Welcome to America: A Visit to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Last May when my son was learning about immigration in school we decided to make a day trip to the most acknowledged symbols of freedom, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  We took the ferry from Battery Park, New York with tickets that we purchased online.   Ticket prices are $24 for adults and $15.25 for kids. I recommend you visit www.statuecruises.com for tickets, otherwise be prepared to wait in line for an hour and a half.  We purchased a combination ticket with an audio tour.  Unfortunately, we were not able to buy tickets for crown access and the pedestal museum for an additional three dollars because they were sold out.  They only allow 240 visitors a day to enter the crown, so if this is something you want to do, plan your trip weeks in advance.  Also, plan to start your day early because to visit both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island it will take approximately five and a half hours. If you purchase tickets after the 2 p.m. boarding of the ferry, you will only have time to see one monument.

Even though we didn’t go to the Lady’s crown, we enjoyed the audio tour and learned about the history of the gift from France and the making of Liberty.  We also thoroughly enjoyed Ellis Island.  The fact that we walked through the same doors that twelve million immigrants passed through that were seeking the “American Dream” made us grateful.  The exhibits allowed us to hear personal stories and learn the process that these immigrants followed.  Another fun and exciting thing to do at Ellis Island visit the American Family Immigration History Center where you can use their database to see if any of your family members from generations ago arrived through the Port of New York.

When visiting New York, seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island usually ranks high on the “must-see” list.  I suggest that you go for the experience.  Don’t be concerned if the kids will get bored.  The National Park Service runs These monuments, so there are free ranger tour guides, a Junior Ranger Program, and there are two audio tours, one for children and one for adults.  Of course, this is a tourist attraction, so there is no shortage of places to eat and gift shops. With a little planning, this will be an experience that you and your kids will remember forever.

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