911 Memorial NYC Museum.
I thought long and hard before taking Ned and Jack to the 911 Memorial Museum on our trip to New York. What pushed me over the edge was the fact I really wanted to visit.
9/11 was a worldwide tragedy, that touched everyone who turned on the tv, listened to the radio, or had access to the internet. There was almost no way to escape the news.
For many reasons, I wanted to wander the corridors, listen to the stories of both the survivors and those who were lost, to learn a little bit more about the people behind the buildings.
Ned was 7 at the time. Jack almost 2. Travelling solo with the boys, it was either take them, or miss out.
We skipped the line with our New York Pass tickets and headed in.
- 1 The 911 Memorial Museum Core Exhibitions.
- 2 1. The Historical Exhibition at the 911 Memorial NYC
- 3 Mementos on display at the 9 11 Memorial Museum
- 4 Not for Kids at the 911 Memorial NYC
- 5 2. The Memorial Exhibition
- 6 Family Activities at the 9 11 Memorial Museum
- 7 9 11 Memorial Facts for Kids
- 8 911 Memorial Timeline
- 9 Audio Tours – 9/11 Museum Audio Guide
- 10 911 Memorial App
- 11 9/11 Memorial Museum Store
- 12 The Inside Scoop – The 911 Memorial NYC
- 13 Toadstool Rating – The September 11 Memorial Museum
- 14 Looking for MORE Super Fun Things to Do in NEW YORK CITY with Kids?
The 911 Memorial Museum Core Exhibitions.
The main Historical Exhibition located in the northern end of the Ground Floor space on C4 is a three-part journey exploring the lead up to 9/11, the day of 9/11, and after 9/11.
1. The Historical Exhibition at the 911 Memorial NYC
Through stories, photographs, artefacts, and audio, the events of 9/11 at the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and Flight 93 are retold with elegance, and grace.
Ned, who up until this moment had never heard of 9/11, was intrigued by the story, and for the most part was happy to wander, looking at the photos, and objects along the way, and asking lots of questions about the event as he tried to make sense of what he called ‘baddies’ doing something so mean and nasty to hurt people.
The entire event is tastefully reconstructed in a 911 Memorial Timeline to reflect the horrors that unfolded not just on the day, but also the lead up.
Mementos on display at the 9 11 Memorial Museum
The National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center bears solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.
The big things on display made it real for him.
Center Passage demonstrates the scale of the 9/11 attacks through monumental artifacts, evoking the magnitude of the World Trade Center buildings and their destruction.
The Survivors Stairs, the squashed and bruised Ladder Company 3 Truck of the New York City Fire Department, the giant scrap piles of twisted metal, the image of the damaged flag, all relics of a time no-one wants to remember but no-one can forget.
“The Survivors’ Staircase was the last visible remaining original structure above ground level at the World Trade Center site.
Originally two outdoor flights of granite-clad stairs, and an escalator that connected Vesey street to the WTC’s Austin J Tobin Plaza” (Wikipedia)
Those stairs were the lifeline to hundreds of people evacuating from the 9-floor building (5 World Trade Centre) next to the 110 storey towers. They were moved to the National 911 Memorial and Museum and are now a stand-out feature opposite the Blue Wall artwork, “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning” by Spencer Finch.
For me, it was the little things.
The mundane everyday items that were retrieved from the wreckage – tiny non-momentous items that all of us use each and every day. A pair of shoes. A wallet. Receipts from lunch. A handbag. Computer disks. All the things used by the people who went to work one day, and never came home. The museum reminds us that beyond the stark images of planes hitting buildings on a blue sky day in the world’s most favourite city, and the unbelievable spectacle of fire raging and steel buildings falling, the people matter most.
This is their memorial. A chance to reflect and learn more about those individuals who left us that sad day.
Here’s the caveat from the September 11 Memorial Museum: The historical exhibition may not be appropriate for visitors younger than 10 years of age. Adults accompanying younger visitors should exercise discretion before entering.
Not for Kids at the 911 Memorial NYC
There was one section in the 911 memorial NYC that I steered him around.
Tucked behind a solid wall, a screen showing video footage of those who either fell or leapt to their deaths. This is the one incomprehensible memory that stays with me all these years later, those poor souls who could see no other way out. A senseless death and a tragedy. Definitely not for kids.
2. The Memorial Exhibition
Surprisingly, the place where Ned spent the most time was in the Memorial Exhibition, and in particular, “In Memoriam”. A quiet, contemplative space, “In Memoriam” is a quiet darkened space filled with short film stories about each of the 2,983 victims of September 11 2001, as told by their friends and family.
He could have sat and listened and watched all day. When I asked him later what he’d learned, he told me stories of the people who died too young, and what their families and friends miss most about them.
Human stories connect us, especially when we can put ourselves in their shoes. We are more alike than different. These stories help us to remember that.
Family Activities at the 9 11 Memorial Museum
Visiting the 911 Memorial NYC with kids?
- Join in at the 9/11 Memorial Art Cart to participate in free, self-guided explorations and art activities, written in age-appropriate language. These activities will help children discover the stories and symbolism behind the 9/11 Memorial and the rebuilt World Trade Center site.
Visiting the 9 11 Museum with kids?
- Stop by the drop-in activity stations tied to specific artifacts and themes in the Museum. Meant to spark conversations between children and their caregivers, current activities offer age-appropriate entry-points into the history of the World Trade Center, 9/11 and its aftermath.
- This program takes place on Saturdays in the Museum’s Education Center from September through early June. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Program dates and times subject to change. Click here for event dates.
You can also download lesson plans if this is of interest.
9 11 Memorial Facts for Kids
- The Museum is located below-ground because remnants of the original World Trade Center buildings are still visible below-ground, and it is the Museum’s job to preserve them so they can be seen by visitors like you.
- The 110-story Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in New York City. For a brief period, they were the tallest buildings in the world. They were called the Twin Towers because they were nearly identical. You could tell them apart, though, because the North Tower had an antenna on its roof.
- Can you see the word “SAVE” written on the steel trident columns? After 9/11, people wanted to make sure some objects from the World Trade Center were kept and protected for a possible future museum. They spray painted the word “SAVE” in big letters on those objects to make sure they were preserved.
- More than 10 million people have visited the 911 Memorial NYC Museum since it opened in May 2014, marking a major milestone for the organization.
- Averaging about 9,000 visitors per day, the Museum has welcomed attendees from all 50 states and more than 170 nations who have traveled to the Museum to connect with the significance of September 11, 2001, and to remember the victims of the attacks.
911 Memorial Timeline
Take a look at the indepth 911 Memorial timeline either before or after your visit too.
Audio Tours – 9/11 Museum Audio Guide
Enhance your experience of the 911 Memorial NYC Museum by using the official audio guide. Narrated by Robert De Niro, this self-guided experience includes three themed tours featuring stories from the day of 9/11 and the recovery at Ground Zero. It also presents details of the Museum’s archaeological elements and architectural designs of the Memorial and the Museum.
Tours are available in American Sign Language, Chinese (Mandarin simplified), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
The 9/11 Museum Audio Guide is available via handheld devices at the Information Desk and downloadable as an app for iOS and Android smartphones. Visitors using handheld devices or smartphones must use personal headphones. Headphones are available for purchase at the Information Desk.
911 Memorial App
Use the Explore 9/11 app to learn the history of the World Trade Center, the design of the 911 Memorial NYC and the inspiring artifacts of the Museum.
Experience the app’s map and story features by rotating your device to switch between modes. Users can explore a content-rich landscape of the memorial and multilevel maps inside the Museum. Clickable hotspots along the maps reveal photos, videos, audio and more. In story mode, users can explore this content organized in chapters.
The app also features a new tribute mode where users can leave tribute messages, including their name and where they are from. Tributes can also remain anonymous.
9/11 Memorial Museum Store
Visit the Museum Store, located on the Concourse Lobby level. They stock a range of meaningful keepsakes, educational books, and DVDs. All net proceeds are dedicated to sustaining the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
The Inside Scoop – The 911 Memorial NYC
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of.
The 911 Memorial Address: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum are located at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan at 180 Greenwich Street New York, NY 10007.
Visitors can currently access the Memorial at the intersection of Liberty Street and Greenwich Street, at the intersection of Liberty Street and West Street and at the intersection of West Street and Fulton Street. Visitors can also use the entrance at Fulton Street and Greenwich Street daily between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Click here for Google Maps directions.
Website: 911 Memorial NYC
- Museum Open Daily – Sunday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (6 p.m. last entry); Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (7 p.m. last entry)
- Memorial Open Daily – 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
911 Memorial Tickets:
- Adult $24
- Youth (7-12) $15
- Young Adult (13-17) $20
- Senior 65 + $20
- Children under the age of 7 receive free admission, but a ticket is required for entry.
- Free Admission Tuesdays from 5pm till close. Free Admission Tuesday tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Museum starting at 4 p.m. The distribution time is subject to change.
- Click here for combo ticket prices which include admission to the Memorial Museum, and either a Museum or Memorial tour
Museum tickets can be purchased up to six months in advance and include entry to all exhibitions. Last admission is two hours prior to closing.
The 9/11 Memorial outside the museum is free and open to the public daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
911 Museum Map: Download a copy of the Memorial Museum New York map here.
911 Memorial Parking: The Memorial does not provide parking. See below for tips if travelling by car.
911 Memorial Directions: We strongly recommend the use of public transportation to access lower Manhattan.
- A, C, 1, 2 or 3 to Chambers Street
- A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4 or 5 trains to Fulton Street
- 2 or 3 trains to Park Place
- E train to World Trade Center
- R train to Rector Street
- R train to Cortlandt Street
- 1 train to Rector Street
- M55 Southbound: get off at Broadway and Thames Street
- M55 Northbound: get off at Trinity Place and Rector Street
- M20 Southbound: get off on South End Avenue between Liberty Street and Albany Street
- M22 Southbound: get off on Vesey Street between North End Avenue and West Street
- The PATH train serves the World Trade Center terminal from multiple points in New Jersey. If traveling by car from New Jersey or other points west, the Harrison PATH station is a convenient location to park in an adjacent parking facility and take PATH to the World Trade Center. Click here for PATH information.
Ferry service is available from Midtown Manhattan, New Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. For service from these areas, we recommend the following transportation options:
- On-street parking in lower Manhattan is extremely limited.
- Click here for a list of parking facilities in New York City.
- The closest taxi stands to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum are located on West Street and Liberty Street and on Vesey Street at West Street.
Nearest takeaway coffee and food: Visit the Pavilion Café, located on the Atrium Terrace level. Food and beverages are not permitted in the exhibition spaces.
Toilets: Yes, including baby change table at the 911 memorial NYC
Disability access: Yes.
- The 911 memorial NYC facility is wheelchair accessible. Manual wheelchairs are available, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis at the coat check on the Concourse Lobby level.
- Induction loops are installed throughout the Museum including in the exhibitions, auditorium, and classrooms.
- Open captioning or written transcripts are available for all exhibition media installations that feature audio.
- ASL interpretation is available, free of charge, for guided tours and public programs by request with two weeks advance notice.
- The 9/11 Museum Audio Guide is VoiceOver compatible on all iOS devices and includes a descriptive tour for visitors who are blind or partially sighted.
- Large print materials are available upon request at the Information Desk. Service dogs are welcome.
- For additional information about programs and services for visitors with disabilities, please visit the Information Desk.
Closest ATM: Eftpos and Credit card facilities at Ticket Booth, Cafe and Shop
Dogs: Service dogs only.
- Flash photography is not permitted anywhere inside the Museum. Photography is not permitted in the security screening area, the auditorium, Rebirth at Ground Zero, September 11, 2001, and In Memoriam. Photography is permitted in all other spaces.
This museum was last reviewed in June 2018.
Toadstool Rating – The September 11 Memorial Museum
The 911 Memorial NYC Site, and the 9 11 Memorial Museum is the place to pay your respects to the victims of this atrocity.
The September 11 Museum is a quiet contemplative and reflective space, with strict codes of behaviour and noise levels. It’s a difficult place to take toddlers and young preschoolers, but easy to take babes in arms (or in Ergo baby carriers).
Those who can go, should go.
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