Enjoy the depths of history that unfold throughout your journey of this very unique and special museum. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is the best interactive fun you can have with every member of your family while learning about history, science and service to our heroes. This gigantic aircraft carrier sits at Pier 86 in the Hudson River with an amazing line up of historical artifacts- supersonic aircraft Concorde, submarine Growler, space shuttle orbiter Enterprise, a full line up of aircraft on the flight deck, and the Intrepid intact with its arsenal. We have visited more than once and have found new things to check out each time.
The Intrepid was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. We have had the privilege of visiting three times and we’ve just about seen the whole museum (we think!). The museum hosts a variety of events to include the community in its rich history and diverse collection. Our favorite visit was an overnight aboard the aircraft carrier. They supply cots, but don’t forget your sleeping bag and flashlight. We stayed as a scout group, but they do offer overnights for families and adults (just adults!). They really know how to host a great event.
“Intrepid served in the U.S. Navy for over three decades and played a role in World War II, the Cold War, the Space Race and the Vietnam War. After this storied career, Intrepid was decommissioned in 1974 and later opened as a museum, where the history of the ship and its crew inspires visitors from all over the world.” – http://www.intrepidmuseum.org
Inside the Intrepid
The Hangar Deck is probably the most interesting area of the carrier for young kids. There are plenty of exhibits for connecting to history, but this deck also has the Exploreum. Here, in the Exploreum, you can climb into a Bell 47 helicopter, steer the wings of an airplane, navigate through an interactive submarine, and more. This area of the Intrepid is the most hands-on and it’s also where they host Kidsweek. “Kamikaze: Day of Darkness, Day of Light” is an immersive film right on the deck that brings history alive. The Medal of Honor Exhibit and the Story of the Intrepid Movie can be found here too for all of the history buffs. Be sure to check out every nook. You can find authentic stairs to climb to other decks, anti-aircraft guns you can climb aboard, an amazing Lego recreation of the entire ship, and the fo’c’sle.
The fo’c’sle is the forward-most part of the ship. This room has only recently been fully restored. It can be very cool to see the size of the massive anchor chains and very spooky, depending on your guide. We visited the fo’c’sle for the first time when we spent the night aboard the Intrepid for a Cub Scout sleepover. Our guide was quick to entertain the antsy scouts with some gruesome tales. Apparently, you had to pay attention working in this room so you weren’t towed to your death by the anchor pulling the chains swiftly through the floor to the sea. (Yikes! But guess who stopped jumping all over the chains during that tour?!)
There are many other areas to explore inside the ship. The Gallery Deck and the Third Deck show you the real workings of life on an aircraft carrier. You have to appreciate the dedication of our service men to have endured such close quarters and strict lifestyle.
The Intrepid has the most varied aircraft collection in the nation, representing all five branches of the US armed forces. The flight deck is an outside open space with great views of the Manhattan skyline, including the Statue of Liberty and the George Washington Bridge. The aircraft are lined up for you to enjoy and each one has a very unique place in history that you can learn about. We especially enjoyed the Crusader, the Blackbird and the MiG-21!
Space Shuttle Pavilion
Space Shuttle Pavilion, located on the flight deck, houses the Enterprise. This ship was a prototype NASA orbiter that paved the way for the space shuttle program. There are many displays of original artifacts, photographs, audio, and films that will immerse you in the science and history of the space shuttle era. You can walk directly underneath the orbiter Enterprise or visit an elevated platform for a terrific picture-taking view.
The Growler is separate from the Intrepid. Access is just outside at the same pier. We haven’t always been able to get inside this submarine due to time constrains, so plan well if you want to include it. There’s a lot more inside than you would expect and if you read the plaques or listen to a tour guide, you’ll learn some really interesting facts. Everything is narrow and low so be prepared for a tight fit. I can’t even imagine having lived in a submarine like this for six months! They conserve every inch of space to make sure they have enough supplies and equipment for their missions. We learned that the canned food was kept lining the floors for storage. Oh and don’t forget to check out the once “Top Secret” missile command center!
Kidsweek is the week of winter break, Feb 17-23. This is a great time to visit the Intrepid and have fun with the kids. It’s entertaining, hands-on, and educational. All of the activities are free with museum admission. This year’s focus is discovering how science interacts with art, sports, games and nature. There’s a full schedule of events with hands-on activities and even special guests that you can view online. Don’t forget to bring a convenient backpack for snacks and drinks and trinkets your kids pick up along the way.
We went a previous year and had loads of fun with Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat, learning how they train Annie’s dogs for Broadway performances, making paper airplanes, and much more.
Plan a Visit:
- Located at Pier 86, W 46th St & 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036
- Open Daily 10am-5pm (April-October till 6pm)
- The line to the submarine Growler may close early.
- Final Entry and Last Ticket sold one hour prior to closing.
- All guests under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult for entry into the Museum.
- Pictures and Videos are allowed, but no camera extensions (selfie sticks, tripods, etc.)
- General Admission Includes Space Shuttle Pavilion, submarine Growler and all temporary exhibitions
- Adult (13 – 64)$33
Child (5 – 12)$24
Special NYC Resident RateAdult/Senior: $19 Child (5-12): $17
- Adult (13 – 64)$33
- FREE General Admission to Museum Members, Children 4 and under, and
U.S. military and veterans
- The Museum offers free admission for electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cardholders and up to three guests. Must have valid photo ID. Tickets can be redeemed at the box office.
- Additional Optional Costs
Simulators – Stories of Intrepid 4D Experience (40″), The G-Force Encounter (42″) and the Transporter FX (38″). $10 per ride / non-member
Audio Tours available in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Chinese. $10 per person / non-member
Guided Tours enhance your visit with a professional tour of the Museum. $15 – $20 per person / non-member
- Additional Optional Costs