Savannah’s is the gem of Georgia and attracts thousands of tourists every month who are intrigued by its history and enamored with the city’s beauty. If you’re looking for a slice of the past, and a great way to spend the afternoon, look no further than the American Prohibition Museum. Located near City Market, it’s an immersive museum unlike any other.
The American Prohibition Museum is the ONLY museum focused on prohibition in America. Spanning the years 1907-1933, the era of Prohibition sounds like a boring topic but the museum brings to life the drama of that time period. From saloon smashers to flappers, shine runners and gangsters, the museum opens windows into what Prohibition-era life was like!
But is it worth the cost of admission and, if you’re tight on time, should you add it to your trip itinerary. I’m breaking down everything you need to know about this Savannah sightseeing destination so you know before you pay.
Savannah’s American Prohibition Museum – All The Details You Need To Know
Savannah’s historic district spans more than 20 city squares filled with museums, churches, mansions, monuments and famous forts of the Revolutionary & Civil War eras. While I love that it’s so big, you’ve got to narrow down the different attractions.
The Prohibition Museum immediately catches your attention as you walk by on Julian Street. It’s mysterious, inviting and from the outside – you can tell there’s something unique about this spot.
Can I Bring The Kids to the American Prohibition Museum?
Sure can! There is a speakeasy at the end of the tour that serves alcohol (Yup! More on that later). Most visitors will be carded at the museum entrance and anyone 21+ gets a wristband. Children may enter the speakeasy with their adults and sit in the “repeal” portion but not sit directly at the bar.
Will kids be interested in the museum? As soon as you enter the museum you are met with life-size and immersive displays.
There is plenty for them to look at and the displays are appropriate for all ages, with one caveat – the display featuring the gangsters has some gore that might be a little concerning for young children. There is a car with mannequins inside that are made to look like they’ve been shot.
The good news? If your kids are very young, well, they probably won’t be able to see in that car unless you pick them up. Otherwise, in addition to the displays there are quotes on walls, fun signs scattered about and Prohibition-era artifacts or replicas featured – plenty to keep little eyes busy!
Is The American Prohibition Museum Worth The Ticket Cost?
YES! My friends and I had a great time pointing out the funny quotes, imitating the mannequin poses and even learning how to do the Charleston! Be sure you pause in the saloon room and listen to the docent.
A couple of special guests join in the presentation in a very Harry Potter-like way. It was funny and interesting. Did you know that NASCAR got it’s start with Moonshine runners? Did you know that bartenders were required to create many of the cocktails that we know today to mask the taste of low-quality homemade liquor?
The Benefit Of Guided Tours
Guests can sign up for a special guided tour and experience the museum with an era expert. The museum experts bring America’s dry spell to life as you walk through the museum. It’s a great way to learn a bit more and ask any questions.
It’s a 45-minute tour and the guide is fully dressed in costume. They walk guests through all 12 exhibits, which house over 1,000 artifacts. Plus, a cocktail (or mocktail) is include with the cost of your guided tour! Additionally, group tours can be arranged ahead of time.
The Hidden Speakeasy Bar At The Museum
Remember when I mentioned a bar? It’s not just any bar. After you work up a thirst trying to master the Charleston, you get to take your chances with the doorman at the speakeasy.
Press the button and be sure to tell him that Gus sent you. If you’re lucky and he likes the look of you, the door will open! The bar offers general cocktails, but you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t order a Prohibition-era cocktail from the special menu.
If you’ve got the kids with you, order one of their specially crafted “mocktails” so they can get in on the fun of the speakeasy, too!
I ordered a Pimm’s Cup – a perfect summery drink! The vintage-look glassware makes the experience that much more fun.
The Speakeasy is known as Congress Street Up during hours the museum is closed. On Thursday from 5:30-11 pm and on Friday & Saturday from 5:30 – 1 am you can dress to impress and indulge in an upscale cocktail experience! Nobody under 21 is allowed in the bar after museum hours.
Cocktail Classes At The Museum
Have you ever wanted to master the art of the cocktail? Why not learn from the best! The American Prohibition Museum offers a schedule of mixology classes. Certified bartenders will teach you how to make classic cocktails while discovering the history behind them.
It’s a 2 hour class that teaches students how to make two different cocktails. Light snacks are included and everyone takes home a little souvenir from the class. That’s such a fun and unique thing to do in Savannah!
Ticket Prices & Museum Details
The American Prohibition Museum entrance is located next to Ellis Square in City Market. Adult admission is $14.98 and child admission is $10.70 but you can save a few bucks buying your tickets online ahead of time. A drink ticket for adults is $8. Museum hours are everyday from 10-5, last admit is at 4:15.