Nothing bombastic or ostentatious as it might seem by its name, this museum is named for the aircraft carrier in which it is located since 1974. Although overshadowed by the fame of others such as Natural History, Met or MoMA, it is an entertaining visit , especially for warplanes lovers and children.
But the price is very expensive. Those who can go to Washington DC, are more worth visiting the Air and Space Museum there, and if they can, the Steven Udvar Hazy Center in Virginia, because they are free, although the latter is more than 35 km away from the National Mall. Here we will not find airplanes of the First World War as in the museum in Washington DC nor will they tell us about Amelia Earhart, 95% of their material are war vehicles.
HOW TO GET THERE
The retired aircraft carrier is permanently located on Pier 86, on 12th Avenue, at 46th Street, next to Hell’s Kitchen. No subway stop is close, we will have to walk at least 15 minutes. The nearest bus stop is at 49th street, line M50.
SHCEDULES AND PRICES
- Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (until 6 pm on weekends and holidays from April to October).
- Adult admissiont: $ 33 ($ 19 for residents). I remember that it seemed too expensive for what it is. To see the space shuttle, you have to pay another $ 7 extra ticket. It’s included in the NYC Pass and in the NY Pass.
- There are simulators and guided tours that are paid separately.
- There are many other activities, such as the possibility of celebrating birthdays and you can even spend the night on the aircraft carrier, this last one is especially recommended for groups of scouts.
The first thing is to indicate that access to dock 86 is free. This allows to see the outside of the submarine, the aircraft carrier and a Concorde airplane located at the end of it. We can also access the cafeteria, food stalls, refreshment machines and toilets. Here I have to say that something strange happened to me: after leaving the submarine, instead of going directly to the ship, I walked along the dock to see the magnificent British Airways Concorde, which once crossed the Atlantic in less than 3 hours, at the end of it. Very near there I saw a walkway that led to the interior of the ship, specifically to the cafeteria itself. Once inside I went to the toilet, next to which there was a staircase that took me inside the aircraft carrier. No one asked me for the ticket, nor did I go through any automatic machine; I had already paid for it anyway, because I came from visiting the submarine in the first place, but boy, no one asked for it. By the way, note that the prices of the cafeteria are not shown on the official website.
Submarine Growler has been open since 1989, being the only US submarine capable of launching missiles open to the public. It is interesting to see in what claustrophobic conditions sailors live for long periods of time.
As for the ship, the interior is basically a great interactive exhibition, ideal for children.
In the upper floor, the deck of the aircraft carrier, are located multiple planes and combat helicopters.
The space pavilion houses shuttle Enterprise. It’s cool and there are exhibitions about space missions, but unfortunately it is not allowed to enter the ship, and although it has that name we can not meet Spock either. It could be perfectly exposed outdoors like the other planes, but then we would not have to pay the extra admission; I went through because “since I’m here… I’ve never seen a space shuttle…” but the truth is that you feel like almost being scammed.