The Air Force Museum is located in Dayton, Ohio. It is also attached to an active military/Air Force base, The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Entrance to the museum is free, as is the parking. There are also free docent-led tours at set times during the day. There are options to buy extras like the simulation ride and VR experience. The museum is huge. It is spread out through 4 large hangers (all connected) and covers 19 acres (per their website). You will get your steps in for sure. We were there for 3 hours and rushed through it.
The buildings begin at the museum entrance and start with the history of flight and early planes. You walk through a hallway dedicated to the Holocaust to the World War II exhibits. The second building contains Korean War and Southeast Asia. Building 3 is dedicated to the Cold War. Walking past a group of large missiles, you will enter building 4 where Research and Development and the Presidential planes are located. We were able to walk through several previous presidents’ planes, including JFK’s Air Force One.
The way there were able to fit all these planes in the building is pretty darn amazing. Some of these planes are incredibly large and it must have been like trying to put together a 3D puzzle.
It is a lot of reading, with a few kid stations throughout. Some of the more interactive exhibits were closed (COVID, I believe). I would definitely say this is a museum for older kids or at least ones who really enjoy looking at planes. There is not a lot for the younger kids to do, so they may get bored quickly. The museum is spread across 4 buildings/hangers, so it is a lot of walking. There are seats scattered throughout the buildings so that you can rest. Each building also has its own bathroom.
The cafe is located on the second floor, but it was closed when we were there. The gift shop has a wide range of items. We found small postcards for $0.10 and large ones for $0.25.
- WHERE: 1100 Spaatz Street, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433
- HOURS: 9:00 am-5:00 pm, M-U
- COSTS: Free (simulation and VR cost extra)
- PARKING: Yes
- BATHROOM: Yes
- TIME RECOMMENDED: 3+ hours
- COVID RESTRICTIONS: Masks required (as of March 2022)
- Details correct at time of posting, please double check before you go.