Ellis Island is the perfect place to learn about the American Immigrant experience before visiting the Lower East Side. Interactive exhibits help you understand what immigrants went through to get to the United States, and how they were received once they were here. A passenger search lets you look up family members who immigrated to the US through Ellis Island.
Note that you will undergo a security process (similar to airport security) before boarding the ferry. There is no restriction on liquids.
Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are part of the CityPass joint ticketing system. A CityPass includes 6 New York attractions for just $89.00 ($162.00 value)