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Top 10 National Park Sites in New York City

Visit the Statue of Liberty during your 4 day NYC itinerary.
The Statue of Liberty is a National Park Site in the New York Harbour. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Best New York City National Parks with Kids

Head to New York City for a getaway packed with history, museums and every food imaginable. New York City offers more museums it boast more than 10 national park sites. From the Statue of Libery to the Stonewall mononumet, find National Park sites across the city. Here’s a list of the best New York City National Parks with kids.

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Statue of Liberty National Monument

Visit the symbol of freedom and liberty known world-wide on a 12-acre island in New York Harbor. Though most visitors are surprised to find out it’s a national park. Learn about it momemental construction and how it made its way from France to New York City.

Operated by Statue Cruises, the ferry departs from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. Explore the Statue of Liberty first then re-board the ferry to tour Ellis Island, an additional stop. First ferry leaves at 9:00 a.m. and last one departs at 3:00 p.m. with extended hours during peak seasons. Ferry ticket required for everyone and admission based on age.

Statue Cruises also operates a Statue of Liberty Ferry from New Jersey.

Note: For 2021, the pedestal and crown remained closed and theaters operate at reduced capacity.

Ellis Island. Best New York City National Parks with kids.
Learn how immigrants entered the U.S. at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Ellis Island

From 1892 until 1954, Ellis Island welcomed 12 million immigrants to the United States. Learn about immigration or look for family, Ellis Island Immigration Museum walks visitors through the facility that processed close to 5,000 people a day.

Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Since it’s a separate island in New York harbor, the only way onto the island is by the Statue Cruises ferry, an additional stop. No additional fee is required to tour and hours are the same as the Statue of Liberty, open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m.

Explore Castle Clinton on your 4 day NYC itinerary. Best New York City National Parks with kids.
Next to the Statue of Liberty ferry is Castle Clinton National Monument. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Castle Clinton National Monument

This National Park site is right next to Statue of Liberty’s ferry dock. Originally built from 1808 to1811 as a fort, the building transitioned from defense to immigration. Before Ellis Island opened, 8 million people passed through Castle Clinton onto a new life in the U.S.

Note: Closed in 2021 for renovations.

Located in Battery Park at the tip of lower Manhattan, the Castle Clinton National Monument is open seven days a week from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to enter.

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Visit Federal Hall during your 4 day NYC itinerary. Best New York City National Parks with kids.
Next to the New York Stock Exchange is Federal Hall, a National Park Site. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Federal Hall National Monument

Located on Wall Street, this building served as the first Capitol of the United States, the Supreme Court and the Executive Branch offices. George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States at Federal Hall as well.

Note: Closed until further notice.

 

Lower Eastside Tenement Museum. Best New York City National Parks with kids.
Learn more about the recent immigrants at the Lower Eastside Tenement Museum. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker

Lower Eastside Tenement Museum National Historic Site

Walk through history in a preserved tenement building in the Lower East Side. Tour the building that housed 7,000 working class immigrants from 1863 until 1935. With specialized tours focusing on Irish immigrants, Jewish immigrants and sweatshop workers along with neighborhood tours, get an understanding of an immigrant’s life over a hundred years ago.

Visitor center is located at 103 Orchard St. and open every day from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. on Thursdays). Reserve tours in advance and admission varies according to tour.

Stonewall National Monument

Visit the first national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights in the West Village. On June 28, 1969, the police raided Stonewall Inn, an area where people who identified at LGBTQ. It was the first step in LGBTQ equality. The area received its national monument designation in 2016.

Stonewall National Monument doesn’t a visitor center. Though the monument includes Christopher Park, located across the street at the intersection of Christopher Street and W. 4th St. Free to enter.

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

Walk through a Victorian era townhouse where Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. president, spent his childhood. With five decorated rooms, learn about how “Teddy”, a sickly child, used exercise to strength his body and spirit.

Note: Closed until further notice.

Located at 28 E. 20th St. the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to enter.


New York CityPASS

African Burial Ground National Monument

Learn about the final resting place of more than 400 African-Americans in lower Manhattan. A mass burial site from the 17th and 18th century retells the story of free and enslaved people in colonial New York.

The visitor center is on first floor of the Ted Weiss Federal Buildingat 290 Broadway in lower Manhattan. The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the outside memorial open until 5 p.m. Free to enter.

Note: The Visitor Center is closed until further notice.

Governor’s Island National Monument

Quietly protecting New York City, Governor’s Island served as a military post and command headquarters from 1794 until 1966. Now it is a recreation area for warm weather from May 1 until October 31.

Located in the New York Harbor, take a ferry (adults $2 and kids under 13 free) from Battery Maritime Building or Pier 6 in Brooklyn.

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General Grant National Memorial

Visit the largest mausoleum in North America at the General Grant National Memorial. Former President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia, reside in the 1897 granite and marble tomb.

Located on Riverside Drive and 122nd Street, the visitor center is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to enter.

Note: The Visitor Center is closed until further notice.

Hamilton Grange National Memorial

Tour the historic country home of Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. Named after his ancestral home in Scotland, “The Grange” now resides St. Nicholas Park.

Note: Tours are suspended until further notice.

Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, Hamilton Grange National Memorial offers tours. Free to enter.

What to do with Kids at National Parks

The Junior Ranger Program is the go-to program for families to learn more about a National Park Service site. It’s free and takes about two hours to complete. My kids love the badges that the Rangers present them after completing their booklet.

Most national park sites in New York City offer Junior Ranger Programs. Ask a ranger at the visitor center for a booklet to complete, based on age.

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Know Before You Go

  • Make reservations for the Statue of Liberty as soon as possible, especially for pedestal and crown access. During the busy summer season, tickets sell out months in advance.
  • For the ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty, visitors pass through airport like security. To tour the pedestal and crown, visitor can’t carry backpacks though lockers are available for rent.
  • And give Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island at least half-a-day to tour.
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If your family is headed to New York City for a getaway, visit the National Park Sites in NYC. Starting with the Statue of Liberty, find 10 National Park sites to visit with kids. Learn about history, immigration and former presidents and mix in some fun. What to do in New York City with Kids | How to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty | Best Museums in NYC | Parks in New York City #NationalParks #NewYorkCIty
credit: Catherine Parker

If your family is headed to New York City for a getaway, visit the National Park Sites in NYC. Starting with the Statue of Liberty, find 10 National Park sites to visit with kids. Learn about history, immigration and former presidents and mix in some fun. What to do in New York City with Kids | How to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty | Best Museums in NYC | Parks in New York City #NationalParks #NewYorkCIty

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