Welcome Back!

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to reopen and welcome all Great Lakes and maritime history lovers back to our experiences. We have instituted a few new procedures to help care for you and our staff.

  • We are offering pre-purchased timed entry tickets. (If you walk in, you can purchase a ticket for the next available time slot.) 
  • While in the museum, visitors must wear masks or cloth face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth.
  • Please maintain social distancing throughout your visit.  You will need to take some extra caution when touring either of our museum boats.
  • Regular cleaning of all spaces will be performed throughout the day to keep you safe.
  • Several hands-on exhibits are closed at this time and will only reopen when we have made them safe for everyone.
  • We do have multiple touch screen interactives and can provide you with a borrowed stylus to use these exhibits in a safe, no-touch, way.
  • Additional FAQ’s can be found here. 


The Great Lakes are not only the most important natural resource in the world, but they also represent thousands of years of history. The lakes have dramatically impacted the social, economic and political history of the North American continent. The National Museum of the Great Lakes tells the awe-inspiring stories of our Great Lakes through breathtaking photography, over 300 incredible artifacts, a number of powerful audiovisual displays and 40 hands-on interactive exhibits including the 617-foot iron ore freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the historic Museum Tug OhioClick here to explore the museum and the Schoonmaker.

The tales told here span hundreds of years, from the fur traders in the 1600s to the Underground Railroad operators in the 1800s, the rum runners in the 1900s, to the sailors on the thousand-footers sailing today. The theme of the Great Lakes as a Powerful Force runs through all of these stories and will create a lifelong interest in all who visit.

See what everyone is saying about Toledo’s newest cultural gem!


Inland Seas Quarterly Journal


Museum Celebrates Community with Free Admission

January 13, 2020 (Toledo, Ohio) – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is opening its doors to the community over Martin Luther King weekend in thanks and recognition for the support they have received over the course of the past year. Community Appreciation Days with FREE museum admission begin Saturday, January 16, and continue