If you are like me and most of the tourist that ride the Staten Island Ferry, you board atthe southern most tip of Manhattan at South Ferry Terminal, enjoy the free ride past the statue of liberty and the beautiful views of the Manhattan Skyline and then after the free 20 min or so ferry ride brings you to St. George Terminal in Staten Island, you turn right back around for the return trip barely stepping foot in Staten Island.
This winter the organizers at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden are luring toursit and curious New Yorker's alike to see NYC's first ever Winter Lanter Festival. The Garden in the winter months isn't much to view but they are banking on the 40 LED installations that stretch as high as 30 feet tall will make it worth your while to navigate the St. George Terminal in Staten Island, find the free shuttle bus and spend some time getting to know Staten Island.
Located in the grounds Chinese Scholar’s Garden and having sponsorship from the likes of China National Tourist Office there are a lot of Chinese influenced installations. Dragons, panda's and temples are seen throughout the grounds amidst giant-sized flowers, holiday candy canes and a light tunnel that will be on every attendees' Instagram feed.
Most nights there are live performances and food vendors for this very family friendly events. The Winter Lantern Festival is on til January 6, 2019. More information check out their website here.