams)的历史吗? (Do you speak Chinese? Would you like to learn more about historic Castle Williams at Governors Island National Monument?)

Spanish Castle Williams Talks
¿Hablas Español? ¿Te gustaría obtener más información sobre el histórico Castillo Williams en el Monumento Nacional de la Isla de Gobernadores? (Do you speak Spanish? Would you like to learn more about historic Castle Williams at Governors Island National Monument?)

See Maps
Cannon firing in front of Fort Jay
Cannon firing in front of Fort Jay

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

10 South Street
New York, NY 10004-1921


(212) 825-3045

Contact Us