Visiting the World War II Museum in New Orleans: A Personal Experience
If you are ever in the New Orleans area, visiting the World War II Museum should be at the top of your list. This place has something for everyone; history buffs will enjoy learning about what life was like during this tumultuous period of world history, while kids can get their hands on some interactive exhibits to learn more about the war. It also doesn’t hurt that there are many restaurants nearby to choose from when you’re ready to take a break!
History of the World War II Museum
This museum opened in June 2000, 56 years after the D-Day invasion. In the beginning, the museum focused on the amphibious invasion of Normandy by Allied forces in 1944.
People in New Orleans designed, tested, and manufactured the Higgins boat. Higgins Industries, based in New Orleans, is most famous for these amphibious landing crafts referred to as LCVP (landing craft, vehicles, personnel). There is much to learn about the invention and production scaling of this innovative military vehicle. You may be familiar with it due to its extensive use during the Allied forces’ D-Day Invasion of Normandy.
Furthermore, New Orleans was the home of historian and author Stephen Ambrose. In 1994, Ambrose authored a book about the planning of Operation Overlord, which was executed on June 6, 1944. Ambrose was the one who started building this museum.
The New Orleans museum was established because of the emphasis on D-Day, Higgins Industries, and Ambrose’s connection to New Orleans.
Inside the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion, there are many airplanes (along with the ticketing booths). A Supermarine Spitfire and a Douglas C-47 Skytrain hang from the ceiling. Near the landing craft, there is usually a Higgins boat. Near that are exhibits about amphibious landings in Europe during the war. There are also exhibits about how people helped with the war at home.
The immersive museum experience begins with a movie, Beyond All Boundaries, in a darkened theater. The reels introduce visitors to the war experience as seen on news broadcasts and through personal experiences of individuals impacted by the war.
Beyond All Boundaries
Daily showings, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
In this same open area, you’ll see a train car with passengers ready to pull from the station. This train car opened in 2013 as part of the “Dog Tag Experience.” Along with the admission ticket, guests receive information about an individual, and stations through the remainder of the museum connect the individual’s war experience to the events occurring at various times and places.
The US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, which also opened in 2013, is now the largest of the campus buildings. The collection in the US Freedom Pavilion includes a B-17E Flying Fortress bomber, a B-25J Mitchell bomber, an SBD-3 Dauntless, a TBF Avenger, a P-51D Mustang, Corsair F4U-4, and an interactive submarine experience based on the final mission of the USS Tang.
In December 2014, the museum opened a new part of the Campaigns of Courage pavilion. It is called Road to Berlin. This part talks about the war in Europe. The entire pavilion is 32,000 square feet. It has two galleries.
In June 2017, a new exhibit opened in the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion. It is called The Arsenal of Democracy, and it talks about what life was like on the Home Front during World War II.
My Visits to the World War II Museum
Visiting World War 2 museum is one of my favorite things to do when I visit New Orleans. I make it a point to spend time there every time I am in New Orleans. I avidly love history, so I absorb as much information as possible when I see the exhibits. As a veteran of the United States Navy, the pictures and stories displayed are especially poignant to me.
The museum also has special projects that may be of interest to some members of your family. My wife participated in crocheting scarves for veterans during a live event. She also contributes through the museum’s Knit Your Bit program.
Museums Value to Society
Museums are valuable to society because they promote learning, history preservation, and culture. Many museums exist for the sole purpose of educating people about different cultures or historical periods. Museums also preserve important artifacts that might otherwise be lost over time (or destroyed), such as artwork or sculptures built centuries ago.
Some museums focus on culture by showcasing the traditions and customs of people from different regions around the world. Learning is an important part of life, so it makes sense that museums are a big and important part of society today.
What to Expect
The cost of the museum entry is about $30 for adults. However, there are discounts available that can be used to reduce costs or even get in free on certain days or with certain documented military affiliations.
The World War II Museum is a great place to visit for people of all ages.
The exhibits explain the history and tell personal stories about how WWII affected soldiers and civilians around the world.
Explore themes like propaganda art or women’s roles in wartime production, show off some amazing items from war times, including tanks and fighter planes provide many interactive activities for younger visitors to understand what it was like to be alive during this time period.
For information on touring the rest of New Orleans, please take a look at this post with more things to do in New Orleans.
Prepare for your trip to explore the World War 2 Museum
When you are exploring all of the wonderful exhibits at the World War 2 Museum, you will want to record some of your favorites to add to your memories. This camera is easy to use, and it is affordable.
Recommended Trivia Book
This is an excellent addition to the huge volume of facts that you will absorb while exploring the many exhibits at the museum.
If You Go:
The American Sector Restaurant & Bar
Open daily, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Jeri Nims Soda Shop
Open daily, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
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I agree that history is so important. We have a trip to New Orleans coming up soon, so I will put this on my list of “must-dos” while we are there. Thank you for sharing your experience.
I hope that you visit this museum, it is one of my favorite places to visit in New Orleans
We also enjoy visited museums. We have not been to this one yet. Thank you for the suggestion.
I loved this museum! I never even knew it was there until we were in New Orleans. It’s not where I would’ve ever guess the WWII museum would be.
I am so glad to hear that you loved it. I seem to learn something new ever time that I go there.
We live all the way up in Seattle, but I must figure out how to get my son down there for a visit. He is a WWII history buff. I’ll get all those books for his birthday this spring. I’m sure he will love them!
Getting the books should fill his need for a fix of history info. You will love it in New Orleans, but I would schedule the trip in the Fall or the Spring. It gets a bit warm in the Summer.
We don’t live too far from here and my son loves this place. He is a big history nut so it’s perfect for him.
We would also love to visit the museum more if we lived closer.
I absolutely loved this museum when we were there a few years ago! And I appreciate your tips – this post makes me want to go back for another visit.
I wish we had time to do this last time we were in New Orleans! My grandpa was in WWII and would always tell us stories. I’d love to fit this into my next trip there!