This year Governors Island finally flipped the switch and became a 365-days-a-year destination spot (the 172-acre oasis in the New York Harbor was previously only open to the public May through October). But what can one actually do there when the temps drop?

The Trust for Governors Island has now released plans for its inaugural winter season, the centerpiece of which will be the Governors Island Winter Village—set to open on December 17th, this will transform the historic Colonels Row "into a destination for seasonal amenities." These include a 5,000- square foot skating rink (one of the few outdoor rinks in the city), games, food trucks, drinks, and crucially: fire pits. They'll also offer some additional holiday glow courtesy of seasonal twinkling lights.

Read More: The History Of Governors Island & A Rare Look Inside Its Abandoned Buildings

If we get some good snow this winter, they'll have sleds for rent (they've got some good hills, and the sledding backdrop of the Lower Manhattan skyline is unbeatable). Otherwise, you can still rent a bike and let that chill wind whipping in your face make you feel alive as you cruise around in search of hot chocolate (which they'll also have).

GOVERNORS ISLAND WINTER OFFERINGS

  • Activities including lawn games like cornhole, can jam, and giant Jenga
  • Fire pits
  • Winter arts and cultural programming
  • A sparkling display of holiday lights throughout historic Colonels Row
  • Ice skating
  • Hot chocolate by a fire!
  • Food trucks
  • Little Eva's will offer a seasonal menu featuring warm drinks, brats, vegan chili, fish and chips & more
  • Bike and sled rentals
  • A historic Coast Guard-era fire truck "providing a charming photo op for visitors"
  • The beautiful winter isolation only an island can offer (this was not on the press release but it is accurate)
Colonels Row

Colonels Row

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Colonels Row
Courtesy of the Trust for Governors Island

GETTING THERE, HOURS & OTHER DETAILS

HOURS: Governors Island will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ICE SKATING: The ice rink will be open Fridays from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (extended hours are available upon request for youth, adult and nonprofit sports leagues and associations), and on New York City public school holidays. The rink will offer “Free Admission Fridays” with fees waived for all visitors. The regular fee will be announced in coming weeks, along with fees for skate rentals.

The ferry to Governors Island with the Staten Island ferry in view.

A ferry ride to Governors Island in November 2021, with the Staten Island ferry in view.

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A ferry ride to Governors Island in November 2021, with the Staten Island ferry in view.
Jen Carlson / Gothamist

THE FERRY: Ferries operated by the Trust for Governors Island run daily from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Manhattan. A round trip ferry ticket costs $3 for adults and is free for seniors 65 and over, children 12 and under, NYCHA residents, IDNYC holders, former and active military and for everyone on weekends before noon.

More ferry routes, from Brooklyn, are expected to start running later this year. Find more details at govisland.org/ferry.