Around Town: Seattle – The Museum Of Flight

Peter-West-Carey-Museum Of Flight2011-1228-6594When I was growing up I wanted to be a pilot. Before that I wanted to be a farmer. No reason for the second sentence other than I like to share.

When I was growing up there was no Museum of Flight. It came into existence on the South side of Seattle after my passion of flight was already sparked, but before I found out I get rather ill inside small aircraft I am not jumping out of (by the way, the instructors at Gavin Flying at Boeing Field are top-notch and never complained about having to clean up their Cessna 152 after I, uh, redecorated the cockpit somewhere over Puget Sound. I still want to thank my instructor for his patience while I figured out flying a plane was not for me, commercially speaking).

The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field has grown over the years to be awesome. It’s huge! When my brother, a member of the museum, offered to take my daughter and I to the museum (you get free passes for guests as a member) on a rainy Winter day, I was excited to share the experience and to see what was new since my last visit 20 years ago.

First of all, if you have kids, go see the museum. Kids over five or so will enjoy their time. The specific kid area isn’t that large, but does have some fun exhibits for them to play with while actually learning things (just don’t tell them they are learning). Scaled down wind tunnels and the chance to move a plane as in a video game will get them excited.

And then there is the main hall. Zowie! It’s big and FULL of planes. Hanging from the ceiling, on the ground, some cut in half so you can see how they work. One of the nation’s old spy planes, an SR-71 Blackbird, takes center stage surrounded by a classic DC-3 and a reproduction of the Wright Brother’s flyer. Helicopters, fighter planes from many eras, mail planes, gliders. And then there is the space section with lunar rovers, space capsules and a mock up of a section of the International Space Station. Outside you can tour an older Air Force One that presidents used to call home while traveling. And a Concorde.

Ohhhh!!! And in the future, they will have an actual Space Shuttle Trainer in one hanger. A frickin’ real sized space shuttle! Too cool.

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For adults, there is also a large history wing that chronicles Boeing’s rise as an aircraft giant. And a cafeteria. And a whole other area that I didn’t cover on this trip! There’s seriously a whole day of exploring at the Museum.

More Info:

  • Hours and directions
  • Cost ain’t super cheap, but I felt it would be worth it once a year for most people. $17 for adults and $9 for kids. Discounts given.
  • They have a number of simulators I’d love to try next time.
  • Perfect for rainy winter days.
  • Special events abound. Check their schedule.
  • They also offer learning opportunities at the museum and in the area.
  • If your kid is around age five, or really into airplanes, they will get the most enjoyment from time at the museum. Younger kids might get bored before parents feel they have got their money’s worth.

Seriously, it is a fun place and a bit like a playground. There is a lot to learn or you can simply gawk and the massive amount of aircraft on display.

One Reply to “Around Town: Seattle – The Museum Of Flight”

  1. Mary Jo Manzanares

    I’m a big fan of the Museum of Flight, and manage to go at least once a year. They get some great rotating exhibits, too. I enjoyed when Air Force was there, and also the Concorde.

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