South Street Seaport Museum announces Family Activity Weekends, every Saturday and Sunday in October, 11am-5pm aboard the main deck of the historic tall ship Wavertree, docked at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets). Fall means fun for the whole family at the Seaport. Enhance your onboard experience with hands-on activities, engagement stations, and creative projects for kids of all ages that will illuminate history and life at sea. No registration is required – just stop by. Activities are included with free Seaport Museum admission. For more information, visit southstreetseaportmuseum.org/family-activity-weekends/.
Save the date for the Seaport Museum’s Halloween activity line-up on Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30! Why carve a pumpkin when you could scrimshaw a gourd? Join the South Street Seaport Museum for spooky scrimshaw! Get into the Halloween spirit by etching your favorite seasonal design into gourds aboard Wavertree, surrounded by sailors’ spirits of yore. Guests can also participate in family activity stations throughout the campus, a scavenger hunt, and other Halloween fun. This event is free, but please let us know that you’re coming by registering at seaportmuseum.org/gourd-scrimshaw.
Wavertree is designated on the National Register of Historic Places and represents the thousands of ships that docked along New York’s waterfront over the centuries. Gaze up at the towering masts and miles of rigging. Learn how people worked and lived aboard a 19th century cargo sailing vessel, from the captain to the ship’s officers, cooks, and crew. Look out across New York Harbor and see the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights. Or look landward and see the skyline of the Financial District, which flourished because of ships like Wavertree which brought in the goods that helped businesses thrive.
Wavertree is permanently moored at Pier 16 and does not sail the harbor. Access to Wavertree requires climbing a small set of ladder-type stairs and an angled gangway.
The 130-year-old Wavertree, built of riveted wrought iron, is an archetype of the sailing ships of the latter half of the 19th century that, during the “age of sail,” lined South Street by the dozens, creating a forest of masts from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge. Built in Southampton, Great Britain, she circled the globe four times in her career, carrying a wide variety of cargoes. The ship called on New York in 1896, no doubt one of hundreds like her berthed in the city. In 1910, after thirty-five years of sailing, she was caught in a Cape Horn storm that tore down her masts and ended her career as a cargo ship. She was salvaged and used as a floating warehouse and then a sand barge in South America, where the waterfront workers referred to her as “el gran Valero,” the great sailing ship. She was saved by the Seaport Museum in 1968 and towed to New York to become the iconic centerpiece of the “Street of Ships” at South Street two years later. From 2015-2016, Wavertree underwent a $13 million restoration generously funded by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs with support from the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, and Manhattan Borough President and managed by the Department of Design and Construction.
About the South Street Seaport Museum
The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the historic seaport district in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.” www.southstreetseaportmuseum.org
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