Snug Harbor

7 Must See Staten Island Attractions To Visit This Fall

7 Must See Staten Island Sites This Fall

Staten Island is known as both the “borough of parks” and “the forgotten borough,” but Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty believes it should also be recognized as one of the most family-friendly New York City destinations. With a rich cultural history dating back to 1661 and the Revolutionary War, families will undoubtedly find many of our borough’s landmarks both educational and entertaining. Here are 7 must-see Staten Island sites this fall. 

1) Staten Island Children’s Museum: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

Staten Island Children’s Museum is located in the historical district, Sung Harbor. Although it isn’t a recognized landmark, Snug Harbor’s very own children’s museum has entertained NYC kids since 1974 when it was founded by a group of parents. The museum opened in 1976 in a small rented storefront with one exhibit and program. A series of “hands-on, minds-on” exhibitions followed about history, the natural science, and fine arts. By 1980, space limitations drove the museum to seek a larger venue. The City of New York invited the Children’s Museum to join the Cultural Institutions Group, which included plans for the Museum to relocate to the ground so the newly acquired 83-acre Snug Harbor. In 1986, the museum opened the doors to its new home. In 2003, the facility expanded to 40,000 square feet with the addition of the historic barn and the bi-level glass passageway. In 2013, the Museum completed another capital project, with the addition of a state-of-the-art tented picnic and performance pavilion on the East Meadow, and a vertical axis wind turbine and wind scoop addition to its roof. The mission of the Staten Island Children’s Museum is to nurture the creativity and curiosity natural to all children, to recognize and celebrate different learning styles, and to demonstrate vividly that learning can be exciting and fun.

2) Staten Island Zoo: 614 Broadway, Staten Island, NY 10310

The biggest “little” zoo in America, the Staten Island Zoo showcases more than 1,100 animals nestled in a beautiful eight-acre park. The Zoo’s collection has nearly doubled over the last two years and features over 350 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates from six of the world’s seven continents. Referred to as Barrett Park until the 1960s, the Staten Island Zoo has a long and interesting history. Since 1936, the family-friendly zoo has strived to educate college students, educators and the public about wildlife. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children. Children under 2 are free. 

3) Richmond County Bank Ballpark: 75 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

The Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George (RCB Ballpark) is located on the north-eastern tip of Staten Island in historic St. George. The ballpark is the home of the Staten Island Yankees, the NY-Penn League affiliate of the New York Yankees, and of Wagner College Seahawks Baseball. RCB Ballpark has 18 regular-sized luxury suites along with a 60-person Skyline Suite with one of the best views of the harbor. A small kids’ area is located down the left-field line with games. A replica of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is located on top of the main scoreboard.

4) Alice Austen House: 2 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10305

Home to an ambitious Victorian female photographer, the Alice Austen House was built in 1690 as a one-room Dutch farmhouse. Referred to as “Clear Comfort” it was purchased in 1844 by John Haggerty Austen, Alice Austen’s grandfather. Alice Austen herself moved there as a young girl in the late 1860s with her mother, Alice Cornell Austen, after the two were abandoned by Alice’s father. In 1917, Gertrude Tate moved in, and the two lived together until financial problems forced them to move in 1945. When they left, the house fell into disrepair until a group of concerned citizens saved it from demolition in the 1960s. The house successfully gained status as a historic landmark and was restored in the mid-1980s. The home now functions as a museum comprised of exhibitions that showcase Austen’s prized photographs. For a small donation, your family can see the world through the lens of one of Staten Island’s most talented female photographers.

5) Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is the result of more than four decades of restoration and development to convert a 19th-century charitable rest home for sailors to a regional arts center, botanical gardens, and public park. It is a place where history, architecture, gardens, agriculture, visual and performing arts, and education come together to provide a dynamic experience for all ages. Snug Harbor consists of 28 buildings, fourteen distinctive botanical gardens, a two-acre urban farm, wetlands, and park land. Visitors of Snug Harbor can take a stroll through the magnificent Chinese Scholar’s Garden or take in a show at its historical Music Hall. 

6) Garibaldi-Meucci Museum: 420 Tompkins Ave, Staten Island, NY 10305

The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum is owned and administered by the Order Sons of Italy in America. It was the home of Antonio Meucci, the true inventor of the telephone, and a refuge to Giuseppe Garibaldi, the legendary hero who championed the unification of Italy. For over 50 years the museum has fulfilled its mission to preserve the legacies of these great men and to promote understanding of the Italian-American heritage through cultural, artistic and educational programs and classes. With an admission price of $10, you can explore the rich and complex history of these prominent Italian figures.

7) Staten Island Lighthouse Museum: 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, NY 10301

Located on the former site of the United States Lighthouse Service’s (USLHS) General Depot in St. George, Staten Island, the National Lighthouse Museum educates visitors about the history and technology of the nation’s lighthouses. The General Depot was the national headquarters, testing ground, and distribution center for all materials and equipment used by light keepers and USLHS personnel from 1864 to 1939. Once a lively and bustling site of 18 buildings, today only 6 remain. It is 2,400 square feet and is self-guided. Museum exhibits include Beacons Through Time, Supplying the Nation’s Light Stations: The General DepotOptics: Projecting the LightLife at the Light: Lighthouse Keepers, and much more! Children under 12 can enjoy free admission, while adults pay $5 per ticket for entry.



Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty believes once you’ve visited Staten Island you will want to call it home – and there is simply no more beautiful time to enjoy our borough than in the fall! If you’re in the market to purchase a home near one of these family-friendly locations, we can help. When you choose Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty Inc. as your realtor we consider the needs of the entire family! Contact Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty 4 Minthorne Street Staten Island N.Y.10301 Today! Office: #718-702-6848 or #917-414-0847

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Snug Harbor Little League


Located adjacent to Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens at 20 Snug Harbor Road, Snug Harbor Little League has proudly been serving North Shore families since 1964. SHLL offers Little League Baseball for boys ages 4-12 years and Softball for girls up to age 16 in both the fall and the spring seasons. With over 50 teams this year, SHLL gives hundreds of Staten Island’s North Shore youth an opportunity to learn valuable life-long skills. For more information, visit their webpage at

Children’s Harbor Montessori School


Located in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center at 1000 Richmond Terrace, Children’s Harbor Montessori School is one of the few Montessori schools on Staten Island. Founded in 1976 by a group of parents, the school is dedicated to providing children with an arts centered curriculum that is adapted to meet the individual needs of every child. The school provides educational opportunities to toddlers ages 2-3, as well as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students, ages 4-6. The school also provides a “Summer Studio” program, as well as forums, workshops and discussion groups that support child development and parenting skills.

Following the Montessori educational philosophy, Children’s Harbor Montessori School strives to foster the social, cognitive, emotional, creative and physical development of each individual child. Structured educational programs not only encourage the unique abilities of the child, but allow the child to develop a positive self-image, self-reliance, and independence.

For more information on Children’s Harbor Montessori School, visit their website at

Heritage Farm


Located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, the Snug Harbor Heritage Farm is Snug Harbor’s most recent agricultural endeavor.  Between 1890 and 1910, Snug Harbor produced fruits and vegetables from its on-site working farm. A century later, Snug Harbor is trying to accomplish a similar task, but with a focus on education. Heritage Farm at Snug Harbor aims to feed, inspire, and educate the local community through educational programs, workshops, and field trips, and by increasing awareness about the importance of eating locally. The Snug Harbor Heritage Farm is cared for in an environmentally viable manner so that it will continue to produce fresh fruits and vegetables for years to come.

Snug Harbor’s Heritage Farm currently has a partnership with local restaurant, Blue, providing fresh produce directly to Blue’s tables at 1115 Richmond Terrace. Heritage Farm also hosts a weekly farmer’s market, providing fresh, locally grown produce to the Staten Island community. For more information on Heritage Farm, visit

Veterans Memorial Hall


Located at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island’s North Shore, the Veterans Memorial Hall serve as the centerpieces for performing arts on Staten Island.

Built in 1854 originally as a chapel, Veterans Memorial Hall has also been the setting for many wonderful theatrical productions.  Veteran’s Memorial Hall is also easily adapted for other uses including wedding ceremonies, graduations or memorial services

Both the Music Hall and Veterans Memorial Hall are sites for local theater groups such as The Harbor Lights Theater CompanyIn the Wings Productionsand Sundog Theater.


Snug Harbor Botanical Gardens:


The Staten Island Botanical Garden is part of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, located on the north shore of Staten Island. The Botanical Garden is spread across the site and includes the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden (added in 1999) and the Richmond County Savings Foundation Tuscan Garden (completed in 2011).  Within the grounds of Snug Harbor are several beautiful gardens that serve different purposes for the community. While being enjoyed for their individual qualities, the gardens are also used as educational tools, for recreational purposes such as walking, jogging or picnics, and as backdrops for public programs. You can access the Botanical Gardens from Richmond Terrace, Tysen Street, Kissel Avenue or Henderson Avenue. For more information, visit the Snug Harbor website at

Staten Island Children’s Museum

Staten Island Children's Museum

Staten Island Children’s Museum is Located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens. Since 1976, the Museum has given children many opportunities to explore the many different aspects of the natural environment and world around them, foster their curiosity, and enjoy a unique perspective on art, science and the humanities.

The Museum offers a variety of hands-on educational exhibits such as Block Harbor, House: About It, Portia’s Playhouse, Great Explorations, Bugs and Insects, Ladder 11, Sea of Boats, and DB’s Fantastic Machines. They also provide and programming for children of all ages on a regular basis, such as daily activities like Storytime, weekday programs like Kidz Cook, toddler programs like Artist in Me and weekend family workshops like Up 4 Art. The museum also hosts birthday parties, summer mini-camps and so much more! For more information on membership, hours of operation and programs, visit the Museum’s website at

Blue Restaurant

Blue Restaurant Snug Harbor Staten Island


Blue Restaurant: located at 1115 Richmond Terrace (at the former location of R.H. Tugs), Blue Restaurant offers a unique taste to diners looking to spend an afternoon or evening out.  The restaurant’s food fare provides a mix of Mediterranean, Turkish and pan-Asian cuisine, adding diversity to the restaurant options of Staten Island’s North Shore, and elegance to the borough’s industrial waterfront.

Opening its doors in the spring of 2012, Blue’s menu items are the perfect blend of familiar and unique tastes. The restaurant provides many dining options for patrons; a formal dining area and bar area with Gothic-style features, as well as outdoor seating areas under beautifully crafted pergolas and awnings. Nearly every seat in the house provides an amazing waterfront view and a front row seat to Staten Island’s vibrant shipping and tugboat industry.

Conveniently located near St. George, Snug Harbor and other Staten Island attractions, Blue Restaurant also hosts private events and a three-course clam bake on Sunday.

For more information and menu items, visit their website at or call (718) 273-7777.

Blue Restaurant Review

Blue Restaurant, Snug Harbor, Staten IslandOne of my favorite things about living on Staten Island’s North Shore is the many dining options available. No matter what you’re hungry for- in terms of food or atmosphere- chances are you won’t have to travel far to find the perfect restaurant to satisfy your pallet. One of my favorite “new finds” just opened its doors in May of 2012, and is located right on Staten Island’s waterfront.

Blue restaurant (at the former location of R.H. Tugs) has added some much needed diversity and elegance to the borough’s industrial waterfront. Located at 1115 Richmond Terrace, Blue offers a unique taste to diners looking to spend an afternoon or evening out.

Not Your Typical Staten Island Restaurant

Locals, out-of-towners and visitors from other boroughs will all agree- this restaurant’s food fare is not what you would normally find on Staten Island. Providing a mix of Mediterranean, Turkish and pan-Asian cuisine, Blue’s menu offers a variety of foods and unique tastes that are hard to find anywhere else in the borough.

The variety of food Blue serves breaks the mold when it comes to what patrons might expect from a “typical” Staten Island restaurant. You no longer have to go into Manhattan or Brooklyn to find a unique restaurant whose bold spices and unique flavors will leave your taste buds dancing—its right here on the North Shore!

So Many Reasons to Love Blue

Besides the food, there are so many other reasons Blue is appealing.  It recently has extended its dining space to include an outdoor seating area, positioned under a beautifully crafted pergola. Whether you are outside enjoying the gentle breeze or are inside admiring the Gothic-style features, the waterfront views from any seat in the house are absolutely breathtaking. I recently enjoyed watching the sunset from Blue’s outdoor dining area, and was pleasantly surprised with how peaceful and serene the otherwise “industrial” view is.

Patrons who regularly frequent Blue Restaurant say that it is not just the food that keeps them coming back. Blue restaurant provides a front row seat to Staten Island’s vibrant shipping and tugboat industry, and the parade of nautical traffic- tugboats and cargo ships alike- is an added bonus to a dining experience that you can’t find anywhere else.

Partnership with a Local Farm

Blue Restaurant Dish, Snug Harbor Staten IslandAnother unique aspect worth highlighting has to do with the origins of the food Blue serves.  Shortly after its doors opened in the spring of 2012, Blue formed a partnership with Heritage Farm (, a newly established farm located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center (

The local farm supplies much of the organic produce that Blue serves, providing the neighborhood restaurant with fresh, organically grown fare- a feature that is hard to find in many other Staten Island restaurants. There is even a section on the menu entitled, “from the farm up the block” honoring this partnership.

Patrons of Blue not only feel good about the origins of the food they are consuming, but can take pride in supporting a business and its collaboration with another local business.

Perfect for Any Occasion

No matter what brings you to Staten Island’s North Shore, Blue is a dining experience that you don’t want to miss out on. Whether you are exploring St. George for the day, have tickets for a show at Snug Harbor in the evening, are planning a romantic dinner, or want to host an event, Blue restaurant will not disappoint.

For those of you looking to buy a home on Staten Island, check out my website  for listings and much, much more information on all of the attractions, restaurants, and “happenings” going on in the area. Who better to show you all of the borough’s best kept secrets than your North Shore Expert, Holly Wiesner-Olivieri?  Let’s connect on Facebook and twitter. Perhaps we can enjoy a dining experience at Blue together sometime.


Don’t Miss Out On The Fun! The Staten Island’s Children’s Museum.

Grasshopper at Staten Island Children's Museum

As Staten Island’s North Shore Expert, one of my favorite places to visit is Snug Harbor  for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is nestled among the Botanical Gardens and is neighbor to the Cultural Center’s main music halls: the Staten Island Children’s Museum. Offering creative workshops and hands-on experiences, this museum brings out a child’s natural creativity and curiosity and has a lot to offer children of all ages (even adults)!

The Staten Island's Children Museum.

No matter what your child is into, chances are the Staten Island Children’s Museum will provide your child with hours of creative fun.  Your little builder will love everything that Block Harbor and House About It  have to offer; future thespians will enjoy dressing up and working on their theatrical skills in Portia’s Playhouse; little explorers will love visiting the rainforest and tundra in Great Explorations; and let’s not forget about our firefighters, sea-farers and scientists, who take center-stage in the Bugs and Insects, Ladder 11, Sea of Boats and DB’s Fantastic Machines exhibits.  Even adults can enjoy a game or two at the The Big Game exhibit, where the size of these chess, checkers and dominoes pieces give a whole new meaning to the phrase “hands-on.”

The Staten Island's Children's Museum In Snug Harbor.

After one visit to the Staten Island Children’s Museum, children and adults are sure to come back for the many workshops and other events the museum hosts on a regular basis.  From daily activities like Storytime, weekday programs like Kidz Cook, todder programs like Artist in Me and weekend family workshops like Up 4 Art, the museum is packed with educational and creative outlets for your child.  The museum also hosts birthday parties , summer mini-camps  and so much more!

Staten Island Children's Museum

If you are a resident of West Brighton, Staten Island’s North Shore, or even if you reside elsewhere on the Staten Island, visiting the Staten Island Children’s Museum is an outing that you won’t regret. Join the Staten Island Children’s Museum on Saturday, June 8, 2013 for their Carnival & Science Spectacular   Starting at 1:00 pm (members can start the party at 12:30 pm), the carnival will offer traditional carnival rides and games, workshops, robotics, clowns and live music.  Get your fill of cotton candy and learn the science behind all of the fun!

Visit the Staten Island Children’s Museum website for their hours of operation, admission fees, becoming a member, classes, birthday parties and more!  Hope to see you there!

If you are looking for a home on the North Shore  of Staten Island or surrounding areas, as your North Shore expert I can help you explore a variety of wonderful lifestyle choices here on the North Shore. There are two kinds of Real Estate professionals…those who understand the emotional and financial complexity of selling and buying a home…and those who don’t.

Thank you and have an extraordinary day!







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