Since I posted about Fleet Week yesterday, I thought I'd do a series about field trips I've done. I usually go on 8-12 field trips every year, depending on behavior and weather. As I mentioned yesterday, Every year I take my kids to Fleet Week and up until last year that meant the USS Intrepid.
The USS Intrepid is a retired aircraft carrier that saw service in WWII, the Cold War and Vietnam. It's decommissioned now and docked in West Manhattan at Pier 86 at 12th Avenue and 48th Street, i always took the subway there and then the long walk down to the pier, but most school groups go by bus. It's a good 20 minute walk from the 42nd St-Times Square station, but the walk back is downhill.
I always did the self guided tour which used to cost $9 per child with 1 free chaperone for every 10 kids. You have to send in a request for more updated prices. They also have guided tours which obviously cost more money, but are available for all grades K-12. You can also book the lunchroom with a food package.
I love the self guided tour. There are retired sailors who are extremely knowledgeable who are just as good as a guided tour. I highly recommend the movie about the history of the ship. It's only 8 minutes, perfect for children's attention spans.and gives the kids a thorough history of the ship. Also outside are a bunch of great exhibits that help the kids understand the ship. I usually take them to the spot where one of the five Kamikaze planes hit the ship. The kids love that. And then we go up to to the flight deck where the planes are and into the top part where the navigation systems are. That takes about an hour to an hour and a half. We eat lunch at the outdoor spot they have ste up and then we're off back to school.
There are a million other things to see there, like the living quarters for the men, the combat info area, both on board the ship.Of course outside, there is the Growler, a sub, one of the Concorde supersonic jets, and the space shuttle. They also have some simulation rides for an extra charge.
Overall, it's a great trip, and gets the kids involved in the history of the USA. All of my kids have always had a great time there. Once we even were invited to a ceremony for the remaining Marines who stormed Iwo Jima! It's a little prices, but you can always put in on Donors Choose (yes, they can fund field trips too).