Visiting Little Island? Here’s What to Know Before You Go
After its grand opening on May 21, 2021, the hit of the summer in New York City just might be Little Island. This stunning man-made park at Pier 55 rises proudly out of the graceful Hudson. Developed by Barry Diller and designed by Heatherwick Studio and Matthew Nielsen Landscape Architects, the 2.4-acre green space is easily recognized as you near 13th Street, with all eyes on this slice of Hudson River Park.
From afar, you can’t miss the concrete tulip-shaped columns, appearing to float atop the water and becoming more striking as you approach. But half the joy of Little Island is the journey. Once you reach the Hudson River Esplanade and begin the trek up the pedestrian bridges to enter, the anticipation is real. And once inside, this outdoor oasis lives up to the hype.
Are you curious about visiting Little Island? I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s what to know if you plan to go.
Visiting Little Island is Free.
That’s right, it costs nothing to enter. Barry Diller wanted Little Island to be a gift to all New Yorkers, and that it is.
Through September 30, you’ll need a timed ticket.
Unless you plan to arrive before noon, you’ll have to go on the website and order a timed ticket. This rule is a good idea since the park is new and flocks of people are checking it out. Plus with the pandemic, it’s smart to space out the spectators. Once inside, you can spend as long as you like. If you plan to enter between 6 a.m. and noon, you won’t need a ticket, so just walk in.
Little Island has multiple levels.
Prepare to climb stairs, or at the very least, inclined walkways. You’ll have the option to do either. That said, wear comfy clothing and shoes like these ballerina flats. Heading out to brunch or dinner in the Meatpacking District afterward? Carry a cute pair of shoes like these wedges in your city bag (my personal favorite) so you can make the switch.
You’ll experience incredible views on a visit to Little Island, and….
Instagram will be begging for a picture. From the top of the park, you’ll witness panoramic views of the Hudson, One World Trade and Lower Manhattan’s cluster of skyscrapers, and more. Revel in a quiet moment, take in the vistas, and marvel at this $260 million island, it’s levels, and lush, planted vignettes.
Little Island offers live theater, music, dance, and more.
Many of the island’s events are open to all and require no tickets. But Little Island also features live performances in The Amph, an outdoor theater. Tickets are available for purchase on the website (30% of seats are available for sale to the general public), but 30% are also distributed for free to community partners, with the remaining 40% available through the Theater Development Fund (TDF) at a lower price of $25, but for members only. (If you see a lot of theater, it’s worth it to join if you qualify.)
Plus, the island is offering NYC FREE, a mix of music, dance, poetry, comedy, and more. Through September 5, the park will celebrate the spirit of New York’s arts community through a diverse selection of performances. Tickets are required, but they’re free. More info here.
The nearest subway line is at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue.
You can obviously take a taxi or Uber to get there, but I recommend riding the subway (A, C, E, or L) and walking from 14th and Eighth Avenue. I also recommend listening to your favorite New York tunes as you meander through the West Village and mosey toward the pier. I chose Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a poignant pairing that summer morning as the city was waking up.
Have you been to Little Island yet? If so, what did you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
For more details on park rules and visiting Little Island, go to the website.
Pier 55 at Hudson River Park, Hudson River Greenway, NY 10014
Open 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day
And the High Line is nearby. You can do both parks in a day!