A few weeks ago my brother and I gave my parents a nice surprise. For Father’s day, he traveled from Florida with his two daughters (my beautiful nieces) to spend the weekend with my Mom and Dad. My Dad lives in Venezuela and is visiting just for a few weeks, so we wanted to make sure he spent time with his son and grandkids too.
My nieces were super excited about the trip, they not only were going to spend time with the grandparents but also got a chance to visit NYC, and they had very specific requests on what they wanted to do (they are 8 and almost 10 years old!). They wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and the Empire State Building.
They arrived at 10am, I sneak out of the house to go pick them up, drove them home, and surprised my parents. Nobody had to be rushed to the hospital after the surprise, so the experience was a success!!! After eating lunch, we headed to Liberty State Park on a beautiful sunny Saturday. I had researched the boats leaving from New Jersey to the Statue of Liberty. The cost was $9 for each kid, $18 for adults, and $14 for seniors. We drove in since it was 7 of us and it was easier to drive in. We paid for parking at Liberty State Park and walked into the old train station to buy the tickets. Now we are ready to visit Ms. Liberty and Ellis Island.
After getting on the boat, we skipped getting off at Ellis Island and went straight to the statue of Liberty. Being the weekend, and such a beautiful day, the place was packed! We picked up the headset to listen to the audio tour. They have them in many languages, and it is included in your tickets. The tours are also set up for children too!
If you want to actually make it into the Statue of Liberty, you have to purchase special tickets, those were sold out when we showed up. I have never made it to the crown, but it is definitely in my to do list. That Saturday was definitely not the day to do it, there were a lot of people around and waiting in lines all over, so it was good to have the freedom to just walk through the park, enjoy the beautiful views of Manhattan’s skyscrapers and relax with the family.
I remember from years ago the lines to get on the boat from and to Manhattan were always longer than those from and to New Jersey. This weekend was the exception for sure!
On our way back we had enough time to stop by Ellis Island. I was so happy we did! As an immigrant, I do have a special appreciation to those who came into this country looking for a change in life, for better opportunity, ready to work hard and make a better life for them and their family. My experience has been obviously very different than those who came almost a century ago. I definitely underestimated Ellis Island, this place is HUGE!!! There are so many side exhibits within the building. The way the building was set up really transports you to that time when people were getting off the boat, with only a few bags and personal items, with their hearts filled with hope and dreams. I highly recommend you stopping here if you can, it is completely worth it. Give yourself at least an hour to just get the yeast of what Ellis Island has to offer. If you can allocate 2 to 3 hours to actually tour the place, then that would be ideal.
Here are some pictures from our experience. I love the connection between the city that never sleeps and the port through which many immigrants came and built America.