Firsthand adventures on USS Lexington in Corpus Christi
One of the top places to visit in Corpus Christi, the historic USS Lexington aircraft carrier-turned-museum, offers exciting and entertaining adventures along with its fascinating exhibits. Guests can spend a day (or even a night) learning about naval history through Escape Rooms, Flight Simulations, 3D movies, guided and self-guided tours, virtual battle stations, overnight camps, and more.
The Lady Lex is one of the most decorated aircraft carriers in U.S. naval history. It holds the world record in miles traveled and longer hours in active service for carriers of its class.
It earned one of its nicknames, the "Blue Ghost,” from the Japanese during World War II. Despite being sunk four times, according to the Japanese, the ship kept coming back. After 40 years in service, the ship was docked in Corpus Christi in 1992 and converted into a museum.
Due to continued COVID-19 safety concerns, the USS Lexington still requires face coverings for visitors ages 10 and older.
Here are some of the activities visitors will find on board the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay.
LOCKDOWN ON THE LEX
Though the the Lady Lex has many of her own stories, guests can create new ones through this escape room experience. "Lockdown On The LEX" offers a high-tech, high-intensity challenge for families or groups of three to 10 people. It’s great for youth groups, birthday parties, corporate team building, or a team of thrill seekers at almost any age. Cost is $35 per person, which includes the price of admission to the museum.
THE FLIGHT DECK
One of the most popular tours is a self-guided experience of the flight deck, which offers a close look at 20 aircraft from the National Museum of Naval Aviation, anti-aircraft guns, landing gear, the navigation bridge, the plank, and more. The photo ops are amazing.
The flight deck is wheelchair-accessible, and an elevator is available for those unable to climb stairs.
3D MEGA THEATER
Audiences can immerse themselves in a 3D journey on film, presented on a three-story screen with booming digital sound. The newly installed laser cinema projector is the brightest on the planet and helps create a real-life experience. Admission to the MEGA Theater is free with paid admission to the Lexington.
PEARL HARBOR: COURSE OF VALOR
This one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art multimedia exhibit can be accessed as a self-guided tour from your smartphone. Search for Tour Route 2 in the ship’s living quarters, which showcases a film montage retelling the story of the Pearl Harbor Attack. The tour envelops visitors in this infamous event.
The interactive tour also features a graphic map of Pearl Harbor at a 1/2,400th scale, which sets the scene with models of the ships docked in position as they were on the day of the attack. Watch events unfold before your eyes with realistic battle animations, an 8,000-watt sound system, and transducers that produce a shaking effect with each explosion. The tour also shows the Japanese plan of attack, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to Congress in 1941 titled “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy.”
SCALE MODEL COLLECTION
Fans of warbirds, warships, and their stories will enjoy seeing this gallery of scale model works of art. Five years in the making and with more than 440 pieces on display, this exhibit is the largest publicly shown model collection in Texas. More than 120 volunteer crafters spent thousands of hours creating this exhibit, representing works from 16 U.S. states and five countries.
Experience launching from a carrier to embark on a dangerous and thrilling mission as an F-18 pilot through the training exercise “Screaming Eagles.” Simulate launching off the aircraft carrier, hitting each target, fulfilling your air mission, and landing safely in this 15-seat simulator.
VIRTUAL BATTLE STATIONS
This adrenaline-pumping virtual battle of a crew in combat with realistic graphics lets users feel like they're in the fray. Test your nerves and strategy aboard different classes of ships and planes as commander or a warbird. Users can actually prepare for battle in advance and train for free online by accessing the World of Warships website.
CAMP LEX OVERNIGHT PROGRAMS
An overnight adventure is in store for your group or troop aboard the USS Lexington. Hear stories about kamikaze and torpedo attacks, the manpower needed for navigating an aircraft carrier, and being named the “Blue Ghost” by Tokyo Rose herself. This living history lesson is told over 11 different levels within the ship, offering curious minds a hands-on experience reflecting on the sacrifices of a heroic generation while building camaraderie and inspiring a love of learning. The one-night stay is ideal for young Scouts, homeschoolers, and explorers of all ages, whose lesson plans includes all five tour routes of the ship, historical stories, a scavenger hunt, a 3D MEGA Theater film, ghost stories, two trips through the chow line, bunking in original crew quarters, an patriotic flag ceremony, and more.
The two-night overnight programs include a free flight simulator ride for each group member. Several badge workshops can be arranged for the second day aboard at an additional charge. Staff can help the troop or group arrange a day for a volunteer service project, from swabbing the deck or washing aircraft to cleaning up a park on North Beach or helping rangers at Padre Island National Seashore.
With a two-night stay, a group can opt to use the second day to visit other nearby Corpus Christi attractions such as the Texas State Aquarium, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, or one of the area’s waterparks or beaches. The price for the overnight stays are $75 per night per person.
The USS Lexington is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week, year-round. It closes only on Christmas and Thanksgiving days. All-day parking is available for $4 and is free for members.
Admission prices are:
- $16.95 – adults
- $14.95 – seniors and military
- $11.95 – ages 4 to 12
The USS Lexington Museum on the Bay is located at 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach in Corpus Christi. Call 361-888-4873 or visit usslexington.com for more information.
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