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Things to Do in Battery Park New York

Battery Park is one of the coolest parks to see in New York. If you want to know everything you can do here? keep reading!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

8 min read

Things to Do in Battery Park New York

Aerial view of Battery Park in New York | ©Marianna Perevert

Located south of Lower Manhattan and bordering the Financial District, Battery Park is one of New York's most beautiful parks famous for its spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty.

However, contemplating "Lady Liberty" in the distance is not the only thing you can see and do in Battery Park, this park has a lot to offer! Don't miss these 10 ideas to get the most out of your walk through its gardens.

1. Enjoy the view of the Statue of Liberty from a bench

View from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty| ©Mike Steele
View from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty| ©Mike Steele

Sit on one of the benches in Battery Park for unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.

It's a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the streets of the Big Apple and relax and watch the ships pass by on the Hudson River.

In addition, in the distance you can see several places of interest such as Governor's Island, the Verrazano Bridge, Ellis Island and Brooklyn, among others.

Buy tickets for the Statue of Liberty

2. Or take a ferry from Battery Park to see it up close

Ferry from the park to the Statue of Liberty| ©Mike Steele
Ferry from the park to the Statue of Liberty| ©Mike Steele

If you're not satisfied with just seeing "Lady Liberty" from afar, then it's best to join a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty that will show you up close and in detail this great icon of the United States famous throughout the world.

To do this you will have to take one of the ferries that sail from Battery Park, either buying in advance your tickets or using one of the tourist cards that you can buy to visit New York that includes this visit.

Whichever option you choose, my advice is to go first thing in the morning to the pier of Battery Park because to get on the ferry before you must pass a thorough security check and this can take a while because of the long queues that are formed. Before boarding, I advise you to take a look at the ferry schedules so you can better organize your visit.

Where do the ferries to the Statue of Liberty depart from?

  • Ferry from Manhattan
  • Departs from Battery Park
  • Takes about 15 minutes
  • Goes directly to Liberty Island
  • Main pier
  • Largest presence of tourists
  • Ferry from New Jersey
  • Departs from Liberty State Park
  • Takes about 30 minutes
  • Does not go directly to Liberty Island
  • Alternative pier
  • Less tourist presence

Book your ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island here

3. Take a bike tour of Battery Park

Monument inside Battery Park| ©Karlis Dambrans
Monument inside Battery Park| ©Karlis Dambrans

One of the best ways to have a great time visiting a park like Battery Park (especially if you don't have much time to explore it on foot) is to rent a bike and ride it quickly from end to end on a route that allows you to see the main sights while enjoying nature and the seascape.

In that sense, I recommend using Citi Bike, New York's public bike rental service, which is very cheap and easy to use! Around the park there are about 20 bike stations where you can take a bike, but first you will have to download the App on your mobile and register an account.

Other interesting options to consider if you are traveling with children under 16 (who can't use CitiBike) or if you prefer to take a guided tour on wheels in the traditional style are Blazing Saddles or Bike and Roll.

Rent a bike in New York

4. Climb Battery Park's SeaGlass Carousel

SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park| ©Edward Blake
SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park| ©Edward Blake

When traveling with the family it is always a good idea to dedicate some time to activities for the kids to have fun and at Battery Park, in addition to having outdoor space to run and play, they can ride the SeaGlass Carousel, a peculiar merry-go-round made of fiberglass inspired by the ocean and its creatures.

It is located east of Battery Park (near the South Ferry Station where ferries depart to Staten Island) and admission for a single ride is $5.

If you're planning a visit to Battery Park with the kids, this carousel might be a good place to take a break and let them have some fun riding giant fish in an atmosphere that evokes the underwater world thanks to the LED lighting while the music plays in the background, so you can take a break from all the walking too!

SeaGlass Carousel is open every day of the week from 11 AM to 9 PM in Battery Park.

5. Enter the Museum of Jewish Heritage

Battery Park Museum of Jewish Heritage| ©Adam Riggall
Battery Park Museum of Jewish Heritage| ©Adam Riggall

West of Battery Park sits the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a space dedicated to both honoring the victims of the Holocaust and keeping alive the history of Jewish immigrants who came to the country in search of a better future.

New York's is the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, which has had a great influence on the development of the city. In the museum you can put a face and learn the stories of thousands of people (mostly from Central and Eastern Europe) who crossed the Atlantic to start a new life while preserving their traditions and customs.

This visit is the perfect complement to the Immigration Museum at Ellis Island or the Tenement Museum (103 Orchard Street), both historical museums that allow you to learn more about the history of those immigrants who came to the United States from other corners of the planet. It can also serve as a small immersion in Jewish culture before visiting Williamsburg, New York's quintessential Jewish neighborhood.

Museum of Jewish Heritage Ticket Prices

  • Adult: from $15
  • Senior: from $10
  • Children under 12: Free

6. Enjoy the sunset from Battery Park

Sunset from the benches in Battery Park| ©Angels
Sunset from the benches in Battery Park| ©Angels

Due to its excellent location south of Manhattan and in front of the New York Harbor, Battery Park is a highly recommended place to go to watch the sunset out doors and surrounded by nature while enjoying unique views of the city.

Watching the sunset from one of the dizzying skyscrapers of the Big Apple is always an appetizing plan but having the opportunity to observe this beautiful natural spectacle from a place as privileged as this at the tip of the island without spending a single penny is a great experience. It will be a very special memory of your trip!

So get your camera ready because you will surely want to immortalize the moment from Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

7. Have a picnic in Battery Park

An afternoon snack in Battery Park| © JJBers
An afternoon snack in Battery Park| © JJBers

If your stay in New York coincides with good weather, a great plan to do in Battery Park on a sunny day is to have a small picnic surrounded by trees, gardens and flowers.

If you love picnics and you are looking for a good place to sit down and have a picnic and connect with the relaxed atmosphere of the park, I recommend you to go to the marina area where you will find an area with picnic tables overlooking the Hudson River.

Some stores near Battery Park where you can buy some snacks and take a picnic are:

  • City Acres Market (70 Pine Street)
  • Battery Place Market (77 Battery Pl.)
  • Hudson Cafe & Grocery (50 West Street)

8. Find the monuments scattered throughout Battery Park

Immigrant Memorial at Battery Park| ©Maria Eklind
Immigrant Memorial at Battery Park| ©Maria Eklind

Walking in a city like New York is a pleasure because in any corner there is always something interesting to see. For example, within the Battery Park grounds there are plenty of monuments and memorials that you can discover while taking a pleasant stroll through the park.

So if after visiting the Financial District or the Statue of Liberty you feel like exploring a little bit of Battery Park, turn on your camera because some of the monuments that you can see on the route are:

  • Netherland Memorial: This is a gift from the Dutch government to New York in 1926 to commemorate the Dutch colonization of New Amsterdam.
  • Korean War Veteran's Memorial: This memorial pays tribute to the soldiers who fought in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.
  • Immigrant Monument: It is a sculptural ensemble erected in honor of all those immigrants who arrived at the immigration center located in Castle Clinton pursuing their dreams in America.
  • World War II East Coast Memorial: It is a monument erected in memory of those missing U.S. servicemen who died during World War II in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Giovanni da Verrazano Monument: In honor of this Italian navigator and explorer who was the first European to reach New York Bay.

9. Cool off at The Battery Fountain on hot days

The Battery Fountain on a Summer's Day| ©Chrisin Philly
The Battery Fountain on a Summer's Day| ©Chrisin Philly

Near Castle Clinton is The Battery Fountain, a curious fountain whose water jets emanate from the ground and to which many New Yorkers often go during a stroll through Battery Park to cool off when the heat is hot.

Summer in New York is sweltering, so spending some time in a park like Battery Park lying on the grass in the shade of the trees and cooling off in the water is a super-appealing plan and a great way to escape the high temperatures of the Big Apple.

If you are traveling to New York with your family, The Battery Fountain and The SeaGlass Carousel are sure to become the favorite places for the little ones to have fun in Battery Park. Don't miss it!

10. Visit Fort Castle Clinton

Entrance to Fort Castle Clinton| ©Chrisin Philly
Entrance to Fort Castle Clinton| ©Chrisin Philly

In the heart of Battery Park you will find this former fort and national monument that was built in the early 19th century to protect New York (or New Amsterdam as it was then known) from British attacks.

Throughout its history, Castle Clinton has had the most varied uses. It ranged from a military fortification, a theater and an aquarium to an immigration center that received foreigners here before the construction of the Ellis Island center.

Most tourists know it because it houses the ticket booths to get tickets to the Statue of Liberty but to see the inside of Castle Clinton there are also guided tours in English about 20 minutes conducted by park rangers.

If you are up for a visit, it is open every day (except Christmas) from 8:30 AM to 5 PM and the tour times are as follows:

  • At 10 AM
  • At 12 PM
  • At 2 PM