With inflation soaring (pun intended), I am looking for fun and free activities for my son. He recently discovered the movie, Disney Planes: Fire and Rescue, which began his fascination with planes. What better way to expand his curiosity than to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio! Admission is free; donations are welcome.
When we first arrived, the staff was quick to welcome us and provide us with information throughout the entirety of the museum. My son was overwhelmed with excitement and wanted to go straight to the children’s section at the end of the museum. (Tip: my son has a language delay and sensory needs so I continued to remind him and show him on the map that we were in Building 1 and making our way towards the children’s section. I also distracted him by pointing out different objects on the aircraft that he may not have noticed. This helped minimize the chance of a meltdown.) Each section walked guests through the history of aircraft. It was incredible to learn different facts and see artifacts. We also enjoyed the space gallery and the display of space shuttles and missiles. Our favorite section was indeed the children’s section. It was very interactive. We were able to walk through several aircraft (the walk-through was narrow so I do not recommend if claustrophobic) and sit in a display cockpit.
We look forward to visiting again and exploring more. My son now wants to be a pilot and I added riding in a fighter jet to my bucket list. Overall, this was a very successful trip!
Other tips I learned is to give yourself plenty of time to walk through the entire museum. We were there for 2 ½ hours, but could have easily stayed for 4+ hours reading and exploring the exhibits. Wear comfortable shoes and take breaks. It is a lot of walking, but there are plenty of seats throughout the museum to take a seat. If the weather permits (it did not for us), take a stroll outside. It is beautiful. Additionally, there is a cafe; free gallery tours; a theater; simulator rides and a gift shop. Buckle up for a good time! For more information, visit nationalmuseum.af.mil.