Ellis Island National Monument

Ellis Island National Monument

Visitor Services

Location

Ellis Island is located in New York Harbor.

General Information

Please call (212) 363-3200, or write the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, Liberty Island, New York, NY 10004.

Hours

Ellis Island is open daily, year-round from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours during summer. It is closed December 25.

Entrance Fee

There is no admission charge to Ellis Island; however, donations are gratefully accepted.

Tours

Introduced in the 2003 season, an exciting comprehensive audio tour is being offered. Relive the immigrant experience, as this tour retraces the immigrants' first steps in America at Ellis Island. Discover Statue of Liberty's history and why this great lady means freedom to so many. This "Gateway Audio Tour" is made possible by the cooperative efforts of ARAMARK Corporation, Evelyn Hill, Inc., Circle Line-Statue of Liberty Ferry and the National Park Service. The "Gateway Tour" is available in English, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, German and French. Public tours are periodically conducted by rangers.

Dining

The Ellis Island Café serves a menu of tasty American and ethnic food. Java City coffee bar and smoothies are also available. The café has indoor seating, plus an outdoor deck with seating that overlooks the Statue of Liberty, the American Immigrant Wall of Honor® and lower Manhattan. Ellis Island offers catered day and evening events.

Gift Shop

Books about immigration and the immigration experience are available at the gift shop, as are a videotape of the movie shown in the museum theater, international gifts and souvenirs. All items are also available by mail order.

Medical

If you need first aid, contact a ranger at the information desk or any uniformed personnel. The nearest hospital is in New Jersey, which is about 30 minutes from the island.

Museum

The gemstone and focal point of Ellis Island is the 100,000-square-foot Ellis Island Immi-gration Museum, contained within the island's main building. The museum's exhibit space is devoted to the history of Ellis Island and the story of immigration to America, from the arrival of the first immigrants to the present day. 

"Through America's Gate" is an experience that replicates the immigrants' journey through the immigration station. A step-by-step view of immigrant processing is revealed through historic photo-graphs, artifacts and personal papers. Restored to the 1918—1924 period, this 14-room exhibit area features audio recordings of immigrants' reminiscences.

Ellis Island Galleries houses the following exhibits: 

"Treasures from Home®" is a collection of approximately 1,000 artifacts and photographs brought by immigrants to America.

"Ellis Island Chronicles" portrays the story of the island from its earliest days as a fishing site to the 1950s. Highlights show the incremental growth from the orig-inal 3.3-acre island to the final 27.5-acre site that was created with landfill. 

"Silent Voices" is a strangely haunting evocation of the period when Ellis Island was abandoned to the ravages of vandals and the elements of New York Harbor.

"Restoring a Landmark" documents the metamorphosis of the main building from an abandoned ruin to a new national museum.

"Peak Immigration Years" is a 10-room exhibit that tells the larger story of immigrants, regardless of their port of entry. Displays explore the immigrant experience: leaving their homelands, journeying to America, traveling across the new country, establishing communities, working, adapting to American life and becoming American citizens.

"The Peopling of America®" is located in the old railroad ticket office and places the Ellis Island immigration era into the context of 400 years of North American immigration history. 

Island of Hope/Island of Tears is a half-hour film, produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim, in which immigrants tell stories of pulling up roots and coming to America. The film is shown in two separate theaters. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The museum also houses a reference library and an oral history studio contain-ing a collection of taped reminiscences of Ellis Island immigrants and former immigration employees.

Memorial Wall

The American Immigrant Wall of Honor® commem-orates more than 600,000 individuals and families whose names appear on the wall. It, as well as much of Ellis Island's restoration, was funded in honor of these immigrants by their descendants. From this monument is a view of both the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. For information regarding the addition of an individual or family name to the wall, contact The Statue of Liberty- Ellis Island Founda-tion, Inc., 292 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017-7769; (212) 561-4500; www.wallofhonor.com.

Special Events/Meeting Facilities

Historic Ellis Island may be utilized for private evening events of up to 1,000 people. Facilities are also on-site for conferences and day meetings. For more information, please contact ARAMARK at (212) 344-0996; visit online at www.ellisisland.com, or email beauchamp_andy@aramark.com.

Park Regulations

The following regulations are intended to enhance your enjoyment of Ellis Island. These guidelines protect the monument and you, the visitor. 

• No eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum is allowed inside the museum or exhibit areas. Please keep food within the food -service areas. 

• Camping is not permitted on the island.

• Students must be chaperoned at all times by one teacher or adult for each group of 10 students.

• There is no vehicle access to Ellis Island.

• A permit must be obtained for commercial photography at Ellis Island.

• No pets are allowed with the exception of Seeing Eyeâ„¢ and other service animals. 

• Please do not deface, damage or remove any park features.

Visitor Facilities

Restrooms, public telephones, an ATM and other facilities are -available.

Special Services -

All facilities, including elevators and restrooms, are accessible to visitors with disabilities.