A Children's Museum, a Bamboo Forest, & More At Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Updated: Sep 1, 2018

After getting two recommendations to spend a day at Snug Harbor (and seeing the ads on the bus for Heritage Farms that always made Curious G scream out, “Look at those raw carrots!”), we decided to check it out. To get there you can take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, followed by a 10 minute bus ride if you are coming from another borough.


Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
Panda spotting?

We started the day at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, which is on the Snug Harbor grounds. As the story goes with many other children’s attractions, we had to goad Curious G from exhibit to exhibit, frantically exclaiming, “Come on! There’s so much more to see!” But, there really was a lot to see, and we were not just being impatient parents. Admission is $8 for everybody 1 and older.

*There's no food onsite during the weekends but we ordered from Crispy Pizza, which delivers to the museum. However, we don’t recommend the chicken parm hero, grandma slices or the spaghetti with sausage.


Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
Curious G could have spent the whole day playing on the lawn in front of the museum

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
But there's so much more to see inside!

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
The siren in this fire truck is a huge hit with all the kids

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
Lite Brite, Lite Brite, Turn on the magic of shining light! Anyone else, remember this commercial from the 80's?

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
The Game Hall

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
No need for gutter guards here

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
The Garden Terrace features a water well with a pump, a few of these easels, a vegetable garden, a tree stump chess board, and some other objects from nature that kids can experiment with with scales and a magnifying glass

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
The Great Explorations section gives kids a chance to go on expeditions around the world

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
Scaling the Arctic Tundra

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
Crossing the Amazon

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
The Sea of Boats

Staten Island children's museum, snug harbor
Gone Fishin'

After Curious G had her fill of the museum, we did a quick run through the Shade Garden, Lion's Sensory Garden, the Perennial Garden, and a few other gardens, then quickly ambled through the Allee, before stopping at Harbor Eats to refresh ourselves with some beverages.


Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
Perennial Garden

Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
Carl Grillo Glass House

Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
Tropical Beauty

Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
The Allee is a tunnel constructed with 140 Hornbeam trees

The grand finale of our visit was the New York Chinese Scholar’s Tea Garden, which is inspired by gardens from the Ming Dynasty, and features 8 pavillions, a bamboo forest path, waterfalls, a Koi pond, and a variety of Gongshi Scholar's rocks. We felt transported to China as we strolled around.




Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
This is actually in Staten Island, not China

Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
So tranquil

Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest

Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
My tired little explorer

Curious G couldn’t stop herself from climbing into the mini bamboo forest. I jumped in to fetch my little panda from the tangle of bamboo trunks when she started to get stuck. Admission for adults to the garden is $5.


Snug Harbor, New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, bamboo forest
My panda cub

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