It is an island, but there are more than 470,000 who call this smallest borough home. Though it is the only borough not connected by the New York City subway system, there are several bridges that lead to the Island. Visitors and residents can also take public transportation buses to get to one of the best hobby shops in New York City. Take the public ferry to Staten Island in order to experience the island how many natives do daily. It is free and it connects to the bus lines and connecting trains seven days a week. Keep in mind, though, the bus and train routes are not free and will cost $2.25 a trip. It may be cheaper to use a Metro card. It is also one way to see attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Governor’s Island for free.

Step off the ferry or drive into Staten Island via the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and there are plenty of events to attend, plays to see, or catch the Staten Island Yankees belting out another win. Whether you want to connect with nature, shop to you drop or dine at one of the finest restaurants on the island, Staten Island offers all this and more. Here is a look at a few of the many activities and events you can partake.

Esplanade and Postcards, Sept. 11th Memorial

This is an impressive memorial to the 275 islanders who lost their lives on Sept. 11 in the World Trade Towers. This memorial has two posts that frame where the Twin Towers used to stand. It also is not far from the ferry terminal and picture-perfect views of Manhattan.

Borough Hall Murals

The beautiful murals inside Staten Island’s Borough Hall are designed in the style of the French Renaissance and there is a high clock tower for visitors to see. Did you know these landmarks are some of the most recognizable on Staten Island?

Things to See

Sandy Ground Historical Society Library Museum – Staten Island has a many museums for children of all ages. Did you know the Underground Ground Railroad operated on Staten Island and offered a safe haven to many Blacks? 10 families are part of the original slaves who sought freedom living in Sandy Ground. The museum is not free, but offers a great lesson for all. Adults are $7 and children and seniors are $5. For more information call 718-317-5796 or visit their website here.

Staten Island Zoo – From the Amur Leopards to the 120 species of snakes, lizards, turtles and alligators, the Staten Island Zoo offers a look at wildlife and children can pet animals at the Kid Korral. The best part is the zoo offers children of all ages a safe habitat to see all their favorite animals. If you go, the cost is $8 for adults over age 15 and $6 for adults over age 60. Children ages 3 to 14 are $5. Admission is free for children age 3 and for zoo members. Admission is also free on Wednesday after 2 p.m. For more information, visit: www.statenislandzoo.org.

What to Do

Historic Richmond Town – Did you know it is New York City’s only historic village that has 28 buildings in a park-like setting. Guests can see what it was like to live in the 17th century until today. One of the things to see in this village is the oldest schoolhouse in the U.S., the Voorlezer House. Built in 1695, it is a piece of history children can see. However, tourists can also visit the tins man or carpenter and see them hone their skills. It also gives visitors the opportunity to learn how to make soap or see a blacksmith make 19th century tools. Take the guided tour from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Adults are $8, students ages 12-17 and seniors are $6, children ages 4-11 are $5 and active military members can get in free when they show their ID. Attend on Fridays and get in for free. For more information, visit www.historicrichmondtown.org.
Stroll a Park – Did you know that Staten Island has more than 170 parks for visitors to visit? With so many parks, it may be hard to choose where to go. Bloomingdale Park offers visitors plenty of jogging trails and pathways to enjoy. With 128 acres, there are also ball fields, a basketball court and a soccer field.

Conference House Park – History buffs will love this park that traces the history of the borough over three centuries and is home to four historic buildings. There are also 2.5 miles of beach and a visitor’s center. If you have a kayak, there are six launch points within the park.

Go Kayaking – One of the best ways to see Staten Island is by kayaking. There are several launch points where you can begin your kayaking journey, such as Alice Austen House, Midland Beach, Great Kills Park, and Lemon Creek Marina.

Tours – One of the best places to visit is the historic neighborhood of Tottenville. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods and has plenty of charm. There are a number of places to dine and several shops to visit. There are guided tours and self-guided walking tours that guests can enjoy if they only have a few hours to kill.

Arts and Culture

Staten Island Museum – Did you know artists from all over world have their paintings on display at one of several Staten Island galleries? However, local artists also have their works on display. The Staten Island Museum frequently holds exhibits for contemporary Staten Island and houses a fine arts collection dating from 1905.

Snug Harbor – On the grounds of the Harbor is the Noble Maritime Collection that displays lithographs, sketches and paintings from John A. Noble. This artwork celebrates New York’s waterfront.

Music

Enjoy a performance by the Staten Island Philharmonic or enjoy the classical music offered by the Viva Voce Chamber Ensemble.

Riverside Opera Company – If you like plays, this company offers free and lower cost performances. The shows feature full costumes and an orchestra.