*This Post is from 2016; however, as of June 2017, the admission prices have remained the same. Please note that some of the exhibits may have changed since this post was written*
Most people never fully enjoy living near an airport. We are about fifteen minutes away from Bradley International Airport, and we see many airplanes flying overhead from our backyard. Our child loves it. And I mean, loves it. He points out every airplane as it flies above us in the sky, shouting DEE!! (see!) We have made many trips to just sit over by the airport and watch the planes come in for landing and take off.
With my nephew visiting for the week, I was searching for age appropriate activities for a 13 year old, and a 2 year old. It is quite the challenge. However, I discovered the New England Air Museum was a great solution. My nephew is very into engineering and technology… and my 2 year old loves airplanes!
Another factor that sold me on this museum was that my library had a museum pass, which offered us a great discount! The cost of admission ranges from $7 to $12.50 depending on your age. Children under 3 are free. We ended up getting such a great deal that we invited my mother in law and niece along for the adventure!
The New England Air Museum is located in Windsor Locks right near Bradley International Airport. We came in from Massachusetts, and took the back roads in through Suffield. It is tucked away from the main roads, but it was pretty easy to find.
When we arrived, we easily found parking. There is a large lot with plenty of spaces. There are also airplanes outside that you can view from the parking lot, as well as up close once inside the museum.
We parked right near the entrance. The museum is absolutely stroller friendly! And we were entering with two! So we made sure beforehand that we would be welcome here with our arsenal!
When you first enter the New England Air Museum, you’ll find a a small seating area with vending machines where you can stop for a snack and a drink on the left. We did not end up sitting down for a snack, but it seemed pretty welcoming for visitors to use!
To the right are the restrooms which did have a changing table located in the women’s bathroom. With two babies, we definitely utilized that!
Straight ahead is the admissions desk. Make sure to look up as you make your way to the front desk! We showed them our library pass, paid our discounted admission and had our hands stamped.
We received a very useful map of the New England Air Museum before we headed into the first hangar.
The military hangar is quite a sight when you first enter. There are a lot of planes: on the ground and hanging from above. My knowledge is lacking when it comes to aircraft, but I can tell you these are some impressive machines!
You are able to climb inside of few of the airplanes! We had to try them out!
On the day we visited, since it was during school vacation, they had a fun activity for the kids. Design and test your own rocket!!
I am proud to say I designed this bad boy!
After spending a good amount of time building rockets, and also playing with the flight simulators, we headed into the next section of the museum.
Before you enter the civilian aircraft hangar, there is a small showcase area with a ton of interesting models and information.
After checking out that exhibit, we were finally ready to see more airplanes!!
This US Navy blimp was an incredible thing to see!
My nephew and son had to climb inside the hot air basket! Although once he was inside, he had to get out!!!
They had these super cute model planes to pedal around in, but my nephew was way too big, and my son and niece were way too small! Maybe next time!
The Civil Aviation Hangar also had a Pratt & Whitney Exhibit and a Sikorsky Exhibit. It was interesting to learn about the aviation industry right here in our home state! Access to the outdoor display yard can also be found from this hangar. Instead of going outside, we headed to Kidsport!
Kidsport is designed for ages 5 to 12, but both my 2-year-old son and my 13 year old nephew had a good time! There are multiple computer games and simulators throughout the room. There is also an area with different uniforms so the kids can play dress up.
Everyone had fun pretending to be pilots!
The last hangar contained the 58th Bomb Wing Memorial. What an impressive piece of aircraft!
We spent additional time at the flight simulation computers before finally heading off to the gift shop. The gift shop is easy to bypass if you don’t want your child begging for a toy. We strolled through quickly so I could check out the price of the astronaut’s uniform.
We spent about two hours at the New England Air Museum. You could easily spend longer if you take time to try out every simulator, and read every piece of information. But with two little ones in tow, I didn’t do much reading.
The New England Air Museum is definitely geared towards school age children and older. While my 2-year-old did enjoy seeing the airplanes, not many activities were meant for him and he didn’t quite appreciate all of the exhibits. My 13-year-old nephew definitely enjoyed his time here, and the opportunity to make a rocket.
In the end, this museum is absolutely a must see in Connecticut. I will be taking my son back here, just in a few more years.
This about sums it up…
36 Perimeter Road –Windsor Locks, CT
Hours: Open 7 says a week 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The Museum is closed on Mondays from November through May, with the exception of a few Monday holidays. Please check their website for their up to date schedule.
Admission: As of 6/30/17
(prices subject to change)
- Free Parking!
- Large parking lot with plenty of available spaces
- Stroller Friendly!
- Bathrooms and Changing Station
- Small dining area with vending machines offering beverages and snacks