Guests talk to each other and look at boats during a party at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Opens on May 18 with Free Admission, Shipwreck Tours, and More

Mark your calendars! We are excited to announce today that exhibits and Museum grounds will open for the 2024 season on Saturday, May 18. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum will be open daily with free admission from May 18–October 16.

We can’t wait to welcome you back on campus to explore our exhibits and learn about history, shipwrecks, ecology, boats, and more. We also have an action-packed calendar this season full of experiential and educational programs including rowing clubs, shipwreck tours, boat building for local students, pay-what-you-can summer camps and overnight expeditions, sailing classes, and more.

“We have seen that when people have the opportunity to connect with Lake Champlain and their past, they make connections to the present, and are inspired to build a more sustainable future for the lake and our communities,” said Chris Sabick, Executive Director. “By offering free admission to all, we ensure that everyone can have this experience. We are grateful to our sponsors, donors, and members, whose support ensures our doors can open for free again in 2024.”

Highlights of the 2024 season here at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum include:

  • Free admission: For the fourth year in a row, Museum exhibits and grounds are free for all visitors, open seven days a week from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. from May 18–Oct. 16. Exhibits include Key to Liberty: The American Revolution in the Champlain Valley, Steam to Gasoline, A Noble Failure: Prohibition in the Champlain Valley, the Hazelett Small Watercraft building, and more. See all exhibits that will be open at www.lcmm.org/exhibits.
  • Jack Kelly author talk: On May 18, opening day, we will welcome acclaimed author Jack Kelly for a discussion about the research and highlights of his newest book, God Save Benedict Arnold: The True Story of America’s Most Hated Man, and will stay to sign copies of his new book which will be available for purchase at the Museum Store. Free to attend with advance registration at www.lcmm.org/JackKelly.
  • Shipwreck tours: On Thursdays from July-September, guests can take scenic boat ride to the site of a shipwreck in Lake Champlain and learn about the vessel’s dramatic story while watching real-time video from an underwater remotely-operated vehicle equipped with a robotic camera. Tickets are $25 for youth and $40 for adults, available at www.lcmm.org/ShipwreckTours.
  • The Museum After Hours Summer Party: On Friday, July 12, we will throw our much-loved summer party, which has sold out each year. The evening includes live music, local food and ice cream, a raffle and silent auction, open exhibits, and drinks. Tickets are $50 and include all food. Tickets available at www.lcmm.org/SummerParty.
  • Free public events: We are hosting many free public events in 2024 including Collections Corners, a free monthly event to witness rarely-seen artifacts up close with historians; and Abenaki Heritage Weekend on June 29-30 presented by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts and Education Center. Check the calendar for the latest events at www.lcmm.org/calendar.
  • Open-water rowing: Each spring through fall, adults of all ages are invited to come try open-water rowing on the lake in our fleet of 4-oared and 6-oared rowing gigs. Join a weekly rowing club, which range from beginner to experienced, or sign up for one of the rowing events this season including the Hope for TomorROW on June 22 or the Lake Champlain Challenge Race on Sept. 14. Sign up for a rowing club at www.lcmm.org/Adult-Rowing.

Free admission for the 2024 season is made possible with support from Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership, the Lake Champlain Basin Program, local businesses, individuals, foundations, and the museum’s membership program.