Ready to visit and don’t know where to start? The Air Zoo spans two buildings and has plenty to see. We’ve outlined an itinerary of must-sees during your stay.
The Flight Innovation Center
Start your day here. After checking in and getting your wristbands, stop by the coatroom to shed any unnecessary layers and take your walk through the clouds.
Once inside you’ll find two things: planes as far as the eye can see and some very friendly volunteers (take them up on their free tours if you have time).
Why Only Look at the Planes, when You Can Fly Them? Virtually of course, but still…
The main area of the Flight Innovation Center is massive; feel free to browse all of the aircraft and exhibits. A couple of our favorites include the following:
- Learn Hands-On: Learn through play with interactive exhibits located throughout the Air Zoo. These fun activities teach physics, engineering, and other science disciplines.
- Get Lost in Space: More than just planes can fly. The Air Zoo also features a number of exhibits dedicated to space travel, featuring spacecraft, equipment and astronaut suits. Make sure to see how astronauts can sleep in zero gravity!
Once you’ve finished exploring the Flight Innovation Center, it’s time to check out the other building at the Air Zoo. Head outside for a short walk to the Flight Discovery Center (or you can move your car; there are parking lots for both buildings).
Flight Discovery Center
Previously known as “East Campus,” the Flight Discovery Center provides another showcase for aircraft. Take a stroll through all of the exhibits here; there are several planes the kids can climb inside (Tip: if there are stairs, the kids are welcome).
The big highlight here though is the aircraft restoration.
They fix planes here too?
The skilled team at the Air Zoo has staff and volunteers that are world-renowned in their restoration abilities. Their current work includes two WWII aircraft recovered from Lake Michigan.
Visitors are encouraged to talk to the team and ask questions while you watch their efforts to reconstruct these 1940s era aircraft to their original beauty. Many of these volunteers are veterans, and all of them are friendly and bursting with aeronautical knowledge.
Wrapping Up your Visit
Head back to the Flight Innovation Center and revisit some favorites before you head home. My kids usually require return trips to a few favorite exhibits before we can depart (we recommend launching some water bottles).
The Fly Buy Gift Shop
After you leave the clouds, make a stop at the coatroom for your belongings and be sure to browse The Fly Buy for souvenirs (we love the winged tigers).
Short on time? You can shop online when you return home too.