For today’s Field Trip Friday, we’ll review the Battleship New Jersey. This past New Year’s Eve the Battleship offered a special promotion, fireworks and a tour. Better yet, they were offering fireworks at 6 pm. We could take the boys out for a fun evening and still get them home for their regular bedtime. We packed up the boys and headed out.
When we first approached the Battleship New Jersey, we were all blown away by its size. It’s almost three football fields long and over 11 stories high. It has an impressive history that you can learn all about here. Better yet, take the kids and make the Battleship their classroom where they will learn about naval history in a fun, interactive way.
Before planning a trip to the Battleship you need to consider your children’s ages, mobility, and maturity. Strollers are not allowed on the ship, as they just would not fit through the passageways. (I believe there was an off-ship storage area for them.) You are allowed to wear your baby in a front-carrier across your chest. Keep in mind you will be traveling around the ship just as the sailors did. The tour will have you going up and down on ladders, walking through passageways and moving around in tight spaces. You will want to wear shoes that are comfortable and have traction. Moisture in the air can cause the decks and surfaces to be slippery.
I say maturity because I really found the Battleship impressive. There was a wealth of information and exhibits. (A great trip for adults-only too.) But my 6 year-old has a very short attention span. He’s always one step ahead, trying to check out the next thing, without appreciating the greatness in front of him. This wasn’t an issue with my 2 and 4 year-olds.
The Battleship Crew offer a variety of tours: self-guided, independent tours, self-guided with audio tours, and guided tours. Next time we go, and I am sure we will, I would like to take advantage of the guided tour. I think with a crew member explaining the ship’s history and all the parts of the ship, my 6 year-old will be more attentive. After all he did say, “I like it, it’s really cool.”
The ships tours are marked out on the floors by different-colored tape. Follow the appropriate colors and you shouldn’t have any problems. Although, be aware there are some areas that circle around, so try to keep a sense of where you are or you may go around in a few circles.
- 16-inch Gun Turret
- Anchor Windlass Room
- Berthing Areas (sleeping areas)
- Admiral’s Cabin
- Navigation Bridge
- Tomahawk Missiles
- Crew’s Galley & Mess
With the exception of a few holidays, the Battleship is open every day. A variety of pricing packages are available. Children under 6 are FREE. For more visitor information you can check out their website.
We toured the ship in an hour or so. (You could spend more or less time depending on your interest level in the exhibits. There is certainly enough to spend a few hours.) We, then, watched the fireworks show from the deck. That was incredible. (We’ll share it with you in a future blog.) If you have the opportunity to see the fireworks from the Battleship, I strongly recommend it. They offer fireworks shows on July 4th and New Year’s Eve. For New Year’s Eve the showtimes were 6 pm and 12 pm. You can buy tickets for the show only or the tour and show. (In this case, it was an incredible deal, our family of 5 with a guest was able to attend for $36.)
During special events, refreshments are sold onboard the ship. There is a gift shop next to the ticket sales office as you approach the ship. Parking is offered a few blocks away. They share a parking garage with the Adventure Aquarium. (A good excuse to hit both places the same day. Plus there is a package deal if you do.)
To check out the rest of our photos from our trip visit our Facebook Photo Album.
Have you been to the Battleship New Jersey? Have we psyched you up to go? Let us know your thoughts.