Tips and Tricks for the USS Lexington Museum: From a Local


During Spring Break, we took our kids (ages 7 and 5 yrs) to the USS Lexington Museum, and we had so much fun I wanted to share some of our Tips and Tricks for navigating the Museum with you! Maybe you are a local looking for something to do during a holiday break or maybe you are visiting our City by the Sea either way these are the things that can help you make the most of your day at the Museum!


  • The museum opens at 9 am every day. If you go between the hours of 9 am and 1 pm it is less crowded and you can navigate the exhibits easier and take more time during the self-guided tours.
  • Most Tours are self-guided, so you can take as long as you like. The only attraction that has certain time limits is the 3D theater which shows on the hour every hour. This proved tricky for us, we couldn’t quite get the timing right, so we ended up going a little late to the theater, but honestly, we probably could have skipped it. It was a nice break from walking and stair climbing, but the movie didn’t keep my kids entertained for very long. Also, it was really warm in that area on the day that we went which didn’t provide great relief from the heat outside.
  • Normally You can book guided tours, they are more expensive and have certain age and group size limits. You can get more info on those here. (Kids under 10 are not permitted on these so I still have a few years for these to be an option for our family)
  • There are 5 self-guided tour areas, our family only made it through three of them before the kids were getting grumpy and needed food and the museum started to get more crowded. We will have to go back to hit up the other two areas next time. 
  • When you first enter the self-guided tour areas they will stop you to take a picture in front of a green screen, then when you exit they will be there with your printed picture package. The whole package including digital pictures is around $35 (before taxes). Be prepared for that expenditure or to say “No” as soon as you exit the first tour area. They will look like the picture below with different backgrounds. 

USS Lexington Museum

  • Be sure to visit their site before you go and get all of the apps to make your self-guided tour more interactive. You can find a video explaining it here. I didn’t do this and I regret it and plan to make sure I do the interactive stuff next visit.
  • They have a flight simulator “ride” that you can do as a family. The cost is $5.00 per person and right now they will only let your group ride together which can make the wait time longer since they are not filling the ride to capacity. Since we went early enough we only had to wait 5 mins for our turn. That is another expenditure that is not covered by your ticket or membership price. It is a really short ride, so while although it was fun for us because it was a first for both of my kids it is not something we would do every time.  
  • There is a Mess Deck Cafe with food and drink options. You can see their menu options here. The prices were pretty typical for food at an attraction like this. Most items were in the $3- $5 range.
  • If you plan to visit the museum more than one time during the year then membership might be worth the price for your family. For regular admission, a family of four with two adults and two children over the age of 4 will pay over $57.  With a family membership, you can pay $120 for unlimited admission and free parking for two adults and up to four children, so if you use it more than twice or you have more than two children it is worth the price.
  • Get ready for LOTS and LOTS of steep, narrow staircases. If you have a small child you will need to be prepared to babywear or carry them up and down all of the stairs in the tour areas. There are very few spots of the boat that you can get to without climbing or descending a staircase. If you go early enough when it is not very crowded this isn’t too hard, but once it gets more crowded you have to wait and watch for other groups on the stairs. This makes it trickier with kids who want to run ahead. I made sure to follow my daughter who is the more accident-prone of my kids up and downstairs to make sure no one took a bad tumble.USS Lexington Museum
  • If you need an idea for a birthday party or a fun date night you can do one of the two different escape rooms! These need to be pre-registered and include admission to the museum in the price. You can get escape room details here.
  • There is a giant gift shop next to the exit. If you go in there, be prepared for added expenditures. Since we took grandma, she indulged our kids in a toy purchase. One thing I appreciate about their store setup is that it is totally enclosed, and you are never forced to walk through the area unless you purposely go through the doors. So it is easier to say no to the kids, unlike other museums that make you walk through the gift shop in order to exit an exhibit.USS Lexington Museum


All in all our trip to the USS Lexington Museum was so fun and we are so proud to have this piece of history in our area and look forward to going back and finishing the tours with my kids.

USS Lexington Museum

Tell us have you been to the LEX would you add any tips and tricks to this list?