Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- 9/11 Museum NYC
- Reasons to Take Your Kids to the 9/11 Museum
- Reasons Not to Take Your Kids to the 9/11 Museum
- Our Experience
- Is the 9/11 Museum Worth It?
- Is the 9/11 Museum Free?
- Where is the 9/11 Museum?
- How Long Does the 9/11 museum Take?
- What are the 9/11 Museum Hours?
- Health and Safety Guidelines
- Closing Thoughts
Unbelievably, 20 years have passed since the tragic events of 9/11 brought our country to its knees. The 9/11 Museum and Memorial now serves as a reminder of the days we’ll never forget, a tribute to first responders, recovery workers and, of course, the many lives lost. It’s part of history, but should you take the kids?
9/11 Museum NYC
While preparing for my grandkids visit to my home in New York City, I pulled together the handy New York CityPASS to plan our sightseeing. Having been to New York several times, the grandkids had seen many of the iconic places already. But they had never been to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. At 13 and 11, would they be ready?
Knowing Katherine and Marshall are mature, curious kids, I checked with my daughter-in-law to get her thoughts. She asked the kids if they were interested and they both said yes. But that doesn’t mean every kid should go.
Here are some things to consider before visiting the museum in New York City, the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial or the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.
Reasons to Take Your Kids to the 9/11 Museum
The museum is tastefully done. Rather than exploit the sad human stories, which it could have easily done, the stories honor the victims. There are no sections dedicated to the desperate people jumping from the towers and no footage of victims’ family members crying.
Is there video of the terrorist attacks with planes hitting the twin towers? Yes. Of the buildings imploding? Yes. Of the thousands of missing person flyers that appeared afterward? Yes. But there’s no gore.
The museum displays details of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 along with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing without focusing on the hijackers. In fact, photos of the terrorists are in a low, hidden spot.
A visit to this museum is a history lesson invoking opportunities for discussions and teachable moments. Children understand there are bad people in the world, but there are more good people. The museum includes plenty of displays talking about all of the goodness that happened in the aftermath.
Besides guided tours specifically for youth and families, the museum’s free app has a child-friendly tour. It’s narrated by a girl born on September 11th. Within the text, she assures the children that “it’s normal to have questions.” And she encourages them to ask those questions. The app focuses on displays like the crushed FDNY fire truck, “the last column,” a tribute-covered steel beam that was the last item removed from Ground Zero and a replica of the Statue of Liberty covered in notes from around the world. Read the full transcript in advance to help guide your kids through the museum experience.
Reasons Not to Take Your Kids to the 9/11 Museum
The kids might cry! Let’s face it, the terrorist attacks upset everyone. Learning about them at the memorial and museum rather than in school from a history book makes it real. Seeing the thousands of photos of those lost in the collapse of the Twin Towers is difficult even for adults.
It’s scary to think about. “I saw a boy, about 10 years old, who looked tearful and terrified. But I also saw teenagers paying close attention to the exhibits,” shares SheBuysTravel, Jamie Bartosch.
It’s a long tour. By the time you wait in line, go through security and go through the different exhibits, you’re probably looking at a minimum of 2 hours. You know your children or grandchildren. Do you think they have the attention span?
There are no interactive, kids’ museum-like features. The museum displays include glassed artifacts, short video clips that play on loops and storyboards to read. If your child’s attention span is limited, this might not be the best museum tour. Consider taking the kids to the memorial fountains instead.
Arriving at the museum, the grandkids and I immediately felt reverence and sadness. We watched the videos and planes hitting the Twin Towers, lingered at the mangled FDNY truck on display and marveled at the size of the steel supports crumpled from the impact. We briefly visited the section featuring the victims before moving on to the heartwarming exhibits featuring the rescue dogs. The kids lingered at the Statue of Liberty covered in notes. We didn’t talk a lot inside the museum but outside as we made our way over to the 9/11 Memorial fountains, the questions began.
We spoke about the survivor trees surrounding the fountains. I shared stories my New York City friends previously shared with me about their personal experiences on that sad day. Marshall’s main question was “could it happen again?” Of course, that led to discussions about why we have to be carefully screened at airports. They realized that many things they experience in every day life were put in place after September 11th.
Is the 9/11 Museum Worth It?
Yes, definitely. The tragic events of 9/11 forever changed our country. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum serve both as a reminder and as a tribute to the fallen. The historical exhibitions within the museum share these important stories and remind us to never forget that fateful day.
Is the 9/11 Museum Free?
No. The 9/11 memorial fountains are free, but the museum tickets are $26 for adults; $20 for young adults (13 to 17 years); $15 for youth (7 to 12); $20 for seniors (65+); $20 for college students and $18 for Veterans. Tickets need to be purchased in advance and you are given a specific time you can enter.
The museum does offer free admission on Mondays from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Limited quantities are available and there is a 4 ticket limit per person. Reservations are available starting each Monday at 7:00 a.m.
Where is the 9/11 Museum?
The museum and memorial fountains are located in lower Manhattan, at 180 Greenwich Street. The memorial fountains and reflecting pools mark the footprints of the Twin Towers with the museum just steps away.
Nearby, One World Trade Center’s tower spire brings the building to a height of 1,776 feet in recognition of the year the United States Declaration of Independence was signed.
Just 1/2 mile south of the 9/11 Museum is Battery Park. Statue Cruises operate ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the dock by Castle Clinton within the park.
How Long Does the 9/11 museum Take?
Time spent at the museum depends on the attention span of the kids. We spent about two hours but many visitors spend closer to three.
What are the 9/11 Museum Hours?
The museum is currently open Thursday to Monday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Health and Safety Guidelines
All visitors to the museum are screened as you enter. Also, masks are currently required inside the museum for all guests.
After a question-filled day covering the historical events of September 11th, we chose to use our CityPASS to do something fun. Making our way to Midtown, we arrived at the Empire State Building just in time for sunset. Stretching out before us, the views of lower Manhattan, One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and the shores of New Jersey, reminded all of the resilience of this incredible city.