Sunday, March 22, 2015

Statue of Liberty - New York City

I looked at books and videos of things in New York City with the kids before going and asked them what they were most excited about seeing and doing and the first thing they mentioned was the Statue of Liberty so it was on the to-do list!
On the windy ferry on our way to the Statue of Liberty.
The most important thing to know about visiting the Statue of Liberty is you have to buy your tickets in advance.  The number of visitors to the Statue of Liberty is limited each day and tickets sell out weeks in advance during peak times so if you know when you will be there it is a good idea to book your tickets as soon as possible.  For instance, I am writing this in March and the next available time is in June. You will have to select a time for your visit as well when you buy your ticket but they don't seem too fussy about that. We showed up 30 minutes early and they let us right in.

You have a couple of options when it comes to visiting the Statue of Liberty, you can either go up to the pedestal level which is included in the ferry ticket price or you can pay an additional few dollars to go all the way up to the Crown.
My daughter took this picture from the ferry boat.
Keep in mind the only way up to the Crown is to climb the stairs.  There are no elevators up, not even for people with disabilities.  There is also nowhere along the way to stop and sit although there are a couple of places where you can stop for a breath if you need to.  The stairway is very narrow and a spiral.  Having said all of that, it is not that bad.  It is only 156 steps which is about 15 flights of stairs.  Both my girls managed it fine.  I would say that the descent is harder than the climb since the stairs are so narrow.
Peeking out the Crown.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you will have to go through two airport type security checkpoints. One before getting on the ferry and one before entering the Statue.  You have to leave backpacks, umbrellas, drinks other than water etc. in a locker in the gift shop.  The lockers take a fingerprint scan which my daughter thought was great until we couldn't open our locker when we returned!  Don't worry, just let the person behind the counter at the gift shop know and they will come and open it for you.

It can be pretty warm in the Statue so you will want to leave your coats in the locker. Speaking of weather, it can quite cold on the ferry so you will want to make sure you dress in layers.

If your kids really want to do this then go ahead but honestly you can see the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry for free and don't have to bother with all the security checks etc.  The view from the Statue isn't anything to write home about.

 Things to keep in mind:
  • The ferry schedule changes based on the time of year and the day of the week.  You can get the schedule here. You can catch the ferry from either Manhattan (Battery Park) or New Jersey.
  • There is a museum at Ellis Island that you can also visit.  The same ferry stops at both locations.
  • There is a gift shop and a snack bar at the base of the Statue.

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