Historic Ship Nautilus Groton
Where is it at?
Historic Ship Nautilus
1 Crystal Lake Road
Tel: 800 343-0079
Where are we going today?
Ahoy maties - are you keen for an adventure that will take you into a "shark of steel"? That's right - you can venture into a real life submarine at the Historic Ship Nautilus!
Located on the Thames River in Groton, the USS Nautilus is the only submarine museums that is operated by the actual US Navy, which also means that all the artifacts, documents and photographs are fascinating and genuine!
With over 33,000 artifacts, 20,000 documents and 30,000 photos for kids to get lost in, they really will come away with an amazing insight into what life would have been like for the men who lived and worked on these structures.
Because there are so many pieces, they can't display them all at once, which means there will always be something new for you to come back to for your next visit!
Kids - as you walk the decks, think about all the stories that could be told from living in such a place. And there is so much history to learn from it! The Historic Ship Nautilus was the first nuclear powered vessel in the world. It was the first ship to go to the North Pole, and it was the first submarine to journey to that classic "20,000 leagues under the sea".
You can really feel the history as you walk the spaces where the dedicated crew ate, slept, worked, and entertained themselves (after all, they would need to on those super long voyages under the water!)
You can check out the Torpedo Room, the Control Room, the Crew's Mess and event the Attack Center….all amazing experience on the Historic Ship Nautilus!
How much does it cost?
When can we go?
9am - 5pm Wednesday to Monday. 4pm close Nov 1 to April 30.
Closed Tuesdays, as well as major holidays.
If you have groups of 25 or more, then book ahead. It's an amazing place for kids to learn about this important part of US history . There is a classroom on the 2nd floor of the museum. .
No food or drink allowed in the museum from the outside, and there is a cafe at the north end of the parking lots. It's open Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are limited vendors onsite. .
You can bring your own lunch, to keep it healthy and easy, as there is a lovely picnic area with a view of the river. .
Any Top Tips?
There are scavenger hunts which the kids can complete as they wander round the submarine! .
Need a little extra help?
There are handicapped restrooms as well as an elevator, on the 2nd floor. There might be certain limitations during the tour of the ship itself, so call ahead..
Strollers aren't allowed on the submarine itself, but the experience is suitable for smaller children if you are okay to carry them or if they can walk for short periods of time. .
Can I get one of those?
Save those pennies, there's a gift shop! All items are related to submarine history, so get ready to keep learning!.
No need to make a reservation! Just head on over. All tours are self-guided with an audio wand. .
What people are saying?
by Jeff Richards
This submarine was a pivot point in history. The self tour is so humbling - early 1950's technology and signs of hand-building that nonetheless, as the first nuclear submarine, forever changed the concept of submarines and their capabilities.
by Scott Wheeler
Great tour of sub and very nice museum with many interesting items. Its a tight squeeze on the sub so be prepared.
by John Doggett
Took the family there.. It was amazing.. Deff worth the stop.. the kids (2-4-9-10) loved it!
by Sally Tadmor
very interesting place. it is free, and you can go into the Nautilus. there is a room with old machines taken out of submarines, and young kids (3,6) had a great time pressing on all the buttons.
by Russ Jd
Gone the way of the F-14 / P-51 / USS Arizona /
(Just to name a few of the many and mighty)
Defender of the USA.
The Nautilus sits proudly at her final resting perch for all the world to see, mostly to help children understand the importance of defending this nation and as a warning to all who may plan harm to this great country.