Saturday, March 10, 2012

College Park Aviation Museum - A Kid Friendly Hit

Don't get me wrong, I love both Air and Space Smithsonians. The Dulles one is a wonder, what with all the planes on display there. And the one on the Mall is packed with amazing displays and artifacts. But, as destinations for young kids, they don't exactly work. The Dulles one doesn't really have anything hands on, and the Mall one is usually packed and contains many non-kid friendly exhibits.

I was hoping that the smaller College Park Aviation Museum would be a more kid friendly option. And today, thanks to a baby sitting gig we scored from our friend and play date, we got to put my hypothesis to the test.

Doesn't happen often, but this time, I was absolutely right. The College Park museum is smaller, but has a very large kid friendly area. There were flight simulators to play with, a dress up area, a small plane to climb into and "fly" and even crayons and stamps for kids to draw with. Heck, there was a big o'l bucket of Legos that we played with, which provided lots of entertainment. The 2, 3 and 4 year old all found something to enjoy there.

From an adult perspective, it's also pretty impressive. Who knew that College Park Airport was where Wilbur Wright trained the first military pilots ever? Or that the first helicopter was flown there.

The day was a bit too chilly to go outside and play on the playground - but they've got that covered too.

Keep in mind that only early flight stuff is on display here, so if you've got a kid into fighter jet's, they probably won't be impressed.

Still, it's a fun and easy option for kids.

Here's some photos of the kids enjoying the museum:

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