The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge

290 Conover St at Pier 44 Brooklyn, NY 11231



Barge admission is free, donations are requested.
Accommodations for groups/tours: $7 per person/hour, $150 minimum, Maximum group: 149


Thursdays 4-8pm
Saturdays 1-5pm
Tailored group tours, schools and camp visits may be scheduled for almost any day of the year, by appointment.


A,C,F,2,3,4,5 to Jay St./Borough Hall or M, N, R to Court Street Station

Additional Information

The museum is handicapped accessible. All ages and motorcoaches welcome

For reservations or information, please contact:
David at 718-624-4719, ext. 11 or

The barge is open for exhibition Thursdays 4-8pm and Saturdays 1-5pm. Admission is free, and donations are requested. On the walls of the barge, The series "Showboats-'Round the Bend!" shows the story of American showboats along the nation's waterways. Produced by Theatre Museum, NYC. Our permanent collection includes a 94 year old wooden covered barge and a visit aboard. Hear the bells and gongs for tugboat communicating, see the rope cannon, showboat captain's attire, the always popular ball machine by George Rhoades, and much more.

We welcome all groups. Accommodations for School groups, tourist groups, bike and bus tours and more are available by appointment. The cost is $7.00 per person for a one hour visit. For school groups, we offer a curriculum on the rescue of the barge by a clown and juggler and how goods were transported in New York City prior to the building of bridges and tunnels.

Visitors will also learn about New York City harbor geography, the rise and fall of the tides, guess the color of the water and more. The visit ends with a juggling performance by Showboat Captain David Sharps, and a possible appearance by Showboat pet rabbit Duey.

Special Options

We offer healthy box lunches by Fairway Market. Enjoy the view of Lady Liberty while having your lunch. The museum is a great destination for a walking tour, along with a visit to glass artisan studios, the Key Lime Pie guy, the BWAC Art Festival and more.


The museum is a great venue for teaching geography, history, social studies and science. Visits feature:

  • Introduction to topics such as the role of barges in trade, obsolescence due to today's bridges, tunnels & highways, and water quality;
  • A look at the Captain's living quarters;
  • Tools used by longshoremen and stevedores;
  • The sounds of the gongs and bells of the tug and barge system;
  • Traditional showboat entertainment.


"SHOWBOAT 'Round the Bend" tells the story of this popular form of American entertainment on the country's waterways. A visit is not complete without the Captain's variety act, the barge pet bunny, and artist George Roads' ever-popular ball machine that whirls, jumps and plays music.


Built in 1914, the Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge #79 was one of thousands of barges bringing cargo to the NY Harbor. This barge was made obsolete by changes in the New York City shipping industry in the 1950's. Now restored, Barge #79 is the only one still floating.

Photos of the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge NYC

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