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Top 10 Experiences for Kids at Patriots Point

Mayci Rechner Feb 24, 2022

Hey parents! If you are looking for a way to spend Spring Break, summer vacation, or just a fun weekend in the Charleston area, add Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum to the itinerary. Kids are sure to have a blast all while learning about the military, American history, and patriotism.

Admission is free for kids under 6, and $16 for ages 6-11. Patriots Point is also a member of Museums for All and offers free admission for up to four people to those who receive SNAP or WIC benefits.

Check out the ten most popular experiences for kids to enjoy during their visit:

Visit the Forecastle (or fo’c’sle)

During the guided Captain’s Tour, guests get an exclusive look at areas of the ship not accessible on the regular tour routes. One of the highlights is the visit to the forecastle (or “fo’c’sle” if you want to talk like a sailor!) This is the forwardmost part of the ship and where you’ll find the Yorktown’s anchor. This anchor is HUGE! We’re talking 30,000 pounds! Kids can stand next to the monstrous chain and even try to see if they are strong enough to move it.


Sit in the Captain’s Chair

Who’s in charge here? Pretend it’s you and claim your seat in the Captain’s chair. Where are you taking the Fighting Lady for her next adventure?






Discover Tales of Valor

On the Hangar Deck of the USS Yorktown you’ll find the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Recipients’ Museum. The museum shares the stories of more than a century of courageous acts and those who received the country’s highest military award for valor.




Look to the Skies

Patriots Point has more than two dozen historic aircraft on site, spread across the flight deck, hangar deck, and Vietnam Experience. Kids can see aircraft evolve before their eyes and learn about what it takes to take off and land aboard an aircraft carrier. They can even see the inner-workings of a radial combustion engine. Plus, you’ll feel like a pilot when you climb aboard the B-25 during the Captain’s Tour and explore the CH-46 helicopter in the Vietnam Experience.




Search for Enemy Submarines

During the immersive Combat Information Center (CIC) experience aboard the USS Laffey destroyer, kids will learn about the radar and sonar equipment used during the Cold War. The pressure is on during this portrayal of a close encounter with a Russian submarine. What would you do in the sailors’ shoes?



Crack the Code

Clues are hidden around the Hangar Deck of the USS Yorktown and it’s your mission to find them all! With the Patriots Point scavenger hunt, kids will have a blast exploring the museum to solve a series of puzzles. (And parents, it’s so much fun they won’t even realize how much history they’re learning!)




Move to Higher Ground

Climb to the top of the lookout tower in the Vietnam Experience. How far can you see? Plus, kids will feel like they’ve stepped into a video game as they take aim with the tower’s machine gun.





Explore the Engine Room

The engine room is a crucial component of an aircraft carrier. Kids can participate in an interactive exhibit to learn how the engine works to power the massive USS Yorktown. Visitors can also descend ladders to one of the ship’s lowest levels to see the engine room firsthand.





Travel to Space

Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to orbit the moon! After the successful mission, the USS Yorktown recovered the capsule and the three astronauts onboard. Travel to the moon yourself in Patriots Point’s replica of the Apollo 8 capsule. Inside visitors can hear audio communication from the mission, see video of the takeoff and splashdown, and enjoy views from space.


Spend the Night

Sleeping aboard the USS Yorktown is an experience kids will talk about for years. During Operation Overnight, guests sleep in the same bunks as the sailors who served aboard the ship in World War II, get after-hours museum access, and participate in the new Live Live a Sailor immersive program. Operation Overnight is available to groups of ten or more and visitors ages six and up. Weekends are booking quickly, so reserve your spot today.


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  • Active Duty / Retired Military (ID required)
  • $19
  • In Person
  • Active Duty Military In Uniform
  • Free
  • In Person
  • Veterans / Teachers / First Responders
  • $21
  • In Person

COVID-19 Notice

Due to health safety measures related to COVID-19, structured, in-person education programs have been suspended. Please consider booking a guided or self-guided tour for your group.

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COVID-19 Notice

Due to health safety measures related to COVID-19, our overnight camping program has been suspended. Please consider joining our exclusive list to be among the first to learn when the program relaunches.

Interested in booking a day group visit to see our museum? Discounted rates for 10+ people.

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