Until recently, I figured the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland, Nebraska, just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t think aviation was my thing, and while space travel sounds exciting, I never felt motivated to visit the museum. Then I had kids. And it turns out that this museum is for people like me. It impresses me, actually.
But more importantly for this post – my kids enjoyed it there. A lot. As in, take off like they’ve been launched into space as soon as we get into the museum.
What to check out with kids?
Your first stop will likely be the Science Zone right by the entrance – or if your kids are especially wound up from the car ride, head to the hangers so they can run. And run. And run.
Our last visit was this winter and the Science Zone featured several activities, some more suited to my under-4 crowd than others.
Didn’t matter, they enjoyed watching big kids play, too.
The hit was the over-sized building blocks, though the kids also liked the weather map and rocket launcher. I think I disappointed the kids since I have very little mechanical ability – the rocket I helped them construct was a dud.
The museum features two large areas of full of aircraft, displays on uniforms and a lot of history. There’s an exhibit on astronaut Clayton Anderson that at least made my kids pause on their sprint around the museum. Enhance your visit by sharing some fun facts on the SAS website.
However, if yours are like mine, my kids were only interested in the planes they could climb in (can you blame them?). I’m pretty sure the kids didn’t even notice any signs.
And the ride-on toys. And the bounce houses.
Bigger kids will like the simulation ride. That’s extra (as is the ride on toys and bounce houses. Naturally).
Many people like to pair a visit to the SAC Museum with some of the attractions nearby – Mahoney State Park and the Gene Simmons Safari. That’s fine, especially if you’re traveling from far. However, the museum itself is worth the trip by itself.
If you go
Address: Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Nebraska
Hours: Open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: $12 for adults; $11 for 65+ and active/retired military; $6 for kids (4-12); free for kids 3 and younger and members
Food: There is a cafe on-site offering mini pizzas, hotdogs, chips, pretzels, that sort of thing
Thank you to the Strategic Air & Space Museum for providing two complimentary passes. All opinions expressed were my own.