Museum Day at the Kansas Aviation Museum

Yeah, that book post I said might happen?  It didn't.  We had a busy weekend instead.  Saturday, here in the States, was Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live, and for the first time, I was in a position to take the girls to a participating museum on Museum Day!  The girls and I chose the Kansas Aviation Museum, because we had never been there.  It's located on the southeast side of Wichita, adjacent to the air force base.  The fabulous art deco building was an airport terminal, then part of the air force base, then finally became a museum in 1991.  Wichita is nicknamed "The Air Capital of the World," because of our history as a leader in aircraft manufacturing.  (You can read more about that here, if you like.)  My father and grandmother work or have worked at several of those plants, and my dad used to fly small Cessnas for fun when I was a kid and teen.  Yet I had never visited this beautiful old building.  With Little Sis's Amelia and airplane fascination, it seemed like a good place to use our two free passes!

Amelia came along for the ride.  She spent most of the time hanging out in my camera bag.

There were some older, smaller planes inside the museum itself, such as this beautiful 1927 Laird Swallow, built right here in town.

The girls were far more curious about the huge stuffed Mickey Mouse in this plane.

On the second floor terrace, looking out at the planes.

Besides aircraft manufacturing, airport, airline, and military memorabilia, there is also a whole section for kiddos, where they can climb inside cockpits, play flight simulation games, color, etc.

I admit, I'm more interested in buildings than aircraft, so my favorite part of the visit was marveling at the old terminal itself.

The control tower was added in 1941.  This was my other favorite part of the visit.  The view is very nice.

A cool view of the old Stearman Aircraft hangar on the grounds of the air force base.  You can see some great vintage photos of both the hangar and the old airport terminal itself at

That's downtown Wichita.  We weren't particularly close to downtown.  Great views up there.

There were more planes to see outside.  You can read more about the aircraft on display on the museum's website.

My camera battery ran out of juice before I could take any photos of the front of the building.  I managed some decent shots with my cruddy phone.

So U.S. readers, did anyone else hit up a museum for Museum Day?

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  1. What a fun outing! Everything looks so interesting. I've never been in an aviation museum!

    1. I've been to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in DC, which dwarfs everything else. This was a pleasant way to spend a couple hours, though. :)

  2. Pickle! I forgot about Museum Day!!! poop. Andrew would have LOOOOOOOOVED this place you went to, he adores any kind of airplane museum!!! you guys have the best field trips. i always say this, but it's seriously true!

    1. We were driving to Kansas City, to go to the American Girl store last year on Museum Day. We always have something else going on that day. We have a membership to the Historical Museum, the Art Museum is free every Saturday anyway, and we've been to Cowtown and a couple other museums multiple times. It was nice to use the Smithsonian pass to try something new.


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