Birthdays at USS Hornet Museum

The USS Hornet Museum to Host Children’s Party Packages. Unique venue offers guests a chance to celebrate shipboard-style

Parents looking for an unforgettable birthday experience for a ship or science-loving child can now book birthday parties aboard the USS Hornet, the historic aircraft carrier that also serves as one of San Francisco’s Bay Area premier museums for naval history, science, and space technology.

Hosted by the Hornet’s Live-Aboard Department, the “Boarding Party” packages take birthday celebrations beyond the usual video arcades and bounce houses, instead providing young guests with experiences that tap into their sense of adventure. Guided tours of the ship, a ride in a flight simulator, science experiments, a photo opportunity in one of the cockpits, and a birthday announcement booming over the ship’s loudspeaker are all events that can take place during the party, depending on which package is chosen.

While the emphasis is on fun, parties on the Hornet are also notable for how much children are able to immerse themselves in the experience of being on an aircraft carrier.

“The Hornet is still a ship, so children will have the full sense of being on board,” said Christen Miller, Live-Aboard Program Director. “Our goal is to provide something that’s memorable and different, but also accessible to the average family. We’ve hosted several parties so far and the feedback has been fantastic.”

Katey Murphy of Oakland celebrated her son’s 7th birthday aboard the Hornet, enthusiastically said “My son and his classmates had a fabulous time at his birthday party on the Hornet. The guides had great stories for the kids and the tour was so interesting. Everyone loved the flight simulator as well. This was such a unique and educational experience for everyone. We will never forget it!”

Boarding Party packages are currently divided into three categories, with prices ranging from $250-$400 for museum members. (Non-members are charged approximately $50 more per package.) All packages include activities, supplies, and nautical-themed decorations, with food choices such as hotdogs, pizza, veggie trays, and coffee available as add-ons.

Guests who choose the most comprehensive package can even watch historic cartoons (or a movie of choice) in the ship’s own theater, just as the sailors did on their off-duty hours. They will also receive a birthday visit from the ship’s mascot, Buzz the Hornet. No matter which package is chosen, the birthday child is treated with special attention, as befitting an honorary officer on the USS Hornet.

“Another great advantage of all the Boarding Party packages is that General Admission to the museum is included for all guests after the party is over,” noted Laura Fies, Live-Aboard Program Coordinator. “In essence we give people a whole day to enjoy the Hornet and all it has to offer.”

Since opening as a science museum in 1998, the USS Hornet has become a popular family and school fieldtrip destination in San Francisco. The museum’s Stem-to-Stern programs have also used the ship as a unique platform for illustrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts in a historical setting.

For more detailed information on the Boarding Party packages, or to make a reservation, please visit or call(510)521-8448, ext. 280.


About the USS Hornet Museum:
The USS Hornet Museum, a popular tourist destination in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring people of all ages. Through field trips and live-aboard experiences, the USS Hornet, which opened as a museum in 1998, offers educational programs focusing on naval history, science, and space technology. A registered state and national historic landmark and home of the largest collection of Apollo space mission artifacts on the West Coast, the ship is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and permanently berthed at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3 in Alameda, CA.  Regular museum admission is $10 for youths age 7-17 (age 6 and under are free with paying adult); $15 for students with ID, seniors, and military with ID; and $20 for adults. Admission is free for Museum members. Ample free parking is available across from the pier. The USS Hornet is also a unique, unforgettable venue available for corporate events; trade shows and expos; private parties and big band dances; and TV and film productions. For more information, including group tours and event planning, visit: or call (510) 521-8448.