Visit The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana

I first visited The National WWII Museum in New Orleans in 2012, just before The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center opened. I was blown away by the museum's amazing artifacts and exhibits, and I was even more impressed by the Behind the Lines tour I took. This week I went back to The National WWII Museum with my husband and daughter, both of whom were with me when I visited in 2012. We all agreed that our experience this time around was even more impactful than our first visit. The National WWII Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor as the number one attraction in New Orleans and the fourth-best museum in the United States, and it should be.

Why Is the National WWII Museum in New Orleans?

Museum founder Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose, the acclaimed author of Band of Brothers, established The National D-Day Museum, now The National WWII Museum, in New Orleans because the Higgins boats (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel, or LCVPs) were built here. Higgins Industries produced 20,000 Higgins boats; these landing craft brought U. S. troops ashore to fight in World War II's numerous amphibious battles. Without the Higgins boats, Ambrose argued, World War II might have had a different outcome.

Is The National WWII Museum Family-Friendly?

Yes and no. Older children who are mature enough to view photographs and video footage of wartime events, including dead bodies, and who are interested in World War II will love this museum. Younger children will probably be frightened by some of the images and sounds they experience in exhibit areas, which are set up to look like the battlefields of World War II.

The National World War II Museum presents a very balanced picture of World War II, explaining the necessity of fighting the Axis powers while also pointing out via text, videos and images the destruction of cities and loss of civilian life that set this conflict apart from all previous wars.

We saw very few children under the age of 12 during our visit to the museum, except for infants and toddlers in strollers.

What Makes The National WWII Museum Unique?

Because The National WWII Museum focuses on the American experience in World War II, its exhibits, programs, and multimedia experiences offer in-depth perspectives, personal stories, and important details that museums with broader missions generally cannot offer. The National WWII Museum's impressive campus, which currently includes five pavilions, features exhibit space, two multimedia experiences, restaurants, gift shops, and a 1940s-style dinner theater. Exhibit curators paid extraordinary attention to detail; exhibits include artifacts, audio histories, videos, sound effects, and walls and ceilings that resemble buildings, ship bulkheads, and Quonset huts.

Volunteer World War II veterans man a table near the front entrance for a few hours each day. Time your visit so that you can speak with them. They are happy to tell you when and where they served, show you photos and maps, and answer your questions about World War II. Our World War II veterans are national treasures. At The National WWII Museum, you can meet some of them and hear their stories.

How Much Time Should I Spend at The National WWII Museum?

If you visit every pavilion and see both Beyond All Boundaries and Final Mission: USS Tang Experience, you will need to spend at least four hours at the museum. It's easy to spend four hours viewing the exhibits and videos in the pavilions, even if you don't see the two extra experiences.

Should you run out of time to see everything, The National WWII Museum offers a second-day ticket for just $6. You can pay for it when you buy your admission ticket, or you can save your receipt, come back the next day and pay $6 to get in.

If You Go:

The National WWII Museum is open from 9:00 a. m. to 5:00 p. m. every day except Mardi Gras Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

The Soda Shop is open daily from 7:00 a. m. to 5:00 p. m., and The American Sector Restaurant + Bar is open daily from 11:00 a. m. until 8:00 p. m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11:00 a. m. until 9:00 p. m. Thursday through Saturday. The Museum Shop is open daily from 9:00 a. m. to 5:00 p. m. The American Sector, Soda Shop, and Museum Shop are closed when the museum itself is closed.

BB's Stage Door Canteen, which features live shows celebrating the music and comedy of the 1940s, has a separate operating schedule. Top off your visit to The National WWII Museum by watching a show or learning to swing dance at BBs.

Contact Information:

The National WWII Museum

945 Magazine Street

New Orleans, LA 70130

(504) 528-1944