Submarine Force Museum in Connecticut

In Groton, CT you and the kids can climb aboard the historic NAUTILUS in this completely FREE experience! At the Submarine Force Museum, you and your family will be greeted outside, by some older versions of submarines – A clue to what awaits you on this outing.

Submarine Force Museum in Connecticut

“The Navy is not a job, it’s not a career. It’s a way of life.” — MMCM (SS) “Grump” Barrie

Inside you’ll find several rooms to explore. In one room, kids can sit down in front of a ship’s control panel. They are in control, as they push buttons, flip levers, and steer away from an ATTACK! Next, head over to the Attack Center, and look through three working periscopes. Spot the NAUTILUS, the River, the neighboring Coast Guard Academy, and your car in the parking lot! Tour submarine models, sit in two different theaters to watch 10-minute educational movies, check out some pretty cool forms of attack missiles, learn about the Nautilus journey to the North Pole, and check out the TURTLE – designed by a man from Connecticut!

Head outside to the river, and step inside the NAUTILUS! You’ll be greeted by an active member of the coast guard. He or she will hand you a listening device. Once you get to the bottom of the Submarine steps, push the button on your device to start your self-guided audio tour. Now, you’ll get to look at naval mannequins working hard to protect our country’s Submarine from an attack. You’ll see missiles, and learn how they were deployed. You’ll see the teeny, tiny sleeping quarters, kitchens, a command center, an officers lounge, and so much more. Step through hatch, after hatch to discover a new room! Then, when you are back on land, take a picture in front of the Nautilus!

Back inside, check out the gift shop, before you leave. Kids can get an inexpensive souvenir, as the penny machine turns a penny into a copper picture of a Submarine. If you feel compelled to do so, you can offer a donation to the Submarine Museum.

Mom’s Review:
The whole family and Greema went on this day trip. Everyone had such a great time. I was blown away, watching my six year old, and 9 year old actively listening to their audio devices. Wow! They were totally into it! Then, in the control center – Are you kidding me?! – that’s a kid’s dream (especially a 6 year old boy’s)! Michael was in heaven. We couldn’t believe it was completely free.


  1. FREE experience
  2. Educational
  3. Extremely friendly staff
  4. Some hands On fun
  5. Clean, bright, & open


  1. We can’t think of any negatives, right now.

Activities/Things To Do:

  1. Pretend
  2. Tour a real submarine
  3. Tour a museum
  4. Shop

What To Pack:

  1. Spray Germ-X for those audio/listening devices (Wish I would have thought of that before!)
  2. Usual Kid stuff
  3. No Strollers on the Sub! There is no room for them.
  4. Baby carrier – if needed.
  5. Camera/Video Camera


  1. Donations are welcomed – but not expected.
  2. Stairs in Submarine are very steep – Be careful.
  3. The Turtle – A very cool looking submarine – was developed by a man from CT! 🙂

Kid’s Review:

  1. Ella – “I liked the Gold” ( the pennies from the machine).
  2. Michael – “That Was So Cool!”.
  3. Abi – Rates it a #9 or #10 – “My favorite part was the periscopes”.

Dad’s 2 Cents $$ – What’s All of This Quality Time Going To Cost Me?:
. No charge for admission OR parking. Donations are welcome! 🙂

1 Crystal Lake Rd.
Groton, CT

Summer Hours – May 1 -Oct. 31 – 9-5 (Closed Tuesdays)
Winter Hours – Nov. 1 – April 30 – 9-4 (Closed Tuesdays)

Our Experience:

This is one, I’ve had in my mind for a few months. It takes a while to find the right time when you have all of the other activities that come up on weekends. But, my mom was cool enough, to very spontaneously, hop in the car, for a 13-hour drive home from  Chicago. She likes all of our little excursions, and I felt a little obligated to entertain her. I also felt like, she needed out of my house. Four kids can be overwhelming for me. I can only imagine what it’s like for a grandparent! So, finally, the time for The Submarine Museum had arrived!

So, I loaded everyone in the car, grandma included, and we set off for Groton, CT. We hadn’t driven five miles before my nine-year-old daughter started to moan and groan! She wanted to be back at the house playing on the computer, or her Monster High dolls! She even said, “We’re just doing this for your website!” OK, she must have been holding on to that sentence, waiting for the right time! I have a feeling, we’ll be hearing that a lot. Then the domino effect will come, and all of the kids will be yelling, “We’re just doing this for your website, MOM!” Good Times!

Anyway, where was I? When we pulled up to the Submarine Museum and saw the old submarines outside, and the Nautilus waiting, in the water, EVERYONE was on board!  The gentleman, at the front desk, was very nice. As soon as he saw the kids, he quickly pointed out the fun, kid-friendly areas of the museum. We had a fun time exploring the rooms with periscopes, and submarine models. The kids spotted our van, in the parking lot, from the periscopes. Once, we were on the Nautilus, the kids were so into their listening devices! My six-year-old, listening to his device, even announced what room we were headed to. Whoa! Who is this kid?  My mom, with a replaced hip, had a little struggle getting through the hatches. No complaints, though. We had a super fun time!

 More Pictures For A Better Visual:
go to

The Submarine Museum Website:
go to

KidFriendlyThingsToDo.Com –

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.