The Statue of Liberty is one of the defining features of both New York City and the Unite Sates of America as a whole. It’s the first image many immigrants saw as they relocated to the country, promising a bright future of hope, acceptance, and freedom for all. Today, it is consistently one of the most visited attractions in the USA, with millions of people admiring the site every year. It makes for a wonderful excursion for any family visiting New York, but there are some things to keep in mind if you want to plan a trip to the famous structure.
How to Get There
No matter where you are staying in New York, you will need to make your way to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan in order to get on a ferry to Ellis Island. The nearest Subway station is the Bowling Green Station which is serviced by the 4 and 5 lines. Both lines run along the east side of Manhattan and transfers to them can be made from many other lines at the Grand Central Terminal. Taxis and Ubers are also plentiful but will be significantly more expensive than taking the train. If driving, there are parking garages within walking distance, but they are expensive and often booked to capacity early in the day.
Facts About the Statue of Liberty
o The statue was given to the USA as a gift from France in 1886 to commemorate the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution. France believed that America embodied the ideas of freedom and justice throughout the world, and to this day the statue remains a powerful symbol of the friendship between the two nations.
o The statue was designed by French Sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who is also responsible for the design of the Statue of Marquis de Lafayette in Manhattan’s popular Union Square Park.
o There are hundreds of replicas of the Statue of Liberty across the world. One of the most famous is an 11.5-meter tall replica given to France by the US in 1889. This sits on an island on the Seine River, looking straight west towards New York’s original statue.
o There are 354 stairs which must be climbed to reach the crown.
o The height of the structure from the base to the top of the torch measures 305 feet, 6 inches.
o It is estimated that the Statue of Liberty is hit by 600 bolts of lightning every year.
o There 7 spikes on the statue’s crown, representing the 7 oceans and 7 continents.
o That statue weighs 450,000 pounds.
Tips for Families Visiting the Statue of Liberty
The statue is a great site to see with a family, but there are certain tips and tricks that should be followed in order to ensure the best experience.
o Allow 5-6 total hours for the visit. The tour of the statue is about 2-3 hours, but you must allot extra time for the ferry (it is recommended to arrive at the ferry 2 hours prior to your tour time).
o Buy your ticket in advance to skip the long lines. You can easily buy tickets online, which will save you time and prevent delays that may occur when buying at the ticket booth.
o There are 3 different kinds of ticket to consider:
o General Admission ($18.50 adult; $9 child) – This allows access to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, but does not grant access to the pedestal, museum, or the crown. These tickets can be used at any time.
o Pedestal Access ($18.50 adult; $9 child) – This ticket is the same price as general admission but allows access to the statue’s pedestal and the Liberty Island Museum located within.
These tickets must be purchased for certain times and must be used according to schedule
o Pedestal and Crown Access ($21.50 adult; $12 child)– This allows access to the pedestal, museum, and the statue’s crown. Children under 4 years of age are not allowed in the crown. Keep in mind that there are 354 stairs to climb, and no elevator, so those with physical limitations may be better off skipping these tickets.
o The original torch can be seen in the Statue of Liberty Museum
o Consider packing a lunch, as concession lines can be long, and the food is overpriced and relatively subpar in quality. New York is known for its delis and eating an iconic sandwich near the statue could be a great way to kill two “New York” birds with one stone.
Best Time to Visit
New York can get cold and snowy during the winter, so you are best off avoiding those months if you want to get the full Statue of Liberty experience. If visiting in the summer, early June is the best time to avoid the crowds, and many tourists visit the city later in the season. Late fall can be a good time to see the site as well, if you don’t mind wearing a few layers.
Weekdays are always going to be less crowded than weekends. If you don’t mind taking an early trip, your best bet is to take the first ferry to the island at 9am. This will have the fewest people and allow you to explore the area around the statue with shorter lines.
Things to Look Out For
The Statue of Liberty isn’t the only attraction on Ellis Island. After your tour, there are several other interesting sites including the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, The Statue of Liberty Museum, and the Information Center. The rangers in the Information Center are very informative and can teach you about the history of the statue and even make recommendations for the rest of your stay in New York!
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