We all think about New York City and taking a venture there with our kids, but we can be overwhelmed with all the choices of things to do. It feels so close, and yet sometimes so far away. But we never really think much about the Statute of Liberty or Ellis Island. Many people from across the world travel hundreds or even thousands of miles each year to visit these special sites that have greatly impacted our country. We often forget how close Fairfield County is to such a precious landmark.
The history and beautiful architecture of both of these exhibits are places that my family and I often have said, “We need to make a trip.” Then the usual happens. We are too busy with the kids having various sports and dance on the weekends and too busy with more extracurricular activities on weekdays along with loads of homework.
So the last weekend before school started up again, we took the excursion down I-95, through the back roads of Greenwich (to avoid a accident), down the Hutchinson, across the Cross County, and over 2 bridges, to I 95, I 78 to finally land at Liberty State Park, in New Jersey. Whew! What a long drive as my children said, but yes, it was well worth it. (And kudos to my husband for doing all the driving)!
The choice between going out of New Jersey or New York was a tough one. While traffic going through Manhattan is often unpredictable, it is also that there are tons of vehicles, lights, and traffic. One of the best reasons to go out of New Jersey is that getting tickets for access to the pedestal was available three days out from the weekend we were going. Trying to get tickets to either the crown or pedestal often takes months of planning, if you are going to access from the point in Manhattan. With a fairly last minute decision it worked perfect to go from New Jersey and it quickly got the whole family excited to go.
Once we arrived at the Statute of Liberty we noticed how massive “Lady Liberty” is. My oldest child said, “Wow! It is so green!” We learned that the Statute of Liberty used to be the color of copper (just like a penny). But after years of rain, wind, and sun, weathering has altered the chemical make-up of the surface. We were also surprised to learn there are approximately 196 steps from the base (entrance) to the statute up to the pedestal. There is a elevator, if you prefer not to venture up the staircase, but it is quite small and often has a long wait. The view was so breathtaking. My kids did not want to leave as they were to excited over actually seeing this monument in person.
So if you are looking for a family day trip, that is not too far, this may be a great option for you. Although, we prepared our kids with lots of fun facts about the Statute of Liberty, it was a life-changing experience to actually see it in person with the family. I can say that we all have a new appreciation for this extraordinary statute that lies on the outskirts of Manhattan, just a drive away.