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Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Ellis Island Immigration Museum NYC Aerial view of Ellis Island New York The main immigration building on Ellis Island in New York harbor

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Ellis Island Immigration Museum Information

Ellis Island Immigration Museum Info


When to Go:
Early Morning

Seasonal Information:
Closed on December 25

Important Information

  • Pets are not permitted at Ellis Island Immigration Museum, however documented service/assist animals are allowed with proof of paper work.
  • Wheelchairs are not available for rent at Ellis Island Museum, however they are available to borrow on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The number of wheelchairs is limited and photo identification is required to obtain one.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum Quick Facts

  • Visiting the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is a free attraction in NYC.
  • On April 17, 1907, Ellis Island accepted 11,741 immigrants into the United States, the most ever accepted in a single day.
  • Most of the immigrants traveling to Ellis Island were from Eastern Europe and Italy. 


Website: http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island_visiting.asp

Phone Number: 212.561.4588

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Experience American History at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum

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This tour is FREE!

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Features: First opening on January 1, 1892 as the nation's first premier federal immigration station, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is now open to public viewers.  Visitors of all ages are welcome to explore this free attraction in New York and learn about the experiences of over 12 million immigrants once they completed their voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and head into the United States.

Why We Go: With three different floors displaying ancient artifacts such as luggage immigrants brought from home, accounts from famous immigrants, historical photographs, antique news clippings, and political cartoons, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum captures American history unlike any other national monument.  The voyage to the museum, the tour throughout the memorial, and the overall experience, will leave you with a better understanding about American history and what many had to sacrifice on their journey to the U.S.

  • Researching Ancestry: Although many of the annual three million visitors come to Ellis Island Museum to explore the artifacts and watch the clips the monument provides, many come to research their family history.  There is a facility for Ellis Island Immigration that allows guests to research their ancestors and find out names, dates, and other details about their family members they otherwise would have never known.
  • Ferry Ride: There is only one way to reach the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and that's by water.  Statue Cruises provides ferry service from either Battery Park in Lower Manhattan or Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.  As you wait to explore one of the most paramount memorials in the United States, don't forget to look at the amazing skyline of Manhattan and astonishing view of the Statue of Liberty.  
  • Become a Part of History: As you closely examine the Immigration Wall of Honor, complete with over 700,000 names, check and see if your name is inscribed as well.  Many visitors have been pleasantly surprised to witness their own names on the wall.  If you and your family are not listed, there are options for you to add your ancestry and become a part of American history that will remain as long as the monument continues to stand.  

Inside Knowledge: Because over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry back to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, there is a high volume of visitors day in and day out.  The best way to explore Ellis Island Museum is to arrive at the ferry port early in the morning and catch one of the first boats. Although exploring Ellis Island history is completely free, the ferry ride to the island is not.  Rates can reach up to $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $8 for children depending on which ferry ride you choose.  Children under four ride for free. 

Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do Grab a Bite Beforehand: Although there are food options at the Ellis Island Museum, variety is limited and prices are high.  Grabbing a bite to eat or snack before your trip will save you money and time to explore Ellis Island history.
  • Do Take a Tour: While Ellis Island Immigration Museum is geared toward self-guided exploration, guided tours are available by a knowledgeable attendant.  The best part about these tours?  They are absolutely free!
  • Don't Bring Baggage: Although small purses and bags are accepted, larger items, as well as pets or animals are not permitted at the memorial.  Not to mention, there are no lockers for you to store any items.  So pack light and be ready to explore.  
  • Don't Start Late: Local park attendants advise that boarding the transportation ferry after 2pm will prohibit you from visiting both the Ellis Island Museum and Statue of Liberty.  The ferries normally take guests to both monuments on the same trip but once 2pm is reached, you are not allowed to attend both due to closing times.