Little Island NYC
New York City’s latest attraction opened up this weekend. The Little Island was funded by media mogul Barry Diller and his wife. They donated more than $260 million to build the innovative public park on the Hudson River. Besides providing a secluded getaway just a short bridge away from 11the Ave, the Little Island will also be home to about 500 events and performances this year.
Diller’s family foundation gave $260 million to build Little Island, almost double the initial estimate. They committed another $120 million over the next 10 years for maintenance and theatrical productions. The city contributed an additional $17 million for the esplanade and the state also contributed $4 million. Constructed over the remnants of Pier 54, Little Island NYC includes sweeping lawns, winding paths, and a large stage. The structure was designed by Thomas Heatherwick who also designed the Vessel at Hudson Yards. The entrance tickets to the park and most of the programming will be free, while certain performance prices will be $25-$65.
The park sits on 132 concrete structures that rise 15 feet above the Hudson River. The support structure provides a variety of elevations, ranging between 15 and 62 feet. Within the park, there are 350 species of flowers, trees and shrubs, a plaza with seating and food option called “The Play Ground,” a lawn area named “The Glade,” and an amphitheater called “The Amph” that sits up to 687 people.
Getting to Little Island
Little Island NYC is located on the Hudson River, just across 11th Ave, between 13th and 14th Street. The closest subway station is at 7th Ave and 14th Street where you can find the 1, 2 and 3 trains. You can take a 15 minutes walk from there to Little Island or hop on a city bus with a free transfer. The island has two ramps. You can only enter from south ramp, closer to 13th Street. The ramp to the north is an exit only.
The park is open from 6AM to 1AM. But, if you want to go between noon at 8pm, which are expected to be high-traffic times, you’ll need to make a reservation on the park’s website. The park has a capacity of 852 people. Timed entry reservations are released four weeks at a time on a rolling basis. You must arrive within 30 minutes of your ticket reservation. Tickets may be printed out or shown from your mobile phone. If you have a ticket to see a performance at Little Island, that ticket will also grant you entry to the park for that day.
Little Island NYC: Guru’s Wrap-up
I visited Little Island park on Sunday morning on its opening weekend. I arrived around 10AM so I didn’t need a reservation. The park was already crowded, and I imagine it gets even worse during peak hours.
The structure is a eye catching piece of architecture that stands out as soon as you get to 11th Ave. Once you enter, you walk into an open lawn with 360-degree views of the whole park. It feels like you have left the city and entered a far away land.
Little Island is a 2.4-acre park located within Hudson River Park on Manhattan’s West Side, but it feels much bigger than and start walking around. If you want to grab a spot on the grass or a seat in the plaza, you probably need to get there really early. It might get easier once the crowds subside.
Just a few blocks away you can also find The High Line. This is another free public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan. It can actually be a great time to visit since the Little Park is drawing all the crowds. The nearest entrance is at Gansevoort Street & Washington Street. You can also check out Chelsea Market, more restaurants and entertainment in the Meatpacking Districts and north of Little Island, on Pier 57, more community spaces will soon open up.
Check out all the images of Little Island NYC and the surrounding area below. Have you visited or plan to visit? Let me know on the comments!