Governors Island events summer 2011

Experience live music, food festivals, history lessons, trapeze lessons and more.



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Governors Island is open Fridays 10am--5pm, and Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays 10am--7pm, through September 25. Locations, dates and times subject to change; for more information and updates on events, call 212-440-2202 or visit (unless otherwise noted). Travel: 1 to South Ferry, then take the Governors Island Ferry from the Battery Maritime Building, Slip 7. A free ferry also runs from Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6, on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays.


Better than Jam: Summer Pop Up Shop
The Better than Jam Co-Op sets up shop in a historic Governors Island home, with 35 NYC vendors all selling handmade wares, like Groundsel's recycled cotton messenger bags adorned with scenes of island history and architecture, fabric plush toys by Windows of Agate, and charming men's and women's hats by Rocks and Salt. Nolan Park, Historic Home 6B. Fri 11am--4pm; Sat, Sun 11am--5pm; free. Through Sept 5.

Weekend Park Ranger Programs
The National Park Service offers activities very weekend, including tours, living-history reenactor programs, in-depth ranger lectures and historic weapons demonstrations. Living-history-program guided tours are also available on Wednesdays and Thursdays (for those, the tour begins with a free ferry ride from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan). Fort Jay ( Wed, Thu 10am, 1pm; Fri--Sun times vary. Free. Through Aug 25.

Orientation to the History of Governors Island
A National Park Ranger will lead you from the top of Swanson's Dock down through the Governors Island Historic District for a historical overview. Meet at the top of Soissons Dock ( Fri--Sun 11:25am, 1:25, 3:25pm; free. Through Aug 18.


4 World Science Festival
This citywide event brings "Science on Site" to the island, which offers a number of nerdy activities; try sun-spotting with amateur astronomers, or go bird-watching with an American Museum of Natural History ornithologist. Various locations ( 10am--6pm; free.

5 Fourth Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic
Guzzle champagne and munch on snacks from the barbecue masters at Blue Smoke during this annual fancy-pants match, featuring Argentina's Nacho Figueras and other top polo players. Grab a seat on the bleachers, which are sure to be an excellent spot for starstruck attendees: Hugh Jackman emcees this year, and Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan are among the celebs expected to attend. South Island Field ( Noon--5:30pm; free.

10--12 Figment NYC 2011
If you're one of those people who finds the whole "don't touch the objects" rule in museums too confining, good news! You can play with plenty of the projects on view at this annual art festival, which will showcase different hands-on pieces (including Christopher Hardwick's ElectricBubbleBus, a neon-orange golf cart tricked out with a sound system, which patrons can sit on or dance around). Various locations ( Fri 10 10am--4pm; Sat 11, Sun 12 10am--6pm; free.

18 Recess Outdoor Badminton
Bat a birdie around with friends as sports community Recess New York hosts a day filled with music, beer and badminton. Watch teams from Jack Spade, Ace Hotel and 29 other invited organizations compete against one another, or swing your own racket on the public court. Colonels Row ( Noon--5:30pm; free.

18 Army Heritage Day
Learn about the island's military history—it was used as a prison for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War!—during this commemorative event, with lectures and weapons demonstrations, as well as reenactors wandering around in old-timey Army garb. Fort Jay. 10am--4pm; free.

18 Governors Ball Music Festival
Wear comfy shoes to this new music fest—with a lineup that includes Girl Talk, Big Boi and Das Racist, you'll surely be dancing all day long. While the tunes flow, show off your skills in beer pong and beach volleyball, or check out art installations, including Jimmy Kuehnle's colorful inflatable suits (modeled by the artist and his staff). South Island Field ( Noon--11:30pm; $95--$150.

19 Make Music New York's Punk Island 2011
Make Music New York partners with Lower East Side art center ABC No Rio for the fourth annual edition of Punk Island. More than 60 punk and hardcore acts will perform on eight stages; you'll see up-and-coming bands, as well as seasoned veterans like Morning Glory, which includes members of Leftover Crack and the World/Inferno Friendship Society. Various locations ( 11am--5pm; free.

25, 26 The Jazz Age Lawn Party
Dress up in your finest Gatsby-inspired duds for this 1920s-themed shindig, which features old-timey dance lessons, a vintage-car show and vintage swimsuit contest and more. Start practicing the Charleston now: Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra will bring their signature hot jazz, while the Minsky Sisters will put on a tap-dancing show. Colonels Row ( 11am--5pm; $10, advance $7, children under 12 free.

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