Ice skating, sledding, fire pits, and more coming to new winter village on Governors Island

December 2, 2021

Governors Island in winter; Photo: Trust for Governors Island

For its first winter season ever, Governors Island is pulling out all of the stops. The Trust for Governors Island on Thursday announced it will transform its historic Colonels Row into a winter village with an ice skating rink, fire pits, sled rentals, games, festive food and drinks, and more. Dubbed Governors Island Winter Village, the seasonal destination will open on December 17.

In September, the Trust and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the 172-acre island would be open year-round for the first time in its history, part of a plan to turn the community, open just May through October in the past, into a 24/7 neighborhood.

“We are so excited to welcome all New Yorkers to the first public winter season on Governors Island,” Clare Newman, president of the Trust for Governors Island, said. “From ice skating to hot chocolate by the fire, the Governors Island Winter Village will provide visitors of all ages with plenty of cold-weather fun and festivities while serving as an amazing kick-off to our inaugural winter season.”

The 5,000-square-foot ice skating rink on Governors Island will be open Fridays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours for sports leagues and associations. Admission will be waived every Friday as part of “Free Admission Fridays.”

Bike and sleds will be available to rent from Blazing Saddles NYC, which already operates on the Island. Other activities include lawn games like giant Jenga and cornhole and winter arts and cultural programming.

Food vendor Little Eva’s will debut a new seasonal menu including warm drinks and hearty food like brats, chili, and fish and chips, according to a press release. There will be a variety of food trucks on the weekend, as well as Joe Coffee inside the LMCC’s Arts Center.

Ferries run daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan. A round trip fer­ry tick­et costs $3 for adults and is free for seniors, chil­dren under 12, NYCHA res­i­dents, IDNYC hold­ers, for­mer and active mil­i­tary ser­vice­mem­bers, and for every­one on week­ends before noon. This year, the city’s ferry system will also launch new service from South Brooklyn that stops at Governors Island.

“Ice skat­ing beneath the tow­er­ing trees, grab­bing a hot choco­late over a roar­ing fire, or sim­ply admir­ing the hol­i­day light dis­play — what could be a more charm­ing way to spend a win­ter after­noon?” Mer­ritt Birn­baum, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island, said. “Gov­er­nors Island is already New York City’s favorite des­ti­na­tion for fun in the sun, and we look for­ward to wel­com­ing vis­i­tors to expe­ri­ence a whole new sea­son of activ­i­ties in this spe­cial place.”


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