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Do you have military history fans in your family? Looking for activities that will appeal to your active kids while also teaching them something? Then look no further than the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. Here is everything you need to know about this amazing experience.
What is the USS Lexington?
The USS Lexington is an aircraft carrier belonging to the United States Navy. It was commissioned in 1943 and served during World War II. The ship joined a fleet at Pearl Harbor. It participated in almost every major World War II operation in the Pacific and spent 21 months in combat.
Four different times, the Japanese reported that the Lexington had sunk. Yet, it kept coming back to fight another day. This led to the ship being nicknamed “The Blue Ghost.”
When the ship was decommissioned in 1991, it was the oldest working carrier in the U.S. Navy.
Today, the USS Lexington sits docked in Corpus Christi Bay in South Texas. It now serves as a museum, welcoming visitors on a daily basis.
Things to Do on the Lexington
There are a ton of things to do on the Lexington. From self-guided tours to flight simulators and escape rooms, you will find something that appeals to everyone in your family.
Most people who visit the USS Lexington take part in one or more of the five self-guided tours on the ship. These tours cover 11 decks of the ship, including the popular flight deck.
You can go at your own pace and do these tours in any order you would like. Each tour is clearly marked and easy to follow.
Along each of these tours, you will find some exhibits with projections of people talking and explaining what you are seeing.
We did these tours on our visit to the Lexington and loved exploring the ship this way. We thought that some of the projections were really cool, while some of them were a little creepy.
If you would like a more structured tour, or want a behind-the-scenes experience, then you can schedule a guided tour. Choose from the Flights Operations Tour, the Hard Hat Tour, or the Ghost Tour. Each of these focus on different aspects of the ship.
Each of these tours will cost you an additional $50/person. They all require advance reservations.
One of the more unique things to do on the Lexington is an escape room. They offer three different escape room experiences. All of them are located on the ship.
Each escape room experience is $38 per person. Up to 10 people will be in each group. Unlike many escape rooms, you are put in a room with other people if your party has less than 10 people.
Joe Jessel 3D MEGA Theater
Find the Joe Jessel 3D MEGA Theater on the Hangar Deck of the ship. Inside this theater, you can see what it is like to be on a working aircraft carrier with the crew. You can see firsthand the flight operations of the USS Ronald Reagan.
Admission to the theater is included with your paid admission to the museum.
Pearl Harbor Exhibit
The Pearl Harbor Exhibit is part of the self-guided tour #2 on the ship’s foc’sle. It features a film montage that tells the story of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a 1/2400 scale map that uses model ships to show you how the ships were docked on that fateful day, and more.
Climb aboard the flight simulator on the Hangar Deck and find out if you have what it takes to be an F18 pilot. In this experience, you will launch from an aircraft carrier and participate in training exercises.
Scale Models & Photo Ops
Throughout the ship, you will find lots of scale models of military planes and ships. These models range in size. They are all really cool to look at.
Additionally, you will find a lot of photo ops scattered throughout the museum. These are a lot of fun for kids!
Planning Your Visit
The USS Lexington Museum on the Bay is located at 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd. in Corpus Christi, Texas. It is docked just outside of downtown Corpus Christi.
If you plan to drive to the ship, you will find the museum parking lot across the street from the ship. Plan to pay $5 at a kiosk as you exit the parking lot.
The Lexington is open seven days per week, except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can visit from 9 am until 6 pm each day. From Labor Day to Memorial Day, plan to visit between 9 am and 5 pm.
Admission is $18.95 for adults and $16.95 for senior and youth ages 13-17. Expect to pay $13.95 for children ages 4-12. Members of the military can enter for $14.95.
Tips for Visiting the USS Lexington
- Get to the Lexington early to give yourself plenty of time to explore everything.
- If you get hungry during your time on the ship, head to the Mess Hall on the Hangar Deck for a snack or lunch.
- Take some pictures of your family with some of the fun photos ops located throughout the ship.
- Watch your step as you explore the ship. This was a working ship, and has steep stairways, low clearances in spots, tight spaces, and hazards located throughout.
- Watch your children carefully as you walk around the ship. You don’t want them to fall and get hurt.
- Visit the Ship Store before leaving to find the perfect souvenir to take home with you!
- For more information, see the USS Lexington’s website.
The USS Lexington is a fantastic museum for families to visit. As you explore it, get a unique perspective on World War II and the men and women who fought in it.
I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Corpus Christi, Texas! Your kids will love it! Definitely add it to your list of must-do’s in Corpus Christi! It is one of the best military museums we have ever seen.
For other military museums to visit, see my posts on the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona and the USS Alabama in Mobile, Alabama.
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