Will teens find Ellis Island interesting?

Old Mar 12th, 2023, 12:15 PM
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Will teens find Ellis Island interesting?

14 & 16 yr olds first time visit to NY. They are not museum fans so we are curious to know others experience with teens here. How long should we plan on being on Ellis Island? Also is the Statue pedestal tour interesting for teens or better to view just from outside?
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 12:47 PM
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I think teens would enjoy both being on the pedestal and climbing inside the Statue of Liberty up to the crown (I did when I was a teenager!) The crown wasn't open when I visited with my kids, but it is now. https://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvis...-the-crown.htm. My kids did enjoy walking up on the pedestal.

My kids also enjoyed Ellis Island but we had a personal connection as their grandmother had spent several months there when she arrived due to her mother being ill. We were able to call my mother-in-law while we were on the island, and she spoke of her memories there. I think it is an amazing place but will defer to others to chime in about whether or not their kids enjoyed their experiences.

My advice is to try and take the first boat out in the morning to help beat the crowds.
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 01:16 PM
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Thank you for your response KTtravel! The crown is not available as it is greyed out the entire week in April that we are there and the only way to get inside the pedestal is to take the subway to New Jersey and take the Ferry from Liberty Harbor to the Statue. There are still tickets available for the Pedestal (from NJ) but none are available from NY. I can only hope my teens will not be bored and are as open to the experience as your children were. Gong to NJ from Brooklyn is more work than just hopping a Ferry in Manhattan which means we will skip the pedestal and that is the conundrum. Will it be worth the effort or will the kids tell me they don't care to go inside after all of that?!! Hoping to hear from others as well. Thanks!
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 06:28 PM
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Welcome, Santangelo. If your teens respond to this question: :If you had to move to a new country what would you take?" then I think Ellis Island might capture their imagination. Having relatives who were there adds to the interest.
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 12:28 AM
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If you javen't already planned a visit to the tenement museum, perhaps that would be better given the difficulty of visiting Ellis Island that week.
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 05:44 AM
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If your teens are interested in immigration then maybe they will be interested in Ellis Island. But from what you describe they are not. I would not overinvest $$ or time. Simply getting from and from Brooklyn to NJ to be able to get the pedestal tour will kill an extra 2 hours of your day round trip and will likely ruin any interest your teens may have had.

For some, simply taking the FREE Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty to get good closeup pictures from the water is good enough. When you get to Staten Island you can immediately exit then reenter the same ferry for a ride back to Manhattan.
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by J62
If your teens are interested in immigration then maybe they will be interested in Ellis Island. But from what you describe they are not. I would not overinvest $$ or time. Simply getting from and from Brooklyn to NJ to be able to get the pedestal tour will kill an extra 2 hours of your day round trip and will likely ruin any interest your teens may have had.

For some, simply taking the FREE Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty to get good closeup pictures from the water is good enough. When you get to Staten Island you can immediately exit then reenter the same ferry for a ride back to Manhattan.
I agree the Staten Island Ferry would probably be a better use of your time. The views are tremendous - and its free - and you can combine it with a nice lunch in lower Manhattan and/or the World Trade Center sites
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 12:49 PM
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Darn, I was hoping your family could climb up to the crown. Well, there's always the next trip! Given the challenging logistics, perhaps the Staten Island ferry is the way to go.
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 02:31 PM
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Here's another vote for the Tenement Museum. It's easier to access than Ellis Island, offers a great tour led by a knowledgeable docent.
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Old Mar 14th, 2023, 08:21 AM
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Although I have not taken the Staten Island Ferry, that sounds like a much better option to see the Statue of Liberty. I enjoyed the pedestal tour but it sounds like a fairly timely ordeal for you to get there from NJ. If you do the general option of just going to the island to see the Statue from outside, you could stand in line for hours. When I was there in the fall of 2019, the general line was 3 hours long. I was fortunate to have purchase the Pedestal tour tickets a few months in advance.

The tenement museum is a great experience.
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Old Mar 14th, 2023, 10:50 AM
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As a preteen I enjoyed the Staten Island Ferry but we all got earaches because we didn't have the right clothing and were kids from Miami. We did go up to the crown and I remember that also.
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Old Mar 17th, 2023, 07:16 AM
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I personally didn’t find Ellis Island that interesting and had relatives from overseas pass through it. It didn’t open until I was an adult but don’t think my opinion would have been different as a teen. I would give it an hour max.

I was in grade school when I went up to the crown and recall it vividly so I enjoyed it and also visited without entering. Each experience was different so I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the options you have. Getting to see it up close is an experience. The Statue is often my welcome home sign as Newark airport is one of my home airports. I always try for a seat where I can look at it as it makes me smile.
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Old Mar 18th, 2023, 07:32 AM
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Thanks for the response. We will take the Staten Island Ferry which seems like the obvious choice for this trip. While I would love to see Ellis Island, the rest of the Family is not that interested. I visited Ellis Island in the past so at least I can say I've been there, done that.
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