We had such a great time at the Miramar Air Show this year, we decided to visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park. The museum is rich with history and is a local treasure for any aviation buff. The layout of the museum easily guides you counterclockwise through a history of aviation and space flight. The first hallway posts portraits or drawings of people who contributed to flight and aerospace. Such an inspiring group of courageous and brilliant people.
Historical planes are available to view and learn about. Many of them are war planes. Amelia Earhart is represented. The Blue Angels are represented also, which were some of our favorites to watch at the air show. For an extra fee, you can participate in a flight simulation. We watched a free short movie, “Fly Me to the Moon”, an animated film about the first people to land on the moon. It was 4-D, and this was our first experience with that type of movie. There were definitely some fun aspects about it with not just the 3-D glasses, but the chairs actually moving. When the rocket ship was taking off and our seats were shaking along with all the sights and sounds, it added to the excitement, thinking what it would be like to blast off into space. But overall I felt like it was overdone and grew tired of my seat constantly moving. Here and there would have added to the film, but it was too much and I didn’t enjoy it as much. But for a short amount of time, it was alright. A couple of other movies are also offered for viewing throughout the day.
The museum took us about an hour and a half to go through. That was about the attention span of my children, ages 4-10 years old. They had fun, but older kids and adults interested in planes could spend longer as they read more of the history included at each stop. The museum also has special exhibits that change. Right now a “How Things Fly” exhibit is at the museum teaching about aerodynamics, propulsion, meteorology, and air traffic control.
Entrance to the museum is $17.50 for adults and $7 for youth, ages 3-11. Prices for including the special exhibits are usually more, so check the website when planning your visit. And don’t forget the museum is free to San Diego residents on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Special exhibits and theatre entrance do have fees on free Tuesdays, though.