Things To Do

Tours and Historic Weapons
We offer tours of Castle Williams, Fort Jay, and the island as well as historic weapons demonstrations

June 19 – June 25

(Updated Weekly)

Explore the island and fortifications on your own, or go on a guided tour. Kids can pick up a Junior Ranger booklet to complete for a badge at the gift shop and bookstore.

Monday - Friday
  • Castle Williams Courtyard open 10:00am until 4:30pm
  • Fort Jay open 10:00am until 4:00pm
  • Ye Olde Ball & Chain gift shop and bookstore open 10:30am until 3:30pm


Saturdays & Sundays
  • Castle Williams Courtyard open 10:00am until 4:30pm (Fort interior and roof access by guided tour only)
  • Fort Jay open 10:00am until 4:30pm
  • Ye Olde Ball & Chain gift shop and bookstore open 10:30am until 4:00pm
  • Going Around Castle Williams – 30-minute roof tour
    11:30, 1:30, 3:30
    Meet the ranger in the Castle Williams courtyard
  • Fort Jay: Eagles, Townhouses, and Big Guns – 30-minute walking tour of the island’s oldest fort
    12:30, 2:30
    Meet the ranger at Fort Jay
  • The Big Walk Around the Island – 90-minute walking tour
    Saturdays, 2:30pm – 4:00pm
    Sundays, 12:30pm – 2:00pm
    Meet the ranger at the top of the hill from Soissons Landing
  • Artillery Demonstration
    None this weekend

Look out! Check the Calendar for special events like Civil War Weekend, usually in early August - living history, music, and historic weapons demonstrations!


Ye Olde Ball & Chain Gift Shop and Bookstore
Located in Castle Williams.

Going Around Castle Williams
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
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
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.

Artillery Demonstration
Join NPS Rangers for a demonstration of light artillery used during both the Mexican and Civil Wars. Who doesn’t love lots of smoke and a good BOOM?

Last updated: June 20, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

10 South Street
New York, NY 10004-1921


(212) 825-3045

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