Mystic Seaport Museum is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America’s seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to “inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.”
The Mystic Seaport Museum grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River in Mystic, CT and include a recreated New England coastal village, a working shipyard, formal exhibit halls, and state-of-the-art artifact storage facilities. The Museum is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship still in existence.
A stroll through the historic village enables visitors to experience firsthand from staff historians, storytellers, musicians, and craftspeople just what life was like to earn one’s living from the sea. In the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, they can watch shipwrights keeping the skills and techniques of traditional shipbuilding alive as they restore and maintain the Museum’s watercraft collection and other vessels.
Stroll Through a Recreated 19th-Century Seafaring Village
Looking for the latest styles in hoop skirts and haberdashery? Stroll through our recreated seaport village! The buildings you see aren’t replications. They’re trade shops and businesses from the 1800s that were transported to Mystic Seaport Museum from locations around New England. The Seaport Village is made up of many bustling maritime trades. From shipsmiths and coopers to woodcarvers and riggers, discover how America’s maritime past shaped life today.
Kids & Family Activities
Calling our youngest sailors: see, touch, explore, and climb aboard! Swab the deck in the Children’s Museum, learn to tie knots at the Discovery Barn, create your own maritime masterpiece, build a toy boat souvenir, climb aboard our fleet of playscapes, and more. Take part in fun indoor and outdoor children’s activities designed just for you.
Please note that some activities are seasonal and some are presently closed due to COVID-19.
Climb aboard some small additions to our fleet–a sailing ship, tug boat, and fishing dragger. Don’t worry, none of these boats float in the water. They’re all playscapes, designed just for kids to explore.
The playscape area is surrounded by mulch for safety and is located just across from the Planetarium. Relax on a bench while watching your children play and enjoy lunch at the picnic table.
The playscape is open year-round.
Mystic Seaport Museum offers a number of summer camp programs that provide a unique learning adventure where meeting new friends is fun and easy. Our wide selection of Summer Day Camps offers boys and girls ages 4 to 16 a kid’s-eye-view of maritime history as they explore the Museum; Community Sailing classes let children ages 8 and older build and refine sailing skills; 8- to 15-year-olds can spend a week learning to sail by day and sleeping aboard a historic ship by night in the Joseph Conrad Summer Sailing Camp; and ages 15 and older can sail along the coast as part of the crew of the schooner Brilliant. Select the camp that best suits your children and give them a summer to remember at Mystic Seaport Museum!