If you had family that immigrated to the United States during the time that Ellis Island was in operation, then a trip to Ellis Island would have special meaning for you. If you are already planning a trip to Hew York City or if you are already living there it may simply be a matter of making time to visit Ellis Island.
When you visit Ellis Island you can tour the museum on your own. It was designed as a self-touring museum, but there is also the option to take a tour with a ranger. The tours last about forty-five minutes each. There is also a workbook designed for kids between the ages of seven and twelve that will make the museum more interesting to them.
You can also take a tour of the Ferry House, which opened in 2007. This is available with a one-hour tour and it looks at the history of public health on the Island. You can rent audio tours for $6.00. There is also a free thirty-minute movie. During the spring through autumn seasons you can also watch a theatrical production about Ellis Island. This does cost $6.00 and requires advanced reservations. The museum also offers monthly beginning genealogy classes. You may want to see when they are if you live nearby.
The only cost of visiting the museum or Ellis Island is the cost of the ferry ride. You can reserve tickets in advance. You may also be able to coordinate your travels so that you can see the Statue of Liberty the same day. If you want to enter the Statue of Liberty you will need to reserve your ticket in advance and request that you have a monument ticket. The ferry visits both islands, so you may want to plan your travel to see things on both Islands. It may be an all day event if you do this.