The Most Colorful Pier and the Most Magical Carousel in Manhattan: Pier 17 and the Seaglass Carousel

My parents used to bring me to South Street Seaport in the summertime. I have such visceral memories of the old mall that used to sit on Pier 17 and can still taste the Bourbon chicken samples dangling from a toothpick from Panda Express in the food court upstairs; and remember the fear I felt in my stomach when I would see the real butterflies encased in glass souvenir frames from the “art” store. Fast forward to adulthood and I still have great memories of taking my 11 year old nephew to see the “Bodies” exhibit in South Street Seaport (and fully traumatizing him #auntfail). My dear friend also had a Speigeltent (a.k.a. the R-rated version of Cirque Du Soleil) bash for her 30th birthday on the pier. SO. When I learned about the re-opening of the newly revamped Pier 17, I was beyond excited to check it out with Curious G.

Balloon Sculpture by Geronimo

The revamping of the pier is not completely finished but the Riverdeck with its pop-up bar and assorted picture ready stations such as the flower wall, and the phenomenal open view of the Brooklyn bridge are all there for your enjoyment. One side of the deck is lined with rocking benches and other assorted seating. The centerpiece is the colorful large scale sculpture constructed of air inflated recycled balloons by artist Geronimo.

There she goes picking again...good thing these flowers can be placed right back into the wall.

Curious G tried to reach the balloons a few times before moving onto the stunning view

Checking out the view as some clouds rolled in

Brooklyn Bridge

Riverdeck seating lined with ivy and floral bushes

Swinging around on the rocking benches

Balance beam or runway? Maybe both

FYI, if you are walking south towards the pier as we did from Chinatown, the South slip is a scenic walk along the East River with open views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. You can see across the river to Brooklyn. It is also a shady and breezy path, which works out nicely on a sweltering day.

Nice shaded path on a 90 degree day

We definitely took the scenic route

Market Hall, the summer pop up eatery, is currently open and a slew of celebrity chef backed restaurants are slated to open soon. The chefs include Jean-George, David Chang, and Andrew Carmellini. We are most excited about Malibu Farm, since we have fun memories of the original outpost in Malibu. We tried to take the elevators up to the roof deck but the security guard informed us that it will not be ready until August. Yoga, films, and concerts are some of the fun activities scheduled for this summer, but Curious G had a blast just trying to touch the balloons in the Geronimo sculpture, running around, and swinging on the rocking benches. As we were leaving the Pier, we passed by a stage, where Altas Genius was performing; or rather doing a sound check while playing a full set. Anybody ever hear of them? They were not our cup of tea, but pretty catchy.

Concert line up

Workout classes and movies on the pier

Inside the "mall" where we didn't take the elevator to the roof

The Wavetree moored at Pier 17

A very welcome drizzle started to build up as we were leaving the pier, but we stopped briefly at the Imagination Playground, where Curious G loves to play with the large blue blocks and splash around the sprinklers centered in the middle of stepping seats. In addition to the playground, a full day in South Street Seaport can be planned around checking out the South Street Seaport Museum, catching a flick at iPic, and eating at Luchadores or Industry Kitchen. Italy's 10 Corso Como will be opening this summer, along with By Chloe. You can find foods from over 100 local farmers at the Fulton Stall Market, which is open daily and hosts an outdoor market on Sundays on Pier 17. You can also walk over to the Oculus to admire the architecture and for additional dining and shopping options. Less than five minutes away is Pier 11 ferry station, where you can catch the ferry to Governor’s Island.

Imagination Playground

Industry Kitchen is very kid friendly

Always wanted to try this place

We walked to The Battery to ride the magnificent SeaGlass Carousel. It is a whirling vision of dazzling iridescent glass aquatic life that light up, change colors, and spin. Tickets are $5 per person, and it is a dream to watch both as a rider and a spectator.

We rode the carousel twice in a row

So pretty to watch while waiting for our turn

Changing colors


The Battery is a beautiful spot to see the Statue of Liberty (you can catch the ferry to Ellis Island from here), stroll through gardens and fountains, explore an urban farm, and view historical monuments. Click here for an interactive map of The Battery. Battery Park City is connected and a short stroll away. We walked to Houston Street along Hudson River Park before cutting East to catch our ride home.

Dancing fountain in The Battery

There are a couple of snack stands and a restaurant with a beer garden in The Battery

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