A Review of The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Thursday, February 24, 2022
If you're thinking of visiting Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, but you're not sure if it's worth the trip, I'm here to help! There are so many fun things to do in New Jersey, but you know every now and then I like to venture out of state, too. You can see all of the fun places we've visited on my Travel & Attractions page. Today, we head to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, so let me tell you all about it!

*This post has been freshly updated for 2022!


Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. I visited with my family several times and I'm just sharing my info with you because that's how I roll! 

This post is designed for easy reading- you can scroll to my bold headings to find what you are looking for. Or you can Pin this image and read more later.


What is Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum?

The Intrepid is an actual aircraft carrier that you can visit and explore.  Here's a direct quote from their website, describing who they are:

"The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a non-profit, educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. Through exhibitions, educational programming and the foremost collection of technologically groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, visitors of all ages and abilities are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery."




How Much Will it Cost Me?

I have always wanted to visit the Intrepid, but never had the chance. One day I was at our local library (in Somerset County, NJ) and I saw a sign advertising their free museum passes. Free? Like, really and truly free? Sure enough, the library offered free passes for patrons, not only to the Intrepid, but several other museums as well (The Guggenheim, Children's Museum of Manhattan and Grounds for Sculpture, just to name a few).  I don't know if all of New Jersey's libraries have museum passes, but look into it, for sure. The pass we borrowed from our library allowed for up to 6 people to visit the Intrepid completely free, AND we got to use the membership pass holders entrance at the museum, so we didn't even have to wait in line!!! If you plan on using the library's passes, be sure to read my tips at the bottom of this page.  If not, you can find full ticket cost and visitor info for The Intrepid Museum here


How Do I Get There?

Alas, everyone knows the Jersey Momma hates crowds. My son happened to have off a day from school during the week, so I convinced Mr. Jersey Momma to take a vacation day and join us in the big city for our Intrepid visit. We decided to take the ferry from Weehawken, which was a completely awesome idea. My son loved the boat ride, and it was such a peaceful, stress-free ride, I'd do it again in a heartbeat! If you'd like to try this option, I highly recommend the NY Waterway Port Imperial ferry. 


The NY Waterway Port Imperial ferry in Weehawken has a parking garage (fees vary based on length of stay, but figure $10 and up) and a quick walk across to a beautiful little port building.  There are shops, a spot to eat, and even a bar inside the building so you're occupied while you wait for your boat to arrive (the boats arrive continuously throughout the day). The ferry ride also includes free bus shuttle transportation to various locations in the city.  Check out the NY Waterway website for more details. Most summers, the ferry offers kids under 12 free rides, so check ahead to see if they are running specials like this when you travel. You can purchase ferry tickets online in advance or get them at the ferry terminal (we got them at the terminal, it was simple!).

Once the boat crosses the river, it's just a quick walk to the Intrepid.  Such a sight to see it close up! My son was so excited!



What Will I See on The Intrepid?

We used our magical free library passes and bypassed the longer wait line for tickets. We still had to present our passes and library card at the member window. If you purchase regular passes, your ticket provides entry to the Intrepid Museum, the Growler submarine and the Space Shuttle Pavilion. *Note that tours of the Concorde are normally a separate fee but as of the publication date of this entry, the Concorde tours are temporarily unavailable.


We headed onto the Intrepid first because the line for the submarine was kind of long. The Intrepid itself is huge, but the walking route is clearly marked and it's easy to find your way around. They give you a ship map and there are tons of volunteers and staff walking around to help. Jersey Momma warning here: wear good shoes, and be prepared to do a little bit of climbing in and out of some tight spaces. This is a battleship, after all, so there are some narrow hallways, stairs and ladders that you have to climb. Nothing impossible, but just realize your own limitations.




We loved touring the inside of the ship, seeing the captain's quarters and all of the many rooms.  There were hands on displays for the kids and even a giant LEGO model of the Intrepid for you to see!



One of my favorite things about the ship was meeting some actual former Intrepid crewmen who were stationed on the floors. I was honored to talk to them and thank them for their service. They wore little photos of themselves from their days on the Intrepid, and I was amazed that they return to the ship on a volunteer basis to talk to guests.

The top deck of the Intrepid was awesome.  So many planes and helicopters to see!




The Space Shuttle Pavilion was also AMAZING to see. My son was in awe of the Enterprise. The sheer size of it was overwhelming.



Once we finished touring the Space Shuttle Pavilion, we headed downstairs to see the Concorde, which is on the pier just outside the Intrepid. 



 From there we headed across the pretty pier to The Growler submarine.



Now here's another Jersey Momma warning:  this is a REAL submarine. If you are claustrophobic, have health issues or are a significantly large person, maneuvering through The Growler might be a challenge for you (Mr. Jersey Momma stands over six feet tall, so some spots for him were even a little tough). There is a "sample doorway" for you to climb through before you get into the ship, to see if you can handle it. That being said, The Growler was incredible.  A tour guide lets a few groups in at a time and you can walk through it in under 20 minutes.




From here we chose to go home, but your adventure doesn't have to end. Remember, if you took the ferry, you can choose free bus shuttle service to another area of the city (Times Square, Columbus Circle, etc.) before you give up and head home. We arrived at the Port Imperial ferry around 11:15am, and we headed home around 3:00pm.


JERSEY MOMMA TIPS:

*If you plan on using the library's free passes, be sure to read and follow ALL of their rules. They have strict policies about when the passes are borrowed, when they should be returned, and how you reserve them online. Reserve them far in advance- availability is limited.

*The Aviator Grill offers a full, chef-prepared menu, including burgers, fresh bread, salads, custom pizzas and more. This family-friendly restaurant is located on the second level of the Museum’s Welcome Center, overlooking the pier. You can order ahead on your phone, too, which is a plus. There are a few seafood restaurant-type places on the pier around The Intrepid, but I have not eaten at any of them so can't attest to how good they are or if they're family/cost friendly. 

*They are professional photo ops at various places around The Intrepid, but you don't have to purchase them if you're not interested. You can later choose to buy the photos in packages but it is not required.  They offer discounts if you purchase more than one photo package, too.

*There is a small gift shop on your way out of the space shuttle as well as near the Intrepid exit. We purchased some pencils and other space related goodies there. They have some fun Top Gun themed shirts and astronaut food, too!

*Be sure to pre-plan your trip by visiting the Intrepid's website. You can find ticket prices, hours and more here.










4 comments

  1. The Intrepid is open year round, but it is the most fun to visit when the weather is nice!

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  2. Hi. Do you know if they permit outside food (i.e. bring lunch from home). Thanks...I just happened to find your blog and have found it so useful. Am now a regular reader!

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    1. HI Sejal! Thanks and welcome! So happy to have you as a reader. It doesn't specifically state on their website that you CAN'T bring food or drinks from home, so that's a good question! The only thing is, I can't imagine lugging a lunch around with me for the whole trip. There are a lot of narrow passageways and staircases to climb and really no room for a stroller to carry things in. So keep in mind if you brought a lunch you'd have to be able to tote it around. That would be my biggest issue!

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  3. (A Review of The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum) I would love to have the chance to visit a place like this someday. I find ships (especially retired ones) to be very interesting and full of history. A hunted one would be awesome too.

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