NYC’s Intrepid Museum Reopens for Families with a Free Child’s Ticket Offer

Where can you snap a selfie with the world’s fastest military jets? Stand beneath a world-renowned space shuttle? Or climb aboard the only guided missile submarine that’s open to the public? Since reopening its doors in March 2021, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum has been welcoming families back to its home at Pier 86 with new safety guidelines, as well as new and restored exhibits alongside its tried and true attractions.

Wondering what to expect at the Intrepid Museum these days? Read on for answers to some of the most asked questions about visiting the historic complex since it reopened.

Is all of the Intrepid Museum open now?

Mostly! The majority of the 350,000 square foot Intrepid Museum Complex is open to visitors, including all exhibitions, the entire collection of aircrafts on the flight and hangar decks, and the Space Shuttle Pavilion, which houses the space shuttle Enterprise. The Submarine Growler is also inviting guests to climb aboard, but note that limited capacity does mean longer wait times. 3D Films, 3D Simulators, food service, and gift shops are also back up and running.

Guided and audio tours, experiences on the Concorde, and some of the Simulators are still unavailable. In-person public programming is also still on hold. Visit the museum’s website to keep an eye on when they might reopen, and check out the free virtual tours too.

Kids will love picking their favorite plane from more than two dozen aircrafts stationed up on the Flight Deck.

Which exhibits are best for kids?

While kids will enjoy much of the museum, they do tend to flock to the Flight Deck and the Exploreum—and with good reason!

The legendary Flight Deck features a collection of more than two dozen aircrafts set against sprawling views of the city. From the Blue Angels’ Douglas AD-1 Skyraider to the Lockheed A-12 spy plane, the collection represents all five branches of the U.S. armed forces and reflects some of the biggest achievements in military aviation. Kids will love picking out their favorite planes (and adults will be happy to snap Insta-worthy photos). Of course, my girls like the one that looks like a shark the most….

Meanwhile, down on the Hangar Deck, you’ll find the oh-so-popular Exploreum Hall. The 13,000-square-foot fully-interactive indoor exhibit space was designed specifically for families, so it’s no surprise that it’s typically filled with kids of all ages. In the Exploreum, young visitors can climb into an actual Bell 47 helicopter, navigate through an interactive submarine, and steer the wings of an airplane.

Are there new attractions at the Intrepid Museum?

Yes! Since reopening, visitors can access some very cool new spaces aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid. Guests can now peek into a bomb elevator, walk up a newly restored pilot escalator, and check out a recreated photo lab that documents the lives of crew members aboard the former warship.

Is the Intrepid Museum outside?

The Museum offers both indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities year-round.

The Flight Deck is entirely outdoors and accessible by an outside staircase. There is also an enclosed elevator, as it is a few stories up.

If you walk down Pier 86, you can check out the British Airways Concorde, although tours and experiences are still on hold. You can also catch a glimpse of the Growler Submarine, which is parked beside the pier. There is a snack shop open as well, and plenty of places to sit.

Stand beneath the enormous space shuttle Enterprise while exploring cool exhibits about life aboard.

Are the gift shops open?

Yes, and you can’t miss them!

If you head to the Space Shuttle Pavilion, you’ll exit through the space-themed gift shop, featuring everything from glow-in-the-dark slime and astronaut ice cream to elaborate spaceship playsets and kid-sized NASA jackets. Just keep in mind that when leaving the museum at the very end of your visit, you’ll also be ushered through the primary gift shop. There you’ll find an even wider array of souvenirs, from pins to t-shirts to throw pillows.

Throughout your Intrepid Museum experience, you’ll also encounter staged photo opps at the Space Shuttle Pavilion and the Submarine Growler. While you’ll have a chance to take a peek at your photos, you’ll need to purchase them if you want a copy. Make sure to ask about package options.

Is the Intrepid Museum available for group visits, birthday parties, and other private events?

It is! A variety of group experiences are now available, as long as they follow all health and safety guidelines. Note that events are subject to city and state restrictions, including capacity limitations, to help ensure safety.

Visit these pages for more details on group visits and birthday parties, and private events.

How long does it take to visit the Intrepid Museum?

While it depends in part on your kids’ ages, the attractions on your to-do list, and wait times, you’ll want to carve out about 2-3 hours to explore the Intrepid Museum.

Will I need to wear a face mask?

Right now, all visitors over the age of two are required to wear masks in indoor spaces within the Museum complex, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated visitors are allowed to remove their masks in outdoor spaces, like the Flight Deck. Check the Intrepid’s Onboard with Safety page for the latest guidelines.

Down on the lower decks, kids of all ages have a chance to try their hand at steering the aircraft carrier.

What other safety measures is the Intrepid Museum taking right now?

In addition to requiring face masks, the museum has implemented increased cleaning and sanitization procedures, hourly cleaning of exhibits and elevators, more than 200 hand sanitizing stations, protective barriers in customer service areas, social distancing signage, and a timed ticketing policy. You can read more about the safety policies here.

Are there other nearby kid-friendly activities?

Yes! My kids love splashing in the fountain at Pier 84 on a warm day, or visiting the one-of-a-kind Tom Otterness Playground right nearby. For more kid-approved activities, visit Mommy Poppins’ Midtown West Neighborhood Guide.

How do I purchase tickets for the Intrepid Museum?

With timed ticket entry, it’s best to purchase your tickets in-advance here. Plus, right now, you can get a FREE child’s ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket when you use the exclusive code MPSUMMER21 by September 15, 2021. Only select tickets are available at the box office and your preferred time slot might be open. Note that admission is free for children 4 and under, as well as U.S. military and veterans.

Got an airplane or space superfan on your hands? An Intrepid Museum membership gets you access to unlimited free admission, express admission lines, and exclusive discounts, plus it quickly pays for itself.

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