Do you have young ones interested in aviation? If so, when planning your next family trip you should consider visiting one of the many impressive U.S. aviation museums. Allow your kids to learn, have fun, and spend quality family time together all in one place. Not to mention, museums are extremely inexpensive when compared to the modern day theme park admissions. Read on below for the top 6 family friendly U.S. aviation museums.
#6 Southern Museum of Flight - Birmingham, AL
With over 75,000 sq feet and more than 90 different types of aircrafts, engines, and artifacts, it is no wonder why the Southern Museum of Flight is so popular among the kiddos. Visitors tend to favor the Korean War Jets Exhibit, Vietnam War Helicopters Exhibit, and Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit. Kids also enjoy the climbing displays and flight simulators. Plus, the museum is adjacent to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame with famous members like NASA astronaut Jan Davis, Wilbur Wright, and Orville Wright.
#5 The Museum of Flight - Seattle, WA
The Museum of Flight has a jaw dropping amount of air and spacecrafts on display, over 150 to be exact. This collection includes the world’s first Air Force One, first fighter plane, and first Blackbird Spy plane which is the fastest aircraft ever built. Kids 4-11 prefer the museums several flight simulators and aerial tours of Seattle in a real-life vintage bi-plane. The Museum of Flight hosts several special events including the infamous Women Fly! Where young ladies interested in aviation and aerospace careers are invited to network on the grounds. This is museum you will not want to miss.
#4 San Diego Air & Space Museum - San Diego, CA
Many consider the San Diego Air & Space Museum to be a ‘must-visit’ aviation destination within Southern California. The museum tends to focus on war aircrafts, space travel, and modern jets as these are San Diego’s contributions to the field of aviation. You will find galleries covering subjects like World War I, World War II, the Golden Age of Flight, and the Modern Jet/Space Ages. You must check out the flight simulators before you leave as they are top notch with high end software.
#3 Virginia Air & Space Center - Hampton, VA
As the visitor center for the Langley Air Force Base and NASA Langley Research Center, the Virginia Air & Space Center celebrates over 100 years of flight! Its interactive exhibits include piloting a space shuttle, launching a rocket, and flying an airplane. Plus, the Virginia Air & Space Center also features a Mars meteorite, an Apollo 12 Command Module, and a Moon rock. Do not let your kids leave without taking a spin on the Hampton Carousel or watching a movie in the center’s 3D IMAX theater.
#2 Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport - Chantilly, VA
As a companion center to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, the Udvar-Hazy Center features two vast hangers containing thousands of space and aviation artifacts. When visiting the Udvar-Hazy Center you can see the space shuttle Discover, a Concorde jet, and take guided tours with educational activities.
#1 Smithsonian Air & Space Museum - Washington, DC
The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum is the biggest of all 19 Smithsonian museums. It's collection features Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, Saturn V rockets, the Apollo 11 Command Module, and an Albert Einstein planetarium. Zoom across the skies as a family with the Smithsonian educational activities and daily tours/lectures.